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My channel is consistently performing. High CTR, high average view duration, and high-ranking in SEO. Why is it not growing?

GameVestment

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You really want to get a definitive number for a platform that don't understand their own algorithm? You need to be smarter than that if you wanna keep going this track

I said MINIMUM as minimum RECOMMENDED to start seeing some results. 10% or 9,4% will not make that huge of a difference but you want to set your goal to 10%
C'mon, that's pretty easy to understand, you'll never get the PERFECT number to grow (EVERY CHANNEL IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE AUDIENCES ARE DIFFERENT) but anything above 10% should be good IF your content is good.

I never said my channel is blowing up right now with a 9,4% CTR, you know why? because this wasn't a good month for my channel... only 700K views & 6,3K subs compared to last month 1,2M views & 10,5K subs with a CTR of 9,3% but if you think about... 9 is not bad, but you want to aim for at least 10% :)

[Also you need to understand that the MORE YouTube recommends your video, the LOWER the CTR will get... this is just normal]

OMG but you got more views with 9,3% CTR than with 9,4%!!! How is that possible?
EASY... that's when you add the second variable of WATCH TIME @zerocache explained it above! Call it whatever you want, but you want to aim for a high AR of at least 60%. That's what you call a GOAL, 60% is extremely hard to get, even 50% is hard to obtain... but you want to aim high if you want to grow.

The analytics only tell what's going on with your channel and videos, they don't analyse your content and that's the first thing you need to FIX when you have less than 10K subs... focusing on the numbers will make you hit a wall like you are doing right now. In other words... makes no sense to go all deep dive into analytics with only 200 subs. If you want to grow on YouTube you do it with passion, love and originality that will be translated in good content.

And you know how you do that? Well,, you need to upload + upload + upload until your content gets good, you get more views per video and you get more subscribers. The beginning is hard because people don't like to subscribe or trust channels with less than 1000 subs. it's really hard to make people subscribe, that's a whole different topic.

Your CTR is too low --> improve your thumbnails and titles to make it at least 10%
Once you get that figured out and people click your videos you will notice something... People DON'T watch the video!
That means people didn't like it and you need to improve your content to keep them watching your content.
How you FIX that? Well,, that's the question every small channel need to figure out and when you do, you will start seeing some results!

You need to either build a niche or upload upload upload until your audience finds you!
You have 200 subs and 20K views.... you paid for an ad that got you 200 dislikes vs 40 likes. What does this tell you? People didn't like the content and YouTube is helping you understand that. It doesn't matter if you have a 40% CTR if people don't watch the video then YouTube will not recommend it, it's going to tell the algorithm is a bad video. The more good videos the more YouTube will recommend them!

You think this will happen overnight? Heck no, it took my channel months to be recommended by YouTube and that video got 370K views = LOTS of Watch Time because VIEWS ARE USELESS NOW, that is why having a high Audience Retention (60%) is what makes you grow. So in my case, YouTube said.. OHH this is a good channel, let's keep recommending it! But 1 good video will not make a big difference, you need a bunch of those! That's the reason I haven't reached 100K subs, because I need to upload more good content that YouTube will recommend and hopefully more people will find me... and how am I going to do that? Aim for a 10% CTR and 60% AR

Good luck and hope it helps!
GV
 
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Acerthorn

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I don't know about the classic studio but the new studio beta does place a percentage in the video's Audience Retention graph.
But he said that all the info I needed was in the funnel, and that I don't have to study the rest of my analytics too closely.
 

zerocache

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But he said that all the info I needed was in the funnel, and that I don't have to study the rest of my analytics too closely.
The most important metrics seemingly are in that funnel when you need to get a view with what's working through Youtube.

I obviously don't speak for @GameVestment, but I think he meant within that context of looking at CTR and AVD. That breakdown shows how the video is performing. Which is true.

Indeed the percentage isn't there for some reason but then again you should be able to notice if the AVD is good or bad as you would know the length of your video to compare it with.
 
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Acerthorn

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Ok, how do I improve audience retention? Creator Insider recently demonstrated how to do so using one of their own videos. Using their own audience-retention graph, they were able to determine that the point when Tim starts giving movie quotes in the point when the vast majority of watchers actually click away.

My retention graphs are baffling. The vast majority of people tend to click away at the same point in the video, but that point appears to be completely random.

For example, here is my audience retention graph for my Skyrim Retrospective: https://i.postimg.cc/tT0sPvBC/Skyrim-Retrospective-Audience-Retention.png

According to this graph, those who make it past the first 2 minutes have a very high chance of making it to the end of the video. The drop-off rates after that point are much more level. After the first two minutes, that's more of a very small incline than a roller coaster-esque drop.

But for some weird reason, 63.6% of people tend to click away at ... a minute and 45 seconds???????

In other words, the point in the video that shows the largest click-away rate is immediately after I said "to say that I loved [Skyrim] was an understatement," and immediately before I say "If the video were just a question of whether Skyrim was a good game for its time, then the video is done; the answer is unquestionably yes."

Of all the places in the video, why is that specific place the point when so many people click away? I understand some people are turned off by the video's length. However, my audience retention graph shows that about 20% of viewers click away at the 0:00 timestamp. So 80% of viewers noticed the length of the video and still decided to give it a view ... so why did so many of those guys click away at the same exact spot? A minute 45 seconds? Did I insult someone's mother at that point or something?

But my audience retention for my Fallout 4 Retrospective is even more baffling. First, here's the retrospective video itself, since I haven't shared it in this thread yet:

Now here's the audience retention graph: https://i.postimg.cc/mg5zZgM9/Fallout-4-Retrospective-Audience-Retention.png

A minute 54 seconds seems to be the point when the majority of people click away! So basically, I begin one section of the analysis, and I begin by saying "Fallout 4's intro can be divided into three distinct-" and then four out of five viewers are like "f**k this! I've had enough!"

Hell, at least in the Skyrim retrospective, the majority of people clicked away in between sentences! These guys are sitting through the epilogue of the video, knowing that the video is 3 hours long (this time, only 10.2% of people click away at the 0:00 timestamp), and then when I begin the analysis proper, they click away before I even finish my first sentence!

Again, this isn't a case of them being turned off by the video's length, or how nails-on-a-chalkboard my voice sounds, because if they were, they wouldn't have made it even that far. Those averse to long videos or who find my voice annoying would have clicked away long before the 1:45 or 1:54 mark. Those who last that long but click away then are ... well ... I don't know what they are!

So what the hell is going on?
 
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zerocache

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I have to admit that a few hours of game talk is quite the ask. Just like in gaming, you have to consider the appeal to the general audience.

It's quite possible that they could have been merely curious to see what it is about. Snag a few more seconds to see if it's interesting. They may have clicked thinking it was a few minutes too.

You can only really speculate until you try something different and see if that changes anything.
 

Acerthorn

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I have to admit that a few hours of game talk is quite the ask. Just like in gaming, you have to consider the appeal to the general audience.

It's quite possible that they could have been merely curious to see what it is about. Snag a few more seconds to see if it's interesting. They may have clicked thinking it was a few minutes too.

You can only really speculate until you try something different and see if that changes anything.
I told you: There was already a sizeable chunk of the viewers who click away immediately. Going nearly two minutes into the video is not something you do because you mistakenly believe that the video is only a few minutes long.

In terms of overall watch minutes, as well as flat average view duration (not a percentage), those two videos are hands-down the best performing videos on the channel, as you can see from the attached screenshot (bottom of the screenshot is the videos sorted by watch time for the past 365 days, and at the top, the graph is sorted by "average view duration by video" and then "yearly," so you can see both stats at once). So even if my average percentage viewed isn't very good, I must be doing something right with them, don't you think?
 

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zerocache

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I told you: There was already a sizeable chunk of the viewers who click away immediately. Going nearly two minutes into the video is not something you do because you mistakenly believe that the video is only a few minutes long.
I was just saying that it is a possibility. There's also autoplay etc...

In terms of overall watch minutes, as well as flat average view duration (not a percentage), those two videos are hands-down the best performing videos on the channel, as you can see from the attached screenshot (bottom of the screenshot is the videos sorted by watch time for the past 365 days, and at the top, the graph is sorted by "average view duration by video" and then "yearly," so you can see both stats at once). So even if my average percentage viewed isn't very good, I must be doing something right with them, don't you think?
You are doing something right. However, you need to figure out what needs to be changed to improve AVD. It's been already suggested, work on the content so that you can keep peeps watching most of the video or keep at it until you get gradually discovered.

How or what to change or do is up to you.