I can’t imagine that you are still focusing on growing your YouTube Channel by focusing on search. I mean, do you read any of these emails or listen to any of our podcasts??? Tags and keywords are definitely not the way to grow on YouTube, but I know there are some of you still out there who think it is. If this is you (or even a small part of you), please don’t just take it from me. Take it from Jessica.

Jessica Stansberry spent years growing by focusing on search. It’s not that it didn’t work – it did. She got to over 100k subscribers, but it took years to get there. And then, search started to backfire on her. In fact, she went from making $10k/month to $1,300/month in her Adsense revenue because of it.

She came on our podcast to tell her story because, look, if you’re focusing on ranking videos in search results as your primary traffic source for growth, there’s some inherent risks with that, all of which you can easily mitigate by expanding your focus for even better results.

So here’s the story. Jessica began her channel by focusing on search. She tried to get the right keywords and try to pop up as one of the first videos by doing all those “SEO things.” But, the problem is when someone finds a video for search, they get the info they were looking for and leave. They don’t come back or subscribe because they got what they came for and now they’re gone.

So she decided to make a change. She decided to include more personal connection. She leaned into how she would actually teach in real life. And that meant using antidotes and stories and showing more of her personality in her videos. Sure, the videos went from 7 mins to 15, but that didn’t matter because she was building personal connection which was far more valuable than having the shortest video on the topic.

Doing just this, in two months her take home moved from $1,500 to $10,000. AND her video ended up getting surfaced to more people. Why? Her viewers began to really like her as a person, so they would watch the entire video and then go watch more videos from her.

Now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret from a top YouTube insider. (Don’t tell anyone you heard this from me. But…) If you look at YouTube overall, the most traffic comes from suggested. The next top source of traffic is from the home page, but then there is a really big gap before search. Just because you rank number 1, it doesn’t mean people will click that your video. And the viewer that you get from suggested are more of an interactive viewer, compared to search. They aren’t looking for their quick answer and then trying to get out of there. They are far more likely to view multiple videos and subscribe. -That’s the type of viewer we want!

So how do you do this? In short, optimize for people, not robots. Use your titles and thumbnails to build intrigue and not just restate what the video is about. Or as Jessica would say, “Use sass and emotion.” Think, “What is going to make a person want to click on this?” – Not “What is going to make this show up in search?”

But maybe you think you don’t have a fun personality? That’s OK! Just show who you are. Some people are naturally calm and that’s great! Some of the most successful creators are naturally introverted. They are just simply themselves and focus on genuine connection with the one person watching – instead of trying to project to a room of people. The point is be you and find your people.

Power Tip

YouTube has a new feature called . With this, when your livestream ends you can send your viewers to a different livestream or Premiere, even on someone else’s channel.

Have comments, reactions, questions, a YouTube tip to share, or just want to say hi? for us and we may use it in an upcoming podcast episode. Until then…

Keep changing lives!

Tim Schmoyer