What Your YouTube Analytics Data Says About Your Channel

An example of YouTube Analytics

Starting a YouTube channel can be an intimidating leap…

YouTube Analytics is a valuable tool to provide key performance metrics that go beyond the superficial. It can even show you what moments within the content did the best.

Were your viewers re-watching certain sections or closing out in the first 30 seconds?
Did people respond well to the thumbnails you took hours to create or did they just scroll past?

With this information and more, you’ll be able to create more of the content that your audience responds well to and less of the stuff that takes you time and effort, only to go unnoticed.

Why Does it Matter?

You’ve likely heard these quotes before – “a channel is only as good as its content” or, “content is king”.   We would add that content informed by data is the real winner. The top influencers and brands rely heavily on YouTube Analytics to ensure their videos all have the secret sauce.    This dashboard, integrated into the backend of YouTube, is a bit intimidating at first but can be easy to learn once you play around with it a bit.

Most questions you have about your content and channel health can be answered by a little digging in YouTube Analytics.

Where are people finding my channel?

Use the Traffic Sources tool to determine where your audience is coming from. In the below example, you’ll see that “YouTube Search” is quite high. That indicates that most of the channel’s views come from the audience searching for a topic on YouTube and your videos are answering their question. The more that pattern occurs, the more that video will rank in search.

Beyond the “YouTube Search” traffic source, this tool can give you insights where your content is showing up for people across the internet in the “Direct or Unknown” tab. Did someone embed it in their blog, newsletter, or website? Now you know.

One of the most important traffic sourced to the algorithm is “Browse Features”. It shows if the content is featured on users’ YouTube homepages. This is the jumping off point for most people’s viewing experience. Navigate to Traffic Sources > Browse Features > Home to access this data.

YouTube Analytics, Traffic Sources

Reach & Watch Time: How many viewers do I have and do they like the content?

We can’t discuss Traffic Sources without talking about reach & watch time. Traffic Sources help us to identify where users are coming from but Watch Time metrics help us to determine how true each view was. Did the viewer sit through the entire video or just a few minutes or even seconds? The algorithm takes note of this viewer behavior and you should too!

Why it matters? You can reach 100,000 new viewers but if all of those viewers are only watching the first 15 seconds, the algorithm will not promote your video to the home page. Average View Duration or Average Percentage Viewed are also helpful metrics to better understand how long people are staying on your content.

Example Metrics from YouTube Analytics

Are people staying on my channel?

So now you have an audience, but are they a captive audience? YouTube generously shared your video with millions of new people on their homepage but how are you going to get your new members to stay on your channel to watch even more of your content?  

A few tips:

  • Each video should have end screen elements and info cards to drive to more of your content.
  • Create playlists of your content that autoplay.
  • Make sure your content style and topics are fairly consistent so new viewers that come for one video are also likely to enjoy the larger theme and category you provide.

How does this content compare to other videos?

The compare feature on YouTube Analytics is key for understanding where your content stands against itself!

Here are a couple of ways to use it:

  • Compare the same video in two different time frames. Did it perform better over the holiday?
  • Compare two different videos that are of a similar content style. Ex. “Thrifting Haul Spring” vs “Thrifting Haul Summer”

Identifying which types of content perform best, will help you to determine what type of videos to make more of. 

Compare my channel to others in my category with VideoAmigo!

Once you have analyzed your content, you can dive deeper into your data with our free VideoAmigo Creator Tools. Check it out here.