5 tips to optimize and grow your YouTube channel for 2021

5 tips to optimize and grow your YouTube channel for 2021

Getting more views on YouTube is very possible without paid advertisements. Discover YouTube SEO, free tools and techniques to increase your video ranking that will make your YouTube channel grow!!

1. Find your target Audience

It is important to identify your target audience first in order to know what kind of videos you are going to make for relevancy and better engagement to your viewers.To do this, we need to research and find your audience, you can use keywords research tools to narrow down your audience depending on factors such as their age, gender, location and etc. You can utilize free keywords research tools such as google trends, ahrefs Keyword generator or Moz Keyword explorer. Here is a simple example using google trends on which location and gender to target videos on weight loss supplement:

Google Trends Data
Google Trends Data gender

Therefore, we can narrow down our target audience for weight loss supplement as men located in the Netherlands or the United States. You can use other demographics such as age, income or education to further narrow down your target audience depending on your niche.

Use the YouTube channel analytics

If you have made a few videos already, you are able to gather data on your current viewers such as their location, age, gender and even when are they active on your  YouTube channel analytics page. Here are examples of what these data look like:

YouTube channel analytics

From these data, we can deduce that most of your current audience is male viewers from Japan aged between 18 to 34 years old and is most active at 6pm to 12 am.

These data will further assist you in identifying and understanding your target audience so you can create videos that are more engaging and relevant to them. Additionally, by knowing when your audiences are most active, you can upload a video at that specific timeframe to increase the likeliness that your videos are viewed by your audience.

2. Choose Your YouTube Video Title and Thumbnail Carefully

According to this article, The thumbnail and title need to be compelling and attention-grabbing in order for both to work together to create interest and mystery to entice people to click.

YouTube thumbnail and title
YouTube thumbnail and title 2

3. Hook YouTube Video Viewers With a Viral Trigger

The hardest thing isn’t coming up with a title or a thumbnail, but a hook that is telling a compelling story that grabs people and keeps them watching. The article quotes Maya Angelou: “People won’t remember what you said, people won’t remember what you did, but people will always remember how you made them feel.” It is crucial to create content that makes people stop, think and feel in order to get them hooked. To do this, avoid making videos with long intros and use a short teaser of the main attraction of the video for the intro instead. This will make viewers feel curious on what is the main attraction of the video and will be incentivized to continue watching.

4. Watch Time Matters to the YouTube Algorithm

According to Sean Cannell, There is a common misconception that getting more views will tell the YouTube algorithm to rank a video higher. This is not true as YouTube

has suggested that focusing on watch time is key to getting more viewers.

YouTube has stated that the metrics they value most are:

  1. Average view duration
  2. Audience retention
  3. Session time
  4. Minutes watched

Those four metrics measure different ways the audience views your videos, yet they all ultimately fall under watch time. If your average view duration is good, your video is going to be highly suggested because it signifies to the YouTube algorithm that your video is relevant to the viewers. The higher the watch time metrics, the higher your video is going to rank. If the average view duration is bad, your video will have a hard time getting ranked higher.

5. How to drive more organic traffic to your channel

One free way to drive more traffic to your videos to go viral is focusing on YouTube SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

YouTube SEO is different than the normal day-to-day SEO that we marketers are used to. Instead of focusing most of your efforts on keyword research, headline and on-page video optimisation, YouTube SEO is about creating engaging videos that matches with the searcher’s intent to rank high on YouTube.

How does YouTube search work?

In YouTube’s own words, similar to Google:

“search on YouTube strives to surface the most relevant results according to keyword queries. Videos are ranked based on a variety of factors including how well the title, description, and video content match the viewer’s query. Beyond that, we look at which videos have driven the most engagement for a query. Search results are not a list of the most-viewed videos for a given query.”

So this indicates that in order to further rank higher on YouTube search engine, we must generate high engagement.

So before we had learned that higher watch time signifies higher relevancy to the YouTube algorithm. To further inform the YouTube algorithm of your video’s relevancy, You can get higher engagement by recommending your viewers to:

  1. Like the video
  2. Subscribe to your channel
  3. Share your videos to other social media platforms
YouTube call to actions

To track your video’s ranking and engagement, you can utilize a free tool known as TubeBuddy which can be integrated into the YouTube platform as a google chrome extension. It allows you to track the number of shares on Twitter, likes on Facebook and upvotes on Reddit.

Tubebuddy 1

It tracks the ranking of your videos of certain keywords.

Tubebuddy 2

It gives you a list of best practices that helps you to optimize your videos and engage with your viewers.

Tubebuddy best practice


In order to grow your YouTube channel, We must first identify our target audience and create our content according to what is relevant to them.

Make content that makes your audience stop, think and feel in order to get them hooked by using a teaser of the main attraction of the video as a viral trigger.

Thumbnail and title must work together to create interest and grab the attention of viewers.

Creating relevant content for your viewers will increase your watch time of your videos which signifies to the YouTube algorithm to rank your video higher.

To further increase your video rankings, you can create more engagement from your audience by recommending them to subscribe to your channel as well as liking and sharing your videos. You can track your progress in engagement and video ranking using TubeBuddy.

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Joven Yao Wei Tee

A Singaporean who is actively exploring and learning about the ever-changing world of Digital Marketing.

🏆Youtube Partner as of 2019, 8000 subscribers as of 24 Sept 2020, 7,000,000 View as of 27 Sept 2020

🥁🎥Drumming and content creating are my personal interest/hobby.