Grouping videos together is a great way to make it easier for your viewers to find the content they want when looking through your channel.
It is especially useful for channels that have a number of different “series” or types of video. It is always preferable to have a focussed niche to direct your content at, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create even more focussed sub-niches.
An example of this might be a cooking channel that occasionally does videos on how to make great meals at very little cost, while also sometimes doing videos on food from a specific region. Both of those types of video would be fine on a cooking channel, but grouping them off with other videos of the same kind can make it much easier for viewers to get to the content they want.
What is Grouping Videos on YouTube?
Though “grouping” is the aptest and most natural name for what we are discussing, there is no “group” function on the platform.
Sections apply to your channel page and allow you to group individual videos or playlists together in one section with a header. There are also some dynamic options here, such as “Most Popular”, and “Uploaded”, which will update themselves automatically.
Sections are useful because a viewer who stumbles across one of your videos, likes what they see, and wants to see more will most likely head to your channel next to find it.
If the video they liked is part of a series of similar videos, having that series in a clearly defined section right there on the channel page will save them a lot of time.
Playlists are perhaps the more useful of the two grouping options. For one thing, sections on your channel page can be playlists. In other words, if you are going to group a collection of videos to display on your channel page, it would be a better use of your time to group them into a playlist and create a section for that playlist.
That way, you still get a channel section, but you also have it available in playlist form should you need it. And, any updates to the playlist will automatically be applied to the section, since the section is just showing the contents of that playlist.
The main reason to put videos into playlists, however, is autoplay. When a viewer watches a YouTube video to the end, YouTube endeavours to show them something they will be interested in next. And, if the viewer doesn’t click away or select a video of their own choice, YouTube will auto-play the video they have chosen. If a viewer is watching a playlist, however, the next video in the playlist will be auto-played.
For a step by step guide on how to make a playlist on YouTube (with pictures) then check out my blog for all the super secret tweaks that will get you more views.
For new viewers who take the step of going to your channel, or who have watched one of your videos to the very end and may be interested in more, being able to find what it is they are looking for easily can be the difference between them becoming new subscribers, and drifting away never to return.
Capturing someone’s attention is relatively easy compared to retention, so you should do everything in your power to reduce the amount of effort new viewers have to put in to get to the content they want on your channel.
Why Group Videos?
It’s one thing knowing how to group videos on YouTube, but why?
We’ve already touched on the fact that it doesn’t take much for a new viewer to wander away from your channel, even if they really liked the video that brought them there in the first place.
There are other reasons why grouping content is good for your channel, however.
For example; as much as we’d like for our viewers to want to watch every bit of content we put out, the unfortunate reality is that they don’t. Even in the case of personality-based channels—where the majority of the audience is there to see the YouTuber regardless of what video is actually about—there will still be viewers who see a particular type of video and decide they would rather give it a miss.
You can’t please everybody all of the time.
But you can make your viewers’ experience in consuming your content as frictionless as possible, and grouping videos is one of the best ways to do that. It allows them to easily find the series or video type they are looking for. And if they have come to a series video that is in a playlist, they won’t even need to leave the video page to get to the next one in the series.
You are not limited to custom groupings and playlists, however. You can create sections for things like upcoming live streams, most popular videos, and, of course, your most recently uploaded videos.
Each of these sections comes with a header to make it clear to your viewers what they are getting, and they can click through to see more content from that grouping.
You can also create a section of playlists, which would come in handy if you have a lot of different series and do not want to clutter your channel page with lots of different sections for each one.
How to Create Sections on Your Channel
Creating sections is extremely simple. Simply head over to your channel page (making sure you are logged in) and click on the “Customize Channel” button which should be up near the top right of the page.
You will be taken to what might at first look like your regular channel page, but if you look closely, you should see that the different sections of your channel have a little edit icon (the one that looks like a pen) in the corner when you hover over them.
Clicking on this will allow you to change the details of that particular section.
Next to the edit icon, there should be an arrow—or arrows—that allow you to slide that section up or down your page.
The part we are interested in the most, however, is at the bottom of your channel customisation page.
Down there you should find an “add section” button, which you will need to click if you want to add a new section.
The options you have are;
- Popular Uploads
- Live Now
- Upcoming Live Streams
- Past Live Streams
- Created Playlists
- Single Playlists
- Saved Playlists
- Multiple Playlists
- Custom Groupings
For the most part, these are pretty self-explanatory, though some of them may need expanding on a little, so we’ll go through each of them now.
Based on views, this section will show your most successful videos so far. This can be handy for YouTubers who want to showcase their finest work… assuming your most-viewed videos are your finest work, that is.
This section will automatically change based on your live viewing figures.
So, if you land yourself a viral hit that races ahead of your other videos in terms of view count, it will jump to the top the queue in this section.
Another way to think of this section would be “Latest Videos”. The uploads section just shows the most recently uploaded videos on your channel.
Like popular uploads, it updates itself automatically whenever you put out a new video. YouTubers tend to have a range of opinions on showing this section on your channel.
Some YouTubers feel you should always show your latest videos straight away, while others feel you should curate the content on your channel page—only showing the best examples of your work. This topic is one of those “no right or wrong” situations.
For example, if you are a current events channel, there would be no sense in not showing your latest videos, since viewers would only be interested in the most recent content. If you were a tutorial channel, however, it would make more sense to group your videos into playlists and show that on the channel page.
This section will show any live content that is currently streaming.
As you might have guessed, this section is really only suitable for channels that stream a lot.
That being said, empty sections do not show up on your channel, so there’s no harm in putting the section there as it will only be visible when you have live content to show.
Upcoming Live Streams
If you do not live stream, you may not be aware that you can schedule streams in advance.
This not only gives you a page to link to, as well as setting the date with your subscribers, but it will also show up on your channel.
The upcoming live streams section will show only scheduled live streams, not streams that are live now, and not live streams that have ended. If you have no live streams scheduled, the section will not show up.
Past Live Streams
This section, as the name suggests, shows live streams that have already been broadcast. It will take some time for a stream to be processed by YouTube, and the video won’t appear in places like this section until that has been completed.
Depending on the length of the stream, it can take anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour or two for processing to be complete.
Whether or not you place this section on your channel page will mainly be down to the viewing habits of your viewers. If streams are the primary content of your channel, you should put them front and centre with this section.
If streams are just something you do as a little extra content for your viewers, it may be better to leave this section off the channel page and dedicate more space to the videos that are the primary content of your channel.
This section will display the playlists that you have created. This is an ideal section to bring together all of your video series’ in one place, as it will dynamically update with new playlists whenever you create them.
It will contain any playlists you create that are public, however. That includes playlists of other people’s videos.
So, if you have a playlist of your favourite YouTube musicians, be sure to make it private if you don’t want it showing up in this section.
This is a particularly useful section, as it shows the videos from within the selected playlist, and it updates automatically when new videos are added to that playlist.
If you have a few popular series’, you might want to give them each a single playlist section on your channel page so that they can be easily found by your viewers.
On YouTube, you have the option to save playlists created by other people, allowing you to easily find that playlist at a later date.
With this section, you can display all of your saved playlists so that others can view them as well.
This can be very useful if you find playlists that form great companion pieces to your own content.
A multiple playlist section will show any playlists you tell it to, whether from your own channel or anywhere else on YouTube.
As long as the playlist is public, you can add it here. This is not a dynamic section, however, and you will have to manually update it with any additional playlists you want adding.
In order for this section to display anything, your subscriptions must be set to public.
When it is, this section will display the latest channels you have subscribed to.
If you decide to have this section on your channel, we would recommend only subscribing to channels that may be useful to your viewers from that account and setting up a separate account for personal interests.
Custom groupings allow you to create a section of channels.
This can be handy for highlighted related channels, shouting out channels you like, and even promotional purposes if you are a more significant channel looking to help out smaller channels.
This section is static and will need updating manually with new entries.
A quick note on unlisted videos.
Typically, if you post something unlisted, you don’t want it to be accessible unless you give someone the link.
If you an unlisted video into a playlist, however, it will show up in for anyone looking at that playlist—just a little something to bear in mind.