YouTube contains many algorithms, each working to put the best content in front of users to maximize the time they spend on the platform. One element that impacts whether or not the algorithm favors your YouTube videos is the number of impressions it receives.
YouTube impressions are the number of times a video's thumbnail is seen on YouTube. Impressions can be gained in multiple areas within YouTube, but if you're struggling to have your content appear in front of users you might be having trouble gaining more impressions overall.
But don't worry - there are a few things you can do to increase your video impressions to help boost your YouTube channel.
Today we'll explore YouTube impressions in depth, and provide an actionable plan with steps you can take to start increasing impressions - plus a little-known tip that can set your content apart with minimal effort.
An 'impression' is generated when a viewer sees the thumbnail of your YouTube video. These are counted regardless of whether or not the user actually clicks on the video.
This means any time one of your YouTube videos appears in the YouTube search results, YouTube suggested videos section, or homepage, an impression could generate.
Impressions indicate to YouTube (and to you) how often your thumbnails are being viewed. If you have a higher impression count than you do click through rate, that could be a sign that viewers aren't enticed to watching your content and should prompt you to make adjustments.
NOTE: Impressions are generated within YouTube. Your video thumbnail in the Google search results, or embedded on another social media platform or website will not generate an impression.
Impressions vs. Views vs. Click-Through Rate
Impressions, views, and your click-through rate are three different metrics that measure three different user behaviors.
Impressions count how often your thumbnail is seen.
Views count how often your video is actually watched.
Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of impressions that actually led to a view. In other words, how often a user actually clicked your video to watch it.
You want to aim for a high CTR, which means that your thumbnails are effective enough to encourage users to click and watch your YouTube videos.
The YouTube algorithm prioritizes YouTube channels with high engagement rates, and impressions can help you get there.
Here are a few methods to increasing your YouTube impressions and, in turn, your click-through rate and overall video engagement.
Optimize Your YouTube Thumbnails
Thumbnails are what pull in your viewers' attention, and can serve to increase your CTR.
Take some time to craft a consistent style guide for your thumbnails. Use eye-catching graphics, bold colors, and clear, readable text.
Focus On Your Video Titles
Creating a title that accurately represents your content while grabbing viewer attention is a hard balance to strike. What's important is that your titles don't utilize clickbait - misleading titles can lead to viewers click out early on in the video, decreasing your retention rate and overall engagement.
Make The Most Of Keywords
Check out our guide to YouTube keywords to learn how you can incorporate keywords into your video tags and description in order to improve overall discoverability.
Upload More Frequently (And Consistently)
The more you upload, the more your viewers will remain engaged - but be sure to prioritize quality over quantity. Uploading a few videos of high quality each month is better for your channel in the long run than daily low quality videos.
To help your new subscribers and viewers know when to expect your content, consider posting your upload schedule in your channel's About page.
Review YouTube Analytics & Refine Your Approach
As you make improvements and changes to your YouTube channel and overall uploading technique, it's important to check in regularly to see the real impact of your efforts.
Be sure to review your YouTube Studio analytics after each change. If you don't notice any real results after a few weeks or months, chances are you can move on to the next improvement.