Today we’re going to talk about Shorts – short vertical videos in a separate YouTube tab for mobile. Is it worth it for a business, what are the benefits for the creators, how does the YouTube Shorts algorithm work? Let’s get to the bottom of it!
From this article, you will learn:
- What are YouTube Shorts?
- Important features of the YouTube shorts algorithm;
- How does the YouTube algorithm rank Shorts in recommendations;
- What the structure of a short video should look like;
- How to promote Shorts on YouTube;
- How to expand the capabilities of built-in YouTube analytics;
- Why YouTube videos stop gaining views;
- What to do if views on the channel drop.
What are YouTube Shorts?
The YouTube Shorts feature, introduced in 2020, allows you to create short videos with music overlays. Cool, right?
But the most amazing aspect of Shorts is that it allows you to create videos using only your mobile phone. YouTube Shorts videos can’t be longer than 60 seconds and they don’t contain many special effects.
But unlike Stories, YouTube Shorts don’t disappear, which is an advantage for brands looking to create a lasting impression with their video content.
Important features of the YouTube shorts algorithm
- The algorithm looks at how often people watch and unselect videos in the feed. Within 24 hours of uploading a short video, it can accumulate hundreds or even thousands of views.
- The optimal duration of the Shorts is up to 1 minute, with a default timing of 15 seconds.
- The title or text of the video should not exceed 100 characters.
- The time of publication plays a role – the best option is morning or evening, when users go to work/study.
- You can upload 3-5 videos a day, pausing between them so they can be moderated and indexed.
- Popular videos from other social networks can be spooled in. There are cases where viral tiktoks have garnered many views on Shorts because the platforms have a similar as YouTube shorts algorithm.
- If the video does not get enough views, you can delete it and upload it again. Chances are the algorithms will work better and show it to more users. Posting
- Posting should be regular – algorithms like predictable feeds and rank poorly for accounts that often go missing.
- Include a link to the main channel with long-form clips, website, social network, expert blog in the description so that Shorts is useful.
- Do not use copyrighted music.
How does the YouTube algorithm rank Shorts in recommendations?
Most of shorts were 30-40 seconds long, but YouTube shorts algorithm gives preference to shorts 50-60 seconds long – average number of views for these videos is 1.7 million. But shorts 30-40 seconds long have twice less number of views – average number of views for this video is 690 thousand.
If we consider average duration of viewing and number of views, the gap is even bigger. Shorts with average duration of over 50 seconds had an average of 4.1 million views. That is, it is not just the length of the Shorts that matters, but also the retention of attention during viewing.
It turns out that the ideal formula for Shorts is to make Shorts 50-60 seconds long and design them so that the video keeps the user from the first second to the end. The YouTube shorts algorithm likes such videos the most.
This data reveals the secret of how does YouTube shorts algorithm work. Also the algorithm takes into account % of shorts swipes and those shorts which swipes up to 60% of video duration are not recommended and don’t gather viewings.
Shorts with 70-90% views have the steepest numbers. However, the study notes that the YouTube shorts algorithm does not seem to take into account likes, reposts and comments to form recommendations.
What the structure of a short video should look like
In one minute, you need to fit all the elements that keep the audience engaged. At the very beginning, you need to grab the viewer’s attention. Some question, a contradiction, something that makes you react. That is, bring out the emotion.
Then a brief introduction of who you are, what’s going on here. Then a disclosure of the point, which is accompanied by an emotional response or a sense of benefit. Then a bridge to the next topic so viewers then want to watch the sequel. Techniques where you make an unexpected plot twist also work well.
How to promote Shorts on YouTube
On the platform, it is difficult to control and directly influence views. But to get more views, you can try the following:
Insert keywords in the title and description. This makes it easier for your target audience to find videos on the topic. You can find keywords through TubeBuddy, Google Keyword Planner or Keywords Everywhere.
Write a comment from the author’s account and secure it. The optimum number of characters is up to 500, where you can insert keywords and answer key questions from the audience and leave a clickable link.
Choose the time of publication. The best option is in the morning or evening, when users are on their way to or from work/study. It is worth uploading 3-5 videos per day, with a pause in between so they can be moderated and indexed.
Get your shorts hooked on YouTube. This is a golden nugget. When you publish a short video on YouTube, make sure you loop it to increase view time (a key indicator in determining the success of your YouTube channel). YouTube’s algorithm also pushes viewers to videos with high view times. But make sure the video is short enough to make the loop look natural.
Publish popular videos from other social networks. There are cases where viral tiktoks have garnered many views on Shorts because the platforms have a similar algorithm.
Re-post a video. If a video doesn’t get enough views, you can delete it and upload it again. Chances are the algorithms will work better and show it to more users.
Publish steadily and regularly. Algorithms like predictable feeds and rank poorly for accounts that often go missing.
Add a CTA. Link to the main channel with long-form videos, website, marketplace, expert blog should be in the description for Shorts to benefit.
How to expand the capabilities of built-in YouTube analytics:
If you want to quickly analyze any channel, the Popsters tool may be useful for you. With it, you will see insights and understand what and when it is better to publish.
Wiht that tool, you can do the following:
- Download and analyze videos of any pages for an arbitrary period (for a period of your choice);
- Find out which posts were the most popular;
- sort entries by likes, comments, engagement indicator ER;
- Search for the best content by phrases, hashtags, in social networks in general, using filters by type and sorting;
- Compare indicators of several pages at the same time graphically (also from different social networks);
- study the textual content of words/phrases in publications with the help of summarization;
- flexible export of statistics to popular formats;
- and other opportunities for analytics of any channels on YouTube (and other popular social networks).
Why YouTube videos stop gaining views
More than once we have seen a picture where shorts could start gaining traffic, but then suddenly stop and no more views are gained. You may have released the video in error, or it may have exhausted its target audience, or changed the micro-environment. But when you have a fairly extensive volume of regular viewers – it evens out everything.
Your spots will continue to gain momentum one way or another. And don’t write off such a situation as YouTube constantly updating its algorithms, so the views aren’t coming in. It happens, but not always.
What to do if views on the channel drop
Sooner or later you will find yourself in a situation where views start to drop. What to do? You need to analyse your competitors and understand what content is currently gaining views, adjust your content strategy, look at analytics, look at the most effective content over the last 28 days, see which videos are at the top of the effectiveness and keep shooting them, develop a series direction, don’t stop and keep shooting new content.
Youtube Shorts is an effective tool for arbitrage and marketing. It can be used alongside other platforms because it does not require much time to create content and does not require any monetary investment. At the same time, it produces good CTR and leads in the medium term. To get results, you need to follow trends, mix useful and entertaining content, post videos regularly and try out different creatives.
P.S If you really liked the article, please share it with your friends on social networks. I’ll be very grateful.
Usefull video about how to optimise YT Shorts to get views. Enjoy watching 😉