Top Tips for Increasing YouTube Views and Subscribers

Video marketing continues to be a massive opportunity for reaching customers. YouTube views are a big part of this strategy.

Every new or established business needs to have YouTube set up. It should be an integral part of any digital marketing strategy. To get started, there are hundreds of videos about How to set up a YouTube account online – guess where!?

Oberlo stress the importance of YouTube for businesses

Statistic that highlights the importance of YouTube to business

When you have your channel set up, the aim is to boost you audience retention and watch time to have a positive impact on your ranking. It’s all about engagement!

Big, global brands utilise the power of video marketing backed by sizeable budgets. But million dollar production sets and celebrity star guests are not a guarantee of success.

Smaller businesses have the same opportunity to reach their customers. The barriers of entry are virtually none existent!

It’s a great way to gain a competitive edge, particularly if you’re a smaller business looking to get in front of more customers with a limited budget.

The YouTube Algorithm:

Like Google, YouTube has an internal search algorithm (essentially the framework of how results are searched for, sorted and presented to the user). This means that by spending some time on your YouTube channel optimisation you can help your videos to rank better

Video content is appearing more and more in the SERPs. This is confirmed by an email from Brian Dean of Backlinko in January 2020. 25% of all Google search results now contain a video carousel above the fold on page 1. Video is a powerful marketing medium!

Backlinko email stressing the importance of YouTube in the SERPs

As YouTube is owned by Google you can obviously look to rank highly on the main SERPs too. Google has a separate Video tab in its search results, but video can also rank in the ‘All’ tab too. A lot is dependent on the user intent google implies from the search term.

Adele has managed to essentially ‘own’ the SERPs for the word Hello…just from singing a song about it! She occupies the top spot on both the ‘All’ and ‘Video’ searches!

‘All’ Results

Adele video at the top of the google All tab in search

Video Results

Adele hello video in the video search tab

It’s only on the ‘News’ tab that Hello! – the well known publication, take over the space!

By default, a lot of the steps you take to rank on YouTube itself will help with your generic organic ranking too.

Both YouTube and Google want to deliver the best results to their customers. (it’s what make them the best and it’s what makes them money!)

With that ‘financially motivated’ incentive in mind, every result from every search has ‘relevance’ as its fundamental ranking factor.

The Top 5 Places to be on YouTube

On the YouTube platform videos can appear in 5 different sections:

  1. Organic search results
  2. Homepage (at an individual level if a user is signed in, or the generic country homepage if not signed in)
  3. Suggested videos
  4. Trending
  5. Subscriptions

As a business, if you appear consistently in any of these sections already, then you’re obviously doing a lot of things right. If you’re appearing in all 5 then please stop reading now and go back to counting your money, your YouTube views will be skyrocketing!

Everything you do to help optimise your channel will put you in a stronger position to break into the 5 sections.

Remember, audience retention, watch time and engagement are the 3 goals for success.

If, as a company, you have designated budget and resources to developing and nurturing a YouTube channel then we have some useful tips and advice for you to help maximise your return on investment.

Branded Channel Homepage:

Make sure that your channel homepage is consistent with your company branding.

Customers have a much more varied and omni-channel approach to searching. A familiar and seamless brand experience across all your online channels is very important.

Your YouTube channel Homepage needs to be attractive, organised and inviting.

Make use of Playlists:

Playlists encourage retention by staying ‘on topic’ and also help to keep a user on your channel. Topic clusters are becoming more and more prevalent within general SEO and this is how you should look at your playlists.

You can easily add or edit your Playlists within your channel studio.

Make the titles about features and benefits. They should be enticing rather than just being overly generic.

Which one of these 2 titles is most likely to draw attention?

  1. Web design
  2. Top Web Design Tips to Increase Traffic

Hopefully you think number 2 is the better title. It gives the user an incentive to click and it provides a clear benefit to doing so whilst still including topic keywords.

Increase your Keyword Focus:

The autocomplete function in the YouTube search bar is a powerful tool to help with your keyword research for your videos.

Typing in your main keywords will give you lots of ideas as you can see below. This is a predictive tool based on previous data. These are targeted topics with a potential audience that is hungry for your video content.

you tube report search predictions example

The ‘Report search predictions’ can help you to craft a laser targeted title for your video. The next step is to ensure your keywords are in this title as well as in the descriptive content.

Your keyword and variations of it, should be in your description 3 times.

The first instance should be in the first sentence. This is because it gives YouTube and potential watchers an early indication about the content of your video. As well as that, only the first 157 characters will show in the preview snippet on the search pages.

how to insert keywords into your YouTube description

Your Video Content:

At some point we needed to talk about the actual content of your video! Let’s try now.

It’s important to have a defined structure to your videos in the same way that you would with any other dedicated method of marketing.

Define the purpose and focus of your video content. What are you looking to achieve?

Making a sale? Raising awareness? Increasing the trust of your brand?

As obvious as it seems, always ensure your videos have a beginning, a middle and an end.

Don’t be afraid to read from a script, or at least have cue cards or notes off camera. It’ll help ensure you don’t miss out your main points and stay on topic.

Different types of content will require slightly different approaches. Again, it’s important to determine the purpose and create content that aligns with that.

For example:

Informational and Educational Content:

  • Make sure to use a quick and exciting intro. You only have a few seconds to grab a viewers’ attention and keep them away from the back button!
  • Education has to be fun! Don’t be a supply teacher going through the motions, show passion and character.
  • Try to get a watcher to subscribe for ‘more, great informational content.’
  • Focus on offering value. If you’re not selling, then don’t sell.
  • Ask a question at the end of the video. This helps encourage comments, engagement and interaction.


  • Focus on features and benefits of the product.
  • Be passionate and highlight how a product solves problems and pain points.
  • Use compelling visuals, just talking about the product won’t cut it.
  • If it’s a physical product show it being opened, used and unique features.
  • If it’s not a physical product show screen shots and customer testimonials.
  • Use links to product sales and check out pages.



YouTube itself reports that 90% of the best performing videos have custom thumbnails.

Firstly, the technical stuff, use images that are:

  • 1280×720 pixels
  • 16:9 Ration
  • 2MB or smaller
  • Saved as .jpg, .gif, .bmp or .png

This will help ensure that the thumbnails appear at their highest quality potential wherever and however they are viewed.

Smile for the Camera:

If you view any results page, you’ll see that the thumbnails vary massively. However, the majority of successful channel owners do customise and personalise to make themselves stand out from the crowd.

YouTube thumbnail examples

The 3 results above show different examples, with contrasting styles.

It’s often said that a smiling face can go a long way and the ‘views’ figures here would suggest that might be true! But it’s by no means the only factor to consider.

It’s important to experiment and see what works for you and attracts views to your videos.

See what other videos are ranking high up the search results for your keywords. Then either do something similar or do something better to make your thumbnail stand out!

How to Use Tags:

The ability to add tags to your descriptions allows you to feed YouTube more information to help you rank your videos.

There is no advantage in having loads and loads of tags. All that does is confuse the algorithm as to what the content of the video is.

5 Tags are more than enough. The following format will work in most cases, Brian Dean is an advocate of this method!

Tag 1: Main Keyword

Tags 2&3: Long tail versions of the Keyword

Tags 4&5: Subject / Topic Keywords

So, as a real life example”

  1. Web design
  2. Website design
  3. Website development
  4. Online marketing
  5. Digital marketing

you tube tags example

Cards and End Screens


The i symbol: Cards are pre-formatted notifications that can be set up to promote your brand or other videos within the flow on the video that’s playing

You can see the symbol here on a Dyson branded video

the i symbol for cards on YouTube

And when you click on the ‘i’ it reveals more information.

Dyson i symbol info on YouTube

In this case it’s a link through to 21 additional videos on their ‘Airblade Technology’ playlist.

You can add up to 5 different cards at various stages in any video. Make sure they add value for the watcher – you don’t want then leaving your channel and not coming back!

Different ways to use the cards include:

  • Promote another channel
  • Link to an external site
  • Link to other related content
  • Ask for responses to a poll

End Screens:

End screens can be used to promote other videos within your channel or to link out to other channels. They don’t always show on your videos, Google makes the final decision (Google makes a lot of decisions without asking!) as to where and when they show up.

It can also be used to display contact details as a final nudge to get in touch!

YouTube end screen example for Pagio Digital business channel

It always helps to optimise your videos to include them. They may not appear 100% of the time but are a great additional extra for encouraging increased engagement and viewer retention.

Collaboration and Partnerships:

Collaborate to grow and evolve through mutually beneficial relationships. Highlight the value you can offer to other channels and their audience. Be proud to promote your skills.

But, don’t just ‘blank pitch.’ Make sure you take the time to get to know the channel and have a confidence that a partnership will be mutually beneficial! Doing research up front and acknowledging their strengths of the other party will be a big help.

Creating a personal relationship from the outset will be a great start!

Cross promote with video mentions, cards and links in descriptions.

Upload 2 different videos one on each account so you reach the combined audience

There’s no limit to collaboration!

There is nothing to lose in reaching out. At the very least it’s likely to get your channel some views and a potential subscriber. It never always a ‘quick response’ tactic so make a pitch and then be patient.

Small Changes for Big Results:

The majority of your competitors won’t be optimising their YouTube marketing videos.

By taking the steps to improve your videos and following the advice we’ve covered you can put yourself in a great position to attract a bigger and more targeted audience.

Before we finish here are a few extra tweaks and tips to help your rankings.

Extra Top YouTube Views and Ranking Tips:

  • Add transcriptions – YouTube do this automatically but aren’t always 100% accurate and you may be missing the opportunity to use your KWs here.
  • Profile cards introduced in January 2020. These are a great way to identify and potentially reach out to your biggest fans and advocates.
  • Use YouTube analytics – it’s powerful information at your fingertips – straight from the YouTube user metrics database!
  • When you upload files use keywords in the file name: For example, change the title from ‘’ to ‘’
  • The hashtag is everywhere! Use it (sensibly and sparingly) in your descriptions to help users who are searching for content using that particular #
  • If you want to do ‘crazy’ videos outside of the ‘business’ mould – consider setting up an additional channel to keep them separate and not confuse YouTube and potential customers. Not everyone has a GSOH or at least one that’s the same as yours!
  • Don’t forget about ‘Advanced Settings’ – at the very least make sure you update the language of your video and make sure it’s in the right category
  • Publish videos to a consistent schedule. Quality beats quantity!

Now that you’ve optimised your channel and videos focus on your strengths and your niche. Increase your YouTube views and share your content with a global audience!

Your efforts don’t need to stay within the ‘confines’ of YouTube. Further opportunities exist with Facebook Live, InstagramTV, Twitter, webinars and much more. Experiment and see what works with your business model.

In conclusion, research from Wyzowl shows that the number of businesses using video as a marketing tool continues to increase.

video marketing trends 2020

It’s pretty conclusive. Ensure you include video in your overall marketing strategy. Stay inside the circle and not outside it!