How Does the YouTube Algorithm Work?
We all have heard of the new YouTube algorithm updates and how it may affect your YouTube channel’s performance.
YouTube tries to push and promote your video in front of some audiences and see how those audiences will react and engage. They may like, dislike, comment, share or watch part of your video. YouTube measure the click through rates (CTR% – According to YouTube CTR benchmark, they said that average percent is between 2% and 10%) which is how often viewers watched a video after seeing an impression. The YouTube impressions analytics are how many times your video thumbnails were shown to viewers. Viral videos are having an average of 20% CTR.
YouTube wants to keep audiences on the platform for as long as possible and watch as many videos as possible. YouTube earn money by placing ads on videos. So, the more viewers stay on the platform, the more they can see ads and the more YouTube will be paid.
Now we know that the algorithm follows the viewer. They look at your past browsing activities and tries to figure out which type of videos you may like to watch next. Of course this will allow them to stay on the platform as long as possible. This is what is called YouTube recommendations and if your videos are not doing great then your content is the main reason. Millions of videos are recommended and seen by viewers on daily basis who visit the YouTube platform. Content is the king and engagement is the queen on YouTube.
How To Optimize Your YouTube Videos
You need to know what are the factors that will determine how to be successful on YouTube.
1. Your YouTube Audience
You should create the right content that targets the right audiences and this will help YouTube to know what type of viewers they will promote your videos to.
2. YouTube Engagements – YouTube Engagement Rate
Let’s think about it, suppose you’re having hundreds of videos on your channel with no or few engagements. Do you think YouTube will promote these videos to new audiences? Of course not. That’s why some videos go viral. When you publish a new video and people start to engage with the video, YouTube loves that. It will start to promote your video to more and more audiences with the ultimate objective of keeping them on the platform as much as possible. I already have a video case study on one of my channel’s videos on how to go VIRAL on YouTube.
3. YouTube Keyword Research – YouTube SEO and How to Rank YouTube Videos
Don’t forget that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the World owned by Google. More than 3 billion searches are processed on YouTube a month. If you want to know how to make your video appear first on YouTube then you have to know what people are searching for in terms of good content, topics, attractive titles that get views and selecting the right tags and keywords. On my channel, about 50% of my YouTube traffic is coming from YouTube searches in 2019 as I always do YouTube SEO and follow YouTube’s ranking factors. You have to invest time in studying YouTube search results.
According to the latest YouTube algorithm updates, they are the title and thumbnail that drives traffic to your videos along with the description and video tags. We see a lot of people doing clickbait YouTube titles or thumbnails. This will hurt the video performance. Therefore, most people will click off when they find that the title or the thumbnail is not relevant to the video content. Be sure to use the right video thumbnail design and the right YouTube tags for views. I prefer to use TubeBuddy for video SEO but VidIQ is a good option too.
For example: if you have uploaded a new video and your audiences haven’t clicked on that video and this became a trend with your few new uploaded videos, then there is no reason to let YouTube put your content in front of many of your audiences till it reaches almost everyone. If your audiences are not clicking on your content then you have to reconsider your YouTube content strategy. Good click through rates help YouTube to promote your content to broader audiences.
4. Watch Time on YouTube
This is the total amount of time that viewers spend watching videos. The higher the watch time, the more likely YouTube will promote the channel in search results and recommendations. I guess you already know the audience retention (inside YouTube analytics) which is the percentage length of your video that viewers watched. You should be targeting at least 50% of average view duration. If people are watching an average of 20%-30% of your videos then your content is not going to keep the viewers on the platform as much as possible, a thing that YouTube algorithm don’t prefer.
YouTube Growth Terms
Now we are going to learn some expressions that YouTube monitors closely to know how to recommend videos to viewers and help boost YouTube channel views:
- Number of sessions a viewer starts: when someone starts watching a YouTube video this will start a YouTube session watch time.
- Session Duration: how long the view session will last before the viewer clicks off.
- Session Ends: when the viewer decides to leave the platform and do anything else.
- YouTube view velocity: have you checked before the YouTube creator studio beta analytics after you upload a new video? This will show you how quickly your video is getting views in the first 24-48 hours compared to your top 10 recent uploaded videos.
This is one of the YouTube metrics that matter. The better a video is performing in those 48 hours will determine how the video will perform in the future. If you are having large % of your subscribers watch new videos as they are published, this is going to help your video to be promoted by YouTube and help your video to get more views.
To wrap up the YouTube best practices on how to get your videos seen on YouTube and growing a YouTube channel, it’s obvious that the YouTube algorithm follows the audience. The key success factor here is to get the viewers spend as much time per session as possible and have them come back to the platform and watch more videos. You can make strong CTA (call to action) at the end of your videos to encourage the viewer to watch another video or a playlist on your channel.
Don’t create videos for yourself. Create videos for viewers.
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