YouTube Analytics: Why Data Matters for Optimization

These days digital marketing turns more and more into video marketing.

With the passing of the years, YouTube has grown into the prime destination for most of the video content created on the internet while also turning into the second largest search engine.

Therefore, it seems like marketers should not neglect the exposure potential that comes from having an active YouTube presence and a well-defined YouTube strategy.

But here’s the catch: creating a strong YouTube marketing strategy is done through a lot of testing to discover what kind of content your YouTube audience wants and expects from you.

The answers will come by checking your YouTube analytics.

From audience insights to traffic sources and more, let’s have an in-depth breakdown of all the main pillars and data available through YouTube analytics.

Youtube analytics guide and tips

  1. YouTube analytics overview
  2. YouTube analytics – reach report
  3. YouTube analytics – engagement metrics
  4. YouTube analytics – audience report
  5. YouTube analytics – extended reporting
  6. YouTube analytics for other channels

1. YouTube analytics overview

Before going into the core of YouTube data analytics, let’s start with something more basic: how to check YouTube analytics.

Start by entering YouTube Studio by clicking the profile icon in the upper right corner and accessing Analytics from your left dashboard.

In the Overview section, you’ll find the following YouTube analytics data:

  • Views
  • Watch time,
  • Subscribers
  • Top videos

Here you can see how YouTube analytics are displayed in the native app.

As the name suggests, the YouTube Overview report summarizes your YouTube video’s performance.

In a nutshell, it tells you how up your numbers are in a selected timeframe, integrating those metrics that marketers pay the closest attention to when doing their YouTube analytics reports.

2. YouTube analytics – reach report

The YouTube channel analytics available in the Reach section offer insights about:

  • Impressions
  • Impressions click-through-rate
  • Views
  • Unique viewers

The click-through rate is an important metric because it shows an active interest in your videos.

Having a high click-through rate means you’re really convincing your subscribers to take action and listen to what you have to say.

Of course, how successful you are in retaining them and making them look like a pretty good part of your video is another situation.

A high click-through rate can be generated by an inspiring choice of the thumbnail and a creative and catchy description that makes wise use of the proper keywords.

But after creating such high expectations, you have to make sure your content is good enough not to make your viewers stop watching after just a tiny part of the video.

Here you can see how the YouTube analytics reach report is displayed in the native app.

The Reach report it’s also the section that offers you YouTube data analytics related to your channel’s traffic sources.

Here are highlighted:

  • Traffic source types: this report is very important because it helps you understand if most of your views come from inside the platform, like YouTube search or suggested videos, or, on the contrary, from external sources, like your website or other social networks.
  • Traffic source – external: as the name suggests, this metric shows you those specific places that direct viewers towards your channel and that are outside the platform. Those traffic sources may be your website, Google searches, or other websites.

This particular type of data is very important because it allows you to spot collaboration opportunities.

Given that other websites have already shown interest in your videos, why not take it a step further and increase the chances of gaining more exposure potential that is mutually beneficial?

  • Traffic source – playlists: this YouTube data analytics lets you identify the pillar topics of most interest for your viewers and give you a powerful insight into what type of content they would like to see.
  • Traffic source – YouTube search: through this report, you can see how well your YouTube viewers understand your business and what kind of topics correlate with your brand.

By checking these metrics, you can understand how to shape your communication strategy and what you should modify in the messages used to generate brand awareness.

Analyzing this YouTube KPI will also make you understand if you’re using the right keywords. Don’t forget, that after all, YouTube is a search engine, so choosing the right keywords is kind of essential and should be the core of your YouTube strategy.

Here you can see what type of information you can get from YouTube's native app traffic analytics.

If your website is the channel that brings over to YouTube most of the viewers, then a good strategy would be to enable more of your YouTube videos there, especially if it has a blog section.

3. YouTube analytics – engagement metrics

If your brand has a YouTube first marketing strategy, you need to understand your YouTube video analytics.

Finding out how people interact with your videos is the first step for an optimization trial that may skyrocket your brand’s success on YouTube.

In this YouTube analytics report, you’ll be able to see engagement metrics like:

  • Watch time
  • Average view duration
  • Top videos
  • Top videos by end screen
  • Top playlists
  • Key moments for audience retention

This last metric shows you what videos were kept playing after the first half minute. It is an excellent indicator of what your audience would like to know more about from you.

Here you can see how different engagement metrics are displayed in the native YouTube analytics dashboard.

We mentioned earlier how important it is to keep an eye on your video’s click-through rate, which is directly influenced by your choice of thumbnail and keywords for description.

By looking at your average view duration, you can understand if your viewers get what they expected once they clicked.

Here’s a tip of how to look at YouTube analytics: having a low average view duration may indicate a mismatch between what your promise and what you deliver.

Watch time and average view duration are among the most important engagement metrics you should look at when examining your YouTube analytics.

4. YouTube analytics – audience report

The YouTube analytics reports from the Audience section give you precious intel about your viewers that you can later use for local, more targeted marketing campaigns.

Here you can see what types of KPIs are displayed in the audience section of your native YouTube analytics.

Here you can see data like:

  • Subscribers
  • Unique viewers
  • Returning viewers
  • When you viewers are on YouTube
  • Watch time from subscribers
  • Demographics: age, gender, and location
  • Other channels that your audience watches
  • Other videos that your audience watches

The last two metrics are most helpful for your marketing strategy. With the possibility of discovering more of your audience’s interests, you get new content directions.

This is great because it allows you to creatively shape your content to cover more topics that will make your YouTube viewers feel more connected with your brand and increase the chances of retaining them over a more extended period.

5. YouTube analytics – extended reporting

Besides these first-hand YouTube KPIs, you can extend the data you’re looking at to analyze your YouTube channel’s performance by checking the Advanced mode.

The great benefit of this option is that you can also cross-analyze different metrics. This is extremely helpful, especially for those KPIs that directly affect each other.

Average views

6. YouTube analytics for other channels

You have to remember that most of this data is available for your own accounts.

And while you have all these metrics to oversee the performance of your YouTube channel, numbers are not significant without context.

This means you can have an even deeper understanding of your YouTube marketing strategy’s efficacity by analyzing your competitor’s Youtube video results as well.

Because all this data available in the native YouTube analytics app is applicable only for your own account, to perform a YouTube competitive analysis, you’ll need a third-party YouTube analytics software, like Socialinsider, for example.

Using the app, you’ll be able to get YouTube video analytics for other channels and make a relevant significance with your account’s results.

Here is an example of how you can use Socialinsider to make a YouTube competitive analysis.

If this seems appealing, give it a try, and test it out with a free trial!

Final thoughts

Understanding YouTube analytics is the first step to improving and growing your YouTube channel!

Boosting your conversion rate can have a huge impact on your brand’s expansion. Using the power of YouTube analytics is the safest way towards building a positive brand image, consumer trust, and empathy.

So, get on that data, make the adjustments needed on your YouTube marketing strategy and strengthen your brand!

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