Looking to get traffic / leads on YouTube? They've just made it harder than ever.

by TheBigBee 35 replies
Hey all,

I know a lot of you create videos as an alternative to writing blog posts, or a supplement to your blog posts.

I wanted to share my experiences in the last few uploads on YouTube and hopefully get you guys' feedback and incite a discussion.

Here's What's Going On:

I have been uploading an average of 1 video per day for the past 6 days. It's a pace I've never been on before as I've decided that I would put 1,000,000% effort into getting every free (labor cost only) lead I could get. So my plan was to upload HEAT every single day.

The first 5 uploads contained links back to my opt-in page. Those 5 videos have been my worst performing videos since my channel was absolutely brand new.

I've been absolutely astonished and I THINK I may have found out why... Keep in mind, I'm definitely open to you guys' feedback and your experiences on this as well.

I've been using Goo.gl to track clicks back on some videos and simply using the direct links to track clicks on others. What I am finding is that the HIGHER the CTR for a link in any description - the worse the video is performing (getting promoted).

The more people click on the link back to my site in the description - the worst the video does over time.

It seems like YT puts a premium on tracking how users interact with new uploads in the first 30 minutes to an hour.

If, after an hour or so they see folks watching a video and then a high enough percentage click away (leave the ecosystem) - the algorithm slaps your video and it's pretty much dead forever.

That aside, I totally understand why they would be doing that. They can't make money if folks leave YT and don't come back.

Here's the thing... There are a TON of videos that have TONS of links to all sorts of stuff in the description and it seems like YouTube has absolutely NO problem with that whatsoever.

If you're a large YouTuber and you promote your merchandise in every video, chances are a low (acceptable) number of people will click away and visit your store.

They only have a problem when your CTR is high. If you get a 1,000 views and 20 people click away from the vid and visit your site - no harm, no foul. If you get a 1,000 views and 200 people click away to your site (or whatever it is you're promoting outside of YT) - that's where the problem comes in.

Again, this is my analysis after seeing that my most recent upload which contains absolutely ZERO links to anything outside of YouTube it on pace to get more fews in the first couple 2 hours than my previous upload got in 29 hours.

So, I guess I'll wrap this up asking you folks - are you seeing the same thing? Are videos that have no links back to your site (maybe a verbal mention) getting more views than those with links back directly to your site?

Thanks!
#main internet marketing discussion forum #harder #leads #made #traffic #youtube
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    The number one ranking factor on Youtube is Session View Time, which is how much video people watch AFTER viewing your video.


    It's really a Catch-22. You need people to watch more video after your own, but you also create videos with the goal of taking them off YT to make money and build email lists.


    Try using YT's end card feature to link to relevant playlists in an attempt to increase Session Watch Time for the videos.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      I've been studying every single reputable expert in the field regarding this and I took the concept of Session View Time and ran with it. I did a couple of uploads where the entire goal was to push traffic to other content on YouTube (not mine) while using Cards and End Screens to promote my other content that DOES contain links back to my site.

      I even spent 20 hours producing a video that I was sure was going to be my "break out video." That video has just over 500 views... That strategy failed.

      I am ranking highly for an assortment of keywords for my niche and am lucky because there is always a "new keyword" being generated in my niche and I get right on it... Ranking is no problem.

      However, getting the coveted BROWSER feature views is where the REAL action is and I'm suffering there because YouTube is not putting me in front of new audiences - and will only do so when I DO NOT have links away from YT in my vids.

      Browser Features (YouTube Home Page) is where I get my highest average view duration. And in turn, I get my BEST LEADS...

      Avg. view duration is also a ranking factor. If folks only watch 10% of your vid - you can forget about it. But I'm averaging 49% over 36 vids and saw great CHANNEL subscriber growth because of it...

      THESE DARN LINKS IN MY DESCRIPTION ARE KILLING ME! lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Connann
    What is your RETENTION?

    I mean people watching percentage of video. I thin the factor is this
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      The general rule of thumb is that you should retain viewers for an average of 40% of your video in order for YT to recommend it and put it on the home page (browser features). I'm at 49% average across all uploads with the highest being 77%. The last few uploads go something like this...

      1. 50%
      2. 48%
      3. 65%
      4. 61%

      Yesterdays' upload should post data after midnight sometime and todays' is looking like it's an easy 50-60% judging by the velocity of views.

      Retention is the metric I focus on the most which started with my first ever upload to this channel which has 77% retention at the moment.

      So - that's why I have diagnosed the problem being the fact that folks view the video - get excited, and click off to my site and YT is saying "NOPE, WE WILL BE HAVING NONE OF THIS!"
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Stark
    The best free traffic is SEO traffic. The best YouTube traffic comes from paid ads. Paid traffic wins over any free traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      I built my business on YT traffic alone - more than 500 sales of a $297 product in 7.5 months. Never paid for traffic. HOWEVER, the SEO stuff is interesting. I was actually planning a video "What XYZ People Search for in Google" and I see a ton of long-tail keywords that I can absolutely own!

      Medium Posts + embedded YouTube videos it is!
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    • Profile picture of the author Javisito
      Originally Posted by Jordan Stark View Post

      The best free traffic is SEO traffic. The best YouTube traffic comes from paid ads. Paid traffic wins over any free traffic.
      And on which facts do you base this statement?

      Free traffic is always good since it's free (you don't loose any money on it), paid traffic wins if you have a successful campaign yes but a crappy campaign can make you loose money instead.

      Now don't get me wrong I love paid traffi I just don't think one thing needs to exclude the other.
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  • Profile picture of the author Parm Sandhu
    You need to optimize your Videos so your video can come up when someone search for your specific keywords.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mario Cristopher
    Hi,

    The reason why you see videos with tons of links, but still make the trending list, is that because these videos manage to have content that make people finish the entire video, before clicking any of the links.

    I, personally do this a lot with the channels that I follow. Youtube measures video length vs view time now. Videos that get watched for the whole length would get more boost. Youtube also prioritizes longer videos and channels that upload daily, on a regular basis. So good job on the uploads.

    I would suggest that you put the "see links below" at the last part of your video, and make sure to make videos that are worth watching for the entire length.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      The BEST YouTubers in the world average around 50% average view duration. Just checked my analytics today and I've moved from 49% to 51% average view duration.

      The problem here seems to be that a HIGH PERCENTAGE of people watch my video and click on the link. If you have 1000 views and 1000 clicks, that's bad in YouTubes' eyes. If you're a big channel and you're promoting your t-shirt, you may get 1,000 views and 10 clicks, which seems to be fine with YouTube.
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  • Profile picture of the author saletudo
    In my view, your video content must be truly engaging and engaging to the viewer
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  • Profile picture of the author Laksh
    Not sure if this helps, but something I could think off ...

    1. Get a short length & catchy domain(if you think visitors hate to type your domain name or if it's big for some one to type).
    2. Use it in your video may be as a Lower third or as a bottom banner.
    3. Based on the way you do your script, Call out the link a couple of times & ask visitors to go there.

    Generally, If I like a video & need to get their website, I would not care if it's in the description or not ... would b ready to type myself. May b that's jst me ...

    Since your videos are already ranking, you may still get those legitimate customers/visitors ...

    jst my 2cents
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Laksh,

      DOPE idea. Much simpler than my approach to saying hey "I'm just gonna do more videos - shouting out the videos where my link is in description."

      Our brand is easy to say, repeat, remember. It passes the "say the domain name really fast 10 times test" and is almost impossible to mispell so I'll just use that one. I'll also use a URL similar to this www.mydomain.com/blue

      Basically my domain / {one syllable word}

      There will be more friction involved for sure. The person has to leave YT and visit my site. BUT, I can already see how that friction is simply going to lead to higher quality leads. I saw a video on YouTube yesterday and saw the comments that a dude says;

      "Who else is happy that this is on YouTube because they were too lazy to click the link to watch it on Facebook" - that comment got 262 likes!

      You may be on to something my friend...
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    I'm hardly a YT expert, but it occurs to me that if they are giving less run to videos that take the viewer off of YT, can you structure the link so it doesn't do that?

    I set my own sites up so that any link that goes to a different domain opens in a new window or tab, leaving my page waiting when they come back.

    Doing this with individual links just needs
    Code:
    target="_blank"
    added to the link code.

    [For some reason, the forum software adds rel="nofollow" - ignore it, I didn't add it.]

    I don't know if YT allows this, but if they do, it could be an easy fix.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      I'll try that on my next "irresistible offer" upload. Side note; I uploaded yesterday and that video is performing well. Just got an e-mail promoting that video as I am subscribed to my own channel from another account. I'm seeing that YT doesn't include you in their e-mail promos if you have links in your description that result in a high CTR. Time to insert some links in the cards of that video ASAP since that e-mail is out and they can't reverse it! lol
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      • Originally Posted by TheBigBee View Post

        I'll try that on my next "irresistible offer" upload.

        Have you thought about cutting up your videos into a mini-series. Using a series specific tags on each so that they show up in related videos. Each segment will end with a call to action of viewing the next segment for this "vital next step" and then end the series wit the link and heavy promo of your off YT page.

        If I read YT right, I believe this kind of treatment will be explosive for your YT rankings as well as CTR and overcome any penalty.

        Test this and let us know.
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  • Profile picture of the author EvcRo
    It's normal.

    Google wants to make money, not you to make money from their traffic.

    But keep fighting.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      *Sigh... You are indeed correct. They only want you to make a share of advertising revenue. They don't mind you making money from affiliate sales and selling your merch because the click through / click off rate is low. But, when you're offer is "irresistible" that's where the problem comes in. Just did another upload today and using that video to passively push traffic to the other videos that contain irresistible offers and that's going nicely so far. But, if you look above - I think Laksh is really really really on to something there... Gonna try that route next.
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  • Profile picture of the author chenbui
    Thanks for the sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author Alangile
    Yes, it is now more difficult to move to Youtube. But it will help to filter out bad content.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Yep , recently see where you have to get minimum of 10k views to qualify for advertising like Adsense as of April at YT
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    fight a good fight.

    You need a better angle and test.

    my stock marekt ad on youtube works well, a granny gets hit going across a cross walk.

    I have had people try to copy it, but its still bringing in 10k per month.

    You have to be a smart marketer to utilize youtube properly. I am not smart, but I can tell you i tested over 100 ads, to get what I was after. That is the only way....TEST.TEST.TEST....
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    Me thinks you guys are over complicating things. I am on you tube every day. I am making sales from it.

    The people on you tube who do well are the ones who provide value as well as have the skill of influence.

    This is a process that takes time to master.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
      Me thinks you guys are over complicating things. I am on you tube every day. I am making sales from it.

      The people on you tube who do well are the ones who provide value as well as have the skill of influence.

      This is a process that takes time to master.
      Exactly... Earlier this year it was very simple. Setup. Conflict. Resolution. Call to Action. Get the Opt-in. Make the sale.

      My most viewed vid is the one that generated me the most leads and now YT is cracking down hard!

      The CEO of Patreon released a statement on this... It's hurting creators. Particularly NEW creators.

      So, the only solution is to use that creativity to create "workarounds" and of course, increase upload volume.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Have you tested not using the URL shorteners?

    That would be my first move.

    Blacklisted short links (URLs) and how to combat receiving blacklist status, especially when sending out emails or sharing on social networks, is a problem which has created a fair amount of confusion and frustration for web-based businesses.
    https://blog.rebrandly.com/blacklisted-short-links/
    Set up a domain, install WP, install Prettylinks, use your own branded re-directs.

    Brent
    Signature
    Affiliate Video Pack Includes Everything You Need To Create Multiple Income Streams! [Only $1]
    Get Yours Right Now! >>>
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

      Have you tested not using the URL shorteners?

      That would be my first move.



      Set up a domain, install WP, install Prettylinks, use your own branded re-directs.

      Brent
      Even easier, get a domain and cheap hosting. Find a redirect page template. Edit the destination URL and save under whatever filename you want. Upload using cPanel.

      Now you don't have to mess with upgrading WP and plugins.

      As a bonus, traffic stats will show up in your site logs (also available free in cPanel).

      Using Wordpress just for doing redirects is like using a bazooka to hunt chipmunks.
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      • Profile picture of the author domainarama
        How about an even easier method. At the registrar's, chose to redirect the registered domain to a goal website. I think it's called 404 redirect. No need for a host.
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  • Profile picture of the author 52.ct
    Originally Posted by TheBigBee View Post

    I've been studying every single reputable expert in the field regarding this and I took the concept of Session View Time and ran with it. I did a couple of uploads where the entire goal was to push traffic to other content on YouTube (not mine) while using Cards and End Screens to promote my other content that DOES contain links back to my site.

    I even spent 20 hours producing a video that I was sure was going to be my "break out video." That video has just over 500 views... That strategy failed.
    I am ranking highly for an assortment of keywords for my niche and am lucky because there is always a "new keyword" being generated in my niche and I get right on it... Ranking is no problem.

    However, getting the coveted BROWSER feature views is where the REAL action is and I'm suffering there because YouTube is not putting me in front of new audiences - and will only do so when I DO NOT have links away from YT in my vids.

    Browser Features (YouTube Home Page) is where I get my highest average view duration. And in turn, I get my BEST LEADS...

    Avg. view duration is also a ranking factor. If folks only watch 10% of your vid - you can forget about it. But I'm averaging 49% over 36 vids and saw great CHANNEL subscriber growth because of it...

    THESE DARN LINKS IN MY DESCRIPTION ARE KILLING ME! lol
    Why did you conclude your strategy failed? Was the 500 views far less than normal and you where still denied the "coveted BROWSER feature views"?




    Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

    I'm hardly a YT expert, but it occurs to me that if they are giving less run to videos that take the viewer off of YT, can you structure the link so it doesn't do that?

    I set my own sites up so that any link that goes to a different domain opens in a new window or tab, leaving my page waiting when they come back.

    Doing this with individual links just needs
    Code:
    target="_blank"
    added to the link code.

    [For some reason, the forum software adds rel="nofollow" - ignore it, I didn't add it.]

    I don't know if YT allows this, but if they do, it could be an easy fix.
    Youtube links already, automatically open in new tabs any ways.. at lease for me. Also, Youtube does not allow you write functioning html code in the videos' description. Urls are automatically turned into clickable links if "http://" or "https://" is included in front of the domain. For example placing "https://www.example.com" in the description of a Youtube video gets turn into a clickable link once the video is live. If you put "www.example.com" domain in the video description it will not be a clickable link.

    Originally Posted by celente View Post

    fight a good fight.

    You need a better angle and test.

    my stock marekt ad on youtube works well, a granny gets hit going across a cross walk.

    I have had people try to copy it, but its still bringing in 10k per month.

    You have to be a smart marketer to utilize youtube properly. I am not smart, but I can tell you i tested over 100 ads, to get what I was after. That is the only way....TEST.TEST.TEST....
    Celente could you elaborate? How does testing ads stop a Youtube policy of reducing exposure of videos that have too high of a CTR (click through rate) in the description links .

    Originally Posted by Brent Stangel View Post

    Have you tested not using the URL shorteners?

    That would be my first move.



    Set up a domain, install WP, install Prettylinks, use your own branded re-directs.

    Brent
    Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

    Even easier, get a domain and cheap hosting. Find a redirect page template. Edit the destination URL and save under whatever filename you want. Upload using cPanel.

    Now you don't have to mess with upgrading WP and plugins.

    As a bonus, traffic stats will show up in your site logs (also available free in cPanel).

    Using Wordpress just for doing redirects is like using a bazooka to hunt chipmunks.
    Originally Posted by Javisito View Post

    And on which facts do you base this statement?

    Free traffic is always good since it's free (you don't loose any money on it), paid traffic wins if you have a successful campaign yes but a crappy campaign can make you loose money instead.

    Now don't get me wrong I love paid traffi I just don't think one thing needs to exclude the other.
    Look into https://yourls.org/. It is a free url shortener software you can used with your own domain. I have not tried them myself though.


    Originally Posted by Javisito View Post

    And on which facts do you base this statement?

    Free traffic is always good since it's free (you don't loose any money on it), paid traffic wins if you have a successful campaign yes but a crappy campaign can make you loose money instead.

    Now don't get me wrong I love paid traffi I just don't think one thing needs to exclude the other.
    I disagree, there is no such thing as free traffic. Human civilizations have used many different mediums of exchange like gold, silver, precious gems, beads, rice, animals, fiat money etc https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium_of_exchange. In the case of the "free traffic" your paying with your TIME and your TIME has direct monetary value.
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    • Profile picture of the author anayb
      Originally Posted by 52.ct View Post


      Look into https://yourls.org/. It is a free url shortener software you can used with your own domain. I have not tried them myself though.
      Nice finding.
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  • Profile picture of the author mariabadao
    Wow man, one thing though, most traffic is bot
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    If you solve problems on YouTube TBB you will get views.

    My friend and I have been doing an online success video every 2 weeks. First week got 50,000 views, and the number keeps growing. All together, we are over 120,000 views with 4 videos I believe.

    Solve problems, collaborate with joint chats and the sky is the limit.

    Ryan
    Signature
    Ryan Biddulph, Blogger, Author, World Traveling Digital Nomad
    Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging at Blogging From Paradise
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  • Profile picture of the author kamishah
    Well explained article #TheBigBe, but i have an amazing trick to get the youtube traffic absolutely free. I have a script you can call it a youtube comment bot who can commend on multiple youtube videos at once. So i'm getting traffic anyone of you guys need you can tell me i will share the link.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Stark
    Why not pay for YouTube ads?
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