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YouTube Question Could video LENGTH impact CTR?

Beanie Draws

Mythical Poster
Subscriber Goal
I like when people ask questions about low CTR and what be causing it, because it makes me think about my own videos that have 1-2% ctr.

When there's nothing inherently wrong with the thumbnail quality itself, my next area of blame goes to the topic itself. A video with a boring topic, or a boring title isn't going to win a click even if it's suggested in results, but just now I had a theory that perhaps video LENGTH also impacts CTR.

We all see the timestamp of how long a video will be before we click on it, and depending on how you like to consume content, if I'm going for a tech review video, I generally don't want to watch anything that's over 5 minutes. I'm learning that 15 minutes is the absolute max I'm interested in unless the topic itself and thumbnail looks amazing, but generally 20 minutes is way too long for a video unless the topic is super interesting.

My videos with the lowest CTR, are also some of my longest videos anywhere from 20-40 minutes long. If I was a viewer, there would be no way I'd click on a video that long, especially if the topic and thumbnail aren't mind-blowing, and those videos also had pretty average topics, and the thumbnails didn't indicate that the video content would be much better, so with the length of the video, with those factors in mind, it's pretty evident no one would click the video.

I'm starting to wonder if there's a correlation between video length, and CTR when a thumbnail is weak.

I'm curious, how long is your lowest CTR video? Perhaps you could take a screenshot of your worst 5 performing videos in terms of CTR so we can see how long the video itself is, and see if there's any correlation.


Very Well-Known Member
Subscriber Goal
Video lenght will not have any effect on CTR but instead the watching time will make a change. If viewers are not viewing for a long time or they skip your video the CTR might fall. If you post a long duration video and the content is good people will watch the video more. then the CTR will increase.


New Member
100%! Funnily enough, super short videos often have low CTRs as well. People often forget the human-side of things when it comes to YouTube. It's important to remember that real people will be watching your videos- not robots.


New Member
TubeBuddy Pro
Subscriber Goal
Video length definitely impacts CTR, if my understanding of CTR is correct (Click through rate == how many impressions actually click on your video).

I ALWAYS (except for a few weak moments) look at the length of the video before clicking it. If it's too long, I don't click it. If the topic is so gloriously amazing that I just HAVE to watch, I will skip as much as possible if the video is long, which also is not good for the video.

Ever looked for a how-to video and seen one video explain the concept in 2 minutes and another video explain it in 7? Which do you click?

Maybe it depends on the topic. Probably does.
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Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
TubeBuddy Staff
Subscriber Goal
This is a fantastic bit of insight @Beanie Draws and a topic that absolutely warrants conversation. We stress making a video 'only as long as it needs to be,' and the reason for that is you want to respect the viewers time. As a viewer I often allow the timestamp to dictate whether I watch a video or not. I do not want 30 minute tutorials when I am looking for a cooking recipe, but I also don't want a 15 second video. Both of these are things that are going to turn me away regardless of thumbnail quality or title.

I will say from my POV (and every niche is different) I am aiming for that crowd that enjoys watching fishing shows on television. So I really try to aim for that 19-23 minute run time (this is the standard run time of a 30 minute episode on television). My best videos thus far have been my longest, clocking in at about 23 minutes. But again, I am not going to make them long for the sake of making them long. If the video has to be six minutes in order to flush out the story well, then it will be a six minute video.
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