• Guest - Earn a FREE TubeBuddy Upgrade for being active on the forums! Click Here to learn how you earn free upgrades for TubeBuddy!
  • Guest - TubeBuddy has a discord! Click Here to join in the conversation!

Answered split testing

Zanet

Active Member
TubeBuddy Legend
25
13
When you split test on thumbnail CTR, on the winner do you take into account the fact the a thumbnail for recommended may perform differently to an initial release to subscribers?
 

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,604
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
Yes, I absolutely do take that into account. In fact I don't start my AB's until several days after I publish. Your initial audience has already subscribed to you and they typically are going to click and watch faster than an external audience. Plus their viewing habits are going to be different than your other traffic sources.

But when you are doing AB tests you are really wanting information regarding your other traffic sources. You are targeting an audience of people who have not yet subscribed. As such I do suggest letting your subscribers watch and enjoy before running your tests so that they don't skew your results.
 

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,604
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
thanks Stanley that's good to know
do you have a system you follow or just gut feeling?
I just wait a week before I run tests and I run them until statistically significant. I do try to test to completely different thumbnails; I see people who test the exact same thumbnail with slightly different text and I cringe. When I am testing thumbs I am not just testing for that video but also to see if I can pick up a channel-driving style for future use.

Also worth noting; one of the best tests I ever ran was a title/description test. My descriptions/tags remained the same but I ran a test for a highly optimized, SEO packed title versus a title focused more on being compelling. While my SEO scores suffered a bit the compelling title was a hand's down winner. Don't underestimate the value of testing titles as much as thumbnails.
 

MattCommand1

On sabbatical
TubeBuddy Pro
Trusted User
1,020
25
Subscriber Goal
5000
Also worth noting; one of the best tests I ever ran was a title/description test. My descriptions/tags remained the same but I ran a test for a highly optimized, SEO packed title versus a title focused more on being compelling. While my SEO scores suffered a bit the compelling title was a hand's down winner. Don't underestimate the value of testing titles as much as thumbnails.
Anecdotally, I generally prefer a "compelling" title and a lot of my YT role models espouse that even if it doesn't hit all the SEO marks. But it is nice to hear you did your own test.

When I do a YT search, I get really turned off by "keyword stuffing" because it doesn't really say much about what the video is about and I know what the creator is trying to do. But I also noticed that the 1st couple of lines in your description shows in these search results. When I saw that some months back, I went back to my older descriptions to tighten those first 2 lines and remove extraneous words. I also wrote complete sentences vs. just rattling off a few truncated phrases.

How you write and phrase titles absolutely matters. I learned the hard way.
 

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,604
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
Anecdotally, I generally prefer a "compelling" title and a lot of my YT role models espouse that even if it doesn't hit all the SEO marks. But it is nice to hear you did your own test.

When I do a YT search, I get really turned off by "keyword stuffing" because it doesn't really say much about what the video is about and I know what the creator is trying to do. But I also noticed that the 1st couple of lines in your description shows in these search results. When I saw that some months back, I went back to my older descriptions to tighten those first 2 lines and remove extraneous words. I also wrote complete sentences vs. just rattling off a few truncated phrases.

How you write and phrase titles absolutely matters. I learned the hard way.
This is what I would consider 'next-level' insight. The title acts as a 'supertag' for SEO purposes, so for beginners I would encourage taking advantage of that and utilizing this tool so that you can get in front of eyes in search. But once you get the hang of writing titles and understanding SEO and how metadata works you'll also understand that it all revolves around the viewer. The natural next stage of progression would then be to focus more on the viewer, which typically leads you away from tag-packing your titles in an effort to improve CTR and viewership. I wouldn't say learning this is the 'hard way;' it is important to build that foundation of searchable content while you grow your knowledge and understanding. And anyone who isn't going back and updating old videos is missing out on opportunities. We should all being doing that regardless of what stage we are at.
 

MattCommand1

On sabbatical
TubeBuddy Pro
Trusted User
1,020
25
Subscriber Goal
5000
This is what I would consider 'next-level' insight. The title acts as a 'supertag' for SEO purposes, so for beginners I would encourage taking advantage of that and utilizing this tool so that you can get in front of eyes in search. But once you get the hang of writing titles and understanding SEO and how metadata works you'll also understand that it all revolves around the viewer. The natural next stage of progression would then be to focus more on the viewer, which typically leads you away from tag-packing your titles in an effort to improve CTR and viewership. I wouldn't say learning this is the 'hard way;' it is important to build that foundation of searchable content while you grow your knowledge and understanding. And anyone who isn't going back and updating old videos is missing out on opportunities. We should all being doing that regardless of what stage we are at.
I like that! Title=SUPERTAG!

When I get a bit worn out on writing, filming or editing videos, I use that lull time to relook at my thumbnails, titles, etc. Or I come to the TB forums when I should be writing or researching for my next topic! I feel guilty when I am not in "video production mode".

But reviewing our own prior videos and its entries is definitely a must-do periodically. We get different insights as we progress.
 

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,604
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
it's such a fine balance to get, but I suppose depending on how large your channel is will dictate which part of the algorithm you aim for with visitors in mind too.
keywords aren't such an issue if you don't worry about being discovered in search I guess
There is value in at least being mindful of your keywords/metadata as a large creator. Everyone thinks about their YouTube content on such a video-by-video basis and they miss out on the long-term opportunities present with a large library. That is where keywords shine; they give videos a 'second life' in search and allow for an evergreen foundation of views. But it is a balancing act; the most important thing you can do it first gain that click. And that comes down to the thumbnail and title.
 

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,604
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
Stanley I presume you have other channels as it says 4k on your subs, but I imagine from your excellent comments you have the experience from a channel of 100k?
I very much appreciate that... I have worked closely with several larger channels but to date I have only managed to reach the 4k mark. I do some weird things that likely hold me back a bit; I don't own a computer (everything I do is done on a phone), I don't get too sensational with thumbnails/titles and fishing is a very seasonal niche (I have a very limited amount of time each year to get a video to pop off and this doesn't always align with good fishing conditions). All part of the game, I like to consider myself a 250k channel that just hasn't made it yet lol
 

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,604
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
I've been wondering about this myself. I've done zero A/B testing. Starting to think I'm missing out.
Ooooh, man. Yeah you should definitely try it. My overall channel CTR jumped by 20% in the first 90 days I started AB's. Next to the Keyword Explorer it is my 2nd favorite tool that TubeBuddy offers.
 

MattCommand1

On sabbatical
TubeBuddy Pro
Trusted User
1,020
25
Subscriber Goal
5000
There is value in at least being mindful of your keywords/metadata as a large creator. Everyone thinks about their YouTube content on such a video-by-video basis and they miss out on the long-term opportunities present with a large library. That is where keywords shine; they give videos a 'second life' in search and allow for an evergreen foundation of views. But it is a balancing act; the most important thing you can do it first gain that click. And that comes down to the thumbnail and title.
I have to tell you, working on YT videos can be a solitary experience. As an introvert, I enjoy parts of it but there are times where I need a production break which is why I been posting so much over the last 4 days. I should be in production mode and NOT posting here so much!

Also, it is very gratifying to hear you say the benefits of a "large library". I knew it instinctively but to hear you articulate it made me feel good. I started seeing/feeling the benefits around after 60-70 videos. Suddenly, some of my friends want to get more serious about their YT channels (and I'm helping them by guiding them) partly because they have seen my own library grow and some of the stats I showed them. The subscribers come a bit easier and quicker than when I had only a dozen videos.

It seems to help the presentation of the overall channel when your titles/thumbnails are more refined also.

One thing I differ a bit from your thoughts is I didn't worry too much about clicks early on. I had zero videos in January and I felt the highest priority was to start populating my channel with videos but refine them as I go. (of course do the best you reasonably can with your limited skills) Also because I had little experience with my video edit software, I needed all the practice I could get.

Maybe you can critique that line of thinking? I've had some debates with friends that populating a channel when you have zero videos is nearly the highest priority. You can go back and refine titles, descriptions, and thumbnails "later".
 

MattCommand1

On sabbatical
TubeBuddy Pro
Trusted User
1,020
25
Subscriber Goal
5000
I very much appreciate that... I have worked closely with several larger channels but to date I have only managed to reach the 4k mark. I do some weird things that likely hold me back a bit; I don't own a computer (everything I do is done on a phone), I don't get too sensational with thumbnails/titles and fishing is a very seasonal niche (I have a very limited amount of time each year to get a video to pop off and this doesn't always align with good fishing conditions). All part of the game, I like to consider myself a 250k channel that just hasn't made it yet lol
GASP! You made it to 4K subscribers without doing it on a computer? I would be a dead man or quit altogether if I was forced to do video edits on a phone. I am very much old fashioned big monitor, mouse, and keyboard to do video edits.
 

MattCommand1

On sabbatical
TubeBuddy Pro
Trusted User
1,020
25
Subscriber Goal
5000
I very much appreciate that... I have worked closely with several larger channels but to date I have only managed to reach the 4k mark. I do some weird things that likely hold me back a bit; I don't own a computer (everything I do is done on a phone), I don't get too sensational with thumbnails/titles and fishing is a very seasonal niche (I have a very limited amount of time each year to get a video to pop off and this doesn't always align with good fishing conditions). All part of the game, I like to consider myself a 250k channel that just hasn't made it yet lol
The cool thing about YT is we get to choose HOW we want to do things that is reflective of our styles, personality, and priorities. If you feel good about it, I am good with it too! Your 4K subscribers feels very far to me so who am I to tell you that you have to be at a higher number especially since you have a FT job with TB.