How To Increase Audience Retention On YouTube – Top 10 Ways

Do you want to boost your rankings and
get more views and subscribers?

In this video I explain what audience retention is, show you ten ways to increase audience retention and show you how to monitor the performance of your videos so you can make improvements.

Watch the video below

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The biggest ranking factor on YouTube is watch time. This is the amount of time that people keep watching your video so if they bail out after a few seconds you’ll get a lower watch time.

So what is audience retention?
This is the ability of your videos to keep the attention and interest of your audience so if you keep your audience engaged throughout your video you’ll have a high audience retention score.

The audience retention of a video is measured in two ways:
1. Absolute audience retention
2. Relative audience retention

Absolute Audience Retention shows the percentage of views for every moment in the video. Pay close attention to the first 15 seconds of your video because that’s when viewers are more likely to drop off if you don’t deliver the content that you promised.

Relative audience retention is the ability of your video to keep viewers watching compared to other videos that have the same length. If the graph shows a relative audience retention over 50% that means your video is doing better than other videos of the same length. It means that more viewers kept watching your video over the same time frame compared to the same time frame of other YouTube videos.

Here’s a great tip…
Instead of comparing your video with others compare your video with other videos on your channel. If you see a video with a high retention score then try to duplicate it for future videos.

So what should be your goal?
Try to shoot for a relative audience retention score that is above 50%. This means that your video will have a higher audience retention than videos of a similar length.

Here are 10 ways to increase the audience retention on your YouTube videos

1. Identify a problem or pain point of your audience.
If you can identify and solve a problem or pain point of your audience then you’ll keep your audience engaged .

2. Do correct keyword research
Identify the keywords that your target audience is searching for. You can do this by using the autosuggest feature of YouTube and getting a list of suggestions. Try to avoid very competitive keyword phrases because they’ll be harder to rank for. Instead, look for low competition keyword phrases.

Watch my video on how to identify low competition keywords

3. Script out relevant content
Your content should be directly related to the keyword phrase you identified in point two. f you deviate from the content that you promised your viewers will leave your video.

4. Hook your viewers from the beginning
Begin your video by telling your viewers what your video is going to be about. For example in this video I started off by asking a question

Do you want to boost your rankings and get more views and subscribers”

Then I follow that sentence by saying …

“In this video you’re going to receive ways to increase audience retention on your videos”

You also might give a teaser at the beginning so people stay to the end. For example you could say

“Stay to the end to receive my video upload checklist.”

5. Share only what is necessary
Don’t try to lengthen your video by filling it up with fluff. Try to communicate value from the beginning to keep your viewers engaged throughout the video.

Here’s a test you can do to see if you’ve got good audience retention… hit #3 your keyboard after your video starts. The first 30% of your video will be skipped. If you can still understand what your video is all about after skipping 30% percent then you know that you can eliminate the fluff at the beginning.

6. Use B-roll
If you’re doing a talking head video your viewer will soon become bored. Try to change the screen every three to four seconds by using B-roll, text, cards, etc. You can also move yourself from left to right or you can zoom in on the person. This helps to break up the monotony of your video and keeps people watching.

7. Link to a playlist
Link to a playlist at the end of your video so it keeps people watching more of your videos. If you notice there’s a drop off halfway through your video then create a card that links to a playlist, so if people leave your video they’ll watch more of your other videos. If people watch more of your videos on YouTube that will increase your session watch time.

Watch my tutorial on how to increase session watch time

8. Thumbnail, title and intro should all be congruent to your message
The purpose of your thumbnail is to get the first click. Your title should be congruent to your thumbnail so they’ll want to watch your video. Your intro should tell your viewers immediately what to expect in the video content. As I mentioned before the first seconds will determine if people will keep watching your video so make sure that your thumbnail title and intro is aligned with the message you’re trying to convey to your viewers.

9. Don’t telegraph your ending
Avoid using phrases like “that’s a wrap,” “that’s it” or “in conclusion.” You want to keep your viewers watching to the end of the video so don’t indicate when the video will end. Leave that for your last 20 -30 seconds where you can link to a free giveaway and add an end screen that links to another video and get people to subscribe.

10. Monitor YouTube analytics
Go to youtube analytics and click on audience retention.
Click on absolute audience retention to see if there’s a drop-off in the first seconds. If so work on the intro of your videos so you can boost your absolute audience retention rate.

Click on the relative audience retention tab to see the number of viewers that are watching your videos compared to videos of the same length. Try to shoot for a relative audience retention of 50%. If you get over 50% you’re doing well.

Here are several important things to keep in mind to increase
the audience retention of your videos on YouTube

  • Compare with yourself not with others.
    If you compare your channel with other channels then you’ll lose inspiration and motivation. It’s similar to competing in a running race. There will always be people that can run faster than you so instead of comparing your time with others times just try to beat your own best time.
  • Analyze your top videos
    If the content of those videos is doing well then create more content on the same topic.
  • Treat each video separately
    If the multitude of the videos on your channel have a low audience tension rate it won’t affect a future video that has a high audience retention rate. Therefore treat each video that you upload separately to all the other videos on your channel
  • Add videos to an official playlist
    When you add videos to an official playlist. YouTube will suggest videos to your viewers based upon the history of their viewing experience.
  • Make a goal to improve the audience retention of your future videos over the next days.
    Identify one thing that you can improve over the next month. If you make this adjustment and it improves your absolute and relative audience retention scores then you’ll see a great improvement in rankings and get more views and subscribers.

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