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How to Get More Hours of Watch Time on YouTube?

Create Unique and Interesting Content

Make sure your content isn’t duplicated or too superficial to be worthwhile. If ten different people all cover the same topic, the one who covers it in the most interesting, highest quality, or most amusing way is going to get all of the traffic. A lot of times this is going to be someone already established, and competition is fierce, but you still need to try.

Post More Videos

the more videos you post, the less views each one needs to reach your goal. If you had 240,000 videos on your channel, each one would only need one minute of view time per year to reach your goal. The most important part, actually, is consistency. In the same way that Google wants you to post at least once per week on your blog to keep it timely and fresh for organic search, YouTube wants you to post videos frequently to keep your channel active and fresh for search.

Experiment with Video Length

A lot of advice will tell you to create longer videos, but there are diminishing returns. Two minute videos might get a lot of views watching all the way through. Ten minute videos might drive away people who are watching via a mobile device or who aren’t hooked into the content right away. Hour-long videos will have a huge dropoff of people in the early minutes, but those who stick around can be worth a lot of watch time.

Use Compelling Meta Data

YouTube meta data is composed of several things. You have your video title and your description, just like you would on a blog post. You also have your keywords, like the old meta keywords section for SEO, except they’re important and work. You also have your custom thumbnail, which should be enough to hook someone in conjunction with the title before they’re even on the page.

Use Video End Cards

End cards are like the poor man’s playlist; they lead the user to other videos or other options to watch, which can keep them circulating through your content for longer. Just keep in mind that posting a five-minute video with a 30-second end card means a “complete” view of the video is only 4:30 instead, so make sure to calculate potential watch time appropriately for people who skip out early.

Get More Subscribers

Your subscriber count is pretty darn important, particularly if you’re under the 1,000 subscriber mark. You want to reach that benchmark, so you want to get more subscribers. When you’re using YouTube, how many of the videos you watch are from people you subscribe to. 

Collaborate with Other Creators

If you can find creators who are willing to collaborate with you, do so. I’ve seen music teachers use their videos to critique submissions from fans. Collaborate to share each other with your respective audiences, and hopefully you can keep some of them around.