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How Long Should a Video be?

YouTube SEO How Long Should a Video be?



Hello and welcome to Video #7. Let’s talk about Video Length in more depth.

The big question is how long should your video be? While yes, most folks have said that your videos should be short due to attention span, and that’s something that we’ve talked about in the past, and that definitely worked in the past, and that still is true, that people’s attention span is short.

But today, in terms of YouTube, your video length should be longer, and here is why. Did you know that YouTube ranks your video based on how many minutes your viewer watches?  We talked briefly about this in Video #1, but I want to talk about why that is the case.

Statistically speaking, most people that we have found, based on statistics that we have seen on YouTube, most people watch about 50% of a video.   Even the people that are interested in a video, they watch 50% of a video. So if that, in this case, is a 5-minute video, an average viewer is only going to watch about 2.5 minutes.  Now, here why that is important. If you are competing against someone who has a 30-minute video, and their viewers watch 15 minutes, which is about 50%, guess what?

Even if they can have fewer viewers then you, they are going to beat you because they have a longer video. So if you got the 2.5, they’ve got the 15 minutes, they can send fewer people and still beat you, and YouTube will favor them in the end. Now that, of course, is assuming that the views are legitimate, and people are actually watching. And that’s why user experience is so important.

So to give you some real-life practical application let’s hop on over to YouTube, and I am going to show you proof that this works.  Ok, so let’s take what we learned and what we just discussed and apply it to some real-life practical application. So if we head on back over to YouTube.com, we type in the keyword Instant Pot Recipes, we can see this one, this one and this one.

Let’s go ahead and open these up, so we got this one, this one and this one. So that’s one, two and three. The first one has about roughly 8 minutes or 9 minutes – we will say 9 minutes. The second one has about 27 minutes. And the third one has about 20 minutes.

Essentially the second and third have about double the amount of time. So like we talked about, most people watch about 50% or less, and then they quit, that’s the average.  So if that’s the case, this person here, even though they have more views, 800.000, they are competing with somebody with a 30-minute video – essentially it’s 27 or 28, but close to 30.

Let’s keep it an even number, so if that’s the case, there are 4 minutes here, 15 minutes here and 10 minutes here. So this means that the person with the less amount of minutes, they are going to need a lot more views and a lot more people watching it.

In total, if this person has – obviously this person is #1, but what I am saying here is because YouTube looks at how many minutes are watched.  If this person had 800.000 views, and this other person had only half of that amount but had more than double this amount, they would most likely rank higher.

So seeing that, only 100,000 views, 15 minutes.  This video, 20 minutes long, with only 6000 views.  You might ask, shouldn’t this be maybe #1?  Not necessarily, if we really look at it, so we’ve got 800 times 4 minutes, and that’s not going to be exact – I mean we can even take 500.

And this is definitely going to be #1, and this is definitely going to be #2, based on the information. But this person, because they have a long enough video, even though they have less amount of views, they are still able to rank pretty high. So this is based on one of our YouTube channels, which has over 9 million minutes watched, and based on that, that’s what’s we’ve seen.

Now, there are other factors, like the number of likes or dislikes, comments, titles, and descriptions, but that’s a huge ranking factor because it legitimately tells Google and YouTube, this YouTube video is legit.  Not only people are clicking on it, but they are also actually viewing it, and they are viewing at least about 50%, on average.

That’s why the video length is important.  Now, you don’t want to make a long video just to make a long video, you want to make a video that has really good content, and that’s the goal. It’s not based on spammy backlinks or anything like that, it’s based on providing real value.