Improve watch time on your YouTube channel

If you want to improve the watch time on your YouTube channel, then you’re in the right place.

Increasing the watch time on our channel not only means that we’re creating fantastic content that our audience really wants from us, but it also means that we’re getting closer and closer to that crucial 4,000 hours of watch time which you need to unlock the YouTube Partner Program and start monetizing your channel.

Create playlists

The first way to increase the watch time on your YouTube channel as a whole is to create playlists.

There’s a couple of reasons for this, and the first reason is that playlists increase the chance of your channel being found in search. Because don’t forget, it’s not just videos, but it’s playlists too that show up in search results.

The second reason for building out your content in playlists is because it increases the chance of people binge watching your content. If they’ve watched one video on a particular topic and you’ve created a playlist with really relevant, related content, related to the interest that made them want to watch that original video, then they’re going to want to go on and watch more.

It will also increase the chances of YouTube showing more of your content to that particular viewer, and here’s how that works.

YouTube has publicly said that if you create a playlist and somebody has watched one video in that playlist, it’s more likely to show other videos in that playlist to that particular viewer again in the suggested sidebar on the right-hand side of YouTube when they use the search box and in the auto-suggests feature.

So it makes so much sense to add playlists and create playlists on your YouTube channel.

Another thing to bear in mind as well is if you have a particular playlist on a particular topic and you feel it would make sense for a viewer, once they’ve watched all the videos in that playlist, to go on and watch another playlist which maybe takes them a step further along the journey then make sure that you’re suggesting that next playlist at the end of the videos in the previous playlist.

So don’t be afraid to encourage people to move from playlist to playlist both in terms of verbally saying it and recommending it using the info cards and end screens.

And another great tip is as well, anytime that you’re linking to your channel, instead of linking to your channel homepage or to a particular video, why not link to a playlist? Send them straight into that playlist of content that they can just binge watch.

Add links in your video descriptions

Add links to other videos and playlists in your description. People do look at the description so it’s a piece of real estate on YouTube where you can drive people to where you want them to go. So use that space and make sure that you’re linking to other playlists and videos that are relevant to the particular video that that description appears under.

Use pinned comments

In the same way that you’re using the description to link people off to other playlists and videos, you can do the same with a pinned comment. So add a comment underneath the video linking off to another playlist or video that’s relevant to that video.

That pinned comment will always appear at the very top of all of the comments underneath your video and will be really visible to people, and it’s just another great way of making people see that you’ve got another piece of content they might want to go and look at.

Use cards and end screens 

The next thing to do is to make sure that you’re using cards and end screens in your videos to the maximum effect. In case you don’t already know, info cards are the little things that appear in the top right of the screen. It’s a little i in a circle, and when you click on it, it opens up another suggested video or a playlist. Sometimes it can be a website, but you can add up to five of these in any video.

A top tip here is not to add them too soon in the video. Don’t forget, we want people watching as much of our video as possible. YouTube itself recommends that you save using cards to the last 20% of your video. So after, let’s say, 80% of the video, drop a couple of cards linking off to other relevant videos in the same or in a different playlist, something that’s relevant to that video.

Now although I have said try and save cards for the last 20% of your video do keep an eye on your analytics for your individual videos. You might notice that people are dropping off at a certain point. Say maybe a lot of people or the majority viewers drop off after two minutes. Here you can go back into that video and add a card just before that two-minute mark, just before the majority of viewers are starting to drop off and go elsewhere, and see whether that makes a difference. See whether you can keep them in that network of your content instead of going off to somebody else’s channel, keeping them on your channel, helping them to watch more of your content.

End cards work in exactly the same way. You can add a subscribe call to action in the last 20 seconds or so of your video, but also add a couple of links off to other videos ,or ideally another playlist, because again that’s giving them more opportunity to watch more of your content.

YouTube does publicly say that if a video of yours encourages people to go deeper into more content, keeping people on the channel, then it is more likely to show that video elsewhere to other viewers on the channel through suggested and autosuggest features. Just another great reason to keep people watching your content!

Verbally direct people to more of your content in your videos 

Here’s something that a lot of people often neglect to do or don’t really think about doing, and that is verbally directing people in your actual videos to the rest of your content, to other to other videos or playlists.

So for example, at the end of your video, verbally tell people what the next piece of content is that it would make sense for them to go watch, and direct them to it there.

Just remember to make sure that the video that you’re recommending or the playlist that you’re recommending that people go watch is directly related to the video that you’re recommending it within.

If you’ve enjoyed this video, do subscribe to the channel and then you can be the first to hear about new videos as they’re uploaded!

P.s. Here’s access to a free trial of TubeBuddy, my go-to tool for YouTube channel growth! You can get three months to play around with this amazing tool. It’ll save you so much time and help you get so many more views on your YouTube videos.

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