17 Ways to Get More Views on YouTube In 2020
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17 Ways to Get More Views on YouTube In 2020

Brian Dean

by Brian Dean · Updated Jan. 14, 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:

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.

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

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

(Which makes people MUCH more likely to click)

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

How about another example?

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

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.

But 80%+ of that 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”.

With that, I have some good news:

I recently developed a YouTube description template that works GREAT.

Here it is:

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.

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

Here’s an example from my channel:

You also want to sell your video.


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

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

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.

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:

It’s 233 total words.

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

Finally, you have your description links.

I actually got this tip from YouTube themselves:

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:

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:

Which leads us to…

3. Alternate Playlist Layouts

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

(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:

Why is this important?

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

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

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

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

And choose the 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:

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%:

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:

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

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:

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

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:

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:

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…

…and 38.2% from Suggested Video:


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.

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

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

Question is:

How do you use tags the right way?

The MVC Formula.

Here’s how it looks:

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”.

So I made that exact phrase my first 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:

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.

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

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:

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:

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:


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.

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

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

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:

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

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

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

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

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:

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

Specifically, we found that comments:


And subscribes:

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:

11,500 subscribers:

And 396,000 total 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.

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:

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

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

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:

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:

Finally, link to that video in your End Screen:

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”:

Not a horrible name. But not super compelling either.

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

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”:

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.

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:

Pretty cool.

15. Share Video Clips On Social Media

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

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:

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)

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

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:

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:

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

Next, have a card appear at that time.

(That’s “The Bridge”)

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


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:

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

(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.

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:

And to our newsletter subscribers:

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

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:

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

And did more of what was already working.

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

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

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

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.

This can be a sneak preview shot:

A quiz:

Or anything that builds anticipation for your video:

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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Peter, thanks! Yup, I put at least 20 hours into every post… including this one.

      1. Sergey Avatar Sergeysays:

        20 hours? How do you write it in 20 hours? 😲

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Lots of practice! Plus, I’m mostly documenting what’s working for me, which speeds things up.

        1. Fabio Mastrocola Avatar Fabio Mastrocolasays:

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

        1. That’s why we call him The Content King.

  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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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?

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Thanks Philip. Temporarily, yes (especially for subscribers).

  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:-)

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Koen, no worries. Happy to help.

  4. Giovanni Avatar Giovannisays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

    1. Afiqah Avatar Afiqahsays:

      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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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. Osvaldo Avatar Osvaldosays:

    Wow. So worth the read. Learned so much thank you!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Osvaldo.

  9. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Leah, you’re welcome. Those things should all help. Keep me posted on how things go.

  10. Great information it will really help me to grow my YouTube channel.
    Thank you Brian.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No worries, Piyush.

  11. Brilliant as always Brian! Thank you so much for all the resources you provide 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi David, you’re welcome. Glad you learned some new stuff from today’s post.

  12. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

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

  13. Wendy Schaefer Avatar Wendy Schaefersays:

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

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Wendy, you’re welcome. Let me know how it goes!

  14. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  15. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  16. 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!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Well said!

  17. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  18. Thank you for another comprehensive post Brian. This will help us a lot!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Darshana, you’re welcome. Let me know how it goes.

  19. Ted Jee Avatar Ted Jeesays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  20. As usual, awesome content. You never fail to amaze us with your awesome contents.

    Thank you so much.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Istiak.

  21. 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?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Alfed. Do you mean topics for YouTube videos or the blog?

      1. For blog? I have gone through some of your previous blogs earlier and it’s amazing.

  22. 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.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Forrest, thank you! I put a lot of work into this post so that’s really nice to hear.

  23. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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)


  24. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Joseph, thanks man!

  25. It’s just an awesome article.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Marcus

  26. Hi Brian,
    Really loved the content. In fact, I put these points into actions. Keep doing the great Job

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Awesome John! Props for taking action so quickly.

  27. 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.

  28. 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?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Shane. Yes, I do. I use a handful of different frameworks depending on the topic.

  29. 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!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Craig, you’re welcome. Great suggestion too!

  30. 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!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Saranya, no worries. I’m happy to help. Best of luck with your new channel!

  31. Damn! What was that which just flew past.

    Oh! It was just Brian knocking it out of the park.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      HA! Thanks Gareth. I appreciate that.

  32. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

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

  33. Ander Avatar Andersays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  34. Cheefoo Avatar Cheefoosays:

    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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  35. Alex Avatar Alexsays:

    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!

  36. 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!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Karthik, you’re welcome. Glad you learned some new tips from today’s post.

  37. Video marketing will rock the marketing sector in 2019-20. Thanks for the tips you shared

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Absolutely, Praveen. Video is blowing up right now.

  38. Hi Brian,
    That’s great advice to follow.

    Have you seen such technique works for any new channel or channel with fewer subscribers?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Viken, I have. Mine 🙂

  39. Hi Brian,
    You tube premiere also helps in building up anticipation. What’s your thoughts on this ?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Yogesh, I actually haven’t tried premiere yet. Have you tried it before?

  40. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Tim. I might make a checklist for this post. Writing the post was hard enough though, LOL!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  41. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Kamil, I’d start fresh just in case the aged one has community strikes or stuff like that.

  42. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Awesome, Mark. I’ll have to look more into that.

  43. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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!).

  44. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  45. Garry Worger Avatar Garry Worgersays:

    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!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Garry. That’s how I roll.

  46. Anna Avatar Annasays:

    Fantastic post! You never disappoint!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Anna!

  47. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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.

  48. 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. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      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).

  49. 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.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Nice! I’m happy to see that you’re already taking action.

  50. 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: https://youtu.be/sjU-yYa4c0U

    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?


  51. 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” 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Rene!

  52. Hey Brian,
    Your Sell your video in text before “SHOW MORE” tactic.
    Does it work for mobile users also.

    BTW! Thanks for the detailed guide.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Evan, anytime! You’re putting out awesome stuff so I’m always happy to feature you.

  53. Arthur Avatar Arthursays:

    Thanks for the tips! How many Keywords do you recomend to use on YouTube?

  54. 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 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Happy to help

  55. 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!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Evan, I use rev.com

  56. 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

  57. Jayanta Bhowmick Avatar Jayanta Bhowmicksays:

    Hi Brian
    I am planning to start a youtube channel. Thanks for the tips.

  58. Hi Brian
    Great post!

    Always top-level content. Like on LinkedIn

  59. 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.

  60. 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!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s a really good point, Janita.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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 🙂



  64. P.S. I meant vertical lolol (not horizontal) 2 VERTICAL columns 😛

  65. 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.


  66. Seb Avatar Sebsays:

    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 😉

  67. 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!!

  68. 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!

  69. Hi Brian,
    Thank you so much! This is exactly what I was looking for. I don’t see a lot of people telling the “real” secrets. Thanks a lot.

  70. 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? 🙂


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Brandon, I haven’t tested that in a while so I’m not 100% sure if it still works today.

  71. 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.

  72. Dylan Denney Avatar Dylan Denneysays:

    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!

  73. 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

  74. 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!

  75. Jugal Avatar Jugalsays:

    Thanks dude…… now I’m feeling like I got 5 million views in 2 days….. jhakahs 🤞🤞👌👌👌

  76. 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.

  77. Tom V Avatar Tom Vsays:

    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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