17 Ways to Get More Views on YouTube In 2020

17 Ways to Get More Views on YouTube

In this post I’m going to show you how to get more views on YouTube.

In fact, these are the exact techniques that I used to grow my channel to 276k views per month:

Backlinko – YouTube monthly views

Let’s dive right in.

1. Use “BOGY” Thumbnails

It’s no secret that your video thumbnail is HUGE.

In fact:

According to YouTube, 9 out of 10 of the most-viewed videos on YouTube use a custom thumbnail:

90% of popular videos use custom thumbnail

And YouTube themselves state that:

“Thumbnails are usually the first thing viewers see when they find one of your videos.”

The question is:

How do you create a thumbnail that stands out?

BOGY Thumbnails.

BOGY Thumbnails are thumbnails that use these four colors:

  • Blue
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Yellow

Why is this important?

Well, if you look around YouTube, you’ll notice that the site is mostly red, black and white.

YouTube in black, white and red

And if your thumbnail also uses red, black and white… your video will blend in.

Avoid YouTube colors in your thumbnail

But when you use BOGY thumbnails, your videos stands out and grabs attention.

Use non-YouTube colors to stand out

(Which makes people MUCH more likely to click)

For example, I use green as the main color in my thumbnails:

Backlinko – Green YouTube thumbnails

This is partly for branding reasons (green is the main color for my blog and YouTube channel).

But it’s also to help my videos stand out on the YouTube platform:

YouTube results – Green thumbnail

How about another example?

The Bright Side Channel (which has 30 million subscribers) uses yellow, orange, blue and purple in most of their thumbnails:

Thumbs collage

Of course, you can use a little bit of red, white and black in your thumbnail.

You just don’t want to make them your main thumbnail color.

For example, I use some black and white in this thumbnail.

Thumbnail details

But 80%+ of that thumbnail is green.

Over 80% of the thumbnail is green

And now it’s time for…

2. Copy This Proven Video Description Template

YouTube has confirmed that your video descriptions “let YouTube’s algorithms know what your videos are all about”.

YouTube – Algorithms

With that, I have some good news:

I recently developed a YouTube description template that works GREAT.

Here it is:

YouTube description template

Now I’ll break down each section in detail.

First, you have the Strong Intro.

The first few lines of your description are SUPER important.

Specifically, you want to include your target keyword once in the first 1-2 sentences.

That’s because YouTube puts more weight on keywords early on in your description.

Include target keyword in first 2-3 sentences of description

So make sure to mention your target keyword in the beginning of your description.

Here’s an example from my channel:

YouTube – Description keyword

You also want to sell your video.


The first few lines of your description show up in YouTube search:

First few lines of your description show up in search

And if that snippet is super compelling, more people will click on your result:

A compelling description increases click through rate

Plus, some people even read your description after they land on your video page.

So it’s important that the content above “Show more” really sells your video.

Make sure the content above "Show more" sells your video

Next, you have the 150-word outline.

All you need to do here is outline what someone will learn from your video.

Don’t be afraid to get into the nitty-gritty details here. In fact, I recommend writing AT LEAST 150 words.

And make sure to use keywords that you want your video to rank for.

That way, YouTube can fully understand your video content.

For example, check out this description from one of my videos:

Description word count

It’s 233 total words.

And that thorough description has helped my video rack up 401,297 views to date:

Higher Google Rankings – Video views

Finally, you have your description links.

I actually got this tip from YouTube themselves:

YouTube – Creators tips

The goal here is to send people to your website and social media channels.

I’m most active on Twitter, so I only include a link to my Twitter profile:

Twitter CTA

But there’s nothing wrong with linking to several different sites that you’re active on.

And if you want to get more subscribers, I recommend adding a call-to-action to subscribe here too:

Subscribe CTA

Which leads us to…

3. Alternate Playlist Layouts

If you’re like most people, you include a ton of playlists on your channel page.

Playlist list

(Which is smart)

Well, I recently discovered a simple way to get MORE people to watch your playlists:

Alternate vertical and horizontal playlist layouts.

Here’s an example from my channel:

Playlist alternate layouts

Why is this important?

If you only use one playlist layout, your playlists don’t stand out from one another:

Playlist same layout

But when you alternate layouts, each playlist really stands out:

Playlist – Stand out

To change layouts, head over to your channel page. And hit “Customize Channel”.

"Customize channel" button

Then, click on the little pencil icon next to one of your playlists:

Edit Playlist icon

And choose the layout:

Edit playlist layout

Then, alternate between “vertical lists” and “horizontal row” for each playlist.

Simple. Yet effective.

4. Boost Your Video Title CTR

Your title is a BIG part of your video’s success.

In fact, YouTube’s internal data has confirmed that your title can make or break your entire video:

YouTube Creators – Highlight

With that, here’s exactly how to write video titles that get tons of clicks:

First, add brackets and parentheses to the end of your title.

An industry study by HubSpot found that adding brackets to a title increased clicks by 33%:

Posts with brackets get 38% more clicks

To be fair:

This study looked at blog post titles.

But I’ve found that the same rule applies to YouTube videos.

For example, this video from my channel has 401,297 views:

Higher Google Rankings – Video views

And the “[New Checklist]” at the end of my title is a big part of that video’s success:

"New Checklist" in video title

Next, use a number in your title.

This number can be:

  • The number of tips or strategies you’re going to cover
  • The current year
  • Number of steps in a how-to video
  • The amount of weight someone lost (or lifted)

Or pretty much any number that makes sense for your video.

For example, here’s a video on my channel about keyword research:

My original title was just “Advanced Keyword Research Tutorial”.

That title is pretty flat.

So I decided to add “5-Step Blueprint” to the end of my title:

5-Step Blueprint in video title

Which has helped that video rack up over 190k views so far:

Advanced Keyword Research – Video views

Finally, use titles that are between 40-50 characters:

A study by Justin Briggs discovered that videos with titles fewer than 50 characters ranked best in YouTube search:

Succinct titles rank better

5. Get More “Suggested Video” Views

Over the last few years I’ve studied dozens of YouTube channels.

And I’ve noticed one consistent pattern:

Successful channels get lots of views from Suggested Video.

As a reminder, “Suggested Videos” are related videos that YouTube promotes next to the video you’re watching:

Suggested videos

And as it turns out, Suggested Video can bring in MORE views than YouTube search.

For example, my channel gets 34.8% of its views from SEO…

YouTube – YouTube Search traffic

…and 38.2% from Suggested Video:

YouTube – Suggested videos


How can you get more views from Suggested Video?

Use the same tags as your competitors.

In fact, YouTube has stated that they use your video content metadata (like your title, description and tags) for Suggested Video rankings.

YouTube – Increase Traffic

So when your tags match the tags in a popular video, you have a good chance of showing up next to that video:

Match tags to popular videos to rank in "Suggested Video"

Here’s a video that walks you through this entire process in detail:

Speaking of tags…

6. Use The “MVC Formula” For Video Tags

You already know that tags are important for video SEO.

That’s because YouTube uses tags to understand your video’s topic.

YouTube uses tags to understand a video's topic

In fact, when we analyzed 1+ million YouTube videos, we found that YouTube video tags correlated with rankings:

Keyword in tag chart

Question is:

How do you use tags the right way?

The MVC Formula.

Here’s how it looks:

The "MVC Formula" for YouTube tags

The MVC stands for: “Main Keyword”, “Variations” and “Category”.

I’ll break this down with a real-life example…

First, you have “Main Keyword”.

This is self-explanatory.

You want to use your main keyword as your first or second tag.

For example, my target keyword for this video is: “link building”.

Link Building – Title

So I made that exact phrase my first tag:

Link Building tag

Next, we’ve got “Variations”.

Here’s where you sprinkle in a few variations of your main keyword.

For example, in my link building video, I used a few variations of that term:

Related tags

Finally, include 1-2 tags that describe your video’s overall category.

These broad keywords are designed to help YouTube understand your video’s overall topic and category.

Include 1-2 broad tags that describe your video's overall topic

For example, in my video, I included three broad tags: “SEO”, “online marketing” and “digital marketing”.

Broad tags

7. Share Videos On Quora, Reddit and Forums

Online communities are GREAT places to promote your YouTube videos.

That’s because people on these communities have burning questions…

…questions that your video can answer.

For example, let’s say that you see someone asking this question on Reddit:

Reddit question

Well, if you had a video that talked about frozen Paleo meals, you could link to it in that thread.

In fact, I used this exact approach to promote one of my videos on Quora:

Quora link

Which helped my brand new video get a handful of high-quality views.

8. Rank Your Videos in Google Search

Ranking your videos in Google can lead to LOTS of extra views.

In fact, Google sends my channel 8,396 views per month:

Google search traffic


How do you get your videos to show up in Google?

Well, it’s not all about ranking #1 in YouTube.

In fact, a study by Stone Temple Consulting found that 55.2% of YouTube videos ranking in Google were different than the top videos ranking in YouTube’s search results.

First ranking video in Google not always first in YouTube

For example, if you search for “advanced knitting tips” in YouTube, this video is shown at the top:

Advanced knitting tips – YouTube SERP

But when you search for that same keyword in Google, that video is nowhere to be found

Advanced knitting tips – Google SERP

With that, here’s how to boost your video’s chances of ranking in Google:

First, say your keyword out loud in your video.

For example, a while back I published this SEO tutorial video on my channel:

And I made sure to actually say the exact phrase “SEO Tutorial” four times in that video:

Say your exact keywords four times in your video

Which is one of the main reasons it ranks in the top 3 for that term:

"SEO Tutorial" results

Second, upload a transcript (closed captions) of your video to YouTube.

That way, Google can understand 100% of the content in your video.

Upload a transcript so Google will understand 100% of content

Sure enough, I made sure to get a professional transcription for my SEO tutorial video.

YouTube transcript

9. Optimize Videos for Comments, Likes and Subscribes

When it comes to the YouTube algorithm, the number of views your video has is important.

But they also want to see that people ENGAGE with your video.

In fact, I recently conducted a YouTube search engine ranking factors study:

Backlinko article

And we found a significant correlation between ranking in YouTube and user engagement.

Specifically, we found that comments:

YouTube comments chart


YouTube likes and rankings chart

And subscribes:

Subscriptions driven rankings

All correlated with rankings in YouTube search.

What’s the best way to get more engagement on your videos?

It’s simple: ask people to engage with your video.

For example, let’s look at this video from my channel:

At the end of my video I ask people to leave a comment:


And subscribe:


Which has helped that video rack up 4,348 comments:

Video comments

11,500 subscribers:

YouTube Studio – Subscribers

And 396,000 total views:

YouTube Studio – Page views

10. Improve Your Channel’s “Session Time”

Audience retention? Important.

Watch Time? VERY important.

But neither of these two metrics are as important as Session Time.

I’ll explain…

Session Time (also known as “Session Watch Time”) is the total amount of time someone spends on YouTube after watching your video.

Session time

And it’s one metric that YouTube cares A LOT about. In fact, YouTube has said:

“The goals of YouTube’s search and discovery system are twofold: to help viewers find the videos they want to watch, and to maximize long-term viewer engagement…”

So if someone watches your video and then leaves YouTube, that’s going to hurt your channel’s Session Time:

If viewer leaves YouTube after watching, session time decreases

But if that person stays on YouTube, your Session Time is going to increase:

If viewer stays on YouTube, session time will increase

And the best way to improve your Session Time?

Promote your BEST videos on your channel page.

That way, you’re showing people videos that will keep them watching.

For example, I show off my best videos at the top of my channel page (inside of playlists):

Backlinko top videos

YouTuber Evan Carmichael even replaced his traditional channel trailer with one of his popular videos:

Evan Carmichael

As it turns out, there’s another easy way to boost your Session Time.

Which leads us to…

11. Optimize Your End Screen for Views

Here’s how to get more views on YouTube using your end screen:

First, pick a popular video from your channel.

To do this, head over to the YouTube Studio and find a video that generated lots of views over the last 90 days:

YouTube Studio – Top videos

Next, find a video from your channel that someone would want to watch AFTER they finish watching your popular video. And feature that content at the end of your video.

For example, this video was one of my top 10 videos over the last 90 days:

So I asked myself:

“What does someone that just learned about keyword research want to learn about next?”

How to use those keywords in their content.

Luckily, I published a video on that exact topic a few months earlier:

On-page SEO – Video

Finally, link to that video in your End Screen:

End screen video

And because your “Next Video” is EXACTLY what someone wants to see, they’re super likely to watch it.

12. Master YouTube SEO Fundamentals

If you want to get more views on YouTube, you need to learn as much as you can about YouTube SEO.

Specifically, you want to master SEO basics like:

  • Keyword research for videos
  • Optimizing titles, descriptions and tags
  • Improving Audience Retention and Watch Time
  • YouTube engagement signals

And if you want a crash course on SEO for YouTube, I recommend watching this entire video:

13. Use Eye-Catching Playlist Titles

I used to name my playlists with whatever word popped into my head first.

For example, one of my first playlists was called “Advanced SEO Strategies”:

Advanced SEO Strategies

Not a horrible name. But not super compelling either.

So I added “and Case Studies” to make the title more interesting:

Advanced SEO playlist – New

And I’ve applied this same rule to all of my playlist titles.

For example, one of my most popular playlists is called “How to Get Higher Google Rankings”:

Higher rankings – Playlist

My original title for that playlist was: “SEO Tips and Strategies”.

But I knew that my audience wants to learn “how to get higher Google rankings”.

So I made my playlist title that exact outcome.

14. Feature Your Videos On Your Blog

You might have noticed that I’ve embedded quite a few of my YouTube videos in this post.

And there’s a good reason for that:

These embedded videos lead to a ton of high-quality YouTube views.

YouTube Studio – Backlinko traffic

Not only do these embeds help you get more views, but they can also help your videos rank higher in YouTube’s search results.

An industry study found that top ranking YouTube videos have 78% more links and embeds than videos that rank #2 or below:

Video embeds improve YouTube rankings

Pretty cool.

15. Share Video Clips On Social Media

Back in the day I’d share my entire YouTube video on social media:

Twitter share

And sure, this led to a handful of video views.

But not as many as I wanted.

That’s when I realized something:

Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites want to keep people on their platforms.

(Yup, just like YouTube)

And when you post a link to your YouTube video, their algorithms are going to hide your post from your followers.


What’s the solution?

Upload a clip from your YouTube video as native video.

Here’s an example:

Facebook video post

Because my clip was native to Facebook, it was promoted around the platform like crazy.

(Which led to over 23k views on my Facebook post)

Facebook video views

And once you post the clip, link to the full video as the first comment:

Facebook comments

That way, people that enjoyed your clip can easily find the full video on YouTube.

16. Upload Videos When Your Audience is On YouTube

What’s the best time to upload a video on YouTube?

Is it Tuesday at 3pm?

How about Saturday at 6am?

The real answer: when your subscribers are on YouTube.

Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t tell you when most of your subscribers are online.

So I recommend testing a few different days and times to see what works best for your channel.

You can even use a tool like VidIQ to analyze your channel for the best times to post:

VidIQ – Best time to post

17. “The Card Bridge” Technique

This is an easy way to boost your Session Time and YouTube views.

Here’s how it works:

First, look at the audience retention report for one of your videos.

Here’s an example from my channel:

Audience Retention – Report

As you can see, this video has a massive retention drop at 6:16.

Audience retention – Dip

Next, have a card appear at that time.

Video card promo

(That’s “The Bridge”)

And that card sends people to another video on your channel at the exact moment they would have clicked away:

Use "The card bridge" technique to keep viewers on your channel


Bonus #1: Get Featured On The YouTube Homepage

The YouTube homepage can be a GREAT source of views.

(Especially for new videos)

For example, look at the traffic sources to this video the week after it went live:

Video traffic sources

39.4% of all of my views came from “Browse Features”.

Browse features – Traffic

(Most of which are views from the YouTube homepage)

And getting on the homepage led to 3,097 views in my video’s first week.

YouTube Studio – Homepage traffic

Not bad.

As you probably know, your YouTube homepage is highly personalized.

So when I say “get featured on the homepage”, I’m talking about getting on the homepage for users that are signed in.

With that, here are two ways to boost the odds that your video will appear on people’s homepages:

First, promote your video in the first 48 hours after it goes live.

YouTube’s homepage algorithm tends to feature videos that have two things going for them:

  1. They’re new
  2. They’re popular

And when you get lots of eyeballs on your new video, YouTube will happily feature it on their homepage.

For example, I promote my new videos on social media:

LinkedIn share

And to our newsletter subscribers:

Email notification

Which pushes lots of people to my brand new content on day 1:

Video watch time

Second, boost your total YouTube subscriber count.

I’ve noticed that YouTube’s homepage tends to feature content from channels that you’re already subscribed to.

(Which makes sense)

So the more subscribers you have, the more views you’ll get from the homepage.

Bonus #2: Double Down On What Works

In other words:

  1. Find videos from your channel with above-average audience retention.
  2. Use what worked in future videos.

How about an example?

This video from my channel was my first successful video:

(Most of my other early videos completely flopped)

So I decided to apply what worked in this video to my future videos.

And it worked!

Because I doubled down on what was already working, I was able to grow my channel in record time:

Video views

Specifically, I looked for spots in my video where my audience retention was higher than average:

Higher than average retention

And did more of what was already working.

For example, I noticed a big retention spike at 3:51:

Big retention spike

3:51 laid out the steps for one of the strategies in my video:

Organic Traffic list

So I decided to show steps in text form in all of my future videos:

List in video

Bonus #3: The Community Tab Preview

This is an easy way to get your subscribers PUMPED about your next video.

Here’s how to do it:

First, publish a post about your upcoming video in your community tab.

YouTube Community post

This can be a sneak preview shot:

Graveyard Girl – Community

A quiz:

Evan Carmichael – Community

Or anything that builds anticipation for your video:

Think Media – Community

Either way, your community post makes people look forward to your upcoming video.

(Which means they’ll be MUCH more likely to watch it when it goes live)

Now It’s Your Turn

So that’s how to get more views on YouTube.

Now I’d like to hear what you have to say.

Which strategy from today’s post are you ready to try first?

Are you going to use BOGY Thumbnails?


Maybe you’re ready to preview videos in your Community Tab.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

  1. Thanks for always putting so much thought and energy into this content. You really stand out from the unhelpful noise that other “content creators” pump out.

        1. Great stuff Brian . Excellent content in this post it has been very useful Thank you it’s greatly appreciated 🙏

  2. This is a very interesting guide. I haven’t been lucky over the years when it comes to YouTube SEO and that’s why I rarely pay attention or upload any more videos on YouTube. I’m thinking of starting over again and see how it goes. Thanks Brian Dean!

    1. Hi Joy, Nice! I actually struggled a lot with YouTube been I first started there. So I know how frustrating that can be.

      1. Hi Brian,
        great post! Keep up the good work.

        I would like to ask..If I live stream a video, will it help the video to rank on page one of YouTube?

  3. Awesome insights that make total sense but I wouldnt think of on my own..

    This makes me want to invest more time in YouTube which is actually a good idea since its second biggest search enigine!!

    Thank you! (Again:-)

  4. Hi. A question that I’ve always wanted to ask you: you don’t have links to your blog posts inside your YouTube video descriptions. And you don’t have a link to backlinko not even in your channel homepage. Is there a particular reason for that? Thanks.

    1. Hey Giovanni, good question. There are two reasons for this:

      1. Having a link in your description (especially early on) can hurt your click-through-rate. It makes your video much less enticing to click on 2. There’s usually no need because, if people like your videos, they’ll find your site anyway. At least that’s been my experience.

  5. Hey Brian,

    Great info here as usual. We just started posting to our company YouTube channel and your first tip on BOGY thumbnails is going to help us brand our channel and get more views from the beginning. It will take some time to implement all of your suggestions but thanks so much for this actionable advice.

    Onward and upward

    1. Hey Keller, awesome! Yup, BOGY thumbnails is one of those little things that can make a huge difference! Keep me posted how things go with your channel.

    2. This is exactly the guide I needed to read and learn from! Especially with YouTube’s functions changing from time to time, this helps me in in optimizing my past videos to reach their fullest potential!

      I’ve always thought that red was not a good colour to use often for yt’s platform :-0

  6. I make videos sometimes and I use Quora but I didn’t realise that you could add videos on there. That’s definitely extremely useful and something I will do but of course, not too often and provided the video is a genuine answer to a Quora question. Nice post Dean.

    1. Thanks Paul. Exactly: it’s a strategy that can work. But it’s all about using videos in a way that adds value to your answer. Great insight.

  7. I know Brian’s guidance helps because, after studying everything he has published and diligently following his guidance, my video is #1 on YouTube for the keyword “Medicare”. This is huge because big insurance companies spend a lot of dollars every month trying to position themselves on the internet. Next step is finding out what he has kept close to his vest for his paid service. Thank you Brian!

    1. Hey Matthew, that’s awesome! I imagine that’s a competitive keyword. So congrats on that and I’m glad my advice helped you.

  8. Thanks Brian. Trying SEO, consistent thumbnails and upload schedule, been very detailed in tags and descriptions. Hoping it all pays off. Your insights are very helpful.

  9. Brian,

    Using the 80/20 rule of what gets your video an insane amount of views, I would have to think it comes down to:

    View through percentage, session time, CTR, and channel popularity.

    Everything else are just tweaks in comparison.


    1. Hi Aaron, in a way yes. That said, there are a lot of different ways to improve audience retention, session time, CTR, etc. etc.

  10. Thank you for sharing your insight. I/we are excited to implement your strategies onto our youtube page and watch the magic happen 🙂

  11. Hi Brian Dean, This is Awesome tricky game to got 70% more clicks on your videos. I have also 2 YouTube Channels, Its 7 years old and i am not uploaded any video from past 2 years but both channels are have up to 1M views co’z all videos Thumbnails and description details all is so optimized. I Always use in Thumbnails Yellow background and Black, bold Fonts.

  12. Great content as always! I’ve followed you for awhile, so I do many of these things already. 🙂 🙂 Something I’m noticing that’s interesting is that certain niches are easier than others to rank in on YouTube (I’m in a few niches–some, I have next to no views or subscribers and some, I just kill it in… at least comparatively, hahahaha.)

    But per bonus tip #1, I am wondering if you have a small or non-existant list or social media following, what would you recommend to boost views on day one? Would you ever consider buying links or views to inflate this or would you recommend just slowly building that list and social media presence? It seems like if either a social media platform or an email list has less than a few hundred to a thousand subscribers, there’s not really that much push that can happen from it. I know it’s of course niche and audience dependent (some people can kill it with a hundred subscribers and some people starve with thousands of them), but list building is something I struggle with…

    1. Thanks Lucath. Yup that’s true: there are certain niches that are less competitive than others. For example, gaming is insanely competitive (which would surprise a lot of people).

      To your question, I personally wouldn’t recommend buying views. To me, it’s not worth the risk. So even though your list and social media accounts may not have a lot of people yet, it’s better than nothing. So I would use them as they build up.

  13. It is all about good content, if you have something good and interesting to talk about then people will watch it. Good content + Brian’s strategy = Winner

    Thanks Brian for the great post!

  14. I’ve been trying in vain to grow my youtube channel. The truth is that my blog occupies most of my time, but after reading your -once again- excellent tips I’m motivated to give youtube a better try. Thanks so much for sharing your tips, Brian.

    1. Hi George, no worries. In my experience, YouTube is great. But the blog comes first. That said, I’m happy to hear that you’re diving back into YouTube. I hope these strategies help.

  15. Thanks for the great tips!
    Brian, I have a quick question for you.
    I shared my videos on other communities using an image link so that they can click it to get to my youtube contents. I could do this using embed video as well. However, I am not sure the views from the embed video can be counted.

    1. Hi Ted, in that case it wouldn’t count as am embed. But it’s still a great way to funnel people to your video. So I’d still do that if it’s working for you.

  16. Again great information. Thanks for sharing with us. Just want to ask one out the topic question, how do you research these stuff and how much days it will usually take?

  17. Hi Brian,

    Terrific stuff. Thanks for sharing. This is so logically laid out, clear prose, ample graphics… honestly, something most people would charge for, and I would gladly pay to receive. Much appreciated.


  18. Epic Brian.

    I do very, very little on Youtube but I’m picking up a few subscribers every day which is nice.

    It’s kind of mind-blowing when you look at how long people will stick around to watch your stuff.

    Never thought about the colour impact but makes a lot of sense.

    1. Thanks Glen. I appreciate that. Yeah, the numbers are absolutely nuts. For example, last year my channel accumulated 12,126,211 minutes of watch time.

      That’s 23 YEARS of watch time.

      (And my channel is relatively small)


  19. I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now.
    You have a brilliant way of expressing the fact through your content, you leave no stone unturned. absolutely love it.

  20. Hey, Brian Dean.
    First of all, I wish you good work.

    I need you, please help me. I did most of what you said, but I think it might be more tactical. If you can help me with that, I’d love it. I really need help and my channel is developing very slowly.

  21. Hi Brian,
    Great post! Very comprehensive with quite a few new strategies to test out!
    Do you use a framework for the actual content in your videos?

  22. Hey Brian – I always love your articles, it seems like every time I read this through I pick up on something else I could be doing better. I especially like the “card bridge” idea!

    If you ever make a video showing you going through the stats and collecting this data that would be super useful!

    Thanks for the great ideas!

  23. I’ve spent months researching about YouTube – they should hire you!! Your presentation and information is so good I will be going back to it, and you, again and again. Even though nearly ready to launch a small niche YT site, this post has given me some valuable reminders and a few more things for my to-do list!! Thanks so much for the time and effort you have given!

  24. Honestly, I’ve been on fence for the past few months on starting my YouTube channel due to the fact that I’ve always thought that it’ll be very difficult standing out in my kind of niche.

    But with this detailed I’ve gotten a blueprint to follow and go execute 🙂

    Awesome piece as usual Brian 👍

    1. Hi Khris, nice! YouTube can be difficult at first. But my hope is that guides like this make the process significantly easier.

  25. Hello Brian, great post! When you place the link of your video in the comments of the social networks, is it better to send them to YouTube directly or to your blog with the embedded video?

    1. Good question, Ander. In my opinion, you DEFINITELY want to send people directly to YouTube.


      If you send someone to your site, you get traffic to your site. Which is nice.

      But your video won’t get engagement signals (like views, likes and subscribes) that YouTube pays close attention to. So I highly recommend sending people straight to YouTube.

  26. This is pure gold! I implemented your tips on previous videos on description, and my video views increased. Thanks, Brian! One question, does it help my website ranking by adding a link from youtube back to website?

    1. Hi Chefoo, nice! Good question, in my experience it doesn’t help. The link is nofollow. Plus, YouTube knows that links in YT descriptions aren’t “editorial” links. That said, they don’t hurt.

  27. Thanks for sharing Brian.

    Found your website in a translated post and thought it would be better to check out the original articles.

    Now I am here and astonished with your contents! So amazing.

    I’ve just about to have a role to manage a website and one of my key tasks is to implement the SEO strategies. I will try all your suggestions as a practice!

  28. Hey Brian – Thanks for sharing these tips! The BOGY, Playlist layouts and Using brackets at the end are true ‘cheatsheet’ tips…haven’t heard of any of them before.

    Your YouTube tips have really helped me grow my channel without much content! Appreciate you!

  29. Thank you for this great information, Brian! I find myself wishing you had a checklist to accompany this post. Could make an awesome lead magnet. The content here is valuable enough that I’ll be creating my own checklist for it.

  30. Hi Brian, thanks for the another great post, I am always waiting for your updates. One question: Does it matter to start with aged youtube account or new one will do the job? Thanks in advance.

  31. Another great post Brian! I personally hold “Contests” to increase my popularity on Youtube. It’s a great way to engage your audience and promote your YouTube channel amongst not only your current subscribers, but also those who don’t follow your channel yet.

  32. Hi Brian! Love your tips! Just wanted to leave feedback on tip 15: adding your full video link to social media comments. I did this for a while. A upload a snippet of my full video on FB and then used to put the link as a 1st comment.

    But I noticed a problem with this strategy. When people shared the video on their fb feed, the original comments get deleted so that meant that when people shared my video post, they lost the link to the full video. So people ended up watching a small snippet video and had no link to click through to the full video.

    So I had to revert back to embedding the link into the actual post that went with the video.

    Hope this helps others!

    1. Hey Christina, yeah I noticed that too. Kind of a pain. In my experience, the extra reach on the original post is worth it. Then again, I’m in B2B so I don’t get a ton of reshares on my posts (people usually don’t want to share SEO videos with their friends!).

  33. WOW THIS IS AN AWESOME ARTICLE. Thank you! I have a check list of 20some things I try to do for each video this is going to make it sooo much better.
    QUESTION….in terms of thumbnails…i do whiteboard animations in this case would it be ok to use white as background, black for the cartoon and ONE either blue orange yellow or green as accent color? Could I change which of the 4 I use for each thumbnail?
    This is probably a dumb questio. But I have changed my thumbnails 4 times in my short 5 month youtube career. I spend 50 plus hours on each video so I can only post 1 every 3 wks.

    1. Thanks Betsy. That’s a really good question, actually. You can still use a white background. But I’d use green, yellow, blue or another on-YouTube color too. That way, your thumbnails still have the whiteboard look and also stand out.

  34. OMG!
    Actual IMPLEMENTABLE steps… not regurgitated platitudes… your advice is awesome.
    NOW… to see if I can make this work for my particular niche. I’ll first have to remove all my present videos and re-think the whole thing.
    I am just super pleased that I found your site!

  35. Thanks for this Brian, another awesome post. In some future content, I’d love to see your write about hosting videos embedded on your website with YouTube vs with something like Wistia … we’re doing well on YouTube but continuing to host video on our website with Wistia because 1) it seems like the UX is better, 2) End of video experience is better, 3) I read somewhere long ago that it’s better for website SEO to host w/Wistia not YouTube

    But … wondering if I’m holding on to a bad strategy/one that isn’t true anymore.


    1. Hey Paul, good question there. When it comes to videos that you only want website visitors to see, Wistia is a great option. But for most other videos, I prefer to embed YouTube videos. That way, people find out that you have a YouTube channel. And it helps increase the reach of that video on YouTube. So yeah, it kind of depends on how important YouTube is as a platform vs. videos on your own site.

  36. Once again thank you Brian for excellent up to the minute information. I’ll be concentrating on getting keywords right and finding ways to gather views and subscribers. Also do you make a short version (around 1 minute?) of a video to upload to FB? Yep think so. Thanks once again, excellent content

    1. Hi Liz, awesome! Yes, I’ve tried that and it definitely works (Especially when you include the link to YT as the first comment instead of the post itself).

  37. Hey, Brian, this article is simply amazing. I have applied all the above techniques on my latest youtube upload (video based on lectures and study materials) and have seen a good result compared to the previous one.

    I follow you regularly and your previous E-mail case study has also helped a lot. Thanks for such articles and keep up the great work. Thank you.

  38. Great post Brian! Complete and clear! Got a couple of tips to try out! There’s one thing I would like to add concerning Google Search Ranks. I am currently in that situation where sometimes one of my video will be in the top 3 ranks in Youtube (Anonymous clean browser search) and not in the top 10 of Google, which is like to say invisible.

    example this video:

    Number 3 in Youtube. Not in the top 10 in Google on the search term ‘Overwatch Workshop Tutorial’.

    And I do say the keywords in my first sentence, did upload a custom caption and did optimize tags and description.

    Sometimes, videos in Google search are from big channels with a lot of subs and a lot of views, but in this precise case, not really. So I’m not sure why i’m not up there. The only reason I could think of is derank for tags spamming. Brian do you have any other idea, anything else that could justify my video being absent of the first 10 pages of Google Search?


  39. Brian, thank you so much for sharing this information where you go in great depth and leave nothing out. I will definitely save your post as a reference guide.
    Also love the “bonuses” 🙂

  40. This is the post that I needed to read!! Finally, have decided to provide content on youtube too.
    Thanks for sharing about “VidIQ”. Seems like a great tool will definitely check it out.

    Once again thank you for such a detailed post 🙂

  41. Hey Brian,
    What service do you use to get your audio transcriptions made?
    I’ve been using your tips for google SEO, and now want to implement them for YT as well. Really love how well your organize these ideas for us. Thanks so much!

  42. Wow man, again, this is a great write up! I am still stuck with tagging, I believe I am adding way more tags in my videos. Btw, how long should we wait before re-optimizing our video for rankings? For example, I’ve been trying to rank a video from the last 2 days and looks like it is currently nowhere, do you think I should wait more to find out if current tags are working?

    Thank Brian

  43. It was an eye opener. I like Quora and love answering questions. For my blog i use Quora to attract traffic but I had no idea about YouTube. Thanks for sharing.
    I have been reading backlinko for a while. On page SEO guide is the best guide you have written so far and it still works for me. When I started my blog I had no idea about SEO but after reading your articles/guides I fell in love with SEO.

  44. I’m liking the card technique you spoke about Though, I think the reason that more Youtubers don’t use this is a point of pride. No one wants to think the video won’t be watched until the final minutes. You will most often see those cards at the end, the ‘up next’ or ‘suggested for you’ by the Youtuber as if every person watching is waiting for that final minute to click away. In reality most people on youtube watch a few minutes and lose focus. It’s just the busy world we are living in. And, you have to reach out and shake people out of their preoccupation and say, hey pay attention to me!

  45. Till today, I had strong believe that I know everything about YT SEO. But you proved me completely wrong. Each point you mentioned in this video is completely new to me. You are truly expert! Thanks for sharing such important things with us.

  46. Hey Brian,

    On the YouTube channel page when we create playlist sections…

    How do you set it up where it doesn’t automatically have 6 videos and 2 horizontal columns?

    I can’t find anyone who has it that way except for you.

    And I can’t find any options in YouTube to do this lol

    My YouTube channel is just my name (Thomas Garetz)

    If you happen to see this message, I would greatly appreciate your feedback 🙂



  47. Recently I also started to create YT videos and I did exactly what you mentioned except few things like adding subtitles or speaking keywords as my videos are based on simple bar graph animation with background music. And people who are doing exactly the same thing are getting 300K+ views whereas I got only 3. Maybe my channel is 5 days old. Still, there are so many good strategies you have mentioned that I believe someday my videos will start getting views.


  48. What a great post thanks! Each point is really interesting but I really stopped on the part where you explain that it’s great to publish a preview of your video natively on Facebook for example. That’s cool but how to generate a preview easily? Do you have some tips please?

    Thank you 😉

  49. Brian – your stuff is excellent, I am going to use these strategies when I start making videos for my website. Love the technically savvy yet simply explained tips. Thanks!!

  50. Hello Brian and thank you for all the tips. Your videos have been the foundation of growing my channel. About to apply your hashtag strategy (one thing I haven’t really done) appreciate the clip post idea the most.
    I heard that if you post over 15 hashtags on youtube they end up being ignored. Is this true? Also, would that be 15 in the whole post or just in the tag section (example 15 tags and 3 in the description would be 15 or 18?)? Lastly, if I go change all the tags now and get rid of a ton will that help all my old videos or is it something that only effects video once it’s posted. For example, let’s say I posted a video with 20 tags and youtube ignores it. if I changed it to 15 tags would youtube now acknowledge it or would it continue to be ignored? Thank you so much!

  51. Hey Brian!

    Great stuff. Question for you…. Years ago, I would buy some admittedly spammy backlinks with no anchor text, and blast my youtube videos, and it seemed to actually boost their rankings quite a bit. Have you tested this? Obviously I know you wouldn’t publicly endorse doing something like this, but do you know if it still works by any chance? Or, has Google wisened up? 🙂


  52. Dude! MAHALO for all the tips! I’m pretty new at all this, so I’m going to review all the SEO stuff and apply to my Titles, Tags and content ie “Comment below” etc.

  53. Hey Brian,
    Do you know if I should delete a video that didn’t do well and re upload it with proper SEO metadata and thumbnail or leave it and redo the metadata? I use tube buddy now and I did redo the metadata but I don’t see the video in the search results making me think I need to delete it and re upload it. Great article by the way!

  54. What a great post thanks! Each point is really interesting, but I really stopped at the part where you explain that it is great to publish a preview of your video on Facebook for example. It’s cool but how to generate preview easily? Do you have any suggestions

  55. Thanks for excellent content. I’m just starting to learn about Youtube SEO. I’ve been running a couple of Youtube channels for 8 years, but never did any SEO at all. Every video has between 20-500 views, that’s it. I’m not selling anything, and don’t rely on views to make money, so I never really cared if anyone saw the vids or not. But lately, I realized that with even a minimal commitment to self education on these issues, and just a few extra minutes for each video, I could make a big difference in views and engagement. So your page, with these kinds of tips are helpful as I start to self educate. Thank you very much!

  56. Thanks for this useful information. I am glad someone summarized everything in one place. I will try to use it on my channel so hopefully I will get to my 1000 subs 🙂 Thanks again.

  57. I have this ongoing dilemma between promoting the video’s YouTube page or a blog post it’s embedded in. Any insights on that?

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