As you probably know, YouTube is owned by Google. Which means that they’ve got a lot of tools at their disposal to check that their system isn’t being gamed.
So the short answer to the question of how to increase YouTube views is “naturally”. Don’t pay for views (unless you’re using YouTube’s own options, that’s different of course) and don’t send lots of junk traffic either. Even if they don’t notice short term, they are likely to eventually and then your channel is at risk of getting penalised or even removed. It’s not worth the risk.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot of things to stack the odds of getting more video views in your favour.
Target the low hanging fruit
And although the YouTube search suggestions aren’t as comprehensive as the ones in Google, I personally prefer to select my keyword phrases in Google and then use them for the video title. My logic for that is that it’s near enough the same people using both searches, just with slightly different intentions.
There’s also the added chance that I’ll show up in the Google search results and since YouTube measure the number of people coming from outside YouTube, that’s a good thing. You can see your own stats in the Analytics section along with other things they measure.
Keep your videos engaging
Not everyone will watch your entire videos. Sorry.
But the longer they watch, the better.
This is another metric that YouTube will tell you for your channel and the more of a video people watch – and the longer they spend watching – the better.
Which means your videos need to capture people’s attention and hold it.
You can do that in a number of ways – with the images you use in your videos as well as the audio content.
Take the time to check out a few of your competitors to see what you’re up against.
Make the thumbnail enticing
Whilst YouTube will offer several alternative thumbnail pictures, I prefer to upload my own.
My “house” style is a dark background with lighter colour text featuring the title of the video.
Other people use pictures and other option.
Again, check your competition.
Notice what stands out in the search results – would you click on any particular video more than another? If so, that’s probably the thumbnail style to emulate.
Remember that lots of people watch videos on their phone which has a lot smaller screen size than the computer you’re likely using to create your thumbnail. Make sure that it’s readable on a small screen.
Also remember that your thumbnail will show in the suggested videos next to the one that’s playing. And, if people aren’t using auto-play, in the screen that shows when the current video ends. YouTube keep track of the number of times your video is chosen and will adjust the results accordingly.
This is something I’m not as good at as I should be.
But it’s worth encouraging people to subscribe to your channel.
Not just for the ego boost of “look how many subscribers I’ve got” but also because they’ll get reminded by YouTube to go back to your channel.
Get on playlists
You can create your own playlists – lists of related videos that have been collated and play one after the other, regardless of whether or not auto-play has been selected.
If you’ve ever played a “full album” on YouTube, there’s a good chance it was a playlist.
Playlists can be made from your own or other people’s videos or a mix. Some people suggest piggy-backing on popular videos by putting them as the first on a playlist and then adding your video soon after. If it’s logical to do that, it could be worth trying but don’t just choose a popular video that has nothing to do with your topic – that will hurt your other metrics as people click away soon after your video starts.
Something else I’m not as good at doing as I should be.
Tags help YouTube to understand what the video is about and who it’s aimed at.
Keep the tags relevant – their computer algorithm will know when you’re trying to fool it – and make the first tag the keyword you’re trying to rank for.
It’s generally thought that around half a dozen tags is a good number to use.
Use this free cheat sheet
If you’d like more ideas with getting traffic from YouTube, download this free cheat sheet that has 18 ethical different ideas for getting traffic from YouTube.
It’s a handy reminder of all the things that will help you get more traffic from YouTube.
And if you want to create professional videos without spending a small fortune, I use this system. It’s got a free trial so you can check it out with no obligation – that’s how I started using it.