How To Optimize YouTube Playlists for More Views

Avatar photo
Carla Marshall
June 7, 2022
How To Optimize YouTube Playlists for More Views

YouTube playlists are a fantastic feature that allows you to organize your videos by a topic or series. YouTube playlists are all about organization. So if you have a series, think of a playlist as a season, and each video is its own episode.

Why Create Playlists for Your YouTube Channel?

YouTube ranks videos by factors like “watch time” and “session duration” – essentially, by how long people watch your videos. Playlists auto-play to the next video, prompting more of the same channel content to be consumed. They create a lean-back experience for the viewer, more potential views, and a longer overall session time. The two main advantages of playlists are:

  • The feature makes it very easy to curate and organize your content into different topics or categories.
  • They are an excellent way for new viewers to navigate your channel so they can easily find the right content for them.

How Do You Create a YouTube Playlist?

To build a playlist, click on your channel icon and go to your ‘YouTube Studio’. On the far left dashboard, click on ‘Playlists.’ Now, click the “New Playlist” button. Make sure you use a keyword-rich title and description for each playlist you create. This playlist from TubeBuddy’s YouTube channel is a good example of keyword optimization:

Public, Unlisted, or Private?: When setting up a new playlist, you have the option to make it public or keep it unlisted so that only those with a link will see it. You can also keep it private. Creators can keep the playlist unlisted until they are done working on it, so it’s not on show to the public. Remember that if you add an unlisted video to a playlist, that video will be shown publicly..

Adding Videos to a YouTube Playlist

You can add videos to your playlists in three ways:

  • Search YouTube
  • Paste a URL
  • Click the option on your own videos

Once you’ve chosen the videos you want, just click Select, and you have a playlist that’s ready to go. Don’t forget to make it public when you’re ready.

Of course, it’s never too late to create a playlist for your content, even if your videos have been published at a way earlier date. Playlists are great for organizing and calling attention to archived content, or even tent-pole events around holidays, etc. 

YouTube Playlists and Visibility

When people subscribe to a channel, YouTube will show them content from other channels they’ve engaged with when they log in to their account. This is known as their homepage feed, and when you don’t post anything to your channel, viewers won’t get anything from you in their feed. With curated playlists, you’ll show up in their feed more often. 

Use YouTube Playlists to Drive Watch Time

YouTube favors videos that lead to more viewing of YouTube videos. If people search and watch your video first, then watch a lot more content that reflects well on your video. One thing that playlists do, if they are engaging, is continue to autoplay for the user. When they’ve watched multiple videos, it leads to an overall longer session watch time that began with your video. That’s how playlists help drive watch time in general.

You can utilize playlists in multiple ways that will help drive that watch time. One great way is to use your full Playlist URL whenever linking to one of your videos, for example, with end screens, which are links at the end of videos that refer you to your other relevant content. You can link to a whole playlist URL instead of just a single video.

Organize your YouTube Playlists with TubeBuddy

If you want to organize or optimize videos with a playlist, TubeBuddy is here to help! If you have a TubeBuddy license, even a Starter one, you can order the videos within a playlist based on video engagement, subscribers gained, or watch time (to gain the best SEO boost). You can even randomize, alphabetize or reverse the order of videos in a playlist.

For more information on advanced video ordering within playlists, take a look at the following video:

If you’re a YouTube creator who isn’t taking advantage of the playlist feature, now is the time to reconsider that strategy. It could give your channel a real boost!

Carla Marshall Author

Carla Marshall

Carla Marshall is the Content Marketing Manager at TubeBuddy. She has 10+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, & SEO