How To Increase Youtube Impressions (GET MORE VIEWS & WATCH TIME)

Why do you get a spike in impressions soon after uploading your video?
Why do impressions decline after the initial spike?
Why do you get additional bumps and impressions later on?

Watch the video below to get the answers to these questions, and learn how to increase impressions on YouTube, what impressions mean, how they are counted, how they change over time, and how to monitor YouTube impressions and YouTube analytics.

Click here to get my secret video title writing formula, so you can convert more viewers into subscribers

What the heck does YouTube impressions mean?
This refers to how many times your thumbnail was shown to people on YouTube. Think of each impression as a potential reach on YouTube, and a chance to get a view on YouTube if a viewer chooses to watch it. Keep in mind that not all impressions will turn into views.

What counts as an impression?
The thumbnail has to be shown for more than one second, and at least 50% of the thumbnail has to be visible to viewers. The impression is counted right away if a viewer clicks on the thumbnail. Clicking on a link doesn’t count as an impression. Keep in mind that impressions are not found in external sources.

How are impressions counted?
Impressions are counted from search results, the YouTube homepage, YouTube feeds such as subscriptions, trending history, Watch Later, Up Next, recommendations on the right side of the video player, and videos and playlists.

Where are impressions not counted?
External websites and apps such as embedding your video on your website or blog, YouTube mobile website, videos on YouTube TV, YouTube Kids, YouTube Music, and YouTube gaming apps.

Impressions are not also counted from the content within the video player. This includes cards and end screens, videos in your e-mail or push notifications, videos that play in the background tab, videos whose thumbnails are less than 50% visible or visible for less than one second. It also includes video discovery ads, which are the ones that appear at the top of the search results.

How do impressions change over time?
You get a spike in impressions soon after you upload your video. Most of your impressions will come from subscribers and returning viewers. Your subscribers receive notifications via e-mail or push notifications, so they’ll see the video right away.

Returning viewers will often see your video right away on the home screen or the YouTube app. After you receive that initial spike in impressions, you’ll see a steady decline in impressions. This is because YouTube will continue to surface your video to a wider audience, such as YouTube search and YouTube suggested videos.

Later on, you may get additional bumps in impressions. Why is this?
This might be because there’s renewed interest from viewers, your new content may be closely related. For instance, you might have uploaded a new video that’s closely related to the content of your previous video. Your video may also be picked up by a popular website, which will give you additional watch time.

A couple of other factors could be due to holidays or trending topic.

Here’s how to check YouTube impressions in YouTube Analytics
If you go to YouTube Studio and click on the Reach tab in YouTube Analytics, you’ll see impressions, impressions click-through rate and views in the last 90 days. Impressions refer to how many times your thumbnails were shown to viewers. Impressions click-through rate refers to views per impression shown. It measures how often viewers watched your video after seeing an impression.

Views refer to the number of legitimate views for your channels or videos. As you can see in this video, when I got a high click-through rate, I got a high number of impressions and views.

Based on a variety of factors, YouTube systems try to figure out which viewers are most likely to watch the video.

A typical impressions click-through rate is between 2% and 10%. 11.1% is pretty good. For this video, it resulted in over 159,000 impressions. This resulted in 25.6 thousand views over the last 28 days. In this video, I got a low click-through rate, which resulted in low impressions and a low amount of views. Keep in mind, this is a more recent video compared to the older video I showed you previously.

The impressions click-through rate is only 0.7%. This resulted in 1.6 thousand impressions and only 41 views in the last 28 days.

How do impressions lead to more views and more watch time?
If you go to YouTube Analytics and click on the Reach tab, you’ll see the impressions funnel that leads to more views and watch time. In the last 90 days, I got 6.8 million impressions, which resulted in 472,000 views. It also resulted in 11.8 thousand hours of watch time from the impressions. The image also shows that most of my traffic sources came from external, YouTube search, direct or unknown, and suggested videos.

Out of those 6.8 million impressions, 9.2% came from YouTube recommending my content, 7.5% was recommended from the watch page, and 1.7% was recommended on the homepage.

YouTube emphatically says that you can increase the chance of YouTube suggesting your content by increasing your click-through rate and your video watch time.

Click-through rate refers to the percentage of impressions that turn into views. This measures how often viewers watched your video after seeing your thumbnail.

The click-through rate is often the highest after you first upload your video, because your most passionate fans see your video on their YouTube home screen.

It decreases afterwards because YouTube shows your video to a wider audience. If you drill down to YouTube Analytics, you’ll see a detailed traffic sources.

For my channel, most of traffic comes from YouTube search and Google search, which is an external traffic source.

How can you increase YouTube impressions so your thumbnail is shown to more people on YouTube?

  1. Redesign your thumbnails
    Make your thumbnails stand out from your competitors. For example, when you create your thumbnail, look at your competitors thumbnails and see if your thumbnail stands out from your competitors’ thumbnails.

    Click here if you want to know how to create eye-catching thumbnails.

    Another thing you can do is split test your thumbnails using TubeBuddy. TubeBuddy has a great split testing feature, where you can compare one video with another thumbnail and see which one performs best.

    For example, on this image, the variation thumbnail had a 91.6% higher click-through rate than the original thumbnail. When I first created the original thumbnail, I thought it was the best thumbnail compared to my variation thumbnail.

    After running the split test through TubeBuddy, I discovered that the variation thumbnail outperformed the original thumbnail by 91.6%. You just never know which thumbnail is going to work the best.

    Click here if you want to get TubeBuddy with the split testing feature,
    Use the promo code “hermansbuddy” to get 20% off.
  2. Create great titles
    When viewers see your thumbnail in YouTube search or suggested videos, they also read your title. Make sure you optimize your title for the search engines and for viewers.

    Your main keyword phrase should be at the beginning of your title so it’s optimized for the search engines, and then have a compelling phrase for your viewers.

    For example, the title of this video is How to Increase Impressions on YouTube. The end of the title says, “Get more views and watch time,” which inspires viewers to click on the thumbnail and watch your video.
  3. Double down on the high performing videos
    Look at the top 10 videos in YouTube Analytics that are driving the most traffic to your channel. YouTube shows you the specific videos that are driving the most traffic.

    Make similar content to the content in these videos. You can approach a topic from a different angle, show different examples, dispel some of the top miss, get the best practices, et cetera.
  4. Add videos to playlists
    As I mentioned previously, impressions are also counted from videos in your playlists. Make sure you link to your related video or playlist in the card or end screen.

    If people love the content that they’ve just watched, they want to consume more of your content, so link to your related video or playlist in the card or end screen.
  5. Upload your videos when your viewers are on YouTube.
    If you click the Audience tab in YouTube Analytics, it will show when your viewers are on YouTube and the best time that you should publish your videos.

    If you don’t see this graph in YouTube Analytics, look at the countries where most of your viewers are coming from. In my case, most of viewers come from United States. If I click on See More, I can see all the countries where my viewers are coming from.

    If I click on United States, I can see exactly the states where most of my viewers are coming from. If most of my viewers come from California, then I know I should upload my videos before they get up in the morning.
  6. Invite viewers to subscribe and turn on the bell notification icon
    Earlier in the video, I mentioned that most impressions occur when you first upload your video. This is because your most passionate fans, your subscribers, are watching your video based upon notifications they receive in e-mail and on the YouTube homepage.

    Therefore, ask people to subscribe in your video. It gives them a great reason why they should subscribe to your channel.

    You can ask viewers to subscribe and click the bell notification at the beginning of your video, or place a Subscribe button in the end screen at the end of your video.

    Another way to get more subscribers is to add a subscribe watermark across all the videos on your channel. Click here to learn how to add a subscribe watermark on your videos.

What drives impressions on YouTube?
When you first upload a video, YouTube will start surfacing that video to relevant audiences on YouTube. As long as your video remains on YouTube, YouTube will continue to surface your video to more audiences.

Why are my impressions and click-through rate low?
Not every time that a viewer sees a video thumbnail will it result in an impression. Not all views come from thumbnail impressions such as a video embedded on a blog, website, or social media site.

Older videos may get more impressions than newer videos because of being longer on YouTube. Impressions and click-through rate may decrease as your videos show onto a wider audience on YouTube, but may also get more views and watch time as it’s distributed to a wider audience.

Why might your impressions and click-through rate peak after uploading your video?
This is because your most passionate fans are more likely to click and watch your videos first. These are typically your subscribers and viewers that have watched your previous videos. Returning viewers will typically see your newly published video on their home screen at If you want to monitor the impressions and click-through rate for YouTube videos, wait a few days for the stats to stabilize.

Let me ask you a question….
Do you want to know how to write attention-grabbing titles for YouTube videos,

even if you have never had copywriting experience?

If that’s a yes, click here to get my secret video title writing
formula, so you can convert more viewers into subscribers.

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