In my last post I wrote about the 3 main pillars of YouTube SEO, which are Watch Time, Google's YouTube algorithm and Tags.  Out of those 3, Watch Time is the most important when getting your videos to appear at the top of search results.  In this post I will give you 5 easy tips to help improve your Watch Time.

1. Thumbnails & Descriptions

Have you ever been scrolling through social media and have clicked on a video because of an interesting thumbnail image or an enticing description?  I'm guessing the answer is yes.

A good thumbnail should pique peoples interest and make them want to learn more.  A good place to start is to use one of the more visually striking shots from your video to capture peoples attention.  Depending on your skills in photoshop you could also take this further by blending multiple images together, adding text etc.

If you work with us then we will happily create a thumbnail for you.

Once you have a viewer's attention you need to close the deal by writing a killer description.  A good description should start telling a story so that the viewer has to see the video to know the ending.  Make sure you don't copy the video title as you are giving the same information twice.

Be creative.  Rather than 'Function Band name Promo' you can tell the story of how the band formed, what playing music means to you, what makes you special etc.  Just make sure that it makes the viewer want to click on the video.

2. Use An End Card

You have probably seen end cards before but not realised what they are called. An end card is the final shot of a video that displays other videos from your channel that the viewer can click on as seen above.

End cards are a great way to funnel your viewers on to more of your content and thus improve your Watch Time over more of your videos. It can also be used to promote older videos.

To make an end card you will obviously need previous content and it is something that needs to be made in a videos production, meaning you can't add one on later.

Producing end cards is a service we offer, get in touch to find out more.

3. Create Playlists

Playlists are a greatly underused YouTube SEO resource.  There's no easier way to guide your viewer from one video to the next.

It is important to create playlists of videos that fit naturally together.  If a person has clicked on your video and is enjoying it, a playlist makes it very easy for them to check out other related videos of yours.

There are many different ways you can curate playlists.  For example if you have all the tracks from your album or EP on YouTube then you can create a playlist for the album like Knife Party have done in the above image.  That way the viewer can leave the album playing in the background, pushing up your watch time.  You could have a playlist for music videos, music videos from a certain release, live videos, live videos from a specific concert, a full concert with the correct set list.  There are many possibilities.

Another great tip is to link to a playlist rather than a single video when posting your videos online.  To do this simply create your playlist, add the videos, click on the video you want to share, click on share and there you will see a tick box stating 'share with playlist starting from current video'.  Now all you have to do is copy the link next to it and paste it into your website of choice.

4. Use Annotations To Link To Other Videos

As well as using an end slate you can also add annotations throughout the video.  For those of you who don't know, annotations are text or graphic boxes that appear over your video.  They are easy to create and you can use them to link to your other videos as well as your website.

The most obvious way to use annotations is to link to your website at the end of the video making it easier for you to turn viewers into clients/fans.

Another great way to use annotations is to link to your other videos during your video.  You shouldn't use annotations near the beginning of the video as the viewer is solely interested in the current video they are watching.  As you get to the middle of the video more and more people are starting to click away, this is a great time to give them the option to click on one of your other videos.  You can use YouTube Analytics to work out when most people are leaving your video and place an annotation 10-20 seconds beforehand.

It's best not to use the title of the video for the annotation, try to engage your audience.  If the original video is a function bands' studio promo you could have an annotation of 'Click here to see us live'.  For an originals band it could be as simple as 'Check out our latest single'.

Don't forget you can use these annotations to drive more viewers to older content.

5. Spread The Word With Blogs & Social Media

This one seems self explanatory but I often see bands posting a video once and then never posting about it again.  First of all don't be afraid to post about your video multiple times in the first couple of weeks, this is a critical time for your videos SEO.  With sites like Twitter this is even more essential as most Twitter users only stay up to date with Twitter at the time they are looking.

I would also recommend boosting your post on Facebook.  You only have to spend £5-£10 to boost your post for 3-5 days and if you write a post that is engaging to fans as well as non fans then you are likely to get new likes as well as views.

Don't stop at just your accounts either.  Do you have a friend who works at an independent music blog? Ask them to write a blog post about it.  Do you have function clients who are constantly recommending you? Ask them to post it on their Facebook wall. Don't be afraid to ask anyone you know to help you promote it and share it across social media.


These tips are just the tip of the iceberg and are meant to spark your creativity to think outside the box and come up with inventive ways to promote your videos.

If you would like personal help with setting up your YouTube channel, promoting your videos and of course video production then please feel free to get in touch at any time.

What would you like me to cover in the next blog? Leave a comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let me know.

Dave Proud