For YouTube, Watch Time is a key metric, and is considered both for revenue purposes as well as for promoting your videos. However, having a high watch time is not easy, so with that in mind, we have a few tips that can help you increase your watch time.
Optimize your videos for searches
First things first, you need viewers, so optimize your videos with keywords that appeal to your target audience. For example, if you create videos for a specific class, such as Rogue, from the game Dungeons & Dragons game, make sure to add those keywords in your title. In this example, you could use "How to become a better Rogue, in Dungeons & Dragons". Next, make sure you also update your first sentence in your video description as well to match those keywords, and lastly, don't forget about the tags of your video.
Focus on quality
With so much content on YouTube, chances are that the topic you are covering with your videos is already being convered extensively by other creators. When viewers get the chance, they usually prefer to watch better quality videos as opposed to low quality ones, especially if they are watching the videos in a large screen. However, note that quality is not all about the resolution of a video, that is just one of the things to watch for, keep in mind that lighting for videos, audio quality, performance, easy to understand, and many others, make up the quality of a video. Create your own style, create an awesome intro, use templates for your VFX, visual cues, and animated transitions. These are some of the things you can do to focus on quality and keep your audience entertained for a longer period of time.
Master your hook
It's crucial to capture the attention of your audience in the first 15 to 30 seconds of a video. Using interesting parts of the video upfront, as a preview, or provide proof that you have uncovered something new on something they need to know. There are many ways you can do this, and it will be more evident for you as you have a better understanding of what your audience likes the most.
Provide unique information
Give them something that they don't know, especially something that can have an impact on their lives, and why they should listen to you. Basically, you need to give them a reason to get back to your channel. If you can set yourself appart from other creators that cover the same topics as you, and provide valuable information, it's more likely that you will be able to build a strong community around your channel.
Make longer videos
By creating longer videos, you will increase your chances of increasing your watch time as well. We recomend videos with 10 minutes or more, however, don't extend your videos artifically, or in other words, don't add random content just to have a longer video, as viewers will begin to notice that your videos don't provide enough value and leave early in the video, or can even consider not coming back to your channel. Longer videos is good, but you need to make sure that that doesn't impact the value you provide to your audience.
Use cards throughout your videos
You can channel your audience to other videos that are related to the topic of the one they are already watching, which is a good way to get their attention to more of your videos. Just keep in mind that whenever you mention your other videos and link to them, there is a chance that the viewer will leave your current video to go to the one you mentioned. You can leave use audio cues to let them know that they can check out that video after they have watched the current one.
Structured linear playlist
When you create a playlist, make sure to order the videos with the same topic in the most relevant order, so that the videos flow one after the other in a linear fashion that makes sense for the audience. For example, if you are doing piano lessons and the viewer is watching lesson 1 and the next video in the playlist is lesson 12, that will break the chain that you could easily create for the viewer and he may leave your channel instead of increasing your watch time by viewing lesson 2.
Create content based on long-tail keywords
Go to the YouTube search bar and type in one of your main keywords, and check both the suggested searches from YouTube for that keyword as well as the video types showing in the search results that are being created on the topic. Because you know what viewers are interested in, it's easier to know what kind of content to create next. This will help bring in more views and consequently, increase your watch time.