Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day. So how do you drive traffic to your YouTube channel?
The surprising part? Only 9% of small businesses use the site for marketing. It is time for you to increase your YouTube traffic and I am going to show you how.
First, if you want to learn how I almost killed all my YouTube channel watch this video. I also go over tips to increase YouTube traffic.
19 Steps for Increasing Your YouTube Traffic, Impressions, and Views
- 1. Content for more YouTube Views
- 2. YouTube SEO
- 3. Upload Frequently to Get More Traffic
- 4. Edit for Quality
- 5. Use Tools to Drive Traffic
- 6. Choose Custom Thumbnails
- 7. Use a Call-to-Action
- 8. Interact With Others
- 9. Livestreaming
- 10. Experiment With Ads
- 11. Timing
- 12. Create Playlists
- 13. Include an Intro Video
- 14. Consider Collaboration
- 15. Promotion!
- 16. Draw Inspiration
- 17. Optimize Your Channel
- 18. Upload 360-Degree Videos
- 19. Engage With Your Audience
1. Killer Content to Get More YouTube Views
All the promoting in the world won’t save a channel with lackluster content; you need to be able to drive more traffic to your YouTube channel.
Sure, you may get some initial views, but in order to gain and retain an engaged audience, you need to make sure you routinely deliver informative, high-value content.
The kind of content will depend on your business and what appeals to your target audience. The key is to find a way to separate yourself from the pack.
What is your unique selling proposition, and how can you showcase it through video?
Then, it’s a matter of designing a content strategy specifically for your YouTube channel. Decide what subjects you want to focus on, and lay out a timeline for filming, uploading and promoting each video.
Interestingly, in a study done on the top 100 brands on YouTube, Pixabliity found that the most successful brands varied their content:
“Short form content targeted consumers closer to the top of the marketing funnel, while longer form content maintained engagement with those farther along in the buying journey.”
So don’t be afraid to experiment with kinds of content and video length.
2. YouTube SEO (Yes, It is A Thing)
YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine by volume, second only to Google.
Which means that all your content needs to be optimized for YouTube the same way it would be for a Google search.
SEO alone is one of the easiest and most reliable ways of increasing your traffic and overall ROI.
Start with your video title and description.
Choose one keyword and make sure you work it into your video title, descriptions and tags. Make sure you use your primary keyword at the beginning of the title, with any secondary keywords or variations used later in your copy.
- Select a keyword
- Make sure it shows up in YouTube auto suggest
- Do keyword research in Google Keyword Planner
- Double up on keyword research with Keywordtool.io, keywordkeg, SerpStats or TubeBuddy.
- Add tags
- Write unique YouTube copy (500 words)
- Create custom YouTube image
- Add link inside of content to web page
- Create end screen subscribe and view more videos
- Create card on each video linking to product or web page
- Ensure video settings are correct
- Update and optimize your playlists
3. Upload Frequently to Get More Traffic on YouTube
More videos = more views, right?
Right, to an extent.
Generally speaking, you want to upload as frequently as possible, without sacrificing quality.
So if you have the time and tools to upload multiple videos a week, by all means do it.
But, if you begin to notice a decline in quality, you’ll soon be seeing a decline in viewers too.
I recommend setting a schedule. Choose whether you want to upload once a week, every other week or once a month, and stick to it.
Choose a schedule that is realistic for you, and remember, you can always tweak the frequency as you become familiar with the platform and the kinds of content that attract your ideal audience.
4. Edit for Quality
To be clear: high-quality video doesn’t necessarily mean high-quality production.
So don’t worry if you don’t have all the top-of-the-line video equipment or thousands to pour into your video strategy, especially when you’re just starting out.
You do, however, need to make sure your videos are professional. That means clean, well-lit and well-scripted.
So start simple. For example, the classic “floating head” video, which features one person on screen, is an easy and effective strategy. You will want to make sure your on-screen personality is well-rehearsed, engaging, and the background provided is clean and not distracting.
Make multiple recordings, and edit together only the best parts for the final product.
5. Use Tools to Drive Traffic to Your YouTube Channel
While the editing process can take some time, there are tools to help.
A few of the more popular are Adobe, YouTube Editor, and iMovie (also Sony Vegas and even Windows Movie Maker work).
But editing software isn’t the only tool that comes in handy for YouTube.
Anyone serious about growing their channel should take a look at Tubebuddy, a tool designed specifically to manage some of the smaller tasks associated with running a channel.
It breaks its tools into five categories: Productivity tools, Bulk Processing tools, Video SEO tools, Promotion tools, and Data and Research tools.
For more information, check out this Q&A with founder Phil Starkovich.
6. Choose Custom Thumbnails to Increase YouTube Channel Traffic, Views, and Clicks
First impressions are important.
Which is why you need to make sure the first thing your viewers see catches their eye and attention.
Luckily, it’s easy to do that with custom thumbnails. Rather than letting YouTube randomly select an image, make sure you select one yourself that demonstrates what your video is all about.
YouTube lets you choose from three intervals — the ¼ mark, ½ mark and ¾ marke — so you can choose the one that works best, or customize your own using a design site like Canva.
Bonus tip: Add an annotation to your video. An annotation is a text box that appears in your video or thumbnail, and allows you to add further detail and improve your click-through rate with a CTA.
When you look at these videos, which stands out the most? The one who took the time to create a thumbnail (and yes, I like Linkin park and my kids watch Baby Einstein videos :).
7. Use a Call-to-Action (CTA)
Something as simple as a CTA can have a big impact on your overall growth.
Remember to always tell your viewers what you’d like them to do – whether it be subscribing to your channel, liking your video or clicking the link in your description.
8. Interact With Others to Increase YouTube Channel Traffic
Like any other social site, your interaction with other users will have a big impact on your overall popularity.
So subscribe to similar channels. Comment on others’ videos, and if applicable even include a link to one of your videos they might find useful.
One effective way to use this interaction is to ask your viewers to leave video recommendations in the comments. Not only will this further their engagement, but create a sense of community as well.
9. Look at Livestreaming
Thanks to apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories, live streaming has become on of the more popular ways to communicate.
And of course, YouTube offers something similar. Its livestreaming option allows you to connect with your viewers on a real-time basis, and is perfect for spur-of-the-moment announcements or big industry news.
10. Experiment With Ads (They Really Work!)
Though they’re notorious for their skippable previews at the beginning of videos you would rather be watching, YouTube ads can be extremely beneficial for business.
In fact, 43% of new customers buy something they saw in a YouTube ad.
There are three types of ads to choose from: TrueView In-Stream ads, True-View Discover Ads and Bumper ads, and generally fall into the skippable or non-skippable categories.
To learn more about YouTube ads and how they work check out this in-depth guide.
11. Timing (under 5 minutes) Can Help Increase YouTube Traffic
Timing is everything, even when it comes to YouTube.
With the average attention span on the decline, it’s more important than ever to deliver your content in a timely fashion.
In YouTube time, that means less than 5 minutes. In fact, HubSpot reports that they’ve found the most engagement with videos that run 2 minutes.
While it isn’t a ton of time, it’s enough to deliver enough information on the given topic without the threat of losing viewers’ attention.
Keep in mind, as mentioned above it can be beneficial to experiment with different video lengths.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to hook them in with a shorter video, and present them with more information-heavy, longer videos once they begin exploring your channel.
12. Create Playlists (And Optimize Them)
Make things easier for your viewers by creating playlists.
You can separate your videos by subject or popularity and create a custom playlist that will make it easier for your audience to sift through past uploads.
13. Include an Intro Video to Increase YouTube Views and Subscribers
People don’t necessarily know what kind of channel they’re getting when they happen across your video.
So introduce yourself, and let people know what your channel is about to increase your YouTube channel traffic.
Here is the video I made for our channel. I have seen an uplift in subscribers since adding.
On your channel homepage, YouTube allows you to set a channel trailer. This should serves as your channel’s “about me,” and tell your viewers who you are, what they can expect from your videos and why they should be listening to you.
14. Consider Collaboration (Influencer Marketing)
When it comes to influencer marketing, you might think that Instagram is the only game in town. Nothing could be further from the truth.
You can use influencer marketing on YouTube as well.
Don’t take my word for it. Check out Warby Parker’s track record when it comes to using influencer marketing on YouTube.
In one video, the company featured dancer Parker Kit Hill to promote its eyeglasses.
Parker Kit Hill has more than 375,000 followers on Instagram. Still, Warby Parker chose to use him in a YouTube video.
It’s safe to say that kind of marketing worked. Today, the company is worth billions.
If you’re struggling to reach people in your target market, find someone who’s already done it and ask that person to act as a brand evangelist. It might make all the difference.
For YouTube, you’ll want to identify the top players in your niche (who gets the most views and engagement), and reach out.
Ask them to work with you on a project for the chance to expose yourself to a new audience.
Similarly, contact popular bloggers to see if they would consider featuring your video in a related post or their social media channels.
15. Promotion! It’s Important To Increase YouTube Traffic
When it comes to YouTube, promotion is just as important as production.
Make sure you are promoting each video through every channel at your disposable — social media, your blog, newsletters, even your website.
Create blog posts specifically for each video, and email them to your subscribers.
Just like a blog post or other piece of original content, you should spend as much time promoting it as you do creating it.
After all, one-third of online activity is spent watching video, and 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter.
Seems like a shame not to take advantage of those numbers.
16. Draw Inspiration From Your Favorite Creators
Have you ever found yourself at a loss when it comes to creating original content on YouTube?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
One great way to get over YouTube creators’ block is by visiting some of your favorite channels. Check out what kinds of content they’ve created recently.
You might find inspiration that you can use in your own YouTube marketing.
Be sure to visit channels that promote businesses similar to yours. For example, if you’re running an SaaS company, view the YouTube channels of other SaaS brands.
Also, be sure to subscribe to channels that routinely crank out quality content. Then, browse through your subscriptions daily to get inspiration.
17. Don’t Just Optimize Your Videos, Optimize Your Channel
I already covered video optimization above. But you shouldn’t stop there.
You should optimize your channel as well.
How can you do that? There are several ways:
- Create a keyword-rich biography. Did you know that channels as well as videos show up in YouTube search results? Go to YouTube right now and search for “Discover.” Chances are good that you’ll see Discover’s YouTube channel appear in the search results. Make sure that your channel can show up in search by including keywords in your bio.
- Use an eye-catching banner. Too many marketers ignore the YouTube banner. Put some effort into creating a professional image that grabs the attention of people in your target market. Remember, for many folks, that banner will be their first impression of your brand.
- Add location and contact info. Let people know where you’re at and how they can reach you.
- Organize your videos into playlists. When you create playlists, people will sometimes watch whole sets of your videos instead of just watching a single video. That keeps them engaged with your brand for a longer period of time.
18. Upload 360-Degree Videos
Have you tried uploading 360-degree videos? If not, you should.
That’s because 360-degree videos have a 14% higher return on investment (ROI) than regular videos.
It’s an especially good strategy if you’re in the travel space. You can create video panoramas that will grab the attention of people in your target market.
Additionally, 360-degree videos also work well if you’re promoting sporting events or live entertainment.
You can even use them in video press releases.
Keep in mind: 66% more of your audience will interact with 360-degree video content than standard content. It’s worth the effort.
19. Engage With Your Audience
Although you’re generally seeking engagement when you publish content on a social media site like YouTube, you should also practice engagement.
Not only do you want to interact with other channels, but you want to actively engage with anyone who interacts with yours.
How? There are several ways to do that:
- Respond to comments that people post. That lets folks in your target market know that you’re not a hit-and-run content creator.
- If somebody leaves a particularly nice comment, subscribe to that person’s YouTube channel.
- Create response videos. It’s best to use them to enhance points that people make in other videos rather than start an argument.
- Run contests. Bring some fun to your channel by letting people win a prize. You can do that in one of several ways, but one of the easiest is to choose a commenter at random and give that person an Amazon gift card.
Remember: if you stay engaged with your audience, then they’ll stay engaged with your brand. That’s good for business.
YouTube Traffic FAQ
1. Besides the YouTube Traffic Stat, Which Analytics Should I Be Looking At?
YouTube offers a healthy assortment of analytics that you can review to determine the success of your video marketing efforts. Among them:
- Watch time – how long people watch your video before moving on to something else
- Traffic sources – where people came from to get to your video
- Audience demographics – the kinds of people who like to watch your videos
- Subscribers – the number of people who’ve subscribed to your channel because they want to see more of your content
- Social shares – how many people shared your content on social media and which social channels they used
2. Can I Increase YouTube Traffic With Controversial Content?
As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to stay away from controversial content. Not only will you offend people who might otherwise buy your products or services, but you might also lose the ability to monetize your videos.
There is a caveat, though.
If you’re in a niche that’s generally given to controversial content, like politics or celebrity gossip, you probably should post some controversial content. In fact, it’s likely that your subscribers are expecting it.
If you’re just trying to sell stuff to the general public, though, stay away from content that will make some people mad.
3. Should I Use the Word “Video” in the Title to Generate More YouTube Traffic?
Some people think that trick works.
It makes sense at face value. For example, if somebody goes to Google and searches for “chocolate chip cookie video,” it’s likely that a YouTube video with “chocolate chip cookie video” in the title will rank towards the top. That’s especially the case if it comes from a channel that’s all about baking or dessert.
The best thing to do is to run some experiments. Create a few videos with “video” in the title and see if they tend to rank higher than your other videos. If so, then you might have a winning strategy.
4. How do I increase my impressions and views on YouTube?
There are few impactful ways you can increase impressions and views on YouTube:
1. Engage with your audience on the platform.
Make sure to ask questions in your video for people to comment on.
When viewers do comment on your video take the time to respond to them and show appreciation.
Add some personality and humanity to your videos to create real connection with your audience.
You can create a legitimate fan base by allowing them to see who you are.
3. Be Consistent
In order to grow your audience and their engagement commit to publishing regular videos.
This will give your fans something to look forward to and be excited by.
4. Create Quality Video Thumbnails and Titles
These will be what makes the virtual first impression and what causes people to click and watch your videos.
Make sure these are top notch so you don’t lose potential viewers and grab as many views as possible.
5. How do I track my visibility on YouTube?
You will want to track the performance of your YouTube videos and channel.
In order to do so you can leverage that information to publish content your fans will love.
You are going to want to track your channel, who’s visiting, where they come from, and what videos they frequent.
This can be accomplished by setting up YouTube channel tracking in Google Analytics.
Further you can track how many clicks different video’s links get on your website.
Armed with this information you can increase traffic to your videos and produce content your audience will consume.
Get Started Increasing YouTube Traffic Now
Just like any marketing channel, your work with YouTube doesn’t end when the camera stops rolling.
But by incorporating the steps above, you’ll be well on your way to a bigger and more engaged audience.
One more thing, make sure to take the time to review your YouTube analytics each month. Here is an example of our channels YouTube Analytics.
This data can be really helpful in understanding how to increase YouTube traffic in the future.
If you enjoyed this blog, you might also like: How to SEO Optimize Your YouTube Videos.