We’ve all seen the related videos on YouTube, they’re the recommendations which appear on the side of the website and also at the end of a video and look a bit like this:
They’re pretty difficult to miss
YouTube uses these recommendations to get people to continue watching as many videos as possible. This poses a bit of a problem for video marketers.
- Viewers can click other people’s videos without taking action on your current video.
- In an embed on your website the recommendations could distract people from your content.
The second problem is fairly easy to deal with. YouTube has an option when embedding a video to not let it show suggested videos.
After you have clicked to “Share” and “Embed” the video you need to click the show more link like in the example below.
This will give you a few checkboxes, one of which is to “Show suggested videos when the video finishes”. Unchecking this will stop related videos from showing.
You can see what this looks like on this short but weird video that somehow became one of the most watched videos of all time, you don’t have to watch it, you can just skip to the end if you want.
That solves the problem of people being distracted by other people’s content on your site. But how about when they watch videos on YouTube, or someone else’s site that hasn’t disabled video suggestions.
Then you can’t prevent the related videos from showing up, but you can try to stop them from having as much of a negative effect.
The 2 best ways of doing this are to try to prevent people from seeing the suggestions, and to fill the suggestions with your videos.
Prevent people from seeing suggestions
While you can’t actually prevent people from seeing the suggestions at the side of the video, you can make it less likely that they see the ones at the end of it.
You do this by creating a custom ending to your video which either directs people to other videos that you have, or sends them to a web page or anywhere you would like them to go.
You will see this technique used often with popular YouTubers. Below is an example of how PewDiePie uses them.
You can see that right at the end of the video, rather than letting people get to the suggestions where they might go to another channel, he cuts in front of the suggestions telling people to either go to another one of his videos or subscribe.
This is easily done by adding in the custom ending while editing the video. Then after uploading it to YouTube you add in the annotations with links around the buttons you created.
Fill the suggestions with your videos
The downside of the related videos is that they lead viewers to click to other people’s videos.
But if those videos are all yours then the suggested videos are no longer working against you, but actively for you, telling people to watch more of your videos.
There are a few ways to make sure that Google sees your videos as relevant to each other.
Tag them with tags no one else will have
One of the ways YouTube figures out what a video is about is through the tags on that video.
A tag is essentially a way of telling YouTube the video is related to a certain subject.
So YouTube will tend to group videos which have similar tags. If you tag a video using your company name, channel name or something else which no one else is likely to use then only your videos will have that similar tag.
Make similar videos
This one is a no brainer, one way to make sure that your videos appear in the similar video section is to make similar videos.
This doesn’t mean you should be spammy, but create videos about different aspects of the same topic.
Once you have enough of these similar videos you can start to group them into playlists. This is a great way to tell YouTube the videos are related to each other.
It is also a great way of keeping people on your videos. To see more of the benefits of playlists you can check out this post.
Have Similar looking thumbnails
Doing this doesn’t mean that your videos will be more likely to appear in the suggested videos, but when they are there it lets the viewer know that this is another video by you.
This method assumes that you are creating quality videos that people will want to watch and click on. Obviously if you are creating rubbish then this might make people less likely to click your video.
Have a default part of your description
The description section is another part of your video which Google uses to judge what the video is related to.
If all of your videos have a section about your channel or your company, or links to your social profile then YouTube will see that as a factor making all of the videos more relevant to each other.
So that is how to make sure that people watching your content stay on your content. It is important to bear in mind that when trying to fill the recommendations with your videos that the signals given above are important signals in the beginning of a video’s life, before it has more views.
Once YouTube has more information about what your video is about, and what people like to watch after your video it will place more weight on that information.