If you want to grow and scale your YouTube channel and the business around it, you need to start optimizing your videos to gain more views, engagement, and subscribers.
And for optimizing, you will need the data YouTube provides you through YouTube Analytics.
The key to growing a YouTube channel comes down to increasing engagement, consistency, and quality.
So how to increase engagement of your video? Through analyzing YouTube Analytics and its metrics.
Gladly, YouTube offers its creators YouTube Analytics through YouTube Studio, enabling you to see every metric related to your videos.
In this guide, you will learn more about YouTube Analytics:
- How to read YouTube Analytics,
- What YouTube metrics are
- How to engage with it
- Where to access it
- And how to use the video data to improve your chances of succeeding
The data you get from YouTube Analytics will be core to understanding your audience and how they enjoy your every video.
Whether you use the data to understand who watches you and their demographic, what is the engagement, or discover new ways to improve Youtube SEO, this guide can help you achieve that.
Check our guide for Youtube SEO strategies.
And this YouTube Analytics article is all about the YouTube channel analytics, not for the metrics used for YouTube advertising.
Learn more about YouTube advertising, its benefits, and the metrics used to optimize video ads.
What Is YouTube Analytics And Where To Get It?
YouTube Analytics is a web analytics tool within YouTube Studio, where you can see all the data your videos produce.
You’ll discover more insight into your videos’ audiences and the many other metrics related to running a successful YouTube channel through the Analytics dashboards.
How to see and access YouTube Analytics?
To access YouTube Analytics, you need to first head over to your YouTube Studio account or log directly from studio.youtube.com or accessing your YouTube channel and clicking the YouTube Studio button.
Then you need to click the tab “Analytics” on the left side or “Go To Channel Analytics” link on the right, where you would see a summary of your last 28 days’ worth of views and watch time in hours.
And now, you’ve reached the channel analytics and its many metrics to help you optimize your channel and the videos you produce.
First, let’s see what you can do with the data from YouTube Analytics for growing your channel, and then we’ll check the tool itself more in-depth. How To Use YouTube Analytics To Grow A YouTube Channel
How To Use YouTube Analytics To Grow A YouTube Channel
There are many ways how YouTube Analytics can help you grow your channel, views, and revenue. The main point is to involve analytics and data-driven decisions into your daily workflow of content creation.
Here are the top ideas you can start using YouTube Analytics and its many dashboards:
- Find content ideas from keywords and suggested videos
- Find collaboration ideas from suggested videos
- Replicate the format of the most successful videos
- Test new format ideas and see whether they stick or not
- Discover the optimal time to publish
- Discover the optimal time to engage your community
- Scheduling premiers
- Live streams
- Learn the best topics, income-generating topics, and niches
- Improve click-through rates of thumbnails
- Find the most profitable topics
- Understand your target audience
- New content ideas based on newly found audiences
- Learn the most engaging videos
- Utilize real-time metrics to track initial performance
Now let’s look at all of the YouTube metrics that the video and channel analytics provides you. Through these metrics, you can make more sense of the provided dashboards you’ll find regularly using YouTube Analytics.
YouTube Analytics Metrics
After understanding these core YouTube metrics, we will better understand what metrics YouTube uses to measure our videos.
We can then use the analytics dashboards and advanced modes to analyze everything about our channels and videos.
Here are all of the YouTube metrics and their explanations and why they are crucial for your YouTube success and journey.
Some metrics you’ll find on your YouTube Analytics dashboards and others in the Advanced Mode.
Views as metrics measures all the views you’ve gotten within the selected range, region, and any other filters you used. And views measure the popularity of a video in general.
YouTube counts a view from a viewer that isn’t programmatic or robotic, a.k.a. Every view has to come from a human.
When you use real-time metrics, the numbers are only an estimation and not the final figure.
For example, YouTube will verify views counts for the final figure, which might be different from the real-time view count.
The unique viewer metric measures the number of different people watching your videos. And note, you can have more views than you have unique viewers.
When analyzing your views or conversion, remember to see if you need a unique viewer count rather than the view count when you measure, for example, conversions from viewers to subscribers.
Watch time (hours)
Watch time as a metric measure the total viewing time of your videos from viewers. Analyzing this metric with Average View Duration, you will understand how long viewers watch your content.
If it’s low compared to your average video length, it might entail that engagement across the board is on the downside.
Watch time is also a critical metric for monetizing your videos. As of now, you will need 4 000 watch hours to get into the YouTube Partner Program, which is a step for getting monetized.
YouTube counts an impression when a viewer sees your video’s thumbnail.
Through the impression count, you can measure your video’s total reach inside YouTube.
The Impressions from external sources, like Google Search or your website, won’t count.
Impressions Click-through Rate (CTR)
Impression CTR simply counts the views you get per the impressions you get.
This metric by itself should be critical to you as a creator, as a higher CTR means your thumbnail attracts viewers to your video.
A low CTR might indicate that a thumbnail isn’t optimized for target audiences and requires you to change things.
To put it simply, the higher the CTR, the better.
Average View Duration
The average view duration measures the estimated average length of each view in minutes.
The average view duration is crucial for discovering whether your viewers watch your videos for long enough.
Always benchmark the metric against the average video lengths or a specific video to see whether your video reaches high engagement or not.
Average Views Per Viewer
Average views per viewer measure the average number of times viewers watched any videos of your channels.
Remember, YouTube counts all video views for each unique viewer.
For example, a viewer watches ten different videos and generates ten views. Then the average would be ten if you have not filtered any data priorly.
Average Percentage Viewed
A similar metric to Average View Duration but instead of minutes, you’ll see the data as a percentage of video length.
And again, an essential metric for measuring YouTube video engagement.
Subscriber metric measures the total change in subscriber count for the given date, region, or range.
A subscriber is a viewer who has subscribed to your YouTube channel.
Estimated revenue measures the total net income from the Google-sold ads for the given date, region, or range.
The estimated revenue is always subject to change, and that’s why it’s only an estimate. And might change at the end of a month.
Estimated revenue also shows you all the transactions that your channel made in the given period.
Transactions such as YouTube Premium views, memberships, super chat, and super stickers are part of the estimated revenue.
RPM or revenue per mille is how much you earn per thousand views. RPM comes from dividing the estimated revenue with the total views in the same range.
RPM uses the total estimated revenue for its calculation. Therefore, it is not the metric for measuring your channel’s pure ad-based revenue.
The playback-based CPM tells you how much you get paid per thousand monetized playbacks. A monetized playback occurs when a viewer sees one ad impression or more.
Playback-based CPM, therefore, is how you measure your revenue due to ad performance. A critical metric to measure and understand.
It’s essential to reflect upon how much you make from the transaction side of YouTube, and how much you gain from ads alone.
Now let’s look at all of the dashboards that the channel analytics provides you.
YouTube Channel Analytics Dashboard
When you first arrive at your channel analytics in your YouTube Analytics, you will see the overview of your channel’s last 28-day performance.
You can modify the data the dashboard shows you for any of the following:
- Last seven days
- Last 28 days
- Last 90 days
- Last 365 Days
There will be a total of five dashboards to choose from and displaying different metrics about your channel, and it’s videos.
Each of the analytics tabs shows you an overview of critical metrics on a glance.
There’s also an Advanced Mode available, from which you can access the available data more in-depth. You can access the Advanced Mode from all the dashboards you might have on.
Whenever you see the link for “see more,” it is an indication that you can access more data from the Advanced Mode.
We’ll cover the Advanced Mode’s benefits and what it can show about your channel later on in this article.
As previously mentioned, the overview dashboard tells you the key figures and metrics you need to know about your YouTube channel.
There you’ll find the following metrics in the time range you choose:
- Watch time
- Unique viewers
And these metrics YouTube displays on the chart below the metrics.
All other dashboards also have a chart that makes analyzing day-to-day metrics easier.
How does the chart work?
First, you’ll choose the metrics you want to see more in-depth and click it, and the data will change accordingly.
Remember to check whether you have the correct dates chosen that you wanted to analyze first.
Functionally this will be the same on all of the different charts of the dashboards.
In the overview, you’ll also find out the views and the average view duration for your top videos in the period.
The real-time analytics is also present in the overview, which updates live, showing how many views and for what video you’ve gotten in the last 48 hours or the previous 60 minutes if you change it.
Below real-time analytics, there will be a place for the latest videos and showing critical metrics for said video. Metrics such as view, avg. Duration and CTR. It also compares the video performance to your average video performance.
By exploring the overview, you will have a clear sense of how your videos perform currently and should be one of the tools you use regularly.
The Reach dashboard is all about discovering how many people your videos reach in the given period.
Analyzing your reach, you’ll learn whether your videos get more reach or not. The more reach your videos gain, the more opportunities of gaining more views grow.
Here the presented metrics in the chart are:
- Unique viewers
In the Reach dashboard, you can analyze from where you’re getting the bulk of your views.
You’ll discover the most important traffic source types, which means where the views originally came from to your videos.
- YouTube Advertising
- YouTube Search
- Suggested videos
- Your channel pages
- External traffic to your videos (websites and apps that have your video linked)
- And Other (traffic that doesn’t fit other traffic categories)
For most traffic sources, there’s an individual report that breaks down the traffic source more in-depth. And as a reminder, in all reports, you’ll see the traffic sources proportion to your total traffic on top of it.
In the external traffic source report, you’ll see all the URLs you gained views from and their respective percentages.
The playlist report shows you the all the playlist that brings your videos views (Either yours or other playlists)
If you’re curious about the keywords that lead to your videos’ views, you’ll find that data from the YouTube Search report. Here you’ll discover all the keywords and their respective percentages.
The suggested videos – the report will show you which videos brought you views through suggested videos. It includes all the suggested videos that brought traffic, not just yours.
And lastly, from the impressions and how they led to watch time report gives you a funnel from impressions leading to CTR that leads to watch time.
Overall the Reach dashboard is crucial when you’re planning to grow your channel with data.
Increasing engagement is the strategy for growing any YouTube channel and its views, and the Engagement dashboard is where you’ll get the most of your engagement data.
Quickly, it displays the metrics of watch time and average view duration on the chart.
The other reports under the Engagement dashboard are:
- Top videos by watch time hours
- Top videos by end screen clicks
- Top playlist by the percentage of total watch time.
- Top videos by card clicks
- Top end screen element types
As engagement by itself is crucial for the YouTube algorithm and the opportunity to pick up your video, the dashboard data will be essential for measuring your overall engagement rates.
And in video analytics, you can see more in-depth the engagement of every individual video.
Knowing your target audience is essential for growing a YouTube channel and your video views. The more you know about your audience, the more targeted content you can create for their enjoyment, which increases engagement rates to help you grow faster and further.
When you first take a look at the audience dashboard, you will see these three metrics first:
- Unique viewers
- Average views per viewer
- Change in total subscribers in the chosen period
The audience dashboard also breaks down vital demographic data about your audience that helps you understand who watches you the most.
These are the following audience-based reports you’ll find here:
- When your viewers are on YouTube
- Watch time from subscribers vs. not subscribed
- Age and gender
- Top countries and cities
- Top subtitle and CC languages
All in all, the audience dashboard will become one of your best tools to create better content that receives a high engagement rate from the viewers.
A key thing to note, it’s good to check whether your video audience data differs from your average channel audience data. You might find that some videos work for a different audience, which could entail an opportunity for you to expand your audiences on YouTube.
The Revenue dashboard is the most important for the creators running their channels as businesses as it breaks down the components of YouTube revenue into individual parts.
The three metrics shown here are:
- Estimated total revenue
- Playback-based CPM
You can analyze your revenue data in the revenue dashboard through the different reports you’ll find here.
The reports are:
- Monthly estimated revenue (total revenue)
- Top earning videos
- Revenue sources
- Ad types
- Transaction revenue
For example, you can discover through the data if your top-earning videos are different from the most viewed videos. If they are, you can optimize your revenue by creating similar videos to similar audiences.
Or you might discover that specific videos would have a higher CPM than others.
Your most popular video might not be the one with the highest CPM; through analytics, you can discover more profitable topics within your current catalog without alienating existing audiences.
Now let’s look at the individual video metrics in YouTube Analytics.
Video Analytics Metrics
Most of the video analytics metrics will be the same as the channel analytics metrics, previously discussed, but for individual videos.
There are some additional metrics that you’ll find only in video analytics that are crucial for understanding per video performance instead of the broader channel analytics.
And the video metrics are as follows:
The audience retention is the same as the average view duration used across the analytics, but it differs by showing the percentage of a video watched beside the minutes.
Concurrent viewers is a metric used for measuring how many viewers watched your video at any given time during a live stream or a premier.
Therefore it’s only used for measuring concurrent views of streams and premiering videos.
Likes (vs. dislikes)
Likes or dislikes are both essential video metrics you need to understand of your every video. It measures if your audience likes or dislikes the video, indicating a video’s engagement rate.
You will know your audiences’ opinion when it comes down to individual videos. Depending on your audience’s reaction to your videos, you will know whether your audience enjoys your video’s topic or the video itself.
For example, a high dislike to likes ratio indicates that your audience wouldn’t like something about your video. That could be quality, topics, format, or you missed the mark with the video somehow else.
But as an important metric to gain more views on YouTube, gaining more likes is a strategy to gain more views.
The metric itself in video analytics shows you the ratio of likes to dislikes of a video and below it compares it to the channel average.
If your Like to dislike – ratio is below your average, it means you need to improve your future videos.
Video Analytics Dashboard
YouTube separates the video analytics from the channel analytics, which we have mostly covered by now. Now let’s move about the video analytics side of things.
To open and see individual metrics for videos, you can either
- Click a video from the channel analytics
- Go from the main dashboard of YouTube studio
- Click latest video performance
- By browsing any of your videos and clicking the “analytics” – button.
Video analytics always shows you the selected video metrics, and it’s useful for measuring each video’s performance separately.
The Video Analytics dashboard shows the same five dashboards like for the channel analytics, but include the additional video-specific metrics
While you can use channel analytics to measure how you’re performing overall, but here you’ll see how well every video performs through video analytics.
Through analyzing each video separately from the channel analytics, you might discover new data-driven opportunities to keep growing your YouTube channel.
For example, one of your videos drastically performs better than your average video performance; you want to learn everything you can from the best-performed video.
You’ll discover, for example:
- The keywords people used to find the best video on YouTube Search
- Any abnormalities in the external traffic. (like a boost from Facebook or other social media marketing effort)
- If the top video converted better from impressions to views compared to lower-performing videos
- Audience retention rates
- Detailed demographic data from the top video (if enough data is available)
- Age and gender
- Top countries
- Top subtitle / CC languages
- Watch time from subscribers for the top video and see whether your video got a different audience than usual.
Advanced Mode YouTube Analytics
The Advanced Mode is available for both video analytics and channel analytics. You can access it by clicking “see more” anywhere there’s the link text, or click the Advanced Mode on the top right of any dashboard.
Every time you enter Advanced Mode by clicking “see more,” it will directly show you more data about the topic from where you entered the Mode.
Essentially, Advanced Mode shows you all the available data you might have for the channel itself or a chosen video.
For example, in the overview dashboard, you’ll see your top ten videos’ data, but you’ll see data from all of your videos by entering the Advanced Mode.
And the same goes for every metric in YouTube Analytics.
You can modify the columns by adding more metrics to cross-analyze with many metrics simultaneously in the Advanced Mode.
For example, if you’re interested in seeing how many YouTube Premium views and watch time you get compared to the regular views and watch time you get.
You can add as many data columns as you want.
In the chart on top of the columns, you can easily choose a primary metric and a secondary metric to compare these two data points easily.
You can also modify the chart to see daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly for some metrics and change if you want the data to be a line chart or a bar chart.
YouTube Analytics Advanced Mode Presets
You go as deep as you want into YouTube Analytics with the Advanced Mode if you want to learn more about your video performance.
But luckily, the Advanced Mode comes with many presets for their specific use cases and the data it would show you.
These are the presets of the Advanced Mode:
- Songs (for artist channels)
- Traffic source
- Viewer age
- Viewer gender
- Device type
- YouTube product
- Operating system
- Subtitles and CC
- Video info language
- Translation use
- End screen element type
- End screen element
- Card type
- Sharing service
YouTube Analytics Advanced Mode Metrics
There are multiple YouTube metrics only available for the Advanced Mode. You can find all the additional metrics from the dropdown menu by clicking the primary metric in the Advanced Mode and choosing “more metrics.”
All the additional metrics available to you here are:
- YouTube Premium Views and Watch Time (Hours)
- Revenue per transaction
- YouTube Premium revenue
- YouTube ad revenue
- Your estimated DoubleClick revenue
- Your estimated Adsense revenue
- Estimated Playbacks
- Playlist starts
- Playlist exits
- Playlist exit rate
- Average time in the playlist
- Views per playlist start
- Comments added
- Clicks per card shown
- Card teaser clicks
- Card teaser shown
- Teaser click per card teaser shown
Not all of the Advanced Mode metrics will be available for every channel. For example, if you haven’t monetized, you cant accent the additional revenue-based metrics.
YouTube Analytics is a very robust tool for understanding everything concerning your video performance, revenue, your audience, and much more, as you might’ve noticed by now.
To take everything in for the first time can be overwhelming, but in time, you will learn how to implement these metrics into your daily workflow to make better videos and grow your YouTube channel.
By starting with the default dashboards that YouTube Analytics shows you, you can learn all you need to know to improve your channel and increase your YouTube success chances.
The more time you analyze your videos and channel, the more ideas you will get, and that is the core YouTube Analytics benefit and the main reason you should use it every day.
If you are running a website with your YouTube Channel, consider taking the time to understand the benefits of using Google Analytics or Facebook Analytics to get more in-depth data about your precious target audience.
YouTube Analytics is always evolving as a tool for creators, and its usefulness is undoubtedly only to grow.