I've been using YouTube as a platform to create "edutainmentmercials." I made up that word. Basically, I've been using YouTube to create great content and have been converting those views into e-mail list subscribers by using compelling content to push traffic to my site.
I launched my first video in early Feb and it ranks above the fold for my target keyword. It was #2 for a good month and is my most viewed video and has generated a decent amount of revenue. The video contains a link back to my site. I generated a ton of leads, made sales, etc.
The other day I launched a video that I was SURE was going to do 1,200 - 1,500 views in the first 24 hours. I can tell which vids will do well and which ones won't within the first hour.
The video did about 200 views in the first hour and I was sure I hit a gold mine. I was sure I'd have it at 5k views in 10 days and things would be great. However, it sputtered and stalled out.
It turns out Derral Eves (not sure I'm spelling his name correctly) is right. YouTube will penalize you for taking traffic out of the YouTube ecosystem. That's part of the new algo update. YouTube is saying; "our advertising customers are spending money to convert eyeballs to sales, and if you're taking traffic off of YT to buy your stuff, it's less money our users have to spend with our advertising customers, so we're penalizing you."
The video I uploaded is right up there with my BEST vids as it relates to retention / engagement. My average percentage viewed is 54% which is above average - even for channels much larger than mine as many are LUCKY to get 40% average percentage viewed.
The average time viewed on this one is 60%, and 18% of all viewers have clicked the like button (HUGE), and the comments / engagement is high. But, it's "dying" a slow death.
Why is this video dying?
I included a link in the description which inspires folks to IMMEDIATELY leave YouTube and visit a link on my site. Due to the fact that I'm having folks leave YouTube, YouTube is NOT recommending my video the same way they are recommending my other videos.
YouTube is recommending my other vids that don't even rank well based strictly off of % of time viewed and likes / comments.
I'm not showing up in "Browser Features" (YouTube home page) for my subs and other folks YT may think my vid is a match for due to the fact that when folks watch my vid, they immediately leave YT after clicking my link.
It seems that between Feb and now, there's been a slight algo update which penalizes creators HARD for including links in the description or COMMENTS which takes folks away from YT. If your link is NEVER clicked... Guess what? YT doesn't care. But if / when 50% or more of your views click the link, you're video will be looked upon badly.
That being said, the QUALITY CONTENT (not ad) approach is key for generating traffic on YT and my BEST and vids which generate the HIGHEST amount of traffic include NO LINKS to my site in the description, or comments. I made sure to do that when I saw Mr. Eves lecture on ranking factors in 2017. I made sure my BEST videos, my BANGERS had no links anywhere, not even in comments and it worked great...
However, I talk about my site in the video and folks find their way(s) to my site. T
So, if you're looking at YT as a source of FREE traffic, USE it. I've JUST made my first $100 on YT ads after starting in Feb and have earned nearly 450x that amount from converting traffic to sales for the products I offer.
If you're using YT, focus on the content and talk about your site but do not include annotations, or links directly in the description otherwise your views will suffer. YT does give you the option to add a link to your site at the end of the vid - don't take the bait. If the damn link is clicked too much, you get penalized.
YT is making it very difficult for folks to earn money outside of just making money from ads. However, creating a channel to make money off ads requires you be rich before you start - it's the chicken and egg prob.
Anyway, I just thought I'd share before you guys go creating and investing time in making "commercials" for YT with links to your site and wonder why you can't get any views...