While most of us are used to making videos for YouTube, Shorts are much newer. Primarily a response to other platforms with their short-format videos, these pieces of content are intended for people to enjoy and then school on by. In some ways, it’s like the video version of scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed.
Unfortunately, getting views for your YouTube Shorts is often quite different him attracting views for your longer videos. One reason for this is probably that Shorts are suggested under a separate tab rather than people’s everyday feed. There is also a separate section for Shorts. In other words, Shorts are graded a bit differently, and they also have different competition in the algorithm.
For this reason, many of us have to ask why are my YouTube Shorts not getting views? There are four main reasons for low view counts. Let’s take a look at them. Then, we’ll talk about how to correct and avoid these issues when possible.
The anatomy of YouTube Shorts
YouTube Shorts are a new format on the platform. It used to be that YouTube was mostly long-form videos and that shorter ones were mixed in. For instance, the quintessential cat video on YouTube was frequently only a couple of minutes long, if that.
They’re meant to be short, engaging, vertical videos that are less than 60 seconds. While shorter YouTube videos can also be in landscape mode, Shorts are limited to vertical orientation. That is because YouTube intends for Shorts to mostly be watched from a mobile device. The shorter format also makes this content type excellent for people to watch while they’re on a break at work or while commuting.
Finally, it’s important to note that YouTube Shorts are typically watched one after another. That’s because you can scroll through them. Frequently, people will watch the same short two or more times before they moved to the next one.
4 Potential reasons why your YouTube Shorts are not getting views
Of course, like with any other content on YouTube you need eyeballs for the video to be successful. For this reason, if your content doesn’t perform well, it’s important to think about why are my YouTube Shorts not getting any views. Frequently, your Shorts are getting views, they just aren’t getting as many. For instance, they might still fill up in somebody’s keyword search or be watched by your subscribers browsing your channel page. It just means that you aren’t getting very much traffic.
Here are some reasons why your Shorts are underperforming.
1. It’s not triggering the algorithm
YouTube’s algorithm follows your audience’s response by testing it with different audiences. If your video isn’t getting views, chances are that your audience isn’t responding well to your Shorts. In other words, your Shorts aren’t engaging enough engagement.
One of the biggest factors with the YouTube algorithm is that it tracks engagement and views. Often, getting those first few content views is difficult, especially if you were channel is small and not very well established yet. And if you’re channel is not enough, YouTube may not quite understand your target audience, either. All of these factors can make it difficult to win with the algorithm.
2. You haven’t given it enough time
Sometimes, YouTube may take some time to test your short with different audiences. The time may vary from days to weeks. The only thing you can do in such cases is to wait. Over time, YouTube will understand which audiences find your content most engaging. This should be the same as your existing audience or some variation of it.
Remember, YouTube makes money when your Shorts and channel views generate advertising revenue. Therefore, they have the incentive to bring viewers to your channel and to keep them watching videos.
3. You are using the wrong hashtag
Using the wrong hashtags can also throw off your Shorts into oblivion. Make sure the spellings are correct, and the hashtags are relevant. Obviously, you still want to use any branded hashtag that you are promoting since it helps to foster brand recognition. However, like many other social media companies, Google discourages keyword stuffing.
Let’s look at it another way. If you are looking for a particular type of video as a viewer, the chances are that you will use keywords and hashtags. If somebody miss classifies the video, it can be very annoying. And the chances are that you’ll immediately scroll away from the video. This is the sort of reaction that Google wants is for, and it’s probably penalized significantly.
4. You are making horizontal videos
YouTube Shorts are meant to be vertical. And if for some reason you’ve been uploading horizontal Shorts, it’s not helping you. You can publish a non-vertical video, but you can only do this if parts of your footage are removed. In other words, your options are a square image or a vertical rectangle.
Square images tend not to do very well in video generally. Worse, in most cases making that square video will mean cropping a large part of the original image. This way, you end up sacrificing a lot of the artistic value of your footage, making your video less engaging.
By contrast, a vertical video has a higher chance of creating visual appeal. With that said, you should always make sure that your video looks nice when you film it vertically. Creating a compelling YouTube short means that your video should look like it was intended to be posted in that format. With that said, you can still create a short out of repurposed footage, so long as you make it look natural.
The art of making engaging YouTube Shorts – 6 Tips and Tricks
Once you have figured out why are my YouTube Shorts not getting views, you should be able to fix the problem. Sometimes, it’s as simple as changing the hashtags to ones that fit your content and audience better. However, in other situations, you may have to remove or rework the video. Let’s take a look at some of the options and best practices.
1. Know your audience
First and foremost, keep in mind whom your target audience is when brainstorming short ideas. What are they interested in? What kind of content do they respond to? If you already have a YouTube presence, it should be easy for you to find this information. Simply look at your existing analytics data for longer format videos.
Another option is to think about what works well for Instagram Reels or TikTok videos. Both of these content types are similar to your YouTube Shorts, so many of the patterns can apply across platforms. At the same time, if you have put out a lot of YouTube Shorts, then you can see which ones are performing a bit better. Analyze these videos and see what you can learn about your audience and what works for them. In other words, you can increase your performance by analyzing and building on successes.
Further Reading: 17 Smart Ways How to Get More Subscribers on YouTube
2. Create a strong hook
Your first 3 seconds are very crucial. If you cannot grab your audience’s attention in 3 seconds, you will lose them forever. Make sure your hook, verbal or visual, is pretty captivating. Sometimes the hook is clever, sometimes it’s an attention-grabbing statement. But either way, it invites people to finish watching your short.
For example, I know of a YouTube channel that has nothing but Shorts. The topic is a black lab dog who likes to make commentary on everyday life. What’s so clever about this is that the dog always asks something that seems so typical of a dog, such as asking if anyone has seen an intruder before. Then, he talks about how he treated the intruder.
Needless to say, if you love dogs this channel is hilarious. You should make your channel equally engaging.
3. Keep it short and sweet
With the attention span of most people being limited, it’s important to get your point across quickly. Even YouTube recommends that Shorts should be ideally around 15 seconds long. And that kind of makes sense. After all, that was the original length for TikTok videos before they started allowing 60 seconds.
Like on TikTok, you can create videos up to 60 seconds long. But the downside is that people may not complete it. And that’s a negative signal to YouTube’s algorithm. The trick is to find a happy medium between telling your story and keeping it short. Of course, you can always post a link in your description to more content. This lets you expand the value of your short besides an awareness campaign.
4. Make the title and thumbnail eye-catching
The title and thumbnail can be the first elements of a YouTube short that viewers see. This is true whether people will first see your short under the Shorts tab, in their Shorts feed, or from your channel. If your potential viewer is not watching in a way that automatically plays each short, then you need to convince them to press play. On the other hand, for autoplay Shorts, you want to watch the whole thing.
If both your title and thumbnail are attention-grabbing, this can create enough interest to keep viewers watching the video entirely and thus increase watch time. Similarly, they may choose to like your video or comment on it. All of these positive actions from viewers help increase your YouTube statistics and boost the power of its algorithm in your favor.
Further Reading: The Best 14 Thumbnail Makers for YouTube
5. Be creative
This goes without saying. With YouTube being such a vast platform, there’s definitely room for creativity. Think outside the box and develop concepts to make your videos stand out from the rest. Especially when you consider the stiff competition for video views on YouTube, anything that you can do to create an advantage is worth doing.
Perhaps just as importantly, even a small improvement can make a big difference. Once the algorithm starts picking up your video as something that people want to watch, and it knows who wants to watch it, your video views can increase very quickly. In turn, you can get more subscriptions and other types of engagement from people who discover your channel through Shorts.
More video views and subscriptions can boost your revenue in a number of different ways. For instance, monetization methods like subscriptions and ad revenue might help you increase your income. For brands, greater engagement and a larger audience will boost the return on investment for this specific form of content marketing.
Further Reading: How to Make a YouTube Video in 6 Easy Steps (for Beginners)
6. Try to find an ideal balance between quality and quantity
You need to balance quality and quantity when it comes to YouTube Shorts. If you produce too many videos, you risk their being low quality. That’s because in many cases you won’t spend a lot of time working on each piece of content. It will look and feel like a production line, and people don’t like to spend their valuable free time on this.
On the other hand, if you don’t produce enough videos, people will lose interest. For most YouTube users, having something from their favorite content creator appear in their feed regularly is important. Otherwise, they’ll be less interested in watching when the content does pop up.
There’s another aspect to regular content, too. The discussion around your content can help to build a community. This is valuable for content creators because it helps them earn viewer loyalty and in some cases the purchase of products. For a brand, communities also build loyalty.
The key is to find a sweet spot that works for you and your channel. When you have found the right combination, you shouldn’t have to ask why are my YouTube Shorts not getting any views. As the saying goes, if you build it, they will come. Just don’t build a house of cards.
Further Reading: Which is the Best Video Editing App? Choose from These 15
Knowing why your YouTube Shorts are getting few if any views can be tricky. There are a lot of factors that go into scoring well on the YouTube algorithm. Fortunately, we know enough about maximizing videos for the algorithm that content creators can produce what their channels need for the best results. Once you do that, your channel should grow much faster.
Further Reading: 11 Tips on How to Grow Your YouTube Channel in 2023
Hero photo by Ante Hamersmit on Unsplash
YouTube Shorts Not Getting Views FAQs
Creating engaging YouTube Shorts can be difficult, especially when your content isn’t resonating with viewers. Without a proper understanding of why your shorts are not getting views, it can be tough to make improvements and grow an audience. If you have yet to see any success with your shorts, start by looking at key metrics such as watch time, interaction rate, and the age and location of people watching.
Here are some ways how you get Shorts to get views on YouTube:
1. Make sure your shorts are well crafted and edited. If viewers enjoy the content of your shorts and find them interesting, this will increase the chances of them sharing the videos with their peers.
2. Attract views by promoting your videos on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. By tagging friends, people in the industry, and other YouTubers related to your videos. 3. Using hashtags will make your videos more visible in search results.
4. Talking and engaging with people who comment or like your videos increases loyalty amongst viewers as they feel seen and valued.
There are a number of reasons why Shorts stop getting views, some potential explanations being the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu that offer full-length movies and TV shows, the rising costs associated with putting out a quality short film, and the changing attitudes of the movie-going public. While some shorts do manage to break through the noise and receive viewings, they often lack the longevity that many features possess due to their length and breadth of content.
There are multiple factors that contribute to a video’s viral success. From utilizing proper SEO tagging to building a loyal fanbase and advertising regularly to tailored content adapted for the short format and standing out within other short content, there is no simple answer or silver bullet in making a successful YouTube Shorts video. That said, with consistent effort in various areas of YouTube promotion, anything is possible!
Not all YouTube Shorts get views. In a sense, releasing a YouTube Short is an act of faith. It’s a gamble that enough people will watch it to make it worth the time and effort that went into creating it. The success rate varies widely, as some creators find that their Shorts rack up thousands of views almost immediately, while others find theirs overlooked by viewers entirely. It all depends on how well-targeted the content is and how much promotion was done prior to its release.