How To Increase Session Watch Time On Your YouTube Videos To Improve Rankings & Get More Views And Subscribers

If you want to improve your rankings increase views and subscribers
on your channel you need to increase your session watch time.

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What is Watch Time?
Watch time is the amount of time that people stay watching your videos so if they begin watching an individual video then continue watching consecutive videos you’ll get a long watch time. This plays into what YouTube wants which is to keep people watching more and more videos.

What is session duration?
This is the total length of time a user stays on YouTube from the moment they come on to the moment that they leave.

What is session start time?
This is when you bring someone onto YouTube from an external source such as Twitter, Facebook etc

So what is the benefit of increasing your session watch time?
It helps YouTube’s algorithm for showing suggested videos. This in turn gives you more views, subscribers and better rankings. If you have a channel monetized it can also lead to increased revenue from adsense ads.

So how do you increase session watch time on your YouTube videos?

1. Make videos more engaging

  • Make sure you use a hook at the beginning of your video to get viewers attention.
  • Provide high-quality content that people wish to watch.
  • Make sure your content is relevant so people won’t leave because you didn’t deliver the content that you promised in the title.
  • Don’t waste people’s time on irrelevant content.
  • Add graphics cards and end screens to keep your viewers attention all the way through the video.

  • Be energized in the video because video takes away the energy when you’re filming.
  • If your videos lead to longer sessions for your YouTube viewers even if they aren’t watching your videos anymore your video will be rewarded as a gateway video to a long session.

2. Create attractive thumbnails that get the click.

  • Make sure your thumbnails are congruent throughout your channel. When somebody watches one of your videos it will be obvious from the thumbnails that they all belong to your channel.
  • Use large text instead of trying to cram a bunch of words into YouTube thumbnail. just use a few words so they’ll be easy to read
  • Don’t be misleading
. Make sure your content delivers what you promised in the thumbnail.

3. Optimize your channel home page

  • Make sure it’s easy to determine what your channel is all about from your channel banner.
  • Make sure your channel trailer encapsulates the content of all the videos on your channel.
  • Create sections on your channel home page that includes the playlists of your channel.

4. Create an official playlist

  • Make sure you optimize the title, description and thumbnail of your playlist.
  • Create an official playlist so YouTube will promote it.
  • Add at least 5 videos to each playlist.
  • Put the videos in order so it’s easy to follow the content. If you don’t have enough videos to put in your playlist you can include videos from other channels when uploading a new video.
  • Don’t immediately add it to a playlist, instead add it to playlist later
    so you start a new session watch time.
  • Add your playlist URL in the description of your videos so it increases your session watch time.

5. End Screens

  • Use end screens in the last 20 seconds of your video to get people to watch more videos.

  • To prevent indecision don’t add too many calls to actions to increase the chances of your viewers clicking on your call-to-action.
  • Use a human face that points to the call-to-action. Also include a verbal call-to-action as you point to the graphic.

6. Encourage comments

  • Interesting comments can increase the session time viewers spend on a video page.
  • You can also link to other videos in your comments to encourage people to watch more videos.

7. Build a subscriber base

  • Your subscribers tend to be your most loyal fans. Active, engaged, and enthusiastic subscribers will help to accumulate more session watch time.
  • You also get committed responses from engaged fans. You also get a higher retention rate than viewers who found you in the search engines.
  • Include a subscribe link on your channel banner as well as in the description of your videos. You can also add a subscribe watermark across all the videos on your channel.

8. Study analytics

  • View the top 10 videos on your channel to see which ones got the highest retention rates. If viewers are dropping off in the first 15 seconds this may mean that you’re not delivering the content that you promised in your thumbnail and title.
  • Study analytics over 28 days so you can make improvements to your session watch times.

Here are a few important things to keep in mind to improve your session watch time

  • Don’t link to an external source at the beginning of your video because it will end your session watch time. Instead link to one of your videos or one of your playlists so it extends the session watch time.
  • Create teaser videos for your social media sites that redirect to the full video on YouTube
  • Upload videos on a consistent basis because YouTube rewards upload frequency
  • Add international tags if you’re getting traffic from non-english speaking countries, this will help you to reach a broader audience.
  • Create a transcription of your video content so people who can’t hear or understand what you’re saying can read the captions under your videos.
  • Add live stream videos to your channel because they tend to have a longer watch time.

Let me ask you an important question
What are you currently doing to improve
the watch time of your videos on YouTube?

Post your answer in the comments below I’d love to read them.

If you want to learn how generate traffic, leads and sales on autopilot become a member of my YouTube Marketing Course at


  1. Hi,

    I recently took your advice about “How To Disable Related Videos On YouTube Embed”. Thank you!
    But now the video thumbnail for the embedded video is a default image (button with 3 dots ) instead of an image from the video.
    Can this be fixed?

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