youtube analytics: a comprehensive guide

YouTube analytics: A comprehensive guide to getting started

YouTube analytics helps you to analyze the relationship between your channel and its audience. It does this by providing insightful data about your content and audience. Thereby, helping creators make a data-driven decision on how to grow their channel. As your channel starts to grow, you will need to measure the effectiveness of your strategies, and what your channel is experiencing at the moment.

Purpose of YouTube Analytics

YouTube Analytics will help provide you with insight into different aspects of your channel, as well as answer questions related to traffic and overall performance of your channel. It helps you to probe channel performance for changes using the available metrics.

For example, Alan owns a YouTube channel that shares content on the latest hip-hop videos. His latest video post that talks about an old school artist that was popular in the 90’s garner 500,000 views in 24 hours. This wowed Alan, he then decided to post more contents about old school hip-hop artists, and realize he is not getting enough views like before. From, YouTube analytics, Alan discovered that the spike in the video views he noticed was because the time of death of the artist happens to coincide with the period, he published the video. So, as people were searching to confirm the artist’s death, they were also searching to watch the video. So, the video benefited from the buzz in the media at that particular time.

To give you an idea of what YouTube analytics can do. Here are some basic questions that YouTube will help you answer.

  • The number of unique viewers in your channel
  • The number of your video impressions
  • Traffic source
  • The average watch time on your channel
  • Average video view duration
  • Detail information about your audience 

How YouTube Analytics can help your channel grow?

YouTube analytics has various ways it can help you grow your channels by showing what is working and how you can best optimize your content and strategy to get better performance. Owing to the intense competition on a platform like YouTube. Content planning has to be taken very seriously. The choice of thumbnail, branding, and tags should be planned properly to get significant online traffic. Cashing in on channel’s growth is a lucrative opportunity because it:

  • Helps you understand your audience
  • Insight on your traffic source
  • The average watch time of your channels
  • What is your total number of video views?
  • Helps you understand how you get subscribers

It is important you create content that is engaging and entertaining. However, no matter how much time you spend on your creatives and strategies unless you know how well it is performing, there are no many things you can do to increase profitability and efficiency. it is the knowledge of all these important metrics that makes YouTube analytics a valuable tool for your business growth.

How do I assess YouTube Analytics?

To assess your YouTube analytics dashboard is pretty straight-forward

Step 1. Go to YouTube website and click on your gravatar image

Step 2. Click on YouTube studio on the dropdown

Step 3. Click on YouTube analytics on the left side

YouTube analytics common metrics

Here is the YouTube analytics dashboard. At the top you can see the different tabs such as the overview, engagement, audience, reach. When you sync your AdSense account the revenue tab is going to come up. Let’s take a look at important metrics you will need to monitor frequently for growth.

YouTube View Metrics

Views: As the name implies, it shows the total number of views on your channel

Unique viewers:  This metrics shows the number of unique viewers on your channel. This is usually lower than the number of views. This is because a viewer may watch a video multiple times, or watch more than one video. This calculation is done by using a cookie on the user device. As a result, this number may not be accurate if the user is using multiple devices.

Watch time:  This the total amount of time that was spent watching videos on your channel. You can measure this monthly. Then, compare it with previous months to know the general health of your channel. If the watch time improves, it shows that your channel is doing well, and if it is getting lower, you need to look at what leads to that. Perhaps you should be more thoughtful about the kind of content you put out.

Audience retention: This shows the average time audiences spent on your video. It shows how well your video can retain the attention of your audience. If there is a huge drop-off at the beginning of the video. It may be that people find the title confusing and may not be interested in the video. Also, if you found out that people are watching your video to the end, you may try to increase the duration of your video a little bit more. It shows that people find your video very engaging and won’t mind if the duration is longer.

YouTube engagement metrics

Likes and dislikes metrics: This metric shows you how many people like or dislike your videos. A high number of likes or dislikes shows that your audience is watching your video, and when you check the comment session you can see the sentiment of your audience. As a result, you can get insight on how to better plan your subsequent videos.

Share Metrics: As the name implies, it shows how many times your video is shared by your audience. A high number shows that your people find your content very entertaining, as well as informative, and they decide to share them

Subscriber metrics: It shows how subscribers are gained or lost, and it shows you the video that leads to it. So, a video that led to a huge number of unsubscribes actions needs to be looked into. It may be that the video is no relevant to your audience, or it contains speech that your audience considers inappropriate.

YouTube Channel Metrics

Impressions metrics: This shows how many times your thumbnails and titles appear when people search with keywords on YouTube. 

Click-Through-Rate (CTR): This shows the percentage of your impression that was clicked. Don’t expect this number to be very high. The average on YouTube is around 2-10%. However, when you get a high CTR, it shows that your title keywords and thumbnails are converting well.

5 ways YouTube analytics can help you grow your channel

1. Understand your audience better

A vast understanding of your kind of audience will help you create better content that will appeal to them. As your subscribers grow, you begin to find out that some videos perform better than others. However, the reason for these may remain a mystery to you. At the best, you might make a guess, and conclude that may be wrong or right. As we know the right choice will mean your channel will perform better. At the same time, a wrong choice will affect your channel adversely. Insight from your YouTube analytics have metrics that will help you make data-driven decisions to improve the performance of your channel – no guessing. For example, Alan is a YouTube creator. He owns a channel that talks about .

2. Understand dynamics behind views

When data is interpreted properly. It tells a story. A good grasp of the story will then help you make the right decision. It is common for YouTube creator to prematurely thinks videos with more views outperforms videos with lesser views. This is now always true because a lot of factors may lead to a spike in certain video views, and may not necessarily be due to the quality of the content. For example, Alan’s last video garner 500,000 views in 24 hours. Then the number begins to diminish before coming to a halt in 4 days. Alan was quite impressed that he made up his mind to only create that kind of video. Unfortunately, he couldn’t reproduce that same result or even gain more subscribers.

Now, from the example above, Alan took a premature decision but just seeing the number of views on his YouTube channel. It was when he then proceeds to the YouTube analytic dashboard, where he discovered that the video, he thought was doing well because of the number of views was not doing well per se. The high number of views did not translate to a high watch time. In fact, videos with a lesser number of views have higher watch time and are bringing new subscribers. The spike in the number of views was because of a blog that links to his channel on their blog. YouTube analytics has metrics like watch time, views, and traffic sources that you can compare to understand.

3. Measure video success accurately

The yardstick to measure the success of a video is dependent on the creator. Some YouTube creators might focus on just engagement such as likes, dislikes, shares, comments, and more. While for some others, they are more interested in the number of views and watch time. Either way, they are right. However, to better understand the success of a video, you need to look at a combination of different metrics to accurately decide if a video is successful or not.

With YouTube analytics, you can discover how your video helps you gain more subscribers, the watch time of your videos, the click-through-rate (CTR). It is the combination of these different metrics that can help you measure accurately the success of your video. Most YouTube creators use to have a kind of benchmark that this metrics is measured against to know if the video is successful or not.

4. Optimize content to maximize revenue

I know for some people, creating content on YouTube is just a hobby, but there is nothing wrong with monetizing that content. YouTube analytics can show you insight into how your video is making money. Then, also show you how you can optimize your content to make better revenue.

Let’s still look at Alan’s channel for example. After Alan had monetized his YouTube channel, he still doesn’t understand why some of his videos, more watch time does not correspond to more revenue. Let’s say video A has a watch time of 6,000 minutes. Video B has just 5,000 minutes. However, video B brings in more revenue than video A. Alan perplexed, tries to get more insight from YouTube analytics. Found out that most viewers for video A come from a developing country, where ad cost is way lower compare to those from developed countries. With this knowledge, Alan makes ensure that in his subsequent videos, his content is not appealing to people in developing countries alone, but cut across various borders. As a result, improve his revenue by optimizing his content.

  In addition, other factors that can be relevant might be the device used to watch your videos or the content topic. Some videos topic is advertisement friendly than others. Also, if most of your viewers are using mobile phones, you may see lesser revenue.

5. Help people find you (Improve your reach)

YouTube analytics have different data points that help you understand the source of your traffic, and how to optimize it, in other to improve your reach. Metrics like click-through-rate (CTR) will show you how many people are clicking your video per impression. If this is low. It therefore, means that your thumbnail is perhaps not that attractive or maybe the keyword you are ranking for is not well optimized.

Also, from the YouTube analytics dashboard, if you notice traffic source outside the YouTube platform’. Let’s say, a certain blog links to your video often, or your content is been shared on certain social media channels. Then, this is another opportunity for you to increase your reach. You can then reach out to the editorial team to look for ways to make to automate the process. Which is going to be a win-win situation for both parties. The blog has valuable content to share with its audience, and you have the opportunity to reach out to more people.

As long as you rank with the right keywords, and you look for ways to maximize your traffic sources. You are on the right path to increase your channel reach.

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