Breaking Down YouTube Analytics to Crack Your Channel’s Code to Success

Breaking Down YouTube Analytics to Crack Your Channel’s Code to Success

YouTube is a powerful platform for creators, businesses, and personalities if they know how to navigate it. But, the sheer volume of videos makes it harder and harder to stand out from the crowd. 

And as a YouTube creator, you’re probably struck with‌ the same question repeatedly: “How do I keep growing my channel?” 

While you’ve probably explored the obvious data metrics like views and subscribers, it’s vital to understand that a lot goes into making your channel a success beyond those two performance indicators. 

Ask any experienced production agency, and they’ll all tell you that successful video strategies are all about connecting with your viewers in the most optimum way. Working around their needs to provide what they come to you looking for. 

Luckily, there’s a great tool called YouTube Analytics that can help you figure out what that is and create a winning formula for your channel! So, let’s learn how to access and interpret your YouTube channel’s data, use it to create a unique content strategy, and drive growth for your presence on the platform. 

Let’s get started!

YouTube Analytics: The Basics

YouTube Analytics is an invaluable (and free) tool that helps you track key performance metrics, gain valuable insights into your audience, and ultimately help you make informed decisions about your content. 

Now, if you’re a newbie, this tool can be slightly frustrating. With so much data on the interface, navigating it can be confusing. But that’s also what makes it so incredibly powerful. And you have us to guide you through learning the ropes anyway 😉

First, let’s take a quick look at how you can access this tool: 

  1. Log into your YouTube account and click on profile studio in the upper right corner. Select YouTube Studio
  2. On the Channel Dashboard, you’ll view a summary of your basic metrics. You can select Analytics on the left side menu to go more in-depth.
    youtube creator dashboard channel analytics
  3. Here, you can switch between the following tabs that have these various metrics under them:
  • Overview: Subscribers, Realtime Views, Top Videos, Channel Views, Channel Watch Time, etc. 
  • Reach: Impressions, Impressions Click-through Rate, Traffic Sources, Top YouTube Search Items, etc. 
  • Engagement: Average View Duration, Top Playlists, End Screen Reports, Likes/Dislikes, Audience Retention, etc. 
  • Audience:  When Viewers are on YouTube, Watch Time from Subscribers, Audience Demographics, etc.
  • Revenue: Estimated Revenue, Estimated Ad Revenue, Transaction Revenue, Estimated Monetized Playbacks, Conversion Rates, etc. 

youtube viewers, analytics

And remember that while the above sections showcase metrics for your entire channel, you can also access metrics for individual videos as well.

So, now that you know how to access the info we’ll be working with, let’s get into further detail about some metrics that we believe stand out from the rest and how you can use some video content trends to further your channel’s growth.

5 Pro Tips to Further your Channel Growth Through YouTube Analytics

Before you start leveraging data to understand what works and what doesn’t, your top priority should be to understand how to make a video worth watching. Then, you can analyze what the data suggests and make changes according to what works for you and your audience. 

To help you do just that, we’ll be focusing on a few tips designed to attract eyeballs toward your content and tied each to a performance metric that can help you understand how you can get the most out of each. Here are our picks:

1. Understand Who’s Watching and Adapt Your Content Accordingly: 

Before writing your script and crafting your video, one of the most vital steps is establishing your tone. To do so effectively, you first need to identify who your target audience actually is. The best way to go about it on YouTube is through the demographics feature on YouTube Analytics, of course. 

This feature allows you to get the gist of who’s watching your video, cataloged by relevant data points like age, gender, location, and language. 

For example, let’s say you’re a makeup brand primarily targeting women above the age of 21. 

You open the demographics sector only to see that 30% of your audience is male, while 90% of your audience is between the ages of 13-25. 

Stats like that can help you determine if you need to switch things up when showcasing your products or change the overall visual presentation of your content to appeal to the type of audience you are trying to reach. 

On the other hand, it might suggest you shouldn’t ignore 30% of your already existing audience and prompt you to think about which products to showcase next.

All in all, understanding who is watching in more detail can provide a wealth of insight and perspective you can use to inform your content strategy and help you make content that appeals to the people you need to engage.

youtube audience

2. Don’t beat around the bush: 

Sharing content that’s relevant and popular in your niche is all well and good, but you also need to stick to the point you want to make in your videos.

By the same token, while keeping things short and sweet may usually do the trick, you don’t want to be so brief that viewers feel like they aren’t getting a bang for their buck (time-wise). 

So, really think about what and how much content it takes to get your point across, and stick to those boundaries whenever possible. 

The Average View Duration on YouTube can help you understand if your viewers feel like they’re getting what they expected from an individual video. It is calculated by dividing the total watch time of a video by the total number of views. 

If your AVD is low, it usually means that your content lacks relevancy or is long enough that most people lose interest before you wrap things up. Having a high AVD is imperative, or else YouTube won’t push your video out to viewers beyond your channel subscribers! 

Similarly, the Returning Viewers metric can also help you understand if your content is resonating with your audience. If they return after watching a video, they like what you’re putting out, and you should focus on making more videos like it!

3. Amp up the interest factor: 

With tons of content competing for your audience’s attention on YouTube, you don’t want to give your audience something subpar or that doesn’t live up to their expectations.

Including data-rich visuals like graphs or charts, adding appropriate voiceover and music, or building your videos around an interesting story arc are all great ways to improve viewers’ interests. These simple elements can prove extremely effective in making your video look more professional, appealing, and engaging.

But how do you know if these elements are getting the job done? 

Once you explore unique elements to increase your content’s appeal, you can measure how well they each work through the Audience Retention tab. 

This section has a visual chart that shows which part of your video holds people’s attention the most and which parts make them click away–letting you know the areas for improvement. 

viewer retention on youtube

Pay attention to what’s happening on screen at the peaks of audience retention and what is happening at the drop-off points. Do more of what works, less of what doesn’t, simple as that 😎

4. Keep generating impression-worthy thumbnails: 

Think of your video’s thumbnail as the first impression it gets to make, thereby becoming one of the most simple-yet-important elements you get to tweak for your YouTube videos. 

When working on thumbnails for your videos, you need one that shows people what to expect from your piece while being visually exciting enough to pique their interest. 

A good thumbnail can get you hundreds of thousands of views, so make sure it’s clear and compelling.

To know if your thumbnail is working, you can check your video’s impressions click-through rate metric. This is the percentage of people who have clicked on your thumbnail to view your video.

Different niches and types of content will benefit from different styles of thumbnails. For example, we’ve found our viewers favor colorful thumbnails that depict expressive animated characters, so we try to use those whenever possible for our video’s thumbnails!

5. End your content with actionable tips: 

At the end of the video, you’d want to persuade your audience to take action to seal the deal. 

This could be getting them to comment, like, subscribe, watch more, or even head to your social media channels or website to make a purchase. In marketing speak, it’s about getting a conversion. 

To help you get these conversions, make sure to always include one or more calls to action at crucial times in your video, like asking them to like the piece at the midpoint or recommending some of your other videos and asking them to watch at the end.

To measure the effectiveness of your CTAs, you can check your video’s conversion rate. If you have a high conversion rate, it suggests that your content and CTA are working, and thereby your channel is benefiting from them. 

Let’s Get Analyzing! 

For a maximum positive impact on your channel, YouTube Analytics is definitely the way to go. And while every video on YouTube is a grassroots effort and takes way more than recording a video and uploading–if you have just a little patience and effort, you will get the fruits of your labor soon enough :)

Now, while we’ve mentioned several other metrics above, we feel these are enough to get you started on the basics of YouTube Analytics. Remember to create a strategy map that will help you determine what metrics matter most for your channel to help you make informed decisions on where to focus your efforts. 

So go on; it’s time to seize the data and watch your channel flourish!

Author Bio – Victor Blasco

Special thanks to Victor Blasco for this amazing guide to YouTube Analytics for creators! Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video production company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.

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