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YouTube Analytics: A Comprehensive Guide

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YouTube Analytics: A Comprehensive Guide

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If you want to be successful on YouTube, you can use the data of a YouTube analysis to optimize your own content and YouTube channel and perfect your presentation. Since YouTube wants to make it as easy as possible for its users to create attractive content, this is not difficult at all.

In this guide, you will learn how you can find and use YouTube Analytics and tools with a similar function and make good data-driven decisions.

View and evaluate YouTube statistics

YouTube is not only the world’s most important portal for video and multimedia content, but also the second most important social media platform after Facebook . The more than 37 million YouTube channels were the basis for business models and important pillars of marketing strategies in 2020.

Increasingly, users are also using YouTube as a search engine to find relevant content. Creativity, authenticity and humor are more important than a large budget when it comes to ideas for good content. So there is no reason why you should forego YouTube as a marketing platform.

Once you’ve taken the first steps, what can you do better to achieve your goals? This is where YouTube analysis comes into play. With the integrated analysis tool YouTube Analytics, you can determine whether you are achieving the desired results with your video strategy . You identify potential for improvement and find out how you can best reach your target group.

The first time you look at your YouTube stats, you will find that there are so many different metrics. Although YouTube is clearly trying to keep things clear, the variety can be overwhelming at first. However, anyone who has experience with tools such as Google Analytics will quickly find their way around.

The individual key figures provide insight into different areas and influence the performance of your content in different ways. After a brief orientation, you can decide which values ​​you want to focus on. In doing so, you assume which goals the YouTube strategy should achieve within your marketing strategy.

We will provide you with an overview of the most important key figures in a moment. Before that, we will give you a short description of the route.

Where can I find YouTube Analytics?

Within the video platform, YouTube Analytics is the tool with which you can better understand your content and its performance . The data from YouTube Analytics is the backbone of every YouTube analysis. Even if you use the additional tools that we introduce to you at the end of this article, you should regularly check the internal YouTube statistics, which you can easily access from the platform for your videos and channels.

Newbies will now ask themselves: “All well and good. But where can I find YouTube Analytics? ”The path to YouTube Analytics is a bit hidden, but ultimately very easy. For mobile devices it is the same as for desktop users.

Access YouTube Analytics via YouTube Studio :

  1. Sign in with the correct Google account
  2. Open YouTube Studio
  3. In the side menu on the left, select the Analytics entry

Call up YouTube Analytics for individual videos :

  1. Log in with the relevant Google account
  2. Open YouTube Studio
  3. In the side menu on the left, select the Content entry
  4. With mouse-over you select the symbol for Analytics for the respective video.

You can also easily access the data for individual videos via the channel’s analytics view.

Use the “see more” buttons under the content list or “advanced mode” at the top right to find additional analysis reports for many aspects of your channel. There you will also find options for performance comparisons and data exports .

The 14 most important metrics for your YouTube analysis

Let’s get to the basics: What does YouTube Analytics tell you about the performance of your videos? Here you can find out which key figures you can evaluate for your YouTube videos, which insights they offer and how you can use your insights to optimize your video strategy.

By default, the internal YouTube analysis shows you the data for the last four weeks. You can also freely set the period and even call up estimated real-time data for very up-to-date measurements.

Topics and categories

First, take a look at the somewhat inconspicuous tabs above the actual data. YouTube offers you several areas:

  • Overview (overview)
  • Reach (reach viewers and spectators)
  • Engagement (arousing the interest of the audience)
  • Audience (build audience)
  • Revenue (turnover reached)

You will only see the last point if monetization is activated for your YouTube channel .

Within these categories you can read values ​​that tell you a lot about your own channel, target group and the performance of your videos – if you know where to look.

1.Playbacks (video views) and playback time of your channel (channel watch time)

You can find the number of plays and the playback time in YouTube Analytics in the overview and under Engagement. The data shows how often viewers click on videos on your channel and how much time they spend on it .

The playback time is the product of the playback and the average playback time. It is one of the most important ranking factors on YouTube . The higher the value, the more likely YouTube will recommend your videos and show them high in the search results. The idea behind this is that the playback time of a video is closely related to its popularity.

You can organize your content by subject, style and length in detailed reports on watch time. By comparing the individual playback times, you can determine your top videos and draw conclusions about the type of content with which you achieve the best results and increase channel performance.

2. Playback time and percentage of the video content played (average view duration)

You can see these key figures for each video in the content list under the general statistics. This enables you to see at a glance how long viewers have been consuming individual videos and how much of a video the viewers watch on average .

From this you draw conclusions about the attractiveness of the content in its full length. This key figure also influences the placement of videos in the YouTube ranking and in the recommendations.

If the playback time is low , it means that your viewers are quickly ending the video in question for some reason. Conversely, a high value means that your audience will obviously find your content interesting.

A high average playback time also has a positive effect on your overall playback time and this in turn increases the likelihood of a good placement in search results and recommendations.

3. Audience retention

The information on viewer retention in YouTube Analytics can be found under Engagement or when you click on selected videos in the content list.

Under the engagement metrics, you will find the average playback time, including a percentage and next to it a curve. A high percentage means that videos are interesting and relevant for your viewers. The higher the value, the higher the probability of a good placement in search results and recommendations. The curve shows which passages your viewers are looking at and at which points how many people stop playing .

It’s worth taking a closer look at the curve as it can help you optimize your video strategy . In this way, you can determine which contents of a video are particularly popular and then go into more detail on the topics covered in your next videos. Likewise, if you see sudden drops in audience loyalty, you can tell which content it is better to forego in the future.

The audience retention report includes two graphs – one for absolute audience retention (this video) and one for relative (typical). The absolute viewer engagement , you can see which passages seem to arrive a video best. The Relative audience retention tells you how well a particular video over comparable video cuts.

In addition, there is the indication of the proportion that is still there after 30 seconds . From this you can see whether you are able to arouse interest in your audience and confirm existing expectations.

youtube audience retention
YouTube Audience Retention

4. Replay

Replaying certain passages of a video is very interesting. That is, the viewer rewinds to watch a passage again . To see this, you need to know what to look for when looking at the curve.

If the graph for absolute audience loyalty shows small peaks like in the figure below, this indicates that the passages in question are viewed multiple times by many viewers . The reason for this is probably that you deal with topics that are of particular interest to your viewers. A smart move would therefore be to revisit these topics in future videos.

5. Interactions

Interactions such as comments, shares, “likes” and “dislikes” allow valuable conclusions to be drawn. You can also find this information under Commitment.

Comments from your viewers offer deep insights into the emotions your videos evoke in them. The number of shares indicates to what extent your audience perceives your content and your brand as relevant, unique and recommendable. Since users usually only share videos that reflect their personal values ​​and attitudes, you can view them as proof of their trust and loyalty to your brand.

Based on the “I like” and “I don’t like” ratings , you can find out which topics your target group is most interested in.

6. Click rate of the impressions

The impressions click-through-rate in YouTube Analytics indicates how many viewers have clicked on the thumbnail of a particular video so far . You can find the information under Reach. Various sources of access are taken into account, including the YouTube homepage and the areas for recommendations and trends.

Typically, quite high values ​​are achieved here in the first few days after publication. This is because your new videos are suggested to your subscribers on their homepage and they usually watch them too. As soon as the video has spread to your core audience, the click-through rate usually drops again a little and then levels off at a stable value.

Then, when you look at that CTR in conjunction with the average playback percentage and average playback time, you can tell how many of those viewers who click the thumbnail are actually watching your video .

High click rates show that you have selected attractive titles and thumbnails . If your click-through rate is low but watch times are fast, this indicates that the video in question may only appeal to a small niche audience, but they are excited about your content.

This is where the information from point 4 comes into play again. A high bounce rate in the first 30 seconds can indicate irritations between the thumbnail or description at the place of origin and the content or quality . You should avoid doing this as much as possible, as your viewers may feel misled and lose trust in your brand.

YouTube Analytics click rate Impression

7. Click rate of info cards

A little more hidden, but very exciting, are the statistics on the click rate of info cards. These are interactive elements that you can display while a video is playing , for example to suggest to viewers to watch a similar video, to subscribe to a certain channel or to visit a certain website.

Info cards dramatically expand your options for placing CTAs . You can find them under engagement or via the extended view under “more”.

The click rate tells you what kind of cards you get the best results with. This means you can determine which info cards you can use effectively to improve your watch time, attract new subscribers and increase your website traffic.

At the same time, you can determine when the best time is to display information cards , how long you should display them and where best to place them. For info card data, see the YouTube Studio Info Card Report .

youtube click rate card
YouTube analytics click rate info card

8. Data on playlists in YouTube Analytics

You can use a playlist to increase your average playback times. Because by combining different videos in a playlist , you ensure that your viewers can find your content more quickly. At the same time, you encourage them to look at as many of your videos as possible by saving them the “tedious” search for other relevant videos.

You can determine whether your top playlists are really well received with the help of two metrics that you can also achieve through Engagement: the views per playlist start and the average playlist playback time (average time in playlist).

The number of views per playlist start tells you how many videos of a particular playlist are viewed on average. The average playlist playback time indicates how much time viewers spend on average watching the videos in a particular playlist.

If you’re not happy with your results here, you can improve them by adding videos at the top of your playlists that do particularly well in terms of audience retention.

9.Number of unique viewers

This key figure under Reach provides information about the total number of viewers who viewed your YouTube videos in a certain period of time . Viewers are not counted multiple times if they watch multiple videos or visit your channel multiple times. This will give you an idea of ​​the total number of individual people in your target audience.

You can also determine how loyal your subscribers are to you by comparing the number of unique viewers with the number of your subscribers. If you have significantly fewer viewers than subscribers, this means that the latter are not as active as you would like them to be. As an effective optimization measure, you can, for example, ask your subscribers to be notified when you publish new videos.

10. Average views per unique viewer

This key figure shows how often users watch a certain YouTube video on average . The higher the value, the more interesting this content is obviously for your target group. From this value you can deduce which topics your viewers are primarily interested in. If you then publish more videos on these topics, this will have a positive effect on your click-through rates, your viewing time and the number of your subscribers.

Average views per viewer
YouTube Analytics: Average Views per Viewer & Subscribers

11. Demographic data in YouTube Analytics

YouTube offers features to segment your viewers based on age, gender, and location. You can use this data to find out who your most active viewers are. With this knowledge, you can then either adapt your target group or optimize your video strategy to focus it more on topics that are of particular interest to your target group .

YouTube analytics demographic data
YouTube Analytics: Demographic Data

12. Growth in subscribers

Subscribers are your most valuable viewers. Not just because they publicly endorse your brand, content, and values ​​and are most likely to become advocates compared to other audiences. But also because subscribers are usually your most active viewers . The number of subscribers is displayed on Overview and Audience.

That’s because they ‘ll be notified when you post new videos and your content will automatically show up on their homepage . Compared to other users, they develop interest more quickly, watch videos of you more regularly and thus increase your click rates. It follows from this: the more subscribers, the longer your viewing time.

13. Traffic sources in YouTube Analytics (traffic source types)

The report on the traffic sources of views provides information on how viewers find your videos , whether from external sources such as websites and social media or within YouTube, via the homepage, search or recommendations.

You can use this data to determine, for example, which sources have the best click rates and playback times . You can then use this information to optimize your video marketing strategy.

youtube traffic source types
YouTube Analytics: traffic source types

14. Keywords in YouTube Analytics

You can also see from the data on the access sources which search terms your viewers mainly use to find your videos . On the one hand, this can be an important confirmation of your SEO strategy for YouTube and, on the other hand, it can reveal interesting gaps.

If you find that your spectators that one or use other keyword that you have not in the meta-data -maintain your videos, you should do it and where it makes sense, even the title customize your videos.

If your analysis shows that there are topics among the search queries that you have not yet addressed, you have discovered untapped potential that you can and should use for yourself.

Frequently asked questions about YouTube Analytics

Sometimes it doesn’t have to be the in-depth YouTube analysis at all. A quick look at specific information is sufficient. Here you will find answers to typical questions on how to easily find important key figures .

How can you see views on YouTube?

The number of views is one of the most interesting pieces of information. Therefore you can see the YouTube views in several places.

The pure number of views can be found as information for each video . However, the statistics under the Reach and Audience categories are much more informative . You can view your YouTube statistics by starting the YouTube Studio with an active login and then selecting Analytics on the left.

How can I see my subscribers on YouTube?

The subscribers are your most important audience. You can find the total number on the channel dashboard after logging into YouTube Studio.

Here you can also see the specific list of your subscribers on YouTube. You can find them by calling up the overview of all profiles for the latest subscribers. However, you will only see people there who allow it.

The exact data on the growth or loss of subscribers can be found in Analytics under Audience.

How long does it take YouTube to update the views?

The ads during playback and the data on likes and views in the YouTube Analytics Tool are constantly updated. It is automatically checked whether an interaction is real or whether it was carried out by a bot. This check is very important for a fair and correct count. Depending on the number of viewers and the popularity of a channel, it can take different lengths of time.

The real-time display in YouTube Analytics gives you an estimate for the current period if you need the shortest possible data.

More YouTube analysis tools

YouTube Analytics is very extensive. Nevertheless, depending on your strategy, goal and workflow, you may also want to use other tools that give you even more insight with a special focus and unique reports. At the end we will introduce you to some of the most important ones.


BuzzSumo’s content marketing suite includes a powerful YouTube analysis tool . This enables you to evaluate your content intensively and also analyze the channels of your competitors.

Tubular Intelligence

With tubular intelligence, you can identify trends and measure the performance of your content at the same time. In addition to demographic data of your audience, you will also receive information on what your viewers still like to see. This is how you set up benchmarks or find valuable influencers.

Social blade

Social Blade is convincing because it is very simple and can quickly generate clear reports using a browser. This is how you determine how strong you are in your category and where your competitors are.

Channel meter

If you want to find out more about your target audience, Channelmeter is a real recommendation. In addition to the very in- depth data on your audience , the tool has functions for identifying trends and searching for influencers.


An exciting feature of Vidooly are the suggestions for improvement , with which you can identify many an undetected gaps. The keyword and tag analysis helps to optimize the metadata.

Conclusion: YouTube Analytics is easy to use and does a lot

The YouTube Analytics function integrated in the platform gives you deep insights into the performance of your channels and your individual content. Choose the right key figures for your goals and challenges. With this data you can decide how to make your content strategy on YouTube even more successful. If you want even more detailed insights, combine YouTube Analytics with selected external tools.

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