YouTube watch time is a powerful metric that influences your rankings in the Suggested Video sidebar and the YouTube homepage. Increasing your watch hours can help elevate your videos to the top of search results.

Start with a captivating first 15 seconds and keep viewers engaged throughout the video by using different camera angles, visual styles, and music.

1. Add a call-to-action

Adding a call-to-action is a simple way to encourage your viewers to watch more of your videos. By including a text-based CTA, you can direct your audience to specific videos that are relevant to their interests. This strategy will help increase your video’s view count and overall watch time.

Getting to 4000 hours on YouTube is no easy feat. But with a bit of luck, and the right techniques, you can reach your goal sooner rather than later.

One of the best ways to increase your watch time is to use pattern interrupters. These are visual and audio elements that disrupt your audience’s thought patterns, keeping them engaged for longer. Using these elements can also make your video more likely to appear in YouTube recommendations.

2. Add an end screen

Add an end screen

The YouTube algorithm rewards videos with more watch time, so it’s important to keep viewers engaged. You can do this with an end screen, which allows you to promote separate videos, playlists, merchandise and external websites.

You can add an end screen to any video on your channel using the YouTube Studio app. There are a number of different templates, including ones that feature a subscribe button and other call-to-actions.

End screens can be a powerful way to increase your viewership and grow your channel. Use a custom YouTube end card template to re-capture your audience’s attention and get them to keep watching! You can also use end screens to direct your audiences to other YouTube channels, approved websites or crowdfunding campaigns. These elements appear over the last 20 seconds of your video and can be clicked by your viewers to take action.

3. Optimize the title and thumbnail

Video titles and thumbnails are one of the most important parts of your video, especially when it comes to increasing YouTube watch time. When creating your thumbnails, choose an image that represents the content of your video. This will help entice viewers to click on your video, rather than someone else’s.

Make sure your thumbnails are clear and easy to read. Use contrasting colors to draw the viewer’s attention and ensure your text is easily legible. This is important because most YouTube videos are viewed on small screens, such as mobile phones, click over here.

Also, be sure your videos have descriptive title tags that include keywords that are relevant to the topic. This will increase your video’s search ranking on YouTube. You can find relevant keywords by using YouTube’s autocomplete feature, which shows you the words people actually type into the search bar.

4. Add social proof

Adding social proof to your video is a powerful way to increase watch time. There are several different types of social proof that you can use, including:

YouTube rewards videos and channels that keep viewers on the platform for longer periods of time. This is why it’s important to focus on creating engaging content and attracting organic viewership. By following these tips, you can improve your channel’s watch time and boost your business’s online visibility. Be sure to test video lengths, storytelling techniques, and keywords to see what works best for your audience. The more watch hours you can acquire, the more likely your videos will rank high in search results. So, get started by using these powerful YouTube watch time hacks!

5. Add a call-to-action button

The more your video is watched, the higher it will rank in YouTube search and recommendations. But getting that watch time doesn’t happen overnight – even the biggest YouTube channels have been building their audience for years.

A call-to-action button is a clickable text, image or HTML script that directs your viewers to do something – for example to subscribe, visit your website or buy a product. It’s a great way to encourage your viewers to take action right after they’ve finished watching your video.


There is no magic bullet for increasing your YouTube watch time, but by testing every aspect of your videos (filming styles, post times, storytelling techniques etc.), you can increase your average watch time and reach your audience more effectively.

Bill Sutton
How to Increase Watch Time on YouTube