Life hack: Make the YouTube algorithm work in your favour

Life hack: Make the YouTube algorithm work in your favour

It’s no secret that video content is basically a must-have for every digital strategy – YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world, and the International Data Group reports that 46 per cent of B2B buyers purchase something after watching video content!

Luckily, it’s never been easier to create your own video content, and there are companies you can outsource to if you don’t have the in-house bandwidth. But what happens after you’ve crafted your fabulous video? Uploading it to YouTube is one thing, but getting people to watch it is another.

When it comes to YouTube, cnet says, “For more than 70 per cent of the time you spend watching on Google’s massive video site, you’re lured in by one of the service’s AI-driven recommendations”. That’s why you need to understand how the YouTube algorithm really works.

YouTube views

Increase your videos’ watch time

First thing’s first: give your viewers a reason to stick around until the end of your videos. That’s how YouTube will know your uploads are valuable and relevant. Look at your video content from your viewers’ perspective – what will they gain from watching all the way through?

To get viewers to stick around, use your videos’ titles and intros to create “hooks” or intrigue, and then follow through on those hooks. Producing a video series could also be a game-changer – in the current culture of binge-watching, no one can resist an addicting series.

Another unexpected YouTube hack: captions encourage viewers stick around. People are 1.5 times more likely to watch videos on their smartphones than on computers, and these mobile users tend to prefer silent videos. Captions make it easy for people to watch videos without missing anything, even with the sound off.

YouTube trends

Don’t forget about keywords

Which keywords would you like your videos – and channel as a whole – to rank for? Identify keywords that are relevant to your brand, and remember to add them to your titles, descriptions, and tags. YouTube tends to favour videos with longer descriptions, so don’t skimp when writing your own.

Keep on top of YouTube keyword trends too – it’s a great way to come up with ideas for new content while appealing to your audience’s current interests.

YouTube video

Pay attention to traffic sources

Where is your YouTube traffic coming from? Find out by taking a look at the stats YouTube Analytics provides. Are people finding your content on blogs, from the “suggested videos” section of the site, or from other social media channels?

Keep those views rolling in by playing to your strengths, but always be on the hunt for new ways to promote your channel. The more views you rack up, the more YouTube will suggest your videos to its users.

video content

Thumbnail images make or break YouTube videos

First impressions are important, which is why your video thumbnail images need to be on-point. Increase your click-through rate by creating custom, on-brand images that grab attention and leave viewers wanting more – people are particularly drawn to photos of faces. Canva has a ton of great thumbnail templates to get you started!


Follow these tips on your YouTube channel, and the algorithm will likely reward you with a big boost in views. Let us know about your biggest YouTube successes in the comments!


  1. Reenam Jain

    • Reply

    Ask a youtuber like me. I do all seo and metadata things on my videos but I don’t get a single view. YouTube does not commend or promote new videos from tiny channels like mine any more. You have to personally do lots of promotion, publicity, marketing externally to bring initial viewers and subscribers … youtube only pays attention to well settled channels nowadays. Gone are those golden days when u put a great content and boooom…its viral

    1. Doug Lacombe

      • Reply

      You are so right, Reenam! Content does not promote itself, it takes a lot of work to build viewership, readership, etc. We still see our clients’ videos getting discovered through search, but it is more difficult than ever to pierce through all the noise.

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