Today, I'm going to show you exactly how to get more views on your videos fast. The secret, a new strategy called the sequel technique. I recently used the sequel technique to get 25,339 views on one of my YouTube videos in about two weeks. One of my subscribers also used this strategy on one of his videos, and that video now has over a million views.
And in this video, I'm going to walk you through the entire process, step by step. Last year, I saw something that blew my mind. I was looking at where most of my YouTube views came from. And even though I rank in the top three on YouTube for popular keywords like video SEO, keyword research, and SEO tutorial, I notice that most of my views didn't come from YouTube search.
They came from the suggested video, pow, mind blown. In my case, 25% of my views came from search, but 41% came from the suggested video. Now as a quick recap, the suggested video is a section on the right-hand side of every video on YouTube, or underneath the video, if you're on a mobile device. And if you can get your video to appear as a suggested video, you can get thousands or even millions of views.
Strategy 1: Sequel Technique
And the best way to do that is the sequel technique. When I used the sequel technique, this video for my channel racked up over 25,000 views in less than three weeks. And even though my video is a few months old now, views continue to roll in like clockwork. And it's all thanks to the sequel technique.
In fact, 66% of the views on that video have come from the suggested video. With that, it's time for me to show you the entire step by step process. Starting with step number one, find a popular video in your niche. Your first step is to find a video in your industry with lots of views: why?
Remember, the goal of the sequel technique is to show up as a suggested video. And when you get your video to appear next to a popular video, lots of people will click over and watch your video. The question is, how do you find a popular video in your niche? Here are two simple strategies that work great.
First, use the YouTube search. All you need to do is search for a keyword that describes the video you want to make. Then, keep an eye out for a video in the search results that already has lots of views. For example, when I searched to improve Google rankings, I noticed that this video had over 200,000 views.
You could also look at your competitor's most popular videos. Then, sort by most popular. And just like that, you get a list of their top-performing videos. For example, remember Jeff Rose, that guy I mentioned earlier? As you might remember, Jeff used the sequel technique to get over a million views on one of his videos.
Well, when Jeff looked at his competitor's most popular videos, he found this one. So, he went with that video for step number one. Next, it's time for step number two, create a bigger and better video, “the sequel.” So, now that you've found a popular video, it's time to create something bigger and better. Why is this important?
Well, awhile back, YouTube published a little known research paper called Deep Neural Networks for YouTube Recommendations. And this paper outlined how the suggested video probably works. As it turns out, YouTube focuses on something called expected watch time. The expected watch time is simple.
It's YouTube's best guess of how much time someone will spend watching your video after they click on it. And needless to say, YouTube promotes videos that keep people on YouTube. So, the higher your expected watch time, the better.
For example, let's say you just published a video about cold brew coffee, let's call it video A. And YouTube starts to show your video in the suggested video sidebar. Well, when people click over to your video, they only watch it for 30 seconds, on average. YouTube knows that when someone clicks over to your video as a suggested video, it's only going to result in 30 seconds of watch time.
So, that video has expected a watch time of 30 seconds. Now, let's see you create another video about cold brew coffee, video B. This time, people watch two minutes of your video, on average. That video has expected watch time of two minutes, four times more than video A. And because video B has a higher expected watch time, YouTube's going to promote it in the suggested video sidebar like crazy.
Show Suggested Videos:
So, as you can see, to show up as a suggested video, your video needs to keep people watching. And to keep people watching, your video needs to be awesome. That's where this step, creating the sequel, comes into play. With your sequel, you take the video that you found in step number one and make it better.
In other words, you want your sequel to be more like Empire Strikes Back, and less like Episode I. Here's exactly how to do it. First, create an awesome video intro. Why is this so important? Well, YouTube's data shows that the first 15 seconds of your video is huge. In fact, YouTube says that if you lose someone's interest in the first 15 seconds, they're going to click away and watch something else.
Boring, next. But if you grab their attention in this 15-second window, they'll stick around. The question, how do you create an awesome video intro? An intro that's even better than the video you found in step one. I'll explain with an example. Again, here's the video that I found in the first step from this process.
This intro is pretty good, but I knew that I could do a little bit better. So, for my sequel, I started my video off with something that would grab people's attention. Specifically, I let people know that I was going to show them how to increase their Google rankings fast. I also showed people real-life proof that my approach works. And because my intro grabs people's attention, they keep watching.
Create Long Videos:
Next, create a longer video. Last year, I analyzed over a million YouTube videos to understand how YouTube's search engine worked. And we found that long videos crush short videos. Even though of study focused on YouTube's search, the message is clear. YouTube promotes videos that keep people on YouTube, and longer videos do that best.
Plus, longer videos tend to have a higher expected watch time. For example, let's say that your video is three minutes long. Well, even if people watch 100% of your video, which will never happen, your expected watch time will be, at most, three minutes. But let's say that your video is 10 minutes. Even if people only watch half of your video, your expected watch time is going to be five minutes.
In my case, my competitor's video was 10 minutes, 48 seconds long. So, I created a video that was a little bit longer at 12 minutes, nine seconds. Finally, it's time to add pattern interrupts to your video. Pattern interrupts are super powerful. I found that pattern interrupts can dramatically increase your videos, audience retention, and watch time.
So, what are pattern interrupts? Pattern interrupts are something that you add to your video to change things up. A pattern interrupt can be a visual, a camera angle change, a joke, music, basically anything that's different than the rest of your video. For example, the video I found in the first step didn't use a lot of patterns interrupts.
It was pretty much a static screen recording. So, for my sequel, I used dozens of pattern interrupts. I added visuals, I changed the camera angle, I told stories, I even added a handful of little funny things. Well, at least they were funny to me.
Jeff Rose Case Study:
How about another example? Jeff Rose implemented all three of the tactics from this step for his sequel video. Jeff's intro grabbed people's attention. His video was almost 18 minutes long. And he used a ton of different pattern interrupts. With that, let's move onto step number three; optimize your video. Finally, it's time to optimize your video.
Now, usually, when you optimize a YouTube video, you optimize it for SEO. But with the sequel technique, you're not trying to rank in YouTube search. If you do, great, that's a bonus. But it's not the main goal. The main goal is to show up as a suggested video next to a popular video. For example, let's look at Jeff Rose's video again.
Like I mentioned earlier, Jeff's video has over a million views. But when you search for the keyword passive income on YouTube, his video doesn't even rank in the top three. The vast majority of Jeff's million-plus views came from the suggested video.
So, how you optimize your video for the suggested video? It's simple, copy your competitor's keywords. In fact, YouTube's Creator Academy says that when your video's metadata matches the video someone's watching, you're more likely to show up as a suggested video. With that, here's exactly how to optimize your video for the suggested video. First, say your keyword in your video; this is a big one.
You've probably noticed that YouTube can understand what you say in your video. It's not perfect, but in my experience, they understand about 90 to 95% of the words you say in a given video. And when YouTube hears your target keyword in your video, it helps them understand that your video is about that topic.
For example, I noticed that this video used the keyword to improve your Google rankings in the title and description. So, I made sure to say that exact phrase in my video. Next, you want to use that same keyword, or a variation of it, in your title. For example, you can see that my video title contains the keyword higher Google rankings, which is a variation of improving Google rankings.
Now that you've optimized your title, it's time to optimize your description. Specifically, you want to check out your competitor's description and use the same keywords they use. For example, I noticed that my competitor's description used the terms SEO, improve Google rankings, and search engine. So, I sprinkled those same keywords into my video description.
Finally, copy your competitor's tags. To do this, you'll need to look at your competitor's tags in the source code of the page or use a tool like TubeBuddy or video. Then, just use a few of these tags in your video. For example, I used as many tags as I could for my competitor's video in my video.
And because of my video's title description and tags matched this popular video so well, I consistently show up as a suggested video next to that video. YouTube even promotes my video as Up next, which means it automatically plays after people watch that video.
Now, before I end today's video, I have a quick bonus step for you. This is to increase your suggested video CTR. As you just saw, the suggested video is a powerful way to get more YouTube views. But what if there was a way to double, triple, or even quadruple the number of views that you get from a suggested video? Well, there is, and it's improving your CTR.
You might've heard of CTR before. If not, CTR stands for click-through rate. And it simply means, of all the people that see your video, how many actually click on it? And needless to say, the higher CTR, the more views you'll get. For example, let's say that your video shows up next to a popular video as a suggested video, and 5% of the people watching that popular video click over to your video.
That's great, but if you could increase your CTR to 10%, you'll double your views without needing to do anything else. With that, here's exactly how to do it. First, log out of YouTube or open an incognito window in Chrome. That way, your viewing history won't affect what you see. Next, visit the popular video you want to show up next to.
And take a look at the thumbnails in the suggested video sidebar. Finally, create a thumbnail that's different from those thumbnails. For example, I noticed that most of the suggested videos next to this video use the same colors, red, orange, and white. So, I made the main color of my thumbnail green.
That way, it really stands out. I also realized that most of the thumbnails didn't show anyone's face. Instead, they use mostly texts, screenshots, and visuals. Now, I knew that there were studies out there that found thumbnails with human faces get clicked on the most.
So, I made sure to include a shot of me from the video in my thumbnail. In the end, as you can see here, I have a thumbnail that really stands out. And because it stands out, it has a super high CTR. And thanks to that high CTR, my video gets thousands of extra views every single month, views that I wouldn't get if my thumbnail blended in. Okay, so that's it for the sequel technique.
And I hope this video helps show you how to get more views on YouTube. And if you learned some cool new stuff from today's video, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel right now. Just click on the subscribe button below this video also, if you want exclusive SEO techniques that I only share with subscribers, head over to Backlinko.com. And hop on the newsletter, it's free. Now, it's your turn.
Strategy No 2: Keyword Optimization
In this section, you're going to learn exactly how to get more views on your YouTube videos step-by-step in a proper way. I'm not going to repeat the same tips you've heard a hundred times already like share your videos on social media; instead, you're going to learn advanced strategies that work fast.
In fact, I use the same exact process from this video to quickly grow my views from almost zero to over a hundred thousand views per month. If you want to get lots of views on every video that you publish to make sure to read this blog until the end. Nothing is more frustrating than creating a great video putting it up on YouTube, and getting no views.
I can relate when I first started on YouTube, my video struggled to get any views, but I stuck with it, and over the years, I developed a process for getting views that actually worked. This step-by-step process helped me grow my views, subscribers, and traffic in record time. Now it's time for me to share this process with you and show you exactly how to get lots of views on your YouTube videos.
Step 1: Audience Interaction
Let's kick things off with step number one, get more audience interaction. Do you pay attention, how many people interact with your video according to YouTube? In fact, they say that videos are ranked based on a variety of factors, including how well the title description and video content match the viewer's query.
Beyond that, we look at which videos have driven the most engagement. In other words, YouTube promotes videos that people engage with. So, if you can get more likes, comments, and subscribes, YouTube will show your video to more people, and the data backs this up according to YouTube ranking factors.
According to a study I did last year, audience interaction signals turned out to be a huge YouTube ranking signal. In fact, we found that audience interaction signals such as comments, likes, and subscribes. All are correlated with higher rankings on YouTube.
So, how do you actually get more audience interaction signals, here are two strategies that work great?
First, give your viewers a multiple choice question at the end of your video, why people love giving their opinion, but they hate thinking. Instead of asking your viewers to share their thoughts, give them an easy multiple choice question, for example, I used to outline a bunch of different SEO strategies, and at the end of the video, I asked my viewers which of two specific strategies from the video, they're going to try.
Step No 2: Reply Comments
Second, reply to every single comment that you get; when someone sees that you actively engage with your audience, they're more likely to leave a comment, and more comments equal more views. According to YouTube, if your viewers love what they see and have positive interactions, they're more likely to share your videos and recommend them.
That means even more views, and for example, you can see that a reply to all of my comments in the first week after one of my videos goes live.
Promote Your Videos:
Promote your videos on Quora and other online community forums. Quora, Reddit, and other online communities are awesome places to get more views on your YouTube videos. Here's the exact process:
- First, search for a question that your video could help answer. For example, I published a video about link building, so I searched in Quora for keywords like SEO and link building, and it came across questions.
- Now, I knew that just link it to my video as an answer would be spammy, so I wrote out a helpful response that could stand on its own then I embedded my video at the end of my response in case people wanted to see more details that are all there it is.
Step No 3: Audience Retention
Now it's time for our third step for getting more views on YouTube optimized for session time, which is a little metric that might be YouTube's number one ranking factor right now. You probably heard about audience retention, which is the percentage of your video people watch.
You may have also read about the total watch time, which is the total amount of minute that people have spent watching your video over its lifespan. Both of these are important YouTube ranking factors. There's one huge metric that not as many people talk about session time.
Session time is the total amount of time that someone spends on YouTube after they start watching your video. For example, let's say that you just published the video about the Paleo diet, and someone watches your video all the way through. That's great; this will boost your audience retention and total watch time, but here's where things get interesting.
YouTube also pays very close attention to what the user does next if they click away from YouTube or close their browser, that's bad, but if that person watches another one of your videos that will increase your session watch time. Because your video is keeping people on YouTube, they'll thank you by ranking your video in the search results and have you show up in the suggested video sidebar.
YouTube has said on the record that algorithm for suggesting videos includes prioritizing videos that lead to a longer overall viewing session. The question is, how do you increase your session time playlists. Playlists are awesome whenever someone watches a video that's on a playlist, and it'll automatically play the other videos on that playlist, boosting your session time automatically.
For my testing, I've noticed that creating playlists has significantly increased my session time, which has dramatically boosted the views for all the videos on my channel. I recommend creating a few different playlists that each have four to five videos, then put these playlists on your channel page, and as a quick pro-tip, I recommend using benefit-rich playlist titles that way more people actually click on and watch your playlists.
For example, I used to name my playlists whatever came into my head, and that led to a boring playlist title like link building strategies and white hat SEO today. I give my playlist a compelling name that will encourage people to click, and if you check out my channel page, you'll notice that I now use playlist titles like how to get higher Google rankings an advanced SEO strategies and case studies.
Step No 4: Keyword Optimization
With that, let's get into step number four, which is to optimize your videos around video keywords. You might have noticed that YouTube videos are dominating Google search results. Over half of all Google results contain one video, most of which are YouTube videos. If you optimize your video around keywords that already have videos on the first page of Google, you can get more views.
I call keywords that have video results in Google video keywords. Not the most creative name, but it gets the job done. You see, many Google search results only link to web pages, but video keyword results reserved a section of the page specifically for YouTube videos, and these are the type of keywords that tend to be video keywords.
Why is this so important? Well. Let's say you wanted to create a video around the keyword YouTube marketing. When you searched for that keyword in Google, you don't see any video results well even if you create the best video about YouTube marketing ever made, and it's not going to rank in Google.
So, how do you find video keywords, it's easy just search for your keyword in Google, if you see at least one YouTube video in the search results, you just found a video keyword and give yourself a high five with that.
Step No 5: Optimize Channel Via PAS Method
It's time for step number five, optimizes your channel using the PAS method. When I first started on YouTube, I didn't put a lot of thought into optimizing my channel page. Instead, I focused a hundred percent on each video that I published.
I thought to myself, and my channel doesn't matter as long as my videos are optimized. I'm all set as it turns out I was wrong. The more I studied successful channels, and the more I realized that they put a lot of effort into optimizing their channel to maximize views and subscribers.
When I finally optimized my channel, my views, and subscribers significantly increased. For example, my old channel had an ugly header that cost me about five bucks. Even, my videos were listed in random order, and there wasn't any rhyme or reason for how my channel was set up or structured.
Today, my channel is professional and appealing, and it's also keyword-optimized four terms that my target audience searches for more on that. With that, it's time for me to show you how it optimized my channel using the PAS method. The PAS method stands for Playlists About Subscribers; first, we have playlists. We already talked about playlists and how they can help you improve your session watch time.
Now, you have some playlists set up, and it's time to add them prominently to your channel page. This way, when someone clicks over from one of your videos to your channel, you'll have a bunch of awesome playlists for them to watch.
For example, you can see that my channel has three playlists strategically placed on my channel page. Now, it's time to optimize your pages About section. So, why is your Channel's About section so important? First, your About section helps YouTube understand what your channel is all about, just like a video description and video tags.
So, it can help your video SEO and a well-optimized channel rank on YouTube for popular keywords. To optimize your, About section just include keywords that you want, your videos to rank for without keyword stuffing. For example, you can see that my About section content sounds nice and natural.
But, it also makes sure to sprinkle in keywords that I want my videos to rank for. Finally, it's time to optimize your channel to get more subscribers. Imagine that you just watched a great video but when you go to that videos channel page, how likely would you be to watch more of their videos or subscribe to their channel.
On the other hand, let's say their channel looks like this, you'd be much more likely to subscribe. Of course, this channel is about Star Wars, which makes it automatically awesome. Fortunately, it's not hard to create a nice-looking channel. All you need is a channel icon, a professional channel or banner, and a trailer that briefly tells people why they should subscribe to your channel.
Step No 6: Promote Your Higher Intention Videos
Let's dive right in to step number 6 promote your higher attention videos as a card. Sometimes, you have a video on your channel that has the potential to be huge, and it just needs a little push. Here's how to give it that little push.
- First, log in to your YouTube analytics and click on audience retention.
- Look at the average of your duration column.
If you can get more views on a video that has a high view duration, then that video will rack up lots and lots of watch time, which means YouTube will promote the heck out of it. The best way to send more people to that featured video, make that video a card on one of your other videos. To do that, just head over to a few of your most popular videos and add a card that links to the video you want to promote.
For example, this video from my channel has an average view duration of 5 minutes 22 seconds. I haven't done much to promote this video, and that's probably why it doesn't have that many views. So, I added a card from some of my most popular videos to that video.
This way, my video will rack up a total watch time and get promoted across YouTube's platform. As a pro tip, you can also feature the same video on your channel page; just set that video to appear at the top of your channel page.
Step No 7: Facebook Preview
let's move right along to step 7 so Facebook preview. This is a little hack that I recently discovered, and it works great. So, you already know that you should promote your video on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. But, if you just link to your video in your post, you're making a big mistake.
Instead, I recommend using the Facebook preview. Let me show you how this works with a real-life case study. So, I wanted to get more views on this YouTube video that I published on my channel. The first thing I did was grab a clip of my video and uploaded it to Facebook.
This clip should be between 30 and 90 seconds, and then I wrote a post that contained the title of the video, you don't need anything fancy here or to sell your video that much. Short and sweet works best. This way, the focus is on your video, I also mentioned that the full length of the video is in the comments, and I left a comment that linked to my video on YouTube.
This strategy worked out great, my Facebook preview video was viewed more than three thousand times, and lots of those people went to YouTube to see my full video, which led to a huge spike in views on day one. That's all there is to the Facebook preview.
Step No 8: Optimize Videos For SVO
Let's move right into step number eight, optimize your videos for SVO, and get more views. It's crazy, everyone focuses one hundred percent on ranking their videos in YouTube search, and they sleep on suggestive video. This is a very bad idea; the vast majority of views on YouTube don't come from YouTube search, they come from the suggested video sidebar.
Even though I rank for lots of competitive keywords, I get more views from suggestive videos than YouTube search. With that said, how do you get your videos to appear as a suggestive video? The secret is to optimize your video or on the same keywords that popular videos are optimized around.
I call this process SVO (suggested video optimization), here's exactly how it works. First, find a popular video in your industry. Now, the exact number of views that you want to look for will depend on your niche. Next, create a video on the same topic as the popular video but make it even better.
You can make a video better by including more content, making your advice more actionable, or including more visual elements. Finally, optimize your video or on the same keyword that the popular video is optimized around. Specifically, you want to use the same keywords that video uses in your video title, description, and tags.
If your video is awesome enough, YouTube will pop your video next to that popular video leading to lots and lots of views.
Step No 9: Create Emotionally Compelling Titles
Now it's time for our last step to help you get youtube views, create emotionally compelling titles. It's no secret that the right thumbnail can get more clicks on your video, which will lead to more views. But I don't see, and many people talk about your video title. The truth is, your video title can make or break your entire video.
YouTube states that according to their internal data, well-written titles can be the difference between someone watching and sharing your video or scrolling right past it. That's why I make sure all of my video titles are optimized for SEO but also generate clicks from lots and lots of testing.
I found that emotionally compelling titles work best on YouTube; now, emotional titles have been shown in industry studies. The best way to add emotion to your video title is to pop your title into the American marketing institute's headline analyzer, and this tool will rate the emotion of your title.
You want your title to get a score of at least 25%, but in general, the higher, the better. Now, if your title isn't racking up a high score, consider adding these emotionally compelling terms to your title, for example, when I put this video's title into the tool, it gets a score of 33.3% that's more than good enough.
Let's cut things off with a quick bonus tip, publish your videos at the right time. What's the best time to publish a video on YouTube? Believe it or not but there's data on this specifically a study by a YouTube network called Frederator; recently, shed some light on this question, and they found the best time to publish a YouTube video to maximize views is between 12:00 and 4:00 pm.
Eastern during the week and between 9:00 and 11:00 am, on the weekend, they also found that the best days to publish are Thursdays and Saturdays. So, that's my 9 step process to help you get more views on YouTube. Did you learn some cool new stuff in today's post? Make sure to comment on your views in the comment section below.