July 19

YouTube Retention Rate: What It Is and How It Affects Your YouTube Ranking

You’re doubling your efforts to promote your new video on different social media platforms because your ultimate goal is a view count that’s more than your competitors. It got over a thousand views within 24 hours. It’s time to celebrate!

Or is it?

In this post, we’ll talk about YouTube retention rates. Specifically, we’ll talk about these things:

1. What is YouTube retention rate?

2. How does YouTube retention rate affect your YouTube ranking?

3. What should be your retention rate to be considered “normal”? When should you worry?

4. How can you increase your retention rate?

Let’s get started.

YouTube Retention Rate: What It Is and How It Affects Your YouTube Ranking

You think having millions of views is the ultimate goal. But have you checked your YouTube retention rate and seen how many of those viewers really finished the video or even reached the middle part?

Even more significant than the number of views is audience retention. Anyone who clicks on your video can be counted as a viewer, but that doesn’t indicate whether or not they watched it until the end.

Audience retention is basically a percentage that tells you how many of your viewers watched your video from start to finish. If you haven’t yet examined how any of your videos performed since you published them:

1. Go to YouTube Studio.

2. In the left navigation menu, select Content.

3. Click on the video you want to examine.

4. Go to the graph located at the bottom of the page and examine it.

Now, your YouTube retention rate is below 50% and you’re wondering, “Is it normal?”

It is normal, but that’s definitely something that you should work on because audience retention is one of the factors that affect a YouTube video’s rank. If yours is below 50%, then YouTube considers your video NOT worth recommending to the viewers.

YouTube Retention Rate: What It Is and How It Affects Your YouTube Ranking

There are a lot of reasons why people don’t watch a video until the end, and sometimes, it isn’t about your video at all.

It’s given that no one wants to watch poor content, but maybe the viewer just has a shorter attention span than average. Or maybe they are looking for particular information and they found it within the first few seconds of your video. Or maybe they clicked on your video by mistake.

Sometimes, too, it’s because of the YouTube algorithm. You may not know this but as the view count rises, the retention rate tends to decrease because more and more people are getting involved.

It would be ideal to have a 100% retention rate, but it’s nearly impossible for a YouTube channel to hit that mark. That said, anything that surpassed the 50% mark is good. That’s the good area. The higher you go over 50%, the more likely YouTube may start considering recommending you to viewers.

Audience retention changes over time and can be controlled by you. Let’s talk about how you can increase your YouTube retention rate.

1. Have an Effective Hook

The beginning is the most important in video marketing. You have to capture your audience’s attention right off the bat. You have to make them stop scrolling and pique their interest so they watch the rest of your video.

Ask yourself, “What is that word, image, or scene that will catch them off guard and make them think that they would miss out on something amazing if they chose to ignore this video?”

YouTube Retention Rate: What It Is and How It Affects Your YouTube Ranking

Note that a hook isn’t just for the first few seconds of the video. It could be the title of the video, the thumbnail, or even the video description. It could be anything so long as it is visible.

And it’s important to also be clear on what you’ll be talking about. Shocking your audience or focusing just on catching attention without a clear direction or clear information only makes the viewer frustrated.

2. Show a Sneak Peek in the Beginning

Giving too many hints at the beginning of the video can have a negative impact on its performance, but only if you don’t approach it strategically. If you carefully select the clips you will put at the start, it can be a great hook!

Try showing the exciting parts while leaving the details for later. That might be the one thing that could increase your YouTube retention rate!

3. Add Chapters to Give the Audience an Idea

Chapters don’t necessarily cause viewers to leave a video quickly, despite what some people believe. People actually like them. Chapters let them know if the video contains that specific information they’re looking for, or not.

What’s more, you can utilize the chapters to pique your audience’s curiosity. If you TELL them what will happen within that particular timeframe, they will be excited to SEE it.

4. Make It Visually Engaging

We add graphical elements like lower-thirds, graphs, video clips, and quotations to a video because plain footage just won’t get anyone anywhere. You have to make it visually engaging so that the audience won’t get bored from seeing the same things throughout the video.

5. Avoid Oversharing at the Start

You may be optimizing your videos the right way that’s why you’re reaching people and gaining more views. An effective title. A thumbnail that makes the audience wonder. A video description that is interesting.

YouTube Retention Rate: What It Is and How It Affects Your YouTube Ranking

However, they stop watching after a few seconds, so the first part of your video may either be lacking some substance or contain so much substance that they no longer need to finish the video to understand what you want to say.

Say too little and they won’t see the value of watching until the end. Say too much and you will satisfy them too soon. So aim to be in the middle. Share enough details and make sure those are exciting to pique their curiosity!


While it would be awesome to have a 100% retention rate, is it even possible to hit that mark, especially considering that only a few YouTube videos were able to achieve a 90% retention rate?

The video you publish must be appealing to everyone who comes across that video for it to have a 100% retention rate. People have different preferences, so you really will disappoint some people and won’t be able to please them.

Don’t waste your time and worry over an impossible goal.

Instead, keep an eye on your retention rate (anything within 50% to 80%) but look at your video from a holistic standpoint. 


Audience Retention Rate, Retention Rate, Video Marketing, Videos, YouTube Marketing, YouTube Retention Rate, YouTube Videos, YouTube Views

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