Originally written for the bewolfish online magazine

There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours creating great videos and ending up with only a handful of views. If you’re wondering how to get more views on YouTube follow these simple tips to drive traffic to your channel.

Optimise your videos for keyword search

A keyword is a word or a short phrase that makes it possible for people to find your videos via the YouTube search engine. In order to optimise a video for keyword search, you should select:

  • One primary keyword phrase (a 3-6 words phrase for which you want the video to rank);
  • Three to ten secondary keyword phrases (3-6 words phrases that are video specific);
  • Two to three more broad keyword phrases (2-3 words phrases that correspond to more general queries);
  • One to three single word keywords (pick single words from the keyword phrases you have already selected).

Ideally you should select keywords with a high search volume (i.e. many people are searching for this term on YouTube) and also with a low competition score (i.e. there are not many videos on YouTube about this particular topic). There are many free tools available to help you get this information. My favourite include VidIQ and Keywords Everywhere.

Once you have selected the keywords, create a video title that includes the primary target keyword phrase. Next, write a video description that clearly communicates what the video is about. Try to include your primary keyword phrase in the first sentence. Finally, add 10-15 of your keywords to the video tags by starting with the primary keyword phrase. 

Publish your videos at the right time

The optimal time for publishing a video on YouTube will depend on your specific channel audience. Ideally, you want to publish your videos just before your channel’s peak audience time. This is because YouTube tends to promote videos based on their performance within the first 24 hours after publication. You can easily determine your channel’s highest traffic times by using your channel’s analytics. If your channel is new, you can use the following general YouTube peak audience times as a starting point:

  • Monday – Wednesday: 2pm – 5pm
  • Thursday – Friday: 12pm – 4pm

Share your videos on your social media channels

There are many ways to promote your YouTube videos on your social media channels. You can post a short video preview in your Instagram story or feed and include a link to the full video in your bio. You could pin the preview clip to the top of your Twitter feed. Or you can join a few active Facebook groups focused on the same topic than your channel and post your video there (as long as your video is adding value to the group members). If you are using Reddit you can also publish your clips in relevant Subreddits. 

Create video playlists

Playlists thread together multiple videos on similar topics. Playlists tend to drive up watch time because it will make it more likely that a viewer who is interested in a particular subject will stay on your channel and watch multiple videos. When you create playlists, always start with your most popular videos. And make sure you write a playlist description that includes your target keywords.

YouTube channel playlist example

Be active in the YouTube community

Another great way to drive more traffic to your channel is to subscribe to channels that target a similar audience and to regularly leave useful comments on their videos. That way their audience will get to know you and hopefully visit your channel as well. Also be sure to engage with your YouTube followers by responding to comments. 

Interview influencers in your niche 

Interviewing YouTube influencers with a large following can give you access to their audience. But make sure you pick someone whose audience is likely to be interested in the topic you talk about on your channel. 

I hope you found this YouTube blog series helpful. And if you’re still feeling a bit overwhelmed and are looking for someone to optimise your channel for you, get in touch!  

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