Want to drive traffic to your YouTube video? We go through the best ways to seed your videos on YouTube, and the very best source may surprise you.
So the first traffic source to consider is notifications from YouTube, and this can be in form of mobile notifications and emails. These are sent by YouTube to your subscribers; of course if you don’t have any subscribers yet this isn’t going to apply to you, but notifications help with increasing your initial view velocity which is a really important metric YouTube uses to determine the quality of your video. Now unless you’re a super popular channel like Casey Neistat or Pewdiepie, chances are only 10-15% of your subscriber base are going to see your video straight away, so initially, at least this will likely be a small traffic source.
Organic search can be a great source of traffic to your video, and despite popular myths, the size of your channel doesn’t necessarily determine the ability to rank your videos for your chosen keywords. So if your channel is new and small, you can still get organic traffic with the right strategy and SEO tactics. In fact, you may be surprised how well you can get videos to rank when you know what you’re doing.
My personal YouTube channel is quite small, but it gets quite a lot of traffic. And on average around 30-40% of that traffic comes from organic searches.
Next is seeding, and this is essentially sharing your videos on different websites and social media platforms. Now don’t just expect to link to your video on Twitter and expect it to drive huge amounts of traffic; unless you have a large and loyal following this is unlikely to be successful. There is an optimal time, place and way of sharing your content across different platforms in order to maximise the amount of traffic to your video. Sharing your content in the right way can generate a lot of traffic when you have the right strategy.
Now before we get into the two biggest sources of traffic, I need to talk about paid advertising. Using Adwords you can pay for video views on YouTube, and this can be very cost effective compared to traditional PPC. Instead of paying several pounds per click to get a user to your website, you can pay as little as 1 penny per view of your video. This is extremely powerful if you video really engages the user. Now be warned, if you’re not experienced in this you can still spend a lot of money for very little return and ruin your average view duration metrics.
As with all your videos, you need to make sure the video you want to promote is right for paid advertising, and ideally you will have measurable returns for doing this.
So now we’re onto the big sources of traffic, and this next one is Suggested Videos. This is where your video gets associated with similar videos, and is shown as a suggested video at the end of that video and in the sidebar. It can be a huge source of traffic, especially if the videos are more popular than yours and get a lot more traffic. Suggested video traffic accounted for 45% of my total channel traffic last month.
Becoming a suggested video isn’t easy but there are ways of improving the likelihood of being suggested. Once you know ways of doing this, lots of channels have grown exponentially by making content similar to other trending videos and driving huge volumes of traffic and subscribers from more established channels.
Now I’m going to talk about the biggest potential source of traffic to your YouTube videos, and it’s called Browse Features. You will know if your video has ever been included in browse features, because you will have seen a huge increase in traffic to your video. Browse features is when your video appears on the homepage of YouTube to an audience outside of your subscriber base.
When this happens, you can get hundreds or sometimes thousands of views per hour. The length of time that you remain in the Browse Features will depend upon how good your video is, and the watch time metrics that YouTube collects to determine the quality of your video. In most cases this will appear as a sharp sudden spike in traffic that ends after a day or two. What you do next to capitalise on this is really important; the right follow up actions can help launch you channel to the next level.
So this is just an overview of some of the best traffic sources for your YouTube videos. Now I could talk about each of these in much more detail, so if you want to know more let me know in the comments below.