Have you ever wondered why your YouTube videos are not getting views? Don’t worry, you are not alone.
Many creators, even those that have established channels and audiences can find themselves asking this exact question.
In this article, I’m going to guide you through everything you’ve been doing wrong. You may not have realized how you were messing up until now, but that’s exactly what we shall cover and get right to the reasons why your videos are not getting views and how to fix it ASAP.
I’m not going to be holding back now. Sometimes you need to hear what hurts in order to improve, so don’t go feeling offended or get upset if I say something which you’re doing sucks.
This just means that you now know what to improve.
1. Your YouTube Video Thumbnails suck
The first thing that a potential viewer sees when your video appears in their home feed, on the sidebar, or in search results, is your video thumbnail.
If your thumbnail doesn’t catch their attention with an accurate image or graphic showing what your video is about, that person is just going to skip right past it.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your video may be or how well you’ve titled your video, if your thumbnail doesn’t match that quality, it won’t be interesting for anybody.
And some more common mistakes and ones I’ve done myself, are using low-quality and low-resolution images, or just using a bland and boring picture taken as a screenshot from the actual video.
An image with good contrasts almost always outperforms similar flat designs, because people just don’t notice the flat thumbnails.
So, if your video thumbnails suck, no one will give it a second thought and you won’t get any views.
How to fix it:
Create relevant, contrasting, and interesting thumbnails.
You should definitely use custom thumbnails (meaning don’t simply pick a screenshot from the video) and don’t be afraid to oversaturate and turn the contrast up a notch.
While it may look slightly over-processed in a larger format, it won’t look that way when it is being viewed as a regular thumbnail on a smartphone, pc, or tablet.
I’ve put together an article on how to create the most amazing thumbnails for your YouTube channel, read it here.
2. You have no consistency
By not showing any consistency on YouTube, your viewers and subscribers have no idea when you’re going to post future videos, what your videos are going to be about, or what your channel is even about, so why would anyone subscribe?
This can also be very damaging to your video’s ability to rank on YouTube.
You see, the algorithm places a lot of value on consistency, and by providing consistent value, your channel and view count will grow.
And consistency isn’t just about uploading a certain number of videos per month or week, it’s also about creating videos that have a similar topic, are visually recognizable, and have a similar message, like reviews, DIY tutorials, etc.
Consistency is the key to converting viewers into subscribers and you can often see this when a video goes viral through social sharing.
The creator often just posted the video for the sake of sharing and doesn’t have much other similar content on their channel and the millions of viewers they receive may translate to only a fraction of the actual view count.
Which is just a massive opportunity wasted.
How to fix it:
Be clear with what and when you’re going to post. Create a realistic upload schedule and try to stick to it.
Stay relatively within your niche and establish what type of videos you want to create. Whether that’s Tutorials, commentary, entertainment, information, etc.
Also, remember, by being consistent, you’re giving the YouTube algorithm more information about what your channel is about so that it can then suggest it to the right people who will be interested in your videos.
And by creating videos on a consistent basis, each of those new videos increases your chances of the algorithm picking up your channel.
For 10 actionable ways to be more consistent on YouTube, give this article a read.
3. You are not making content for your audience
This tip is sort of tied to consistency but has more to do with what your audience wants.
A YouTube channel only grows when people visit that channel to watch videos that they are interested in.
And once you start uploading videos, you will start to build an audience, even if that audience is only 5 or 15 people at first, you need to start somewhere and if those 5 to 15 people watch your new videos consistently, your channel’s videos will be shown to more people with similar interests.
Now if you are not making videos for your audience. This means those viewers and subscribers won’t be interested in watching any more of your videos as there is nothing actually catered to them.
Practically, this could mean you have a channel reviewing laptops, but you also have an interest in Formula 1 races and review the driver’s performances.
Both are reviews that you’re interested in, but the viewers interested in laptops, may not be interested in Formula 1 (especially since 2014), and vice versa.
This then results in no clicks on your videos and it therefore underperforms.
How to fix it:
Look at what your viewers want to see and what topics are the most interesting and watchable within your niche.
Check out your YouTube analytics to see which videos are performing the best for you and you can then use these known topics of interest to create more relevant videos for your audience.
When you’re starting a YouTube channel, it’s important to create videos that interest you, once your channel gains some subscribers and you’re already settled on a topic, you need to then focus on what type of videos your viewers and potential viewers would be interested in.
4. YouTube optimization is an afterthought for you
Too many people are just throwing videos out there and hoping for millions of views. And unfortunately, that just will not cut it as a feasible plan for getting views and growing on YouTube.
Not unless you already have a million+ subscribers and a community that’s willing to do the sharing for you.
Which, let’s be real, you probably do not have, and even then, YouTube optimization can take those videos that extra step further.
So, if keywords, tagging, custom thumbnails, targeting, search volume, channel design, SEO, etc. all sound foreign to you and you’re not taking any action in that direction, well, then I have some good news.
You can get many more views by just implementing all of these things.
Most successful YouTubers actually still implement these things, even those with multimillion sub counts and billions of views. It’s that important.
And this isn’t only relevant for getting found in search results, optimizing videos also helps vlogs and more entertainment-based topics increase their reach.
You just need to focus on a few keywords/phrases for it to take its full effect.
How to fix it:
Implement YouTube video optimization.
That means incorporating YouTube SEO. Things like keywording should become second nature, tag fields should no longer be left empty and you should be spending way more than just 2 minutes filling out a description.
This may sound quite intimidating at first, but thankfully there are some free tools you can use to make this process easier.
TubeBuddy is one of my favorites, a great free browser extension that you can use to find the best keywords for your videos to improve your video optimization, as well as a whole host of other optimization features.
The free extension is extremely useful and you can check out my full TubeBuddy Review here.
P.s. Follow my 5 steps to optimizing your YouTube videos for a quick guide to ranking higher today, and if you’re looking for some more useful tools, I’ve written a detailed guide on the best YouTube keyword tools that you should read right here.
5. Your audience retention rate is low
Are viewers leaving your videos after only a few seconds, even though your videos are a couple of minutes long? Is watch time hard to come by and viewers hardly stick around to the middle, let alone the end of your videos?
This means your audience retention rate is low, and this has a negative effect on your channel for two reasons.
Firstly, YouTube’s algorithm favors watch time and channels that can hold the viewers’ attention for longer.
And secondly, if your viewers can’t sit through a full video (or at least the main parts of it), they’re probably not going to be interested in subscribing or watching any of your other videos.
There are a number of reasons why your audience retention rate could be low; your intros are too long, your outro is too long, audio is too loud, your voice is too monotone, too much pointless rambling, etc., etc., etc.
How to fix it:
First, we need to try and pinpoint the cause, and luckily, YouTube has a solution built right into the platform for this: It’s called YouTube analytics.
With YouTube Analytics, you can get a wide range of valuable information to help your channel grow.
When it comes to retention rate, you can look at the average watch time of specific videos and when viewers most often leave your videos.
Allowing you to approximate the time that viewers are bouncing from your video and then you can look at what is happening at that time and pinpoint the cause of your low retention rate.
Once you know what the problem is, correct it.
Protip: include cards at the times when people are leaving, linking to a relevant one of your videos. If you can’t keep people’s attention on a specific video, then the next best thing is to try and keep them at least on your channel.
I’ve put together a detailed guide of over 35 YouTube growth tips here, these are quite advanced but they can make a real difference.
6. You’re only thinking about YouTube
What other platforms are you currently also active on? Only YouTube?
With the variety of powerful social networks currently online, it’s a massive waste not taking advantage of the free resources that are at your disposal.
It may be difficult to get your YouTube channel rolling at first, but maybe you have a small following on Instagram already. Leverage that into getting more views on your videos.
Even if you haven’t got an established following on any social networks or communities, your ideal audience may be lurking within the walls of an enthusiastic subreddit or pinning away on Pinterest.
Facebook groups, Reddit, social networks, blogs, etc. YouTube may be the platform where you create your main content, but you can and should venture out into the wild. If your audience isn’t going to come to you, go out to them.
How to fix it:
Be active and engage on platforms outside of YouTube. Promote your videos on other platforms, subreddits, Quora, Facebook groups, etc. but do so in a mindful and respectful manner, of course, respecting rules and being helpful first.
You can self-promote as much as you’d like on your own platforms, but when engaging with communities, no one wants to see links plastered everywhere.
Provide value and by doing so, you’ll become a part of the community, and then offer your videos when it becomes appropriate.
Also, try sticking to a max of 3 platforms at first so that you don’t spread yourself out too thin and don’t be shy to join forums or Q&A sites like Quora, as large platforms may be more difficult to get the ball rolling, but this can all be dependent on what type of videos you are making.
7. Your videos do not provide any value
Ask yourself this: Why should someone watch your video?
If you cannot answer that question, you’re probably not providing any value, and then why should someone spend their valuable time watching your videos.
Value is an important part of being a YouTuber and is an important aspect of recognizing what it is that you bring to the table in the viewer-YouTuber relationship.
You provide them with a reason to watch your videos, whether that’s entertainment, information, etc. and in return, they watch, like, subscribe, comment, share, and so on.
You cannot expect one without the other and you may have to take a step back and look seriously at what you’ve been creating and ask yourself why would someone watch your videos?
How to fix it:
Take a step back, get the full perspective, and then create within context.
You need to be honest with yourself because there’s no point in wasting your own time. And when I say create within context, that means you need to understand the value that you can provide.
We all have some type of value that can be shared, because there will always be people that lack the knowledge you have, even if you’re not an expert in the field, they can still learn from you.
There will always be people who share a similar sense of humor, or just find you relatable.
Then look at what value your audience wants, what you can provide them with, what is the most trending, searchable, and relatable topics within your niche, and then start creating videos that answer questions, provide entertainment, and just things that your audience wants to watch.
This also goes back to the previous point about making YouTube videos for your audience.
8. Horrible audio quality
When it comes to making quality YouTube videos, audio is often the most overlooked.
It can be hard to comprehend how important audio is when you’re starting out, but just think of how many times you’ve watched a video that has horrible audio.
Did you subscribe to that channel, or did you just bounce straight away as it became unbearable?
Audio quality is as important, if not more important, than your video quality.
A lot of times people may be able to overlook a video shot on a potato camera as long as the audio is clear, crisp, and of good quality.
The same cannot be said of a great-looking video with audio recorded on a cassette player from the ’80s.
How to fix it:
First, realize that you should focus on improving your audio before you even think about your video quality. If you can afford a high-quality microphone, the investment will most likely represent far better value than a camera upgrade. You can after all get a great microphone for the fraction of the cost of a mirrorless camera.
The Rode NT-USB is a great high-quality USB condenser microphone with a pop filter and table stand included in the delivery.
Alternatively, a lavalier mic can represent excellent value for money at a much more affordable price point.
Once you have a quality mic, the next step is to make sure you remove unnecessary noise when you’re filming.
Try not to record into the wind if you’re vlogging (or use a dead cat/windscreen) and speak clearly.
If you find some interference in the audio, try turning on airplane mode on your mobile devices as this can often solve the problem.
Lastly, and possibly most importantly, do not put loud music in your video when you’re talking/narrating/etc.
It may seem like an obvious tip, but I can’t tell you how often I still run into videos where I can’t understand a word the creator is saying as their background music is just blaring away.
Pay attention to your audio.
9. You’re not engaging with your audience
Do people comment on your videos and you just don’t respond to them?
Engaging with your audience creates a connection, and your channel becomes more important for the people you reply to, as well as to the viewers who just see the interaction and can get a better sense of who you are.
By commenting you’re showcasing more of your personality, and this in return means it’s more likely that they will watch more of your videos and watch them in a favorable manner.
This means that they’ll ask more questions, leave more comments, like your videos, and maybe even subscribe.
Engagement shouldn’t stop on your own videos though.
There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of channels that will cross topics with your content that could have viewers interested in what you create.
How to fix it:
Be active in your community, whether that’s on your own channel, on other YouTubers’ channels, social networks, blogs, face-to-face, and so on.
Be an active and valuable member of a community and watch how that community will then support you.
Also, reply to your comments and make sure to add value.
At the very least use a personalized response to show that you’ve actually read the comment.
10. Lack of patience
So, it’s been two weeks since you’ve started your YouTube channel and you still haven’t gotten a million views. You might as well just pack it up and just move on then, right?
This is what I feel like shouting at people when they say they’re not seeing any results when they’ve just started implementing these best practices and tips and actually just started taking their YouTube channel seriously.
What results can you expect to see in such a short space of time? If things could happen that fast, then as the cliché goes, everyone would be doing it.
This is also one of the biggest differences between those that just start YouTube and those that are actually successful on YouTube, the ones that have the determination and patience are the ones that can reap the rewards.
Even those that seem to have skyrocketed to fame have required time to grow.
On the positive side, the growth scale on YouTube is exponential. This means, you may only get a couple of subs a day at first, but as your channel grows, that couple will turn into dozens, which will turn into hundreds, then thousands, and then who knows, the sky is the limits.
How to fix it:
Allow at least 4 weeks before making any judgments on changes you’ve implemented. Both for judging successes and failures on your videos and channel.
Give yourself and your videos enough time to reap the benefits of your work and look at improvements over a longer time span than simply 24 hours.
Things may look like it’s starting to stagnate when you look at minor changes every 24 hours, whereas viewing your analytics and results every couple of weeks can present an entirely different picture.
A positive one if you’ve implemented these tips.
Final thoughts on why your videos are not getting views
By now you should know why your YouTube videos are not getting views and exactly how to fix it.
Remember that patience is always key when it comes to growth, but don’t be afraid to communicate with your audience to see what they may be interested in, speeding things up.
Whether you choose to communicate on YouTube itself, or on another platform, all the information you can gather can help guide you in making more watchable and clickable videos.
Now I’m going to pass the question on to you. Have you been guilty of any of these and how did you fix them?
Or haven’t you yet, and this has been the golden ticket you’ve been in search of.