Techniques to Double Your CTR and Boost Views
What is CTR and How It Can Be Helpful?
CTR, or impressions click-through rate, is how often users click a thumbnail to watch a video on their YouTube listing. In other words, CTR shows how interested users are in what they see. Understanding how often your video thumbnails are shown on YouTube and how many of those impressions turn into views and watch time can help you make necessary changes in how your content is represented to your potential audiences. Cause nobody wants to look dull, right? Especially to viewers or in platform algorithms.
YouTube statistics show that the average CTR is 8%. Multi-million dollar channels with millions of views have a 4–5% CTR, and smaller channels with 100,000–300,000 viewers have an 8–10% CTR.
Increasing your CTR is a complex process that includes several steps, but embarking on this journey is pretty exciting and the outcome is gratifying.
How YouTube Algorithms Work
Creators worldwide have spent an enormous amount of time in endless efforts to understand how the platform algorithms work and how to make them like their content. So, how do they work, really?
RankBrain is a machine learning-based search engine algorithm that helps to process search queries and provide more relevant results based on users’ interests. It both understands search queries and user satisfaction based on how users interact with search results. In other words, RankBrain helps Google recognize and match search queries that the search engine has not previously encountered.
Algorithms measure user satisfaction based on:
- Watch Time — how long and how actively the video is watched.
- The average number of videos watched on the channel, including whether viewers decided to follow up with one or more videos.
- Engagements — how viewers interact with a video.
How to Optimize for Increased Metrics
How can you make machine intelligence work for you and satisfy viewers at the same time? Four basic things impact CTR and views: a thumbnail, a video title, a video description, and tags.
A Great Thumbnail and What Really Matters
- Using a bright and high-quality design with faces and objects close-up is the best option. People are naturally drawn to bright and shiny things so a thumbnail has to really stand out on a white YouTube background.
- Convey the subject of the video. Users get frustrated when they click on a thumbnail to watch a video and find irrelevant content. It might seem that it will build an audience, but the latest platform data flat out says that it won’t. Creators have to make sure that their thumbnail and title meet viewers’ expectations.
- Make sure that the thumbnail design and the title are optimized for all devices.
- And don’t forget about the power of words: include a strong text that interacts with the thumbnail design and conveys the content subject.
The Elements Of A Winning Title
It’s easy to think that all you need is a bright and appealing thumbnail. But the title is what can really get viewers interested and generate views so it should be eye-catching and intriguing.
- Keywords are critical. Use keywords but don’t overdo it. Using too many of them might get the channel into trouble, according to YouTube policies. A reasonable number of keywords, though, will help you get to the top.
- Use capital letters, numbers, and emojis to get users’ attention.
- Keep it short. Short and catchy titles are the most effective.
- Avoid Clickbait titles. Steer clear of flashy, over-promising titles that, in reality, don’t deliver what they promise. They keep people intrigued but eventually lead to disappointment. This is a tactic you want to avoid in building your channel’s reputation.
- If you create serial content, include an episode title and episode number.
- If you suddenly realize that some of the title elements are amiss or not effective enough, you can always change the title.
Writing a High-Ranking Video Description
A video description is a powerful tool in helping an audience understand the content and should provide comprehensive info about a video. Your video description and tags directly impact search results based on users’ interests. The most relevant video description will effectively reach your target audience and respectively boost views.
Google stores information based on search interests. YouTube algorithms select interest-related videos based on the following info and metadata — video title, description, and tags — and then associate interests based on the type of audience and how well they interact with a video. With all this in mind, strong video descriptions are really worth your effort and time.
- Write a short description with a maximum of 200–300 words to avoid boring viewers. In the end, users are there to watch and not to engage in long reading sessions.
- Include keywords as they help viewers find your videos more easily through search. Make sure the first 200–300 symbols of the description contain keywords. But don’t overdo it, viewers should be able to enjoy your description.
- Provide timestamps. In this way, you can direct users to the most relevant segment in your video. This is very effective as YouTube credits a click on a timestamp as a view. You first receive a click when a person clicks to watch a video and another one when they click on a timestamp. So, it’s a win-win — it’s a great way to both allow your audience to save time and for you to receive additional views.
- Add shortened links to subscribe and playlists with main chapters.
- Include a call-to-action with links you share to inspire your audience to click.
- Add hashtags to make your videos more discoverable on the platform.
What are YouTube Tags For and Why are They Important?
YouTube tags provide more information about a video and help viewers find your content. However, according to YouTube, tags play a minimal role in your video’s discovery. In reality, your thumbnail, title, and video description play a major part in viewers’ decision to watch. Still, tags are an important element in your videos’ reach that you can use to improve your content discovery. Plus, they’re especially helpful if the content of your video is commonly misspelled.
Useful Tips When Adding Tags
- Your tags should match your video topic. Inappropriately used tags will provide false information about your content and confuse both users and platform algorithms.
- There are specific and generic tags. Specific tags provide accurate information on your video topics and generic ones share the context of your content. Include both and place tags from the most descriptive to general.
- Add a channel name tag and category name.
- Provide tags in other languages if necessary.
- Maintain balance. Adding excessive tags is against YouTube policies and can potentially harm your content reputation on the platform. So, keep it reasonable.
We know, there’s so much to take in! Based on our experience of working with creators, we realize that creating content is a highly demanding and energy-consuming process. To save time on video optimization, minimize stress, and promote views, we at AIR Creators Ecosystem provide free access to VidIQ Boost to all our partners. Do you feel overwhelmed with all the details and don’t know where to start? Contact us at Facebook or Discord and we will answer any questions you might have and help make your content journey carefree and help you thrive.
How to Track Metrics
You can analyze the efficiency of your efforts by looking at the video analytics in your YouTube Studio account. This graph provides information on how viewers interact with your videos.
Tracking your channel metrics will help you understand your video’s performance and efficiency so you can plan your strategy accordingly.
- First-Touch Impressions: the number of times that the platform has shown your video to users.
- Click-through rate: the number of people who clicked on a thumbnail to watch a video.
- Views from impressions.
- Average viewing time: how long viewers spent watching one of the videos.
- Watch time, a vital metric for your channel analytics. YouTube algorithms prioritize videos with lots of accumulated watch time. To improve watch time, creators should work on every specific metric mentioned above.
Track Your Metrics for Necessary Changes
Analyzing all channel changes is essential for growing on the platform. And one final suggestion: track views on recently published videos. If the video gets few views, change your thumbnail and/or video title. Experimenting and trying new approaches to your content is the best way to learn what works and what doesn’t.
Keep At It
Now you know all the vital steps you need to tame the RankBrain beast and attract new viewers.
But it’s easier said than done, right? The truth is there’s no such thing as a recipe that will work for everyone. You’ve probably spent tons of hours scrolling through hundreds of channels looking for patterns. Our advice is to keep at it. Learn from the success of fellow creators and pay special attention to rising stars, as opposed to big channels which are a whole different story since they can afford to skip some steps that are vital for growing authors.
One final piece of advice: Connect to those who have a proven history of helping YouTubers reach billions of views. The AIR Creators Ecosystem team is happy to embark on this journey with you!