How To Increase Watch Times, Engagement, and Other Metrics

Great search engine optimization is not the only way to rank on top and grow your channel. YouTube metrics such as time users spend on your channel, watch times and engagement rates also influence how much visibility your videos get on the platform. That is why we have put together a series of little known strategies that will help you to boost your channel’s exposure and beat your competitors in a very short time.

Reduce Abandonment With Cards

There will be a certain number of viewers that are going to stop watching your videos at a certain play time. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these viewers don’t like your videos; What’s happening is that these viewers only watch videos until a certain point before they are over. The problem is that, unless these viewers are watching your videos from one of your playlists, they’ll likely abandon your channel to watch something else on the recommended videos queue.

To reduce abandonment and increase the amount of time that viewers spend watching your videos and browsing your channel you can simply insert cards to add recommended videos at the exact points where these viewers stop watching. To know the average play time at which your viewers stop watching your videos you’ll just have to go to your “creator studio”, to click on the “Analytics” tab located on the left-hand menu, and to click on the “watch time” option.

Once on the “watch time” page you will be able to see the average play time at which your viewers stop watching each one of your uploaded videos in the “average view duration” column below the “watch time” graph. For example, if the “average view duration” of one of your videos is 46 seconds, that means that you will have to insert a card with a recommended video at the 46 second mark.

To add cards to your videos you will simply have to start by clicking on the “video manager” tab located on the left-hand menu in your “creator studio” dashboard. Then you’ll simply have to click on the drop-down menu button corresponding to the video that you will insert a card into, and then to click on the “cards” option.

Once on the “cards” page you will have to select the exact point at which to insert your new card using the playtime lever in the video player. Then you have to click on the “add card” menu button and then on the “create” button corresponding to the “video or playlist” option. Now select one of your videos from the “uploads” tab, and then click on the “create card” button. Now a card with a suggested video from your channel will appear during playtime before viewers decide to stop watching your video.

Increase Time Spent On Your Channel With Playlist URLs

YouTube rewards channels where people spend the most time with more exposure, which makes sense because that is how both the company and content creators make money from advertisers. That is why it is important to keep people watching as much of your content for as long as possible. One way of keeping people watching content on your channel is by redirecting them to your playlists from an external video link.

When people watch a video on YouTube, there will always be a list of recommended videos on queue to the right side of the screen, so once your videos end, the next video on the list will start playing. Unfortunately, the majority of the videos that are next on the list will not be from your channel. To avoid this, you can add a playlist’s ID at the end of your video URLs when you are going to use them as links.

To do so, you will simply have to go to your channel by clicking on the channel icon located on the top-right corner from the YouTube homepage, and then clicking on the “my channel” option. Once on your channel click on the “playlists” tab, and then on one of your playlists. Move to your browser’s address bar once the first video on the playlist starts playing, and copy the playlist ID from the URL, which is the alphanumeric string that you’ll find right after it reads “&list=”.

For example, if your playlist URL looks like this: “”, then your playlist ID will look like this: “PLRUmJDksNJ3rN_tRaAyhF-hLknPGxytKR”.

Once you are ready to add the playlist ID to your video URL, you will simply have to type “&list=” at the end of your video URL and then to paste the playlist ID right after.

So if your video URL looks like this: “”, then your video URL with the playlist ID should look like this: “”.

So when you redirect people to your video using this URL, they will be redirected not only to your video but to your entire playlist, which means that they will spend more time watching your videos, increasing watch time!

Engage With Your Audience Directly

YouTube also rewards channels with high engagement rates. That is, channels that get a lot of positive interactions from their audiences, including positive like to dislike ratios, shares, and comments. The platform algorithm pays special attention to comments on your videos, so it is extremely important that you interact with your viewers in the comments section.

The best way to engage with users in the comments section is by responding directly to comments, by answering questions right before the end of your videos, by liking and pinning certain comments, and by encouraging users to like and share your videos!

Keep The “Related Channels” Feature ON

There is a lot of competition on YouTube for any given niche, and many of the strategies that you’ll find out there are all about keeping it at bay. One of those strategies is to turn off the “related channels” feature. The reasoning behind this strategy is that it can help you to avoid recommending other people’s channels on your own channel. But the problem with this strategy is that your channel won’t be featured on other people’s channels as well, which will decrease your exposure.

So make sure that the “related channels” feature is active on your channel by going to your channel’s “creator studio”, and then clicking on the “channel” tab located on the left-hand menu. Now click on the “Advanced” sub tab.

Once on the “advanced” page, go to the “channel recommendations” section and make sure that the “related channels” feature is active by selecting the “Allow my channel to appear in other channels’ recommendations” option.

Add “Sub Confirmation” On Links To Your Channel

Adding a YouTube icon with a link to your channel on your website is a common strategy that will help you to drive organic traffic to your videos, but did you know that there is a way to convert website visitors into subscribers using those links? It’s really easy, and all you have to do is to type “?sub_confirmation=1” at the end of your channel URL before you add it as a link on your website or anywhere else.

For example, if your channel URL looks like this: “”, then your channel URL with sub confirmation should look like this: “”.

When visitors click on a link to your channel with sub confirmation, they will see a pop-up asking them to subscribe to your channel before they land on your channel, and it will help you to get new subscribers real fast!