17 Ways to Get More YouTube Subscribers (2020)
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17 Ways to Get More YouTube Subscribers (2020)

Brian Dean

by Brian Dean · Updated Jan. 07, 2020

17 Ways to Get More YouTube Subscribers

In this post you’re going to learn how to get more YouTube subscribers in 2020.

In fact:

These are the exact strategies I used to grow my channel from zero to 263K subscribers:

Backlinko YouTube subscribers

And today I’m going to show you how I did it…

…and how you can do the same thing.

1. Use “Power Playlists”

“Power Playlists” are like regular playlists… but better.

Here’s exactly how they work:

You see, most playlists are organized by topic.

But Power Playlists are different.

Instead of topics, Power Playlists are organized by outcomes.

Here’s an example from my channel:

As you can see, the title of that playlist is an outcome:

Which makes people MUCH more likely to watch my playlist… and subscribe.

And that leads us to…

2. Publish LONG Videos (10+ Minutes)

Yup, this goes against conventional wisdom.

But stay with me.

We recently did the largest YouTube ranking factors study ever.

In that study we analyzed 11 factors that might help video rank in YouTube’s search engine.

And we found something surprising:

Longer videos rank better in YouTube’s search results.

For example, last year I published this video.

As you can see, my video is almost 14 minutes long:

And that’s one of the main reasons that it ranks in the top 5 in YouTube for the keyword: “backlinks”:

3. Promote Videos In Your End Screen

Here’s the deal:

The more of your videos someone watches, the more likely they are to subscribe.

The question is:

How do you get people to watch 2, 5 or even 10 of your videos?

Promote another video in your End Screen.

Here’s an example from my channel:

This simple “Next Video” has led LOTS more views and subscribers:

Here’s how you can do the same thing:

First, include 10 seconds of time at the end of your videos specifically for your End Screen.

Here’s what mine looks like in the raw video file:

Then, use YouTube’s End Screen editor to add a link to a related video:

That’s all there is to it 🙂

4. Branding Watermark = Subscribe Button

This is the ultimate YouTube subscriber hack.

You probably know that you can add a Branding Watermark to your videos.

This watermark lets viewers subscribe to your channel inside of your video.

Unfortunately, most Branding Watermarks are completely ignored.

For example…

I once added this watermark to all of my videos:

And it did absolutely nothing.

So I decided to try something new.

Instead of a watermark that looked cool…

…I used one that looked like a normal YouTube subscribe button.

And it worked!

My new watermark generated 70% more subscribers than my old one.

Pretty cool.

5. Focus On Quality… Not Quantity

When I first started my YouTube channel, I read the same advice over and over again:

“If you want to grow your channel, you need to upload videos on a regular basis”

As it turns out, this is HORRIBLE advice.

I’ll explain.

When I first started my channel I published videos on a consistent schedule…

…but no one watched them.

And the few people that watched my videos didn’t even bother to subscribe.

It was REALLY frustrating.

So I decided to change things up.

Instead of quantity, I decided to focus 100% on quality.

And this “quality over quantity” video marketing approach worked like magic.

Flash forward to today and my channel generates over 200k views per month from only 28 total videos:

And because I pour my heart and soul into every video, nearly 8k people subscribe to my channel every month:

6. Reply To EVERY Comment

This is one of the EASIEST ways to get more subscribers.

In fact, YouTube’s internal data has found a clear correlation between replying to comments and subscribers:

“When creators take the time to interact with their loyal community, it can encourage audience participation and ultimately result in a larger fanbase.”

Why does this help?

Well, most YouTubers never reply to comments.

Which means you instantly stand out when you do.

That’s why I do my best to reply to as many comments as I can.

(Especially right after I publish a new video)

7. Write a Compelling Channel Description

Your YouTube Channel Description is HUGE.

(Especially when it comes to video SEO)

Sadly, most Channel Descriptions look something like this:

Imagine that you’re about to subscribe to that channel.

Is that description going to make you lunge for the subscribe button?

Probably not.

Contrast that weak description with this one:

See the difference?

This about page works because it:

  • Tells you what the channel is all about
  • Gives you important information on the channel (like the upload schedule)
  • Includes a strong call to action to subscribe

Here’s a template that you can use to write your own Channel Description:

Pro Tip: Sprinkle in a handful of keywords in your description. This can help your channel rank better in YouTube search.

For example, I used a few different relevant keywords that people on YouTube would search for…

…like “SEO”, “link building” and “content marketing”.

8. Funnel People to “Subscriber Magnets”

This is working GREAT for me right now.

Here’s the step-by-step process:

First, head over to the old YouTube Analytics report.

And click “Subscribers” → “YouTube Watch Page”.

Next, identify the video that brought you the most subs last month:

(This video is your “Subscriber Magnet”)

In my case, this ONE Subscriber Magnet from my channel brings in as many subscribers as 13 other videos from my channel… combined.

Why is this important?

Your Subscriber Magnet video is PROVEN to generate subscribers.

And if you can get these video in front of more people, you’ll get more subscribers

Here are 3 ways to get more eyeballs on your Subscriber Magnet.

First, feature that video in your End Screen.

Second, make a playlist that starts off with that video:

Finally, promote that video in a card:

You can even make your Subscriber Magnet your channel trailer.

For example, Evan Carmichael uses his popular Steve Jobs video as his channel trailer:

That way, Evan’s high-converting video gets in front of everyone that visits his channel page

9. Use an Awesome Channel Icon

Your Channel Icon shows up EVERYWHERE on YouTube.

Your icon is like a custom thumbnail… for your entire channel.

That’s why it’s really important to use the right one.

So if you’re a personal brand, use a high-res headshot:

If you’re a company channel, use a version of your logo designed for YouTube.

For example, ESPN rounded their logo so it works perfectly as a Channel Icon:

10. Create a Channel Tagline

Let’s face it:

Most YouTube channels do NOTHING to stand out.

And hey, I’m not judging.

In the early days of my channel I completely ignored the positioning of my channel.

And it was one of the main reasons that I struggled.

Once I started to strategically position my channel, my monthly views and total subscriber count shot up like a rocketship.

Fortunately, you don’t need an MBA to position and brand your channel.

In fact, all you need to do is create a simple tagline.

Here’s the 3-step process:

First, identify ONE thing that makes your channel unique or different.

Maybe you’re a busy mom that can deadlift 500 pounds.

Maybe your channel teaches SaaS companies how to grow a blog.

The exact “thing” doesn’t matter.

As long as it’s different than the other channels in your niche, you’re set.

For example:

My videos teach people marketing strategies they can use to grow their business.

But if I made my tagline “I teach marketing strategies” or “I help you grow your business”, I’d blend in with thousands of other channels on YouTube.

So I decided to focus on the ONE thing that my channel focuses on:

Higher rankings and more traffic.

Second, put that tagline in big font on your Channel Art.

Here’s mine:

Finally, say your tagline in your Channel Trailer.

11. Heart Awesome Comments

A while back YouTube launched “Creator Hearts”.

Creator Hearts make it easy to highlight awesome comments from your community:

Now for the interesting part…

When you heart a comment, that person gets a notification (and sometimes even an email):

And according to YouTube’s own data:

“We’ve found that viewers who have received a heart on their comment are three times more likely to click on the notification (than with other types of notifications), potentially leading more viewers back to your channel.”

That’s right:

Heart notifications get 300% more clicks than average.

So whenever someone leaves a solid comment, hook them up with a heart:

As you just saw, this will bring them back to your video… and make them VERY likely to subscribe.

12. Make a Killer Channel Trailer

You probably know that a channel trailer can help you get more YouTube subscribers.

Here are 3 tactics for making a channel trailer that converts:

Kick things off with your tagline

Start your trailer off with your channel’s tagline.

(Don’t have a tagline. Check out technique #10 from this post)

For example, I say my tagline (“Higher Rankings and More Traffic”) within the first 3 seconds of my trailer:

Stick to 60 seconds (or less)

YouTube themselves say that shorter trailers convert best:

That’s why I made my trailer about a minute long:

Show off your best stuff

Your trailer is a GREAT opportunity to promote your best content.

That’s why the middle of your trailer should be a 20-30 second highlight reel.

For example, my trailer includes LOTS of clips from my other videos:

That way, viewers can quickly get a feel for the type of content that I publish.

13. Create Videos That CRUSH Watch Time

Yup, Watch Time is a massively important YouTube SEO ranking factor.

And not just for YouTube SEO.

Videos with high Watch Time numbers get promoted more often on the YouTube homepage:

And in the Suggested Video sidebar:

That’s why YouTube states that:

“The longer you can keep people watching on YouTube because of your content, the more your content may get surfaced.”

Question is:

How do you maximize Watch Time?

Use lots of Pattern Interrupts.


Pattern Interrupt



An event that changes a person's thought patterns.

Pattern Interrupts make your videos more dynamic…

…which keeps people watching.

That’s why I use TONS of Pattern Interrupts in every video.

Including graphics:

Jump cuts:

And corny jokes:


Pattern Interrupts don’t need to be fancy or complicated.

For example, check out this video from Safiya Nygaard:

Safiya uses lots of super simple Pattern Interrupts (like camera angle changes and simple graphics) to keep things fresh.

14. Embed YouTube Videos In Blog Posts

Your blog is a HUGE untapped source of views and subscribers.


Well, if someone’s reading your text content, they clearly like your stuff.

Which means they’re primed to subscribe.

That’s why I embed lots of videos in my blog posts.

Sometimes the video makes up an entire step or tip:

But I also embed videos as a way for people to learn more about something from the post:

Either way, these embeds get my videos in front of more people.

And not just random people.

I’m showing my video content to people that are SUPER likely to subscribe to my channel.

15. End Videos With a Strong CTA

When someone get to the end of your video, they think:

“What’s next?”

And unless you give them something to do, they’re going to click over to another video from another channel.

What’s the solution? Tell them to subscribe to your channel.

And don’t be afraid to tell people exactly what to do.

For example, here’s how I end all of my videos:

I literally tell people to click on the subscribe button below the video.

That way, there’s no guesswork or thinking involved.

And that’s one of the main reasons that so many people subscribe right after watching one of my videos:

16. Promote Your Channel In Ebooks, Webinars, Presentations and Lead Magnets

The next time you create ANY piece of content, ask yourself:

“How can I funnel people from this content to my channel?”

For example, I include a link to my channel in every lead magnet:

I even promote my channel in podcast interviews:

17. Optimize Your Channel Page

When someone lands on your channel page, two things can happen:

  1. They leave right away
  2. They watch more of your videos and subscribe

And I can tell you from experience that an optimized channel page can increase your subscribers by 2-5x.

For example, my channel used to look bland and unprofessional:

Needless to say, VERY few people that landed on my page decided to subscribe.

That’s when I decided to put some time and effort into my channel page.

Specifically, I hired a pro designer to design some new Channel Art:

And I organized my videos so that my best content appeared at the top:

That said:

There’s no “perfect” way to organize your Channel Page.

But here’s a template that I notice a lot of top YouTubers use:

Bonus #1: “The Social Media Preview”

I used to share my videos on social media like this:

And my posts got BURIED.


Because Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites want to keep people on their platform.

Which means they don’t like posts that send people to YouTube.

Well, I recently discovered a way around this problem:

“The Social Media Preview”.

And this simple strategy has helped me get INSANE views on social media:

In fact, one of my recent Social Media Previews got over 31,076 views on LinkedIn:

Here’s how to do it:

First, grab a 30-90 second clip from a recent YouTube video.

This clip should be a single technique, idea or point.

Next, upload that clip as native video content.

This is key.

Like I mentioned earlier, social networks (like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit) want to promote native content on their platform.

And there’s data to back this up.

Native video Facebook posts get 10x more views than posts that linked to YouTube.

Finally, include a link to your video as the first comment on the post.

That way, if someone wants to see more, they can easily watch the full video on YouTube.

And you’re set.

Bonus #2: Include a Subscribe Link in Your Channel Art

This is one of my favorite ways to get subscribers on YouTube.

You probably know that you can link to external sites in your Channel Art.

But what you may not know is that you can sneak in an extra subscribe button there.

Here’s an example:

All you need to do is create a YouTube subscribe link:

Then, add that link as one of your Channel Art links:

Make sure to give your link a compelling title:

And when someone clicks on that link, they’ll see this high-converting prompt:


Now It’s Your Turn

So I hope this post helped show you how to get more subscribers on YouTube.

And now I’d like to hear from you:

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

Or maybe you have a question about something you read.

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


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Kaushal.

  1. Hey Brian,

    I will definitely implement all the tips which you mentioned in this article.

    But your power playlist tip is awesome.

    Thanks for sharing in-depth article on it.

    Best Regards,
    Sumit Sao

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Sumit. Glad you learned some new stuff

  2. Thank you, Brian, for your actionable tips!

    Similarly to email list subscribers, the key to attracting video subscribers apparently boils down to promotion. Right?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Dmytro. That’s true. Promotion is key on YouTube too!

  3. Just a query. At the end of the day, where does all of this effort take you/me? Lists and lists and lists. Where’s the money for all this work? Am I missing something? If you work for nothing you’ll never be idle!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Not sure what you mean…

      1. I think Carmel is curious to your business model. How can you earn money when you’re giving everything away for free.

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Ah OK. Backlinko is an SEO training company.

  4. Interesting article, thank you as always 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, David. Glad you liked it.

  5. Great information, as always, Brian! Can’t wait to dissect this and learn as much as possible. Keep up the good work & thank you for all your hard work!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Darshana. Let me know what you think after you have a chance to dig into the strategies.

  6. Dan Avatar Dansays:

    Great piece Brian and i so much enjoyed your pieces because they are filled with so many actionable tips and of course, your page is so beautiful….By the way, what tools do you use for those screenshots and all that?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Dan. I actually work with a designer that takes normal screenshots (using Greenshot) and adds design elements that make them easier to understand (and look cool!). I think he uses Photoshop.

  7. I like the social media preview with Twitter, but I find I get way more watch time by posting the entire video on both FaceBook and YouTube. If the goal is just audience development, platform matters less. Monetize later, when you’ve got a base coming back. My $0.02.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Charles. Good points there. My #1 platform (besides Google, which is another story) is YouTube. So I don’t mind pushing people from FB to YouTube… even if it hurts that video’s total watch time across different platforms.

  8. Peter Avatar Petersays:

    Great tips!! Very straight forward and easy to follow! Love your work, Brian!!!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Peter. Glad you liked it!

  9. Monster post, my man. TY for writing this up! Bookmarked…gonna read a few times lol.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Darren. Let me know what you think after you have a chance to try some of the strategies.

  10. Mitja Avatar Mitjasays:

    Practical, in-depth, and simple to understand as always. Thank you, Brian!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Mitja 👍👍👍

  11. Thanks Brian

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Angel. Glad you liked it.

  12. Andrea Bindi Avatar Andrea Bindisays:

    Definitely highly educative. high Five for you !!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Andrea ✋✋✋

  13. Utpal Shuvro Avatar Utpal Shuvrosays:

    Thanks for your awesome tips.
    Though I already applied a few of these.
    However, Your tips are extremely helpful.
    Keep it up Good work man!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Utpal

  14. Siva Avatar Sivasays:

    Great info i have ever read before,i regularly following you thanks brian dean

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No problem

  15. Thank you for this fab list of how to get YouTube subscribers!

    As ever, all actionable and proven to work techniques.

    I started my YT channel a while ago, but haven’t uploaded many videos as yet.
    Not sure if I should wait until I have more resources to publish visually really great quality videos, or are the screen-shot review videos ok too (to start with at least)?

    In any case, thanks again and looking forward to your next article!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Alenka, in my experience I’d wait to publish really great videos.

  16. Thank you so much brian. I want to do youtube as my full time carrier. Again your tips give me some new ideas for my channel and about its growth.
    i will apply them on my channel and definitely share the result.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Divesh

  17. Awesome article Brian! I gotta say the two things that stick out to me here are 1) that you found in your research the fact that tags really didn’t seem that important in ranking, and 2) the tip for adding the subscribe button (very visibly) in lieu of a watermark; amazing advice!

    My one question is about longer video content: sure, longer content ranks higher, but does it do it’s job at converting better (whether the CTA is to subscribe, sign up for a service, etc., learn a skill, etc.) than shorter videos? Of course, if the intention is purely to get better rankings (which is a huge part) than that’s cool. To give you a better idea why I’m asking this: I recently replaced the air flow sensor in my car. The first video I found first (highest ranked one) was about 14 minutes long and, after waiting, then trying to find the part where he actually gets to installing the sensor, I left and went searching for a shorter video. Not that this exact scenario happens all the time, but I was turned off by the fact that I went looking for something (instructions on how to install the sensor) and the longer content may have had it, but wasn’t worth my time to dig it out.

    Thanks sharing this info!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Jay.

      Great question. I should have probably phrased that tip: “You CAN create longer videos”. Because you’re absolutely right: there’s no point in creating a long video if it doesn’t help the viewer. Actually, if people click away (like you did with the 14 minute air flow sensor video), that video’s SEO is going to suffer. So there’s really no upside to cranking out long videos just for the sake of doing it.

      But I emphasize video length because 1) we found a strong correlation between longer videos and rankings and 2) lots of people are afraid to publish long videos. In some cases, a short video makes sense. But for certain topics, longer videos actually provide MORE value because you get all your answers in one place.

  18. This was perfect information at the perfect time. I’m about to meet with a client to discuss their YouTube strategy.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Nice! This should definitely help, James

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Aaron. Happy to help

  19. As always awesome content Brian! This is the best thing about you. You always write practically proven tips and state them clearly. Keep sharing such content!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Hassan

  20. Nowadays, a Youtube channel needs 1000 subs and 4000 hours of watching time in order to be eligible for monetization.

    I think you tips not only will help to get more subscribers but to increase the watching time.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s true. Watch Time is a big part of getting views (and down the line, subscribers).

  21. Thomas Avatar Thomassays:

    Really inspired to take my business to next level. Great post!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Thomas!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Natanael. Let me know how it goes!

  22. Thanks Brian Dean

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      No worries, Sam.

  23. Great Tips Brian!

    Will implement your tips and get back to you with the results.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Susan. I look forward to hearing how these strategies work out for you.

  24. I think YouTubers advised the length to be more than 10 minutes, though. I think it’s related to monetization and algorithm manipulation. YouTube SEO is still young but it’s start to catch on and many SEOs are now trying to figure out how does the algorithm works.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s true, Igre. YouTube SEO is still super early

  25. Thanks Brian for these tips. I’m planning on using The “Social Media Preview” for LinkedIn and Facebook. I would love for you to one day create a blog post or video over your content research process and everything you do before you post your content.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Xavier. I’m actually working on a post that covers a lot of my content research process. Stay tuned!

  26. Karlene Avatar Karlenesays:

    I’ve been doing this a long time! Your layout and detail of each step to a topic is superb. Absolutely fantastic. Easy to read and understand immediately. 9 out of 10 informational videos, emails, or ebooks AND websites regarding technology, seo, etc today are written for someone who is not human or they simply don’t say enough. Great job, happy I subscribed. Keep up good work.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Karlene. I appreciate that

  27. Matt Avatar Mattsays:

    Hey Brian,

    Great stuff, as always. I’d like to see what video of mine earns the most subscribers, but I don’t see an option called Subscribers in the YouTube analytics area. Just a bunch of charts and graphs.

    I’d also like to change my watermark image to the subscribe button you mentioned, but I don’t see an option for that either.

    So if you could give more specific instructions on where I can find these, I’d appreciate it.

    Lastly, I think it’s important to note that YouTube only provides the word(s) you enter for the first link. Other links just display an icon. So for me, I added a subscribe link at the end. It only shows the YouTube button, which probably isn’t helpful.


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Matt. I have some screenshots in the post to show you how to find the subscribers report. Maybe you’re in the new YouTube Studio? The new YT Studio doesn’t make this report easy to find yet.

      In terms of the watermark, here are detailed instructions: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6147757?hl=en

      1. Matt Avatar Mattsays:

        Yes, I was in the new studio. For some reason, my report doesn’t contain any data on which videos earned subscribers. There’s a chart showing when people subscribed, but nothing listed below it.

        The help page you referenced is about adding a custom watermark image. I want to add the subscribe button you show above. Now my custom watermark is gone. 🙁

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Yeah, the new studio is still in beta so doesn’t have all the features.

          A custom watermark can be any image. So when you add a subscribe icon, that becomes your branding watermark.

  28. I am 100% sure that this post is most probably on first page of google

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I hope so Ajay!

  29. Jeff Austria Avatar Jeff Austriasays:

    Hi Brian, great tips as always, but I’m just wondering why you didn’t use your bonus tip which is include subscribe link on the channel art.

    I checked your youtube channel and I didn’t see that.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing this tips and keep the awesome work!


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Jeff. Right now I’m testing a few things to drive more people on YT to Backlinko. The Channel Art link is one of them. Always be testing!

  30. Philip Avatar Philipsays:

    Hi Brian,

    honestly, you are one of the few people that consistently deliver valuable content in this niche. I appreciate your efforts mate! Your quality over quantity approach is impressive and I’m trying to emulate it myself for my educational science channel.

    The only thing I need to mention is that I think your diagram on video length to youtube ranking seems off. Maybe I don’t understand it, but when I look at the graph what I’m reading is that video length has no impact on YT rank because the red line is more or less flat (between 12-15 min). If there was a positive correlation between the duration of a video and YT rank the red line would need to go from the top left to the bottom right. As of now the chart only shows a flat line with no data points for ANY video below 10 minutes, so how can there be a correlation.

    Please let me know if I misunderstood. But I am curious about the actual data on this.

    So thanks again Brain, love your work!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey Philip, thanks man! I appreciate that.

      To answer your question: we found a small but significant relationship between video length and rankings in that study (Spearman correlation of 0.036). Because it wasn’t a REALLY strong correlation, the line in the graph isn’t moving down and to the right.

      Plus, the average video length was 18 minutes, which is longer than most videos on YT.

      1. Philip Avatar Philipsays:

        Thanks Brian.

        That clarifies the graph. So it was a significant correlation (I’m assuming p<0.05) but the effect size was super small. Spearman r of 0.036 is practically non-existent.

        Would be interesting to see some data with video lengths ranging from 1 min to 20 min.

        Thanks again, mate.

  31. Great read Brian 🙂 !

    I’ve run into an issue regarding youtube videos both ranking it on youtube but also using it on a landingpage for that higher dwell time, woop woop.

    My issue is here:
    I’ve noticed that doing closed captions SRT instead of using the youtube’s own sub editor, that you can actually make your youtube more readable for Google/youtube. So if im scripting a nice setup for my youtube video, and thinking about which keywords i use when i talk both generic and exact keywords, and then making closed captions SRT into my youtube video, Google can read what the video is actually is about compared to if you only used your title and description for ranking.

    My question is:
    If i then put this video on my superawesome/landingpage, will that over optimize my keywords for that landingpage? Like if we say i have a piece of content 1000 words, i use exact keyword 3-6 times within the text, and do some generic and synonyms for my content. If i then use the exact keyword in the CC SRT file, would that mess up my ratio between my keyword use?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Mikael. Good question.

      If you use your exact keyword 3-6 times with a few variations in the post/transcript, that’s no big deal. As long as you’re not stuffing the keywords in there in a way that sounds and reads well, you should be OK.

      1. Mikael Sørensen Avatar Mikael Sørensensays:

        Okay thanks alot!, thats also what i ment by scripting a manuscript with variations.

  32. Ohh Man Brian! I read your Youtube SEO guide and I was like its super amazing. But it was not all. The subscriber magnet trick and Power Playlist option is completely mind-blowing.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I’m glad you liked today’s post Cody!

  33. Very nice guide Brian! I can’t seem to put in the subscription link in Channel Art – I only get the possibility to change the picture. Do you have some sort of guide? Thanks in advance!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Jonas. Go to your channel while signed in and hit “Customize channel”. Then hit the little pencil icon in the top right corner of your channel art and click “edit links”.

  34. Thank you, Brian, this article is complete to make us successful youtuber!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome 👍👍👍👍

  35. Great stuff as always man, big thanks for sharing!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Luke. Happy to help

  36. Youtube is something where I have always struggled to get a success. I am a blogger and I am good at that but never become a good Youtuber.

    Recently, I have started a new channel for my website and started posting short but engaging videos.

    Got some amazing tips after reading your article, especially point number 2, 7, 12, and 15. Hope the tips will help me get some quick subscribers.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      I hope so too, Alex. Keep me posted on how things go.

      1. Sure, Brian, I will keep you posted the progress.
        Thanks for replying to my comment.

  37. High quality as before, appreciate your awesome share!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Alexa

  38. Hey Brian, i’m so much appreciated for this post. I always come to your site to read the seo and backlinks related articles. But, today i saw this article and got a huge in depth knowledge about how to increase youtube subscribers. This is such a great article. I am sure this article will give a guide to new youtubers to gain subscribers.
    Finally, this is a great work by you. Keep it up !!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  39. Farhan Sheikh Avatar Farhan Sheikhsays:

    Nice and helpful post as always Brian !

    By the by, i just saw one strategy you used to rank this post for “YouTube Subscribers” !

    Nice 😉

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  40. As always.. great content. You can add link/button/youtube logo at the beggining of the post because I scrolled like 3x searching for it. Want to subscribe but need CTA there 😛

    ps. nice stats at videos. Going to check them out in next few days 🙂

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Ariel

  41. Thanks so much for this major tip, “Heart notifications get 300% more clicks than average.” I had no idea. Will definitely use this gold nugget.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Awesome, Sherry!

  42. Timo Kiander Avatar Timo Kiandersays:

    Thank you Brian, very thorough as always 🙂

    If you had to pick the top-3 strategies in this list that bring the biggest results, what would they be?


    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Timo. It’s hard to say because it really depends on the channel.

  43. Youtube is certainly a very strong platform to promote a product. Do other video platforms are somewhat effective? Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Kirti, YouTube is where it’s at. The only other place to check out are platforms that use video, like Facebook and LinkedIn.

  44. This is good. But… the most important is to optimize the title, description and tags so that you show up in suggested videos.

    That’s where 90% of my views come from.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Very true, David.

  45. Used the tactics for my new Youtube channel. Looking forward to the results. 🙂

    Greets from Germany!!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Awesome, Florian!

  46. Gavin Lane Avatar Gavin Lanesays:

    Thanks, Brian for sharing such wonderful information I will surely apply those tips on my youtube channel.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Gavin. Let me know how it goes.

  47. Hi, Brian
    Thanks For the information I really need this.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Jay

  48. Bo Faustino Avatar Bo Faustinosays:

    I’ve been devouring your great tips and information since I stumbled on your website. I’m a noob at this point and haven’t started my YT channel yet since I’m still at works with my site. But I will keep a tab of this for future reference. Keep it up!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Bo!

  49. Hi, Brian! I am pleased to subscribe to you. Although I am from Russia, I do not know English, I will read your articles with Google translator. Looking forward to your new posts. You are the best! Thanks you.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Sergei.

  50. Very good points in this post. Awesome. Bookmarking it.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  51. Thank you, this is incredibly useful! I’ve had a YouTube channel for years, which had exactly zero videos on it until about a month ago. I’m finally dragging myself into video while stopping myself from kicking and screaming. My plan is to try #3 (the end screen) first. I’m terrible at promotion, sigh. But I’ll get better, with the help of posts like this. Thanks again!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Dawne. Best of luck with the new videos!

  52. Alberto Cabas Vidani Avatar Alberto Cabas Vidanisays:

    Great tips, awesomely explained!
    I scrolled your Facebook page to find some social preview examples. I couldn’t find any.
    Did you stop doing it?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Alberto! I still do it but more often on LinkedIn these days.

  53. Dorigo Avatar Dorigosays:

    Branding Watermark = Subscribe Button
    I like this.^^

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  54. Awesome post brian!
    You really helped me to understand youtube. Actually i have started youtube channel my institute long back ago. But as newbie i was directionless. so i have uploaded few videos but didnt getting views or subcribers. so i was kind of demotivated. and lost track. and completely negelcted youtube channel. But after your post i am getting some motivation to work once again on my yutube channel

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You can do it!

  55. Hey Brian, Once again another great detailed post. Adding watermark is just love. A strong branding message throughout the video. I think everyone should consider watermarking all of their videos.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Joshn

  56. I like the concept of ‘Power Playlists’. Not only it gives a solid strategy but it also defines the creativity of the channel. Well researched article, again, Brian took the Internet.

  57. sayad Avatar sayadsays:

    Hi, Brian
    thank you for sharing information.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Sayad

  58. Thank Dean!

    This is incredibly useful! I wanna share scary thing that i had faced. I’ve had a YouTube channel for almost two without any single video. But i got 17 subscribers and they try to contact me.

    However, i am already using some methods that you wrote. Yes. I am totally agree with you. My subscribers are going to big amount. I am trying to focus on quality.

    I am sorry i can’t understand about the no of #15. That is “End Videos With a Strong CTA”. If possible to make a video details about it.

    AND really enjoy your bonus one “Social Media Preview”. Very effective to increase new traffic.

    Thank you so much for making this. Now my site is going to more traffics. All credit goes to you man. Everything about SEO that i know now from you. So i wanna give you a big THANK YOU Dean. You are awesome!

  59. Awesome content Brian! Recently increased the number of subscribers by 1.5X in just last 2 weeks by implementing the stuff that you shared.

    Thanks a lot.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  60. Hello Brian, thanks for sharing your experience with us, i have recently launched my youtube channel & thanks to you i know what to do now.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome. Happy to help

  61. Hola Brian,
    Thanks for publishing only quality and smart content.

    I have made several changes thanks to the ideas you shared here. I need to read this post 3x to apply all of them, but I can see how things will get better from this point for my Blog and other projects.

    All the best from Dubrovnik,
    Jose Ricaurte Jaen

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Jose

  62. Hey Brian, quick branding question. Why did you choose to go with your name instead of “Backlinko” for your YouTube channel?

    Just curious as to your thought on when you should use your name vs a brand.

  63. Hi Brian
    I was surprised to see that longer videos work well. I was in the assumption that short videos work well.
    Thanks for proving this with study.

  64. Frank Avatar Franksays:

    I’m confused about the End Screen video option, because in your end screen, it shows your video continuing to play in a left-sided box. I tried doing this as well, but any video box I add remains static and simply opens a new link to the video instead. I’ve seen others have something similar where they have an “outro” that continues to play in a box while other elements are static (like a subscribe button, brand logos, etc). Appreciate any insight on this!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Frank, that might be from one of my old videos that used annotations.

  65. Absolutely brilliant content! Very helpful for YouTubers like us.

  66. Brian, thank you so much for this awesome list!

    Will try today the one about the native video on social media. I’ve seen with my own eyes how my youtube videos are buried on the linkedin feed… Because the platform doesn’t want to send people away.

    Genius solution!

  67. The information you provided is really helpful in getting more subscribers. Though I have already done 50% of those on my YouTube channel, I think would streamline those and implement the other tips as well. Thanks for such helpful info.

  68. Read everything at 2am and it was worth it! I JUST BOOKMARKED THIS PAGE. Will definitely come back to this again — trying to grow my family vlog. Got any other videos in relation to it?

  69. Wow, I implemented five of your suggestions before I even finished the article. It taught me a lot. Wish I knew this 9 years ago, I would have had a lot more subscribers. Thanks for the hard work, it helped me a lot.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Happy to help, Scott.

  70. Kevin Cheng Avatar Kevin Chengsays:

    Hi, Brian – I just discovered your YouTube videos a short while ago and binge-watched like 10 of them in a row! You’re right in how you describe – the tips you give ARE insanely actionable, and things I didn’t know before. Needless to say, I subscribed. In this above post, your tip on “quality over quantity” is a pleasant surprise to me. Everyone (besides you) say “consistency is really key”, “at least one video a week, preferably 2”. By my nature I want to make quality videos, but thought sometimes I might need to compromise quality to just get the videos published. So really nice to hear you say this. Thanks for these awesome tips!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Kevin, no problem. And the quality over quantity approach is very underrated!

  71. Erlin Avatar Erlinsays:

    I just found your youtube channel 2 months ago, through one of your videos about “youtube suggested video”.
    After watching your video, i stopped looking for videos or articles about “Youtube SEO” from other sources.
    You are the best.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


  72. Rebecca Avatar Rebeccasays:

    Thank you for this amazing post. I’m curious if you think these tips work for musicians? I’m a singer songwriter and wonder if these strategies work more for “how to do x” etc brands. Im struggling to see how I can serve my followers and market myself. Thank you so much for your help x

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Rebecca, you’re welcome. Some do help and others don’t 100% apply to music channels.

  73. A complete YouTube Marketing guide. If someone is planning to take a YouTube Marketing course then I’d say just read this post, learn from it and apply. Thank you so much for giving lots of efforts towards making such an amazing post. I can’t believe it’s free for all. 😉

    Thanks again!

  74. Yessie Avatar Yessiesays:

    Great post! So helpful! Will be using these tips! Btw what do you use to edit your videos?

  75. Kerry Avatar Kerrysays:

    Hey, thanks for the awesome tips! I’m just getting started so there’s SO much to learn! However, I am having trouble adding the subscribe button to my Art…I have no idea what my user name is or where to find it…I have tried everything I know…any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!

  76. Thanks Brian for these tips. I’m planning on using The “Social Media Preview” for LinkedIn and Facebook. I would love for you to one day create a blog post or video over your content research process and everything you do before you post your content.

  77. Great Article as always, do you think that is still worth to start YouTube channel for Digital Marketing stuff?

  78. I really enjoy all the content you put out. It always has actionable steps to take. I’m at the point right now where I’m getting pretty good traction on my youtube site but the subscribers just aren’t really coming in 🙁 I’m going to implement some of these tips that I haven’t done yet to see if I see a boost. Thanks again for the tips!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Cynthia, sounds good. Let me know how it goes.

  79. Wenny Avatar Wennysays:

    Hi great information.
    Im helping my child start a yt channel, I was always under the impression that kids videos needs to be short ( kids concentration time) , my question to you is. Do I do short under 10 minutes or a bit longer ?

  80. Thank you SO much for the amazing information. You are definitely leading by example! Your super relevant content has made me subscribe to your Youtube channel and look you up on Google when I want information on SEO. I think you have become an authority in this niche. I’m super grateful knowing how much time you are saving me here. Keep it up, my friend!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Gabriela, you’re welcome. I work super hard on my content so it’s always good to hear that I’m helping people.

  81. I just started doing Vlog out of fun actually and then I realized what’s the point having a Vlog if none is watching. I’m a blogger my self earlier and Vlog is pretty much new thing.

    Always asking my self on how to attract viewer from my Facebook friends and your explanation that Social Media doesn’t like their user to run away make sense. Definitely will make use a short clip trick. Thanks.

  82. Kevin Avatar Kevinsays:

    All I did was focus on creating quality content and post 2 videos a week on video editing and 3D software.

    The result:
    It took exactly one year to get 1,400 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours. A slow process, but I honestly don’t have time to read and respond to every comment. I make the videos and that’s it.

  83. Chris Avatar Chrissays:

    Grate article. Ill be implementing all of this advice to my channel. Can ask what you mean by “power playlist”

    1. Yeet Avatar Yeetsays:

      Pls reply so I know ur not making this up

  84. By looking at the comments here, I’m happy to see a man leading by a example while a lot of them are just talkers.

  85. Hi Brian,

    This article is very useful to me. I did not even realize I could organize my channel until I saw that part in your article. Then, in hindsight, I realized that I’ve seen so many channels with their videos neatly organized in categories. So that’s how they do it! I started trying some stuff with my own page immediately, it looks really cool when you tweak it!

    Next, I’m very excited to try the subscribe button as the branding watermark and I will definitely work on my channel art and tagline.

    I also wanted to thank you about the ‘subscriber magnet’ videos, because I did not know you could even see that info about which videos generates the most subs in Analytics.

    Thank you so much!

  86. Awesome work Brian, Thank you, Thank you so much!

  87. Hi Brian, so much to do! In 9 months I have 24 subscribers despite pouring heart and soul into the content of my videos.

    Question: I record most of my videos sitting in front of my MAC. I either show my upper body, or do screen recordings of presentations I am discussing. Is it better to stand up? How do you do that without spending $$$ on professional recording equipment?

  88. Awesome article Brian! If you’re putting out great content – something as simple as reminding people to ‘mash the subscribe button’ at the end of your videos can go a long way towards building your number of subscribers.

  89. Awesome content, thank you for sharing. I have gone from 6-60 in 4 weeks and am aiming for 100 by the end of this year. My main focus in 2020 is YouTube. I have added the subscribe button to my videos now, and removed my logo watermark. Commented on the few comments I have and going to look at doing the snippets of videos to share across social media too.
    One question, I don’t know if you can answer. I was looking at my analytics and it showed 89% of my traffic came from Reddit. How do I find out exactly what people are searching for to find me?
    Thanks again!

  90. If you’ve decided to create a YouTube channel and you don’t have content yet, should you create content, build out your page, and then launch? Or publish, and build as you create content?

    If goal is maximum reach.

  91. Gilmarie De Jesus Avatar Gilmarie De Jesussays:

    Wow! I literally appreciate all of this! This is going to help me so much with my art channel! I am super new to all of this and its a little overwhelming trying to learn it all. So far I’ve been keeping it super super simple, but not really getting many subscribers (like I thought I would)…Implementing some of these Ideas would definitely give me a much needed upgrade! Thank you Brian!

  92. Allen Doerksen Avatar Allen Doerksensays:

    Hey. My wife and I are just starting our channel. This was a really interesting and cool read. Thank you!

  93. Great tips but I’m confused. You said quality over quantity but yet you said 28 total videos. That’s 1 video a day depending on the month. That seems like alot. Am I missing something?

  94. Great and very informative article. In fact I read it 3 times to really assimilate all the amazing tips. I’m a data geek and started a new YouTube Channel (Puppy Data) last month. I’m already seeing a steady growth because I implemented some of the tips shared here. I’ll implement all of your advise but I know it will take lots of time. Please keep sharing more of these posts. Thank you brother.

  95. Awesome tips Brian. I’m actually going through an implementing all of them! I’ve so far added the watermark subscribe button, playlists, and the subscribe links.
    Some of the steps could do with a few extra steps on how to get there. For e.g. the last one, just quickly say what to click to get to that subscribe link screen.
    Thanks very much for the article

  96. Also I think it would be easier to comment if this comment box was at the top of the comments. I had to scroll all the way down.

  97. Hi Brian,

    Do you think all of your tips also apply to a very niche youtube channel? We’re running weekly D&D Games and videos to help game masters improve but are having a hard time reaching out to pull people in. We can’t make videos much shorter than an hour per game video otherwise not much happens.

    It’s in french and also is not very mainstream, is there any other specific strategies you would recommend in that scenario? We’ll try to apply your teachings in the meantime and hope this helps us get higher watch times and visibility.


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