< Go back to blogWhy Deleting Our Most Viewed YouTube Videos Was the Best Decision We Made

Why Deleting Our Most Viewed YouTube Videos Was the Best Decision We Made

Published: June 27, 2023

Let’s dive into some audience feedback, shall we? “Oh nice, your content is top-notch. YouTube should feature your channel more.” Hmm, but then, “Are you only getting 702 views on this video?” I’m genuinely puzzled by these numbers.

Thank you for the support, I do appreciate it. Comments like “I love your videos, but why aren’t you getting more views?” have become all too common. It’s always about “more views.” That’s when I realized something needed to change. I made the tough call to unlist our most viewed videos.

Here’s where we slip up. And by “we,” I’m mostly pointing the finger at myself. It’s no secret that our channel is facing an issue. New videos just aren’t garnering enough views in the crucial first week after release.

Despite the channel amassing over a million views in the past year, our new material doesn’t get the traction it deserves. We’re not getting the suggested views from YouTube that could make all the difference. Yet, paradoxically, when we analyze our channel’s data, specifically where our videos have the longest average viewer duration—a key signal to YouTube that content is resonating—it’s on the homepage via browse features. However, even though our content performs best in these browse features, we receive the fewest views from there, especially compared to search, where our content thrives but only captures five percent of our traffic. The underlying issue seems to be less about the click-through rate and more complex than that.

After delving into the analytics and pondering over why YouTube isn’t promoting us as much, I had an epiphany. YouTube was doing its part, and the problem was on us—or more accurately, on me. It turns out that subscriber count is not the be-all and end-all metric. It’s more about showing support rather than engagement. What truly matters is the average views per viewer. If that average is four, it means a viewer has watched four of your videos within a chosen timeframe. To grow on YouTube, you need to keep people coming back for more. So, if your content is discovered through search and it’s relevant to viewers, but they don’t proceed to watch your other videos, this viewer figure will understandably be low.

To address this, our focus is on producing content that caters to a shared interest among our viewers. By repeating the essence of what works, the average views per viewer should increase. Enhancements like utilizing end screens to guide viewers to the next video they’ll want to watch, creating relevant playlists, embedding links in the comments, and using cards can enrich the viewer’s journey through our content. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the target number of average views per viewer, but it’s universally acknowledged that the higher, the better.

This realization came to me after revisiting our old content that we created at the onset of this project. It dawned on me that we had lost sight of what truly resonates with our core audience. What we must remember is that building content is an iterative process. You gradually refine your approach, always aiming to improve. It seems counterintuitive, but unlisting some videos can help to realign with what your audience values the most.

Before you join in on a mass deletion, analyze your data. Consider the themes that matter to you and your community. Think about what engages them and ensure they are drawn to watch consistently. Removing videos isn’t just about cleaning house; it’s about strategic improvement and growth.

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