The Number Two Ranking Factor: Audience Engagement
Google encourages content creators to make video that maximize engagement. How can viewers engage with a video and why does it matter?
There are several things a viewer can do once they’ve seen a video. They can just click away when they are done, or they can hit the “like button”, subscribe to your channel, and leave comments.
All of these engagement methods send signals to YouTube that your video has content that people want to see and you will rise above other similar videos in the search results (in both YouTube and Google).
One method of encouraging engagement is to ask your viewers a question and ask them to leave their response in the comments. Actively request their feedback and they will respond. Reply to their comments to help actively start a discussion. It’s no secret that YouTube comments can be like walking in a mine field. It needs to be actively moderated to weed out the trouble makers, but many channels have a thriving comment section and this helps them get traffic.
Many people just ask for people to hit the “like” or “subscribe” buttons, but for your subscriber list to truly grow, you need to be making good content and posting on a regular basis. This is where the people that make 2 or 3 videos and quit can rarely grow their subscription base. Why would you want to subscribe to channel that is never updated and they only have a few videos. Building up a quality catalog of video material on your channel will make it worthy of a “subscribe” click.
YouTube previously allowed annotation links to be placed over videos. These were commonly used for people add a subscribe button or other links to increase engagement, but this tools is being phased out of YouTube since it is now outdated, intrusive and not mobile friendly.