Can YouTube Ads Hurt My Organic Performance?

by Anna Martynova | | Category: YouTube for Brands

You’ve probably asked yourself this question before: are there any disadvantages to YouTube ads? Can they actually hurt the organic performance of my channel? Today, I will explain when YouTube ads can have a negative impact on your channel and how to avoid it.

Open video player in lightbox

Do YouTube ads hurt organic performance?

If you run YouTube ads on your video, would it hurt your organic performance?

The answer is no!

YouTube does not lower the performance of a video that runs ads as I suggested at the beginning.

But wait! This topic is more complicated than you might think, and YouTube ads can still hurt your video’s performance. So what’s the main reason for that?

The problem is your audience retention.

Audience retention and organic growth

Audience retention is one of the most important ranking factors on YouTube. The longer people stay on your video – the better it is. And, as a result, YouTube will suggest your video more. YouTube ads, unfortunately, can hurt your audience retention.

Audience retention

You can imagine that if someone watches your video as an ad, they will not watch it as long as someone might watch it if they found it organically through search.

But doesn’t YouTube look at the source of a click?

Yes, it does!

Especially when considering if you should rank for a search term. YouTube looks at how long your audience retention is and how high your click rate is for this specific search term.

But your general audience retention also plays a role, no matter from which source someone clicks on your video.

This is especially important for suggested videos and other browse features such as YouTube home.

Another important factor is what type of YouTube ad you use: some might be beneficial for your video, some might hurt its performance.

The best YouTube ad type for good audience retention

If you want to learn more about ad types, check out our blog post where we explained each and every ad type in detail.

Skippable Ads

In-stream ads are, for example, a very bad idea if you want more people to watch your video. When you put your video in front of other videos, most people will skip after the first five seconds.

This is because your video is not made for being in it! Just imagine clicking on a YouTube video and another YouTube video plays instead, you will probably skip it, won’t you?

And this is why in-stream ads will get your video very bad audience retention.

Discovery Ads

YouTube discovery ads are way better for your video’s performance. You will rank under a specific search term on top of the other videos.

But there’s one big problem.

You still need to be clicked. It doesn’t help you to rank on top. You actually need to get clicks!

And if you have a bad title, thumbnail – you won’t get any clicks if you place an ad. However, if you have a great thumbnail and a great title, you will rank high anyway. YouTube discovery ads can only help you so far.

The main rule for growing a channel with ads

You cannot force a bad channel to grow with YouTube ads! You can only make a good channel grow faster. If viewers don’t like your content, they won’t watch it. And if you put more eyes on this content, it’s not going to help.

Instead, make better videos that add value. Try until you start to grow organically and only then boost this growth with YouTube ads.

The best way to grow your audience with YouTube ads is to place a trailer video for your channel, an actual advertisement that promotes why people should look at your channel.

This will not hurt your individual videos – this will only hurt the audience retention of this channel trailer and it’s not supposed to rank organically anyways.

To sum everything up, the two main rules for growing a channel with ads are:

  1. Make high-quality videos that add value.
  2. Use a channel trailer for an ad.

I hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any further questions, leave them in the comment section down below👇🏼 .

Similar Articles to Boost The Performance of Your Videos