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YouTube Analytics – Guide to Finding and Understanding Your Stats

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YouTube provides some of the most detailed analytics, from any social media platform, that new creators can use to predict and improve their content. You can see how your audience responds to your Thumbnail and title, how they’re engaging with the video, and more in real-time.

Whether you are learning how to stream on YouTube Gaming or you want to moderate your channel performance so that you can create increasingly better YouTube content, reading your YouTube analytics is an important thing to do to grow your channel.

This post will cover how you can read your YouTube video analytics and how you can adjust your YouTube strategy to improve your engagement metrics on your channel.

How to Find Your YouTube Analytics

To find your analytics, first, navigate to the top right of YouTube’s main page. You’re going to look down and click on “YouTube Studio.”

This will take you to YouTube Studio, where you can see all the analytics for your channel as a whole, or you can view specific analytics for individual videos.

To view the global analytics for your channel, click on the Analytics tab on the left-hand side when you’ve navigated into YouTube Studio. This will show you overall stats such as your click-through rate, average retention, and more.

Alternatively, you can view analytics for individual videos by clicking the 3 graphs tab on the video you’d like to view. This will give you detailed statistics for this particular video such as audience data, retention data, and predicted changes.

How to View YouTube Analytics on Mobile

To check your analytics on Mobile, you’ll have to download the YouTube Studio app. Once you log into your google account, you’ll be greeted by a very familiar interface, like the one on the desktop.

The navigation of the overview tab is very similar, and you can check your channel’s analytics as a whole or as an individual video.

YouTube Metrics

We’re going to break down YouTube Analytics into 3 different sections: Reach, Engagement, and Audience. These factors all contribute to how your video is served, whether your video is successful, and what you can improve on.

  1. 1. Reach

    Reach refers to how your audience finds your content, and how they’re responding to it once they see it. Let’s take a look at all the parameters that are included in Reach and what they mean.

    • Impressions: How many times your thumbnails were shown to viewers on YouTube.
    • Click-Through-Rate: How often viewers watched a video after seeing a thumbnail.
    • Views: The number of legitimate views for your channels or videos. These will be separated between views and unique views (each individual user that has watched your videos).

    This section of your YouTube analytics will also track the traffic sources of how your viewers found your content. These will include the following methods:

    • External traffic – Your external traffic may include websites that link to your YouTube videos or even link on social media sites. Any external sources will show up, allowing you to know where your video views are coming from.
    • Suggested videos – If viewers came from watching new videos on either your channel or other channels, you will be able to view these video metrics.
    • Playlists – Whether you created one, or other YouTube channels have added one of your videos to their playlist, your YouTube analytics will track these video views.
    • Search – If your video came up as one of the top videos in a Youtube search, YouTube will track this data in your analytics.

    How to Improve Your Reach on YouTube

    If you want to improve your reach metrics in your YouTube Channel analytics, there are several things you can do. While we won’t be able to cover each in great detail, here are a few simple things you can try:

    1. Improve Descriptions – Make sure that you fill out your descriptions with appropriate target keywords. Cover what the YouTube video is about so that it is more likely to show up in searches.
    2. Upload One Video Per Week – YouTube is more likely to rank your content if you upload new videos every week. Not only will a specific video be more likely to show up in a search, but you should show up in the suggested videos more often.
    3. Study Top Performing Videos – Look at other channels within your nice to find their top-performing videos. While you shouldn’t copy another channel’s strategy, understanding what is working for them could help you formulate how to increase the number of viewers watching your own.
    4. Find New Traffic Sources – Try to collaborate with other YouTubers, streamers, or websites. If you can generate more traffic sources for your content, your YouTube metrics will likely improve.
  2. 2. Engagement

    Engagements refer to how people are responding to your video, once it has been served to them by YouTube. This is broken down into:

    • Watch Time: Total watch time since the video was published.
    • Average view duration: Average amount of time viewers spent watching this video.

    The engagement tab on your YouTube Channel analytics will sort this information in a variety of ways:

    • Top YouTube videos and playlists – You will be able to see which of your YouTube videos and playlists have the most watch time in the last 28 days.
    • End Screen, Element Clicks – You will be able to learn which of your end screens was most effective in the last four weeks. You’ll also learn which element types created the most click-through to other channel pages.
    • Top posts – You can go over the top community posts from the last 28 days.

    How to Improve Your Engagement on YouTube

    To improve your engagement on your YouTube analytics, you need to continually improve your content. When you are watching other YouTube creators, pay attention to what draws your eye. What keeps your attention? How do they present their end screen in order for you to want to watch other video content they produce?

    Another way you can improve your engagement over time is by connecting with your viewers. Invite your community to comment and respond to them when you do. As people feel more connected to you, they will likely watch each of the videos you release all the way through to the end, which will improve your estimated minutes watched metric.

  3. 3. Audience

    Lastly, the audience section is all about what type of users you’re reaching. This is further broken down into how many of them are subscribed versus not subscribed, the users’ geography, gender, and more. The audience tab gives detailed analytics on:

    • Average Viewers Per Viewer: The average number of times a viewer watched this particular video
    • Unique Viewers: Estimated number of people that watched this video content
    • Subscribers: The number of people that have subscribed to your channel from this video

    Some of the demographics data you will receive about your viewers will include the following:

    • Subscriber metrics – Not only will YouTube track the number of subs that you gain, but it will also keep track of subscribers lost. You will also be able to learn how many of your subs hit the notification bell.
    • Viewer regions – YouTube analytics will also tell you where the bulk of your viewers are from as well as when your viewers were online over the last four weeks. You can also learn about how many of your viewers use sub-titles or the language CC option.
    • Watch time – You will be able to see the ratio between subs and non-subs that watch videos as well as the overall watch time.
    • Age and Gender – Reading about the age and gender of those who watch your YouTube channel can help you identify your target audience. This will help you create content that will bring them back as well as attract new organic traffic.
    • Other Videos Watched – Not only will you be able to see which videos were watched on your own channel, but YouTube analytics will let you know which other channels your audience watches. This way you can conduct a YouTube search to learn more about what your audience likes and possibly find more videos from a new channel that you will enjoy.

What YouTube Analytics Tells You About Revenue

Once you have become a member of the YouTube Partner Program, you will be given advanced mode reports, including information about your revenue. You will be able to find this in the revenue tab on your YouTube analytics report. Not only will the platform provide information about your estimated net revenue, but it tracks each ad impression you receive on your channel.

You will also be able to use your YouTube Analytics to get a real-time report on your monthly estimated revenue, the ad types that are playing on your channel, as well as estimated monetized playbacks. If you stream, you will also be able to view metrics of the number of super chat messages you received.

Track your revenue sources from month to month to determine how you can increase your earnings over time.

How to Read Your YouTube Analytics

These analytics may look quite daunting for new content creators, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll breeze through them! The most important factors you should be focusing on is Reach and Engagement. These two parameters determine how your video responds to YouTube and how the video is responding to your audience. They work with one another, infinitely. If you have a very positive reception when YouTube serves your video, it will serve it more.

Let’s look at it as a step-by-step filter; we’ll use my analytics as an example.

  1. YouTube began by YouTube began by serving my Thumbnail to 6,800 users.
  2. Of those 6,800 users, 923 of them decided to click on the thumbnail and watch the video
  3. On average, from those 923 users, they would watch the video for 2 minutes and 37 seconds.
  4. This means that in total, 923 people have accounted for 40 hours of video watch time.

Important Factors to Keep in Mind

Now that we understand how to read YouTube analytics, what should new content creators focus on, and how can they improve their analytics? Let’s take a look at some of the best tips that have been proven to drive engagement and get your video to explode on YouTube!

Always Serving to a New Audience

Many new creators believe that Subscriber counts are crucial – however, it’s the exact opposite. The total amount of views accounted for by your subscribers is meager; YouTube serves videos to anyone interested in the topic you’re creating content about.

For example, let’s look at how much my Subscription base accounts for my total watch time on my newest video.

That’s right — only 3.4%. The vast majority of users that see my videos are brand new people exposed to my channel for the first time. This isn’t unique to this video; all of my videos have a massive disparity between subscribers and non-subscribers. As a result, you should always target your videos to find new audiences and reach new people in your niche. Although your goal is to convert your viewers into subscribers, you shouldn’t look at your subscriber count as a valuable metric – at least when you’re starting.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

One of the two most important metrics that YouTube engages with is Click-through rate or CTR. Your Thumbnail and Title must be eye-catching, different from the competition, and they engage your audience to click on them. The higher the CTR, the more YouTube will recognize that your video deserves more impressions.

A great tip is to check out the competition for the video you’re making and seeing how you can make your Thumbnail different to stand out. Are they all using the color blue? Try yellow for high contrast. Are they using thin fonts? Try using something bold to stand out.

It’s also worth noting if you’ve uploaded a video and your CTR is quite low – change the Thumbnail! You’ll see your CTR increase in real-time, and you’ll have better engagement. Generally, a good click-through rate will be somewhere between 10-15%, anything higher and you’ve made one incredibly engaging Thumbnail and title!

Average Watch Time

The second important YouTube metric is the average view duration. Practically, the longer your audiences watch the content on your youtube channel, the platform will see this as a signal to serve your video to larger and larger pools of people. If your videos are getting 50+% average view duration, you can predictably know that YouTube will positively impact your video.

One of the best ways to check how your audience responds to your video is seeing where they drop off in watch time. Let’s take another look at my video to see where I could improve.

YouTube shows the exact points where you have a significant drop in watch time. When I click on the button “2 Dips” it shows the exact area where there have been drops in watch time.

From this video, I can see that viewers decided to click off the video more once they saw my Call to Action. 

A call to action is when you ask the viewer to do something; in this case, I asked any viewers if they’d like to subscribe.

As a result, for my next video, I’m only going to have one CTA, and that’s going to be at the very end of my video, so I only have one dip instead of two.

Conclusion

It’s easy to get lost in YouTube analytics, and once you understand them, new creators can become overly obsessed with perfecting their video stats. If you gain anything from this article, remember this. If you produce good quality and valuable content for people, you will organically get great analytics.

A high click-through rate and optimizing videos can only take you so far, but focusing on making the content you produce the best you possibly can go the longest way in having a successful YouTube channel!

About the Author

Igi

Igi is a Content Strategist from England and makes streams on Twitch and YouTube. He's big into self-improvement and loves fitness! He excels at data analysis and experimenting with new ideas.

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