Quick ways to boost YouTube watch hours
According to a Statista report, more than 500 hours of videos are uploaded on YouTube every minute. With so much content, the process of recommending relevant search results becomes tougher. Until some years back, YouTube used to rely on the number of views on videos to tailor the search results and recommended videos. The judging criteria of YouTube have changed and, presently, YouTube takes into account many metrics to order the search results.
The metric ‘Watch Time’ is considered to be the number one factor for determining ranking on YouTube. YouTube looks into the amount of time people spend watching the videos and whether or not they interact with your videos. It is not just about views, it is about how long the people stay hooked to your videos. While increasing your views is easy, it can prove to be difficult to increase your watch time organically. This is where YTpals can help you. You can buy YouTube watch hours from YTpals to increase your videos’ YouTube and Google search rankings.
A Comprehensive Guide to Watch Time
Watch Time is a metric that determines how long your content keeps the viewers engaged. To increase your watch time you would need to make your videos more discoverable for the viewers. Before we get to ways of increasing the watch time, let us take a brief look at the history of YouTube’s ranking algorithm.
Until 2012, the primary measure for the success of a video was considered to be the view count. The ranking of the videos was decided by the number of views accrued. This lead to increased use of using click baits, with video titles and thumbnails which were mostly concerned with getting clicks. Although these click bait videos would get a large number of views, the audience retention rate would be very low. The high bounce rate indicated that the users were not satisfied with the suggestion. As a result, it was realized that view count is not the best indication of the quality or relevance of a video.
YouTube realized that a better measure for a video is the amount of time a user spends on the video. When a viewer watches a video all the way to the end, it indicates a higher level of satisfaction. Since the majority of the YouTube revenue is made by advertisements, it would make sense that it wants viewers to watch videos for as long as possible. Advertisers recognize YouTube for its quality inventory and the fact that it is a daily video viewing destination for the audience.
It is in October 2012 that the new YouTube algorithm was launched. This new algorithm, based on ‘Watch Time’ took into account videos that kept the viewers engaged. YouTube started adjusting the ranking of the videos and rewarded those that proved to be engaging and kept the viewers on YouTube for the longest time. With the new algorithm, the view count was no longer considered to be the determiner for ranking content.
What is Watch Time?
Watch Time is among the many metrics YouTube uses for the purpose of SEO. YouTube describes Watch Time as the aggregate amount of time your viewers spend watching the video. The YouTube Creator Playbook also states that the videos which increase the watch time on the site are optimized to appear higher on the search results and suggested videos. There is no single strategy that can be used to increase the value of your channel and videos in the eyes of the viewers. It requires a multi-pronged approach. You can even buy YouTube watch hours from YTpals. Before we get to that, there are some things about YouTube Watch time you should familiarize yourself with.
Firstly, the audience retention rate and estimated minutes watched are two closely related factors. The amount of time the viewers spend on your content is measured in minutes or seconds. The audience retention rate refers to the average time a viewer spends on your content. A high retention rate is indicative of the ability of the video to hold the user’s attention. YouTube observes the way in which your video contributes to the Watch Time of a user on the site.
Secondly, YouTube favors Watch Time per user session. Watch Time is not only concerned with the amount of your video that is watched but the contribution of your video to a particular user’s watch time on YouTube. The viewer-specific session time is extremely important for YouTube, as their main goal is to keep the viewers satisfied and engaged on the site for longer periods.
You will not get the reward from watch time if you extend a 30-second video into a 20-minute one. The key is to make engaging videos that make the viewers stick around for a longer time. YouTube is looking at content that increases the watch time of the users on the site.
Example for Understanding YouTube Watch Time
A user searches for something in particular on YouTube and watches your video first. Thereafter, the user watches a series of related videos. In this case, the watch time will include the session watch time spent on that series of videos. The watch time will be affected negatively if the viewers leave the video and move on to perform another search. The watch time will be affected positively if a new YouTube viewing session is created by your video content. For instance, the influence of an established YouTuber will drive viewing sessions as the users move on to watch other related YouTuber videos.
Importance of YouTube Watch Time
Now that we know about watch time, let us take a look at the importance of watch time for a content creator –
- High-Quality Content: When viewers stay back on your videos all the way until the end, it is indicative of the fact that your YouTube content is of high quality. YouTube will ultimately favor your videos and increase their ranking by promoting them as suggested videos.
- Monetization: For making money on YouTube by partnering through AdSense, it is important that your watch time metrics are impressive. According to a new YouTube policy, your content would need to have at least 4,000 cumulative watch hours per year on YouTube if you want to derive monetization benefits.
- User satisfaction: If the watch time on your YouTube channel is increasing then it means that your viewers are happy with your content. It is indicative of the fact that you are able to attract an engaged audience.
How to Find Out Your Channel’s Watched Hours
Before you figure out ways to increase your watch time, it is important to take a look at the statistics of your channel. For this, you need to open the Creator Studio on YouTube and open the analytics tab from the left-hand menu. On the analytics page, choose the “ last 365 days’ view option at the bottom of the chart. You will be able to view the total minutes people have spent watching your content. If your figures show 240,000 or 4,000 hours, then you have successfully crossed the threshold for monetization and you are on the right track.
Using Analytics to Understand Audience Retention
Your audience is expected to drop consistently over time, but there are certain points in the video where your audience retention could take a sharp downward turn. It is important to analyze the audience retention metric to understand the reasons behind the drop in audience retention in your channel. You can find out more about audience retention in the analytics tab below the overview section. You will be able to find the peaks and valleys in the audience retention rate, which can be correlated with specific points in the video. There are certain ways you can hook the attention of your audience within the first 15 minutes of your video.
Let us take a look at some of them.
- Arrive at the point quickly: If your video explains some complex subject or gives a tutorial on something, the audience wants to get to the content immediately. You might end up turning off the viewers if you don’t get to the main content quickly.
- Remove Intro Music: If the intro to your video is particularly long, then the viewers might end up abandoning your channel. In addition to this, some content creators spend a good amount of time requesting viewers to “press the bell icon”. It would be advisable to keep the intro short and give a small preview of the things your video will talk about.
- Don’t Use Click baits: It is important to use accurate video titles and thumbnails that don’t mislead the viewers. If you make clickbait content, the viewers will be annoyed and might not return to your channel again. The other way you can evoke the curiosity of your viewers is by showing a teaser of the climax of the video narrative.
How to Increase the Watch Time For Your YouTube Channel
If the viewers are spending a significant amount of time on your videos, then the YouTube algorithm will highlight your channel and videos in the search recommendations. YouTube has also explained in the past that it will focus on the videos that increase the viewers’ session time on YouTube. It takes into account not just the next video watched by the person after watching your video, but the successive videos’ watch time after that. There is no single strategy that can be employed to increase the watch time for your channel. One of the ways is to buy YouTube watch hours. You can also use the following tips in conjunction with buying watch hours, to increase your channel’s watch time and also the viewers’ session watch time.
1. Make the intro of your video powerful and engaging
It is important to hook the audience from the start. It is often said that the first 15 seconds of the video are crucial in grabbing the attention of the audience. The YouTube Playbook features some recommendations for making a power intro, which consists of –
- Compelling first frame: The first frame of the video should be a compelling one, either through the use of personality and messaging or through visuals.
- Engage with the viewers: You should try to speak with viewers directly, and refer to them individually rather than as an audience.
- Spark their curiosity: You can make the viewers curious by doing something or asking them a question.
- Clip preview: You can present a small preview of the video which is under 15 seconds. This way the audience knows what to expect.
Your audience is more likely to stick around and watch your content when you use the content-rich parts of the video initially.
2. Don’t use clickbait
It is a well-known fact that click baits don’t work if you want to increase the watch time on your videos. Quite often, they will have the opposite effect as the viewers would search for other content if you don’t deliver on the promise. When you provide a thumbnail and title for a video, you should ideally try to provide the audience with some of what they would expect from the video. Starting a video with a fancy logo or intro might seem cool, but the key is to get to the point quickly.
3. Use chapters feature in videos
YouTube has a great feature that allows you to make chapters. Chapters are not only great for breaking down a long video into parts, but it also allows the viewers to see what would come next in the video. When you want to incorporate the chapters feature in your video, it is important to decide the video segments. Each segment or chapter should ideally have a good intro and an interesting narrative. Creating a rough outline of the chapter beforehand would be extremely useful in this case. An additional step you can take is adding the chapters based on the timestamps. This way the viewers can also switch to different timestamps to watch a certain part of a lengthy video.
4. Incorporate pattern interrupt
Your videos need to be engaging for the viewers if you want to increase your watch time. Using interrupting patterns can be a very useful strategy for making videos that keep the viewers engaged. People often get bored when similar kinds of visuals and narratives repeat in the video. Pattern interruption techniques like changing the camera angle, on-screen graphics and B-roll can seize the viewers’ attention. A pattern interrupt is essentially a technique that changes a particular behavior, thought, or situation. This technique is backed by behavioral psychology and neuro-linguistic programming. When you incorporate elements of pattern interrupt, it creates visuals and narratives that change continuously and keep the viewers hooked.
5. Competitive analysis and keyword research
The value of keywords in video content cannot be ignored, which is why it is important to research keywords specific to YouTube while publishing your videos. You can research the keywords by using a keyword tool. All you would need to do is type in a topic related to the content and determine the search interest of the audience depending on the keyword volume. You can conduct keyword research by using the autocomplete suggestions on YouTube.
A competitive analysis should also be conducted from time to time to find out the type of content the competitor channels are creating. A competitive analysis is extremely useful in finding out about video tags, keywords, and also comments. The information extracted from the competitive analysis can be used to develop an understanding of the target audience. It also helps in finding the content gaps which you can fill in with your video content.
6. Use storytelling in your videos
A great way to keep the viewers engaged in your videos is by creating story-form videos. Using storytelling can be a great idea for viewers who want to be entertained while they learn. You can think about new and unique ways to convey your content in the form of a story. This will keep the viewers interested and they will keep watching your videos, increasing the watch time in the process. When you are creating a video, remember to make content that entertains and educates you at the same time. It is important to think of the story in both the form of a narrative and in the form of on-camera presentation, no matter how long the video is.
7. Collaborate with other content creators
A great way to increase the watch time on YouTube is by partnering with like-minded people who understand the purpose of your brand. When you collaborate with other content creators, you can draw in new viewers and expand your audience base. This in turn contributes to your watch time, and it also aids in increasing the cumulative watch time of the viewers as they click on similar content on your collaborator’s channel. These collaborations should be treated as partnerships and not as influencer marketing. While influencer marketing is all about getting a new audience for a service, collaborations are more authentic and are based on shared values.
8. Longer videos
The watch time of a video is also affected by the length. While a longer video would be able to get a significant amount of watch time with only a few viewers, a shorter video would need a greater number of viewers to get the same watch time. Longer videos are better for increasing watch time, however, the key is that they should be engaging for the viewers. These longer videos should be created keeping in mind the target audience. It would be useful to extend some of your existing short-form video content. You can think of unique ways to expand on the content. Once the success of the longer variations is reached, you can delete the same content that exists in the form of short videos.
9. Create a video series
Another great way to increase your watch time is by creating a video series. The watch time accumulated by a series of videos is likely to be larger. This is because the viewers will keep watching the related videos. This series can focus on a particular theme or a challenge. It can even be in the form of a story. If your video series is engaging, the viewers will keep coming back for your content, which would increase the watch hours over time. When choosing the theme of the video series, it is advisable to pick the videos which have the most views. You can use these videos as a base for creating new content.
10. Use YouTube Analytics to understand micro and macro views
You can derive great insights about your channel from the YouTube analytics section. You can also get new information about the macro and micro views on your channel. YouTube analytics allows you to observe viewership in days and times. Besides this, there is also an option to look at the data on the videos themselves. You need to use the analytics section to determine the average drop-off times of the users. This will help you in developing an understanding of the ways you can increase audience engagement in your future videos. The only way you can make content more engaging for the viewers is by understanding their needs, which is what YouTube analytics provides. You can use the information to tailor your content according to the needs of the audience.
11. Determining the right time to post
Your videos need to be discoverable if you want to increase the watch time for your channel. For this, the videos have to show up on the search recommendations at the right time. According to online research, the ideal time to post content on YouTube is around mid-afternoon. This is because the peak viewing hours are considered to be 8 pm. To ensure that your video appears during the peak viewing hours, you should leave ample time for them to get indexed. This suggestion works well during the weekdays, however, if you want to upload videos on weekends, a different strategy needs to be applied. On weekends, it would be better to post the videos a little earlier as the internet traffic is generally higher on weekends.
12. Make use of YouTube Playlists
For increasing the watch time, the viewer does not necessarily need to watch your videos. The watch time can increase if the user watches a playlist that includes videos of other people too. Creating a playlist can be very beneficial for you, as it guides the potential viewers to a more linear viewing experience. This allows you to influence a users’ total watch time session. For creating playlists, all you need to do is organize your videos in a meaningful sequence, with relevant events, topics, shows, and series all clubbed into one. Playlists also increase the likelihood of your videos appearing in the suggested video results.
When using the Playlists feature, it would be a good idea to optimize them for a better viewing experience. You can use the feature of Start and End times so that the ‘in’ and ‘out’ points of video are specified. You can trim the intros and outros of the videos in your playlist to create a more seamless experience. Also, remember to feature the playlist in the embedded players and also the YouTube channel page. You can also link to your playlist page via annotations.
13. Use End Slates and Cards
There are tricks you can employ so that people continue to watch your videos rather than clicking off too quickly. One of the tricks is using the Cards feature on YouTube, which allows users to add a link on the video screen. These video links in the form of cards connect to some other video, playlist, or channel. When using the YouTube cards feature, it would be a good idea to place the card where the audience usually drops off. This would allow the viewer to watch a related video rather than ending their watch time. Using End Slates is another great option for directing the viewers to another related video.
14. Incorporate Teasers
Quite often, your viewers can drop off after a few seconds, especially if it is a long video. There are ways to ensure that your viewers stick around for longer. You can consider incorporating teasers at the start of your videos, which sums up the essence of your video. These teasers will give the viewers an idea about what they could expect from the video.
If used correctly, YouTube can be a great platform for developing an emotional connection with prospective viewers. When you employ these strategies for increasing watch time, you will not only get more subscribers and views, but it will also affect the affinity your viewers have with your brand. You can also buy YouTube watch hours from YTpals and use these strategies in conjunction, to increase your watch time significantly. With the YTpals’ Buy YouTube Watch Hours service, you will be able to reach 4,000 hours of watch time on YouTube, which will give you an opportunity to monetize your channel. The service will start within 24-72 hours of placing the order.
YTpals provides a range of premium services to make your YouTube channel more successful. To know more, contact us today!