Growing your channel on YouTube isn’t as easy as making cool videos. You might have uploaded the most amazing video ever, but if no one clicks on it, the world will never see it! It is important to consider other elements that will draw the viewer in.
To get people to click on a YouTube video, create a thumbnail that is visually appealing and tells the audience what the video might be about through an image. Videos that look different from other similar videos are more likely to be clicked on. Also, use a catchy and appealing title.
Here you will find all the best advice when it comes to getting people to click on your videos. A few minor tweaks here and there, and your channel will be sure to skyrocket!
Create an Appealing Thumbnail
The first thing that your viewers will see is the thumbnail of the picture that is meant to give a snapshot of your video. As the creator, you can design your video thumbnails in a way that attracts readers to click on them. Channel Makers says that the thumbnail should be the third step in creating a video. The first step should be the idea or concept for your video, the second step should be the title of the video.
Thumbnail Design Tips
- Come up with the concept of your thumbnail that promises viewers something (an experience, a story, information, etc). If you can’t explain your thumbnail in one sentence, it has too much going on.
- Choose the background layer, which is typically an image for your thumbnail. Imagine explaining what your video is about without text through an image. This is what your thumbnail should be. If you find the right image, you might not need much else.
- While you can include text on the thumnail if necessary, no words on your thumbnail is best. That is what the title is for. Channel Makers says that showing is always better than telling. If you do use text, ask yourself “How does the text reinforce my video title?” Text in the thumbnail should be under four words and it should be in a font that is readable and pops out.
- Include one element that stands out. Including your face on the thumbnail is a good way to attract your viewers through an emotion that your face is conveying. However, Channel Makers advises to beware of overexaggerated facial expressions, as this was once a YouTube trend, is now dying out.
Other Thumbnail Tips
If you are feeling uninspired to create a thumbnail, look up your video and see what other creators have used for their thumbnail. Then create a thumbnail that is completely different.
YouTube creator and marketing consultant Derral Eves says that there was a time on YouTube when the most edited, crazy thumbnails received the most attention, but this is no longer the case. Of course, younger kids will always be attracted to bright colors, but the trend now is that simple is better. He also advises creators not to overcomplicate creating thumbnails. YouTube automatically generates thumbnails for your videos, so if they make one that looks good, use it!
Don’t use clickbait. Clickbait is generally a title or a thumbnail image that is designed to attract viewers to click on the video but purposely misleads or tricks the viewers. Unfortunately, clickbait has been shown to increase video views by pulling in viewer curiosity. While YouTube does not have any rules that prohibit clickbait, users generally find these videos irritating. Over time, channels that consistently use clickbait eventually lose user support. If you are interested in building a sustainable channel, this isn’t the way to go.
Use an Appealing Title
After seeing the image on the thumbnail of your video, the viewer’s eyes will go straight to the title. The title is not only to catch their interest but to give them important information.
- A good title should make sense. The viewer shouldn’t have to read your title more than once to understand it. In fact, they probably won’t even bother clicking on it if they don’t understand it at first glance.
- Include at least one interest word. Words that convey some type of emotion or adjectives that provide description are good for this.
- If your title is too long, some words might get pushed out. YouTube allows 100 characters in a title, but if you type more than 70 characters, they will get cut off in the search results. Keeping it precise and specific will help.
- Titles should be properly capitalized. All the words in the title should be capitalized except for articles (like an, a, the), coordinate conjunctions (like for, and, but), and prepositions (like around, along, after). Be careful when putting a title in all caps. This strategy is meant to grab the reader’s attention, although it can sometimes have the opposite effect, so use it sparingly.
- Apply your title to the viewer. Your title should almost always communicate to the viewer why the video should matter to them. If your video is useful in some way, make sure users know that it will be useful to them.
There is an exception to these tips. Channel Makers notes that once a YouTube channel has built up a reputation of putting out great videos, the title doesn’t really matter! Users will know that no matter what the title says, they will be interested in watching it.
Youtube video analytics is a resource that is built right into the YouTube platform that tracks and reports the success of your video. You can access it in the left menu under “content”. Hover over your video and then select the “Analytics” option. There is so much helpful information in this area, but here are four key points of information that will help you get more viewers to click on your videos:
- View the click through rate in first 48 hours. This traffic comes from your core audience, and will tell you if your thumbnail and title were effective.
- View the click through rate for the first 7 days. This traffic comes from the last trickle in of your core audience and will tell you if your thumbnail and title worked for them.
- View the lifetime views. This tells you how well you marketed the video overall.
- View the average percentage view of video. This tells you if you delivered what you promised your viewers through the title and thumbnail. If you had a low average percentage view of the video, your readers were not satisfied with how you delivered based on the way you marketed the video.
- Look at all your top performing videos. What do they have in common? For example, if all of your top performing videos have a thumbnail with your face on it, this might be the best design for future thumbnails. All the best YouTubers revisit their top performing videos to tweak the thumbnails and make them better. Creators like Channel Masters say that after tweaking thumbnails, it isn’t uncommon to see an increase of 5,000-10,000 views.
Another tool that may help you get more clicks on your videos is TubeBuddy. TubeBuddy is a browser extension that allows content creators to have access to a variety of different tools that allow you to see statistics like rankings and popular tags, and titles, as well as to conduct A/B testing on videos. A/B testing helps creators make two videos with two different thumbnails to test which one attracts more views.
Get Your Video in Google Search Results
When people type in a topic or question on Google, the search engine will then pull up the most relevant videos.
If you can get your video to appear on that first page, it will likely receive a significant increase in traffic. Here are several ways to get your video to rank in Google search:
- Research keywords to find out what topics and terms people are searching. You should create a title that includes the most searched terms and phrases. Pay attention to what types of phrases pull up videos on Google.
- When you search something on Google, a “people also ask” box typically appears with other similar questions.
- Include relevant descriptions and tags.
- Add closed captions because Google algorithms are looking for professional captions.
- Google algorithms are also listening to the words you say in the video. Using those keywords in your video allows Google to pick up on your video.
- Add timestamps because Google looks for key moments to pull up as well.
While this all may seem like a lot of extra work, professional YouTubers put a lot more into their videos outside of filming that viewers don’t see. The “behind the scenes” work is actually what gives more viewers access to the content.
Top ranking YouTube videos do well because of what’s in the video, but also because of what the creator has done to market their video to the right audience. Just a little more effort could make a world of difference in the number of views you get on your video.