Exposing bad advice from YouTube Gurus
Written by: Dexxter ClarkWhether its lack of experience, ignorance or a commercial motive, you can get a million subscribers on YouTube by giving bad advice.
Since everybody can get it wrong sometimes, I don`t think it`s fair to name names in this video.
But I do think it is time for some truths and tips that actually help you.
CTR is a lie
The percentage of CTR is important for the algorithm, but not for the creator because it doesn’t say anything.
1) You can’t compare CTRs since they are always relative to the competition (of which you don’t know the CTRs). If the rest has 5%, you have 6%, you are doing great. When you have 10% and the rest has 11%, you are doing not so good, so 6% can be better than 10%.
2) CTRs often go down over time, while that doesn’t have to be linear to the decline in views, look at your YouTube Analytics over the period of 2 years.
3) Different traffic sources like Home Search and Suggested have different CTRs, and impressions aren’t counted for every traffic source.
the ratio of traffic from the different traffic sources is never the same, but it is the average that makes up your CTR.
4) especially on a small channels, the CTR is all over the place, simply because the algorithm has too little data to suggest your video to the right audience.
5) small channel have generally higher CTRs than large channels because the algorithm suggests more videos of big channels to an uninterested audience.
Here in YouTube analytics Look at 2 specific dates: july 25th and august 5th.
When I switch between “lifetime” and “since upload”?
Whats the real CTR?
People always want high CTRs, but I (like I explained in my CTR video) like to have lower CTRs.
When your CTR is high like 10% and higher, it could mean that youtube can`t find the right audience.
When youtube releases a video it promotes the video to a bigger group of people until it hits a point that the next group is not interested in the video.
With every promotion to a new group your CTR goes down.
With a high CTR the promotion is "stuck" right now, youtube doesn’t promote it to the next group of people, because they are not interested.
Your largest possible interested audience already clicks alot and that is what CTR represents.
If youtube pushed though with promotion you would have had a lower ctr.
High CTRs are not alsways desirable either, because that could mean that your promotion to the next group of viewers is “stuck”.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that you should try to have the highest CTR possible, but you can’t reliably say that 6% is better than 3%.
A full breakdown with tons of examples you can find in my video about click through rates.
The link is in the description
APV is a lie
The same that applies to CTR applies to APV for much of the same reasons:
1) it’s relative to the competition, 20% maybe bad, but when the competition has 15%, its good.
2) apv’s are all over the place, especially on a small channel
[screen recording: 3 apv graphs]
This is an apv graph on this small channel, 61% pretty good. This was the same graph an hour ago. And this was the same graph 3 days ago.
3) it’s relative to video length.
Because an APV of 30% is far better on a 30 minute video than on a 5 minute video
again, it doesn’t mean that you should try to have the highest APV possible, but you can’t say that 50% is alsways better than 40%.
If you still want to aim for something, aim for 50% - 60% on a 10 minute video.
Subscribers do matter
The amount of subscribers don’t matter for years now, because it doesn’t matter for the algorithm.
Returning viewers do.
[broll: Venn-diagram: subscribers and returning viewers]
Because what do you think is the algorithm is going to favor?
Viewers that actually watch content or viewers that clicked on a red button 4 years ago and don’t watch content?
YouTube rewards creators with more views that keep viewers longer on the platform because they see more ads.
So instead of focussing on the subsciber numbers, focus on the purple line in Analytics.
This is what helps your channel grow.
But I do understand why gurus say this, because that is just the language that creators use.
Because a channel with a million subscribers has probably a larger returning audience than a channel with … let’s say a thousand subscribers.
Stop wasting viewers time:intro
Some educators tell you how to do an intro … and their own intro …. is exactly what you shouldn’t do.
I looked at 63 audience retention graphs on 2 channels, basically it comes down to this.
You need to be in the content of your video within 4-10 seconds, 20 seconds is the absolute max.
I saw that as soon as the intro stopped that the major drop off of my viewers stopped.
In the videos were there was not really an intro that the video that the audience retention graph was a smooth wave instead of a hockeystick.
So, no logo at the beginning, no bumper, no sponsor, no asking for subscribes, it kills your audience retention.
The link to the video with the conclusions of analyzing the 63 audience retention graphs is in the description below.
Your video title can be 60 or 100 characters long
“You have 100 characters for your video title, use it”
Don’t, your title is always truncated
“your video title must be under 60 characters, otherwise its truncated”
Not true either.
[broll: book Eves weggooien]
I’ve researched this 108 video titles and I found that to prevent truncation of your title, it must be max 45 characters long.
And let’s take a look at this title: this got truncated after 20 characters.
It depends entirely where on YouTube is truncated and if it is desktop or mobile.
For example: when a video is purely focussed on YouTube search, then the title length doesn’t really matter for Search on Desktop, but it does for mobile.
But it is still truncated in Suggested and on Home.
My advice, make a title short and compact and communicate 1 clear message.
And don’t stuff the title with keywords, 1 or 2 keywords is enough.
And don’t use an all caps title
Again, I’ve researched this, you can find the study on my website in the character counter, in which you can see if your title is truncated or not.
And this is literally what I do on this channel, debunking myths of the YouTube Gurus, If you like that, subscribe and click the bell to see more.
Since YouTube adopted Google brain in 2015, Google’s AI was used in YouTube’s algorithm.
Two of the algorithms that Google implemented was he Video Intellingence algorihtm and a speech recognition algorithm.
Video Intelligence Algorithms analyzes objects and texts in every frame of the video.
And the speech recognition knows what is being said.
So YouTube knows exactly what your video is about, without the much abused tags.
Tags is old advice that worked before 2015.
Even YouTube says so.
[broll: “misspelt words”]
I made a video in which I test tags, the link is in the description.
Keywords help you in ranking
According to a paper by google, ranking works is 2 steps:
1) candidate selection – which determines the relevancy to the search term.
2) sort the results in order of the viewer is most likely to watch based on past search history, watch history, what similar viewers watched and average view duration - AKA the ranking
Keywords help you in the first stage (candidate generation), not the second ranking part.
Keywords help the algorithm to get an idea what your video is about when you release the video to determine its initial audience.
But then the algorithm starts testing keywords and learns from viewer behavior.
And viewer behavior is far more important than whatever keywords you used in your title, description and thumbnail.
Use keyword research tools
YouTube keyword research tools have gained a cult following of mythical proportions.
But hat mythical status is not entirely deserved.
The performance of these tools often leave much to be desired as I explained in this video. [point to card]
I contribute their popularity to a simple business model: affiliate marketing.
YouTube Gurus get a 50% recurring affiliate commission indefinitely for saying that something is good.
And when people hear over and over again that something is good, they a very likely to trust that.
It doesn’t make it true however.
But I find it kind of unfair that a guru promotes a product that they don’t use themselves.
And if they do, they do, they’ve never tested it properly.
But I can’t imagine that, because you’ve built your whole business around a YouTube channel and not tested the one product that supposedly should make you money?
Those tools are a helping hand for a lot of things, but not a replacement for manual topic research.
You need to upload daily
I’ve studied this extensively, absolutely not true.
I’ve seen increases of 20%of views for 6x the amount of work … not worth it in my book.
But I have to note that it depends on your audience and the type of content you make.
Informational content is harder to digest on a daily basis than a daily vlog.
But is true is that you need to have a large library of content on your channel, at least 50-100 videos.
Because more videos on a channel increases the chances of being discovered.
But a lot of big channels upload once a week or once month, like mr Beast.
When and at what time and day to upload
I’ve heard some bad advice on this topic that really makes me laugh.
I’ve seen some YouTube gurus go the the YouTube analytics graph and tell you that you should look here and release your video at the point that most viewers are online.
But …… why are your viewers online? ….. because you release a video!
Let’s leave it at that.
But it can help you with livestreams, because you know that your viewers are able to make it at these times.
Trying to trick or hack the algorithm
If a guru teaches you this, you know that they haven’t been on YouTube long enough.
Tricking the algorithms is a naive short term strategy.
YouTube has the most smartest software engineers in the world.
Tricking the algorithm is a cat and mouse game, you simply can’t win.
Think about YouTube’s core values.
Do you think that YouTube will like what you do? No? Then don’t do it.
And you’ll never have to worry about any YouTube algorithm update ever again.
If you want more eye openers then check out my video about why keyword research is dead.
Don’t take things a face value, test for yourself.
YouTube is easy
I’m going to start easy with easy.
YouTube is NOT easy, whatever.
There are only a few that get a lucky break and grow fast, but that is not how things work for 99% of creators.
99% of creators that start a YouTube channel will not reach the 1000 subscribers.
99% of creators that are left over will not reach the 10000 subscribers.
Using copyright free music is allowed
You can’t just use any song as you might know.
Especially avoid the channels that have so called “copyright free music”.
If a song becomes a hit, do you think the music producer will copyright and register the music and you can expect copyright
To stay safe, use YouTube music library.
There is a lot of shit in there, but if you look closely there is some decent stuff there.
You can also use music libraries for a monthly fee.
Making covers or singing is song is ok
you need to make a lot of videos
no, I’m not contradicting my previous statement.
You have to be smart with your content
You need to make sure your videos are searchable, if you don’t know how to do that, check my video in the description.
Make sure that viewer actually search on the topic of the video.
If you can’t find it in the search bar auto complete, don’t make the video, viewers don’t search for it.
And you make sure there is a reason for viewers to click.
When viewers see 10 videos on the same topic, why should they click on yours.
You need to communicate that reason in your title and thumbnail.
For ideas for clcikable titles, use the title generator on socialvideoplaza.com
Google on: video title generator social video plaza.
Decisions based on low views
In extension to my points about AVD and CTR: you can’t make decisions based on low numbers.
A.I. needs large datasets to train with, just to take luck and coincidence out of the equation.
Every scientist can tell you that data needs to be statically significant before you can draw conclusions.
In other words: a lot of views, a lot of videos, a lot of “subscribers”.
You can’t make decisions based on less than a 100 or 1000 views on a video, including calculating a view to subscribe ratio.
Make longer videos
A lot of creators claim that making longer videos is better, because of watch time.
While that may be the case when you have 100K subscribers and you have a strong core audience, But it is absolutely the worst advice you can give to a small channel.
The problem is that the algorithm with a large channel has enough data to learn from and knows which audience wants to sit through a 20 minute video.
But it doesn’t on a small or medium size channel.
You can see this in your YouTube Analytics, look at how long subscribers watch your videos compared to non-subscribers.
But you don’t have a lot of subscribers yet, big channels do.
I’ve experimented with audience retention a lot lately, and keeping my videos more compacter works way better than making longer videos.
Deliver the message in the most efficient way and be done.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make a 20 minute video when you can make viewers watch until the end, but most beginners don’t have the skills to do that yet.
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Music Producer / YouTuber
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Music Producer / YouTuber
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