To understand how to generate traffic on your channel and get more subscribers, you need to start with the fundamentals of creating an engaging channel and videos, and figuring out what does YouTube value most. If we want to crush it on YouTube, it's probably important to know what YouTube values and rewards so that we can play by their rules and achieve the most on this platform.
So what does YouTube value most? Most people think it's either subscribers or views, but it's been known for some time now, that on YouTube, minutes matter most. On the video analytics of your YouTube channel, minutes are at the top of the list, and that is no accident.
The reason is that YouTube realized a couple of years ago, that although views are important, they are not the most important parameter to determine if a video is engaging or not. By doing a tricky click bait thumbnail and title, people can click on a video and get a lot of views and that's meaningless. If a one minute video was watched a lot for a second, or even 10 seconds, that is an indication for YouTube that this video wasn't interesting enough, it's not engaging, it's not helpful or useful for viewers. So, watch time is YouTube's best indication for your video engagement, interest and value. The more watch time you video gets, the higher your videos are ranked on YouTube search list, the more people can watch your video and most importantly, the more people are exposed to your channel and can subscribe.
Create a good video, and people would like to hear more, they will enjoy your content and they will subscribe.
And usually, before they read your title, they have a look at your thumbnail. Be consistent, do your thumbnails and learn to do them well.
This might be common sense for those that have been on YouTube for a while, but it's not necessarily common practice. One of the thumbnail goals is to be enticing, interesting and capture the viewer's attention.
One mistake users often do is they make their thumbnail say the same thing as their title. Since the thumbnail is small, using a lot of words can look messy and hard to read, as opposed to using one or two words, four at the most for a short, professional and concise thumbnail look.
Before anyone watches your video, he or she has to read your title, so obviously you must do title SEO (by adding your keywords in your title for example), and you have to very clear about your video's subject. Your video's title and the thumbnail are your video's first introduction to the viewer, it is a very brief summary of what is it you're talking about, and it has to be spot on.
Just because someone clicks on your video, doesn't mean they are going to watch it through. The first 15 seconds of your video matters the most, and they are your video 'hook'. This hook should be interesting enough to keep a viewer all the way through the video. Most likely that if users watch the first 15 seconds of your video, they will watch all of it, and the odds increase after 30 seconds of watching. So these are your critical moment, make them matter.
Your main goal is to generate views that generate subscribers, and for that, you need good content, simple as that.
You constantly need to think about how you can make the content even more engaging, how can you make it half short and twice strong, what are your video's dead spots, are there spots that people could lose attention. What are the moments people would click away? And the thing is, you can learn a lot from your analytics. After a video is posted, head to your analytics and carefully study the audience retention. You can easily see where people drop off, and with this valuable information, you can optimize your videos. If you conduct frontal vlogs, you'll probably notice that retention drops whenever your face is not showing, and that makes perfect sense, since people are watching your videos to watch you, in these cases you can split the screen whenever your showing something on your vlog - so 80% of the screen is whatever it is you want to present to your audience, and in the other 20% of the screen, is you, keeping the eye contact going. Improving your content is basically getting more watch time, which can ultimately get you more subscribers.
Even though some of these tips are common sense, that doesn't mean that they are common practice, and practice makes perfect. And by mastering the fundamentals, you will get to perfect because "Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals" said the great Jim Rohn, one of the world's greatest motivational speakers.
And I think we can all learn from that when it comes to YouTube.