Understanding YouTube Analytics

Understanding YouTube Analytics

When you have created a video, uploaded it to YouTube and optimise it for SEO, it’s pays to understand YouTube analytics to monitor your videos performance. You can keep track of how your audience is finding your video and how they’re engaging with it. If you have several videos, you can see which ones are performing well and which videos aren’t being discovered for your desired search terms.

YouTube’s built-in analytics system can tell you a lot about your audience and which content you should create more of to generate traffic to your YouTube channel or website.

Following is a breakdown of the main types of data that YouTube provides to give you an idea of how your channel is performing.


When you log into your YouTube analytics page, the first thing you’ll see is the overall performance of your channel and how popular your videos are among your target audience.


How to - YouTube Analytics

Here, you can get an overview of the following data:

Views: This metric measures the number of people who have clicked on your video link and watched your videos. It doesn’t track whether users watched the entire video or not.

Watch time: This metric adds up the total number of minutes users have spent watching the videos on your channel. This shows how many total minutes have been spent watching your YouTube videos, not the breakdown per video.

Average view duration: The average view duration lets you see if people are watching your video to the end or stopping the video before it’s finished.


YouTube analytics also gives you insight into who specifically is watching your videos. You can breakdown your views by gender or location.


How to - YouTube Analytics


If you’re running a business with a physical location, or if you’re focused on generating more local traffic, this could be helpful to see if you’re getting to the right people.

Playback Locations

One of the most important factors to getting your video to rank highly in Google is getting backlinks from other high-authority sites.


How to - YouTube Analytics

If you create a video that solves a specific problem for your target audience, (such as a how-to video) you can expect your video to get shared across the web. ‘Playback locations’ allows you to see the sites on which your videos are being viewed, so you can see where your backlinks are coming from.

You can also see the average time watched and average view duration.


Traffic Sources

If you understand how people are finding your videos, you can get a sense of which keywords are working and which keywords your audience isn’t searching for.

This can help you further refine your SEO efforts.


How to - YouTube Analytics


For example, you can see whether your videos are being found within YouTube search, within YouTube’s suggested videos, via a YouTube channel page, or a particular playlist. Once you know which tactic or tactics are working, you can save time and contrite your efforts on those.



This section allows you to see which devices users are viewing your videos on.



It’s broken down by computer, mobile phone, tablet, TV or game console. This way, you will see whether you need to optimise your videos for a particular device. For example, users that view videos on mobile might be looking for shorter content compared to someone searching for a video from their desktop.

When searching from a desktop, users might also be okay with viewing content from a playlist, which offers a back-to-back flow of videos. The vast majority of people watch YouTube videos from a computer, which means that you could get more reach with your videos by grouping them in a playlist.

This way, the next video in the playlist automatically starts playing once the current video is finished, which can boost your total number of watched minutes and keep the visitor lock in on your content.


Audience Retention

This metric shows you how engaged your audience is with your videos. You can see how much of your video your audience is watching before disappearing to look at something else.


How to - YouTube Analytics



YouTube also provides engagement metrics, such as where your subscribers geographically came from and the date you got each new subscriber.



User engagement is a high priority for YouTube when it comes to ranking your video within YouTube search, so scoring highly here is important.

The total number of subscribers shows how many people have subscribed and unsubscribed to your channel within a set window of time. If you see that certain videos generate high numbers of subscribers, then this is a testament to the quality or content of that particular video – keep doing more of the same!


Likes and Dislikes

YouTube makes it easy to see how people are responding to your content through likes and dislikes. A high number of likes shows YouTube that your video is resonating with people, and so they’ll display higher in search.


How to - YouTube Analytics


However, depending on the type of video you’re making, your number of likes and dislikes may not completely map out the quality of your videos. For example, opinion-based videos could potentially get a high number of dislikes, but still be of high quality.


Videos in Playlist

What used to be called the ‘Favourites’ report is now called “Videos in playlists.”Rather than seeing ‘Favourites added’ and ‘Favourites removed’, you’ll now see the number of your videos that people added to a playlist. When users mark a video as a favourite by adding it to their playlist, it becomes part of their public YouTube profile, which helps expand the reach of your videos.




Comments are a great way to keep a tab on how engaged your audience is. If your video is thought provoking, hits home emotionally, or solves a pain point, then chances are users will respond and let you know in the comments section. Keep in mind that many people will just “Like” a video rather than commenting since it is much quicker for them to do so.


How to - YouTube Analytics



This metric shows you the total number of times that your video has been shared, what social network it was shared on, and the date on which it was shared. A high number of shares results in a high number of backlinks, which can help with ranking your YouTube video within Google.


How to - YouTube Analytics



By adding the right annotations on your video, you give users the option to click through to your site to see more similar types of content. Maybe you have more videos to share with them, a blog post they might find valuable, or want to funnel people to an opt-in page. This chart shows that the majority of clicks (94%) for this channel are via the “spotlight” annotation.




YouTube has added a new feature called ‘Cards’ which replaces annotations, making it even easier to enable interactivity and boost engagement. Cards are used as calls to action and can inform your viewers about other videos, merchandise, playlists or website. There are six types you can use: Merchandise, Fundraising, Video, Playlist, Associated Website and Fan Funding.


How to - YouTube Analytics


To sum up

There are a variety of factors to take into consideration when growing your YouTube SEO, such as the tags you use, your description, whether the keyword you wish to be found for already shows YouTube videos in Google search and so on.

YouTube provides you with a comprehensive set of analytics to help you gauge how well your videos are performing, and where the areas of improvement might be.


We hope this post has helped you in some way, but if you have any questions about this article or any of our services, please drop us a line and we’ll get back to you.
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