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YouTube Analytics: 14 Metrics to Track Your Video Content’s Performance

YouTube Analytics 14 Metrics to Track Your Video Content’s Performance

Measuring your YouTube videos’ success is as crucial as deciding about the right content. Even if the naysayers believe otherwise, YouTube analytics metrics indeed take your brand to a better bottom line.

Whether you want more subscribers or wish to increase sign-up requests, tracking the right metrics can help you.

However, while many of these KPIs offer valuable insights, not all of them are worth your time and efforts.

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So, what metrics can help you achieve your YouTube video marketing goals? Read on to learn the answer!

How to Access YouTube Analytics

First things first, in order to start tracking your content’s performance, you need to access your YouTube analytics dashboard. Follow these simple steps to do so:

Step 1. Log in to your YouTube account.

Step 2. Сlick your profile icon in the top right corner and select “YouTube Studio” from the dropdown menu.

Step 3. Select “Analytics” in the left-hand sidebar.

YouTube Analytics Dashboard

Voila! You’re in. To get a more detailed breakdown of your channel and video analytics, select “Advanced Mode” in the upper right corner.

Now, let’s cut to the chase and dive into YouTube analytics metrics.

YouTube Analytics: 14 Metrics to Track Your Video Content’s Performance


Views are the number of times a video is played, and they include repeat views as well. It may seem a bit simple, but it’s a tricky metric. To be counted as a “view”, a video should be watched for more than 30 seconds. And ask anyone who has failed to retain audience attention for the first few seconds of their videos; 30 seconds is a lot of time.

So, yeah, take some inspiration from your most-viewed videos to understand your audience’s interests and weave more content around those topics for better audience retention.

YouTube Analytics - Views

Pro Tip: Creating YouTube videos is nothing less than art. With, you can master it. Read: How to make YouTube videos.

2. Watch Time

Watch time is the total time viewers spent watching your videos on YouTube, and it’s one of the most important metrics to assess your content’s performance. Not just your videos’ but your playlists’ and channel’s watch time is equally important in bringing your content to the top of YouTube search results or suggestions.

Pro Tip: Clickbait may seem all too fun for some YouTubers. While it may bring you views, you must ensure that your video’s thumbnail and title are in sync with the video content to improve the watch time.

3. Average View Duration

When you divide your video’s total watch time by the total number of views, you get the average view duration. In short, it’s the average amount of time viewers spend watching your video. And, it’s extremely vital when it comes to measuring the success of your video.

Why? Because it shows how well you can engage your viewers and keep them hooked for long. The more the bounce rate, the less impressive your content is, and vice versa. So, ensure you track your channel’s pulse with this metric and deliver content that lowers the bounce rate and increases the average view duration.

4. Audience Retention

What if a metric can give you critical insights into your video’s performance while giving you ideas to reshape your video strategy too? It’d be nothing less than a boon, right?

Well, introducing audience retention to you.

It’s a chart reflecting the percentage of viewers who watch and drop off from your video at every moment of the video. As you may have already guessed, YouTube loves videos with high audience retention. It ranks them better and suggests them more as these videos tend to capture and retain viewers’ attention.

You can use this YouTube metric to navigate your future video strategy. By ascertaining the most engaging parts of your video, you can pick up topics that fit better to your audience’s preferences. Similarly, by figuring out the moments that lose the most viewers, you can discover the content you need to skip out on.

YouTube Analytics Audience Retention Metric

Source: YouTube

5. Engagement

Thank you for watching this video. Please don’t forget to like, share, and leave a comment.

Almost every YouTube creator has said similar words to their audience at some point during their journey.

But why?

That’s because comments, shares, likes, and dislikes are powerful metrics that reveal what’s working for your channel and what’s not.

“Likes” and “dislikes” give you an overview of what topics work best for your audience and in which direction to steer your video content strategy. “Comments” indicate how well you make an emotional connection with your viewers that they take time to reach out to you. And the number of “shares” on your videos reflect on your content’s ability to build trust with the audience that they go above and beyond to share your brand on other social media platforms.

Collectively, they reflect your content’s engagement level. And they do that pretty well.

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6. Impressions

Subscribers who have turned on “All notifications” for your channel will receive updates whenever you upload a new YouTube video. But what about your potential viewers? How will your content land on their YouTube feed? The answer lies in impressions.

Impressions are the number of times people came across your video thumbnail during those casual YouTube scrolls. Higher impressions mean your video is ranking well on search results or suggestions.

Pro Tip: Include relevant keywords in your video title and description to help your content reach your target audience with more impressions.

7. Impressions Click-Through Rate

Wait. What? The impressions click-through rate is not the same as impressions? Uh, no. They are both different. But both are extremely important when it comes to tracking your video’s ability to reach your target audience.

Impressions click-through rate is the number of views your video gets per impression. To put it simply, it’s the percentage of people who actually watch your video after coming across its thumbnail. The more compelling your video thumbnails and titles, the greater are the chances of securing higher impressions click-through rate.

YouTube Analytics - impressions ctr

Pro Tip: Out of the many tasks that you need to do to ensure your videos are watched, creating click-worthy thumbnails seems to be the most essential. Learn more about video thumbnails and how to create awesome ones for your videos: Video Thumbnails: What Are They and How to Make Them

8. Audience Demographics

Beating competition on YouTube may seem a far-fetched dream if you aren’t aware of what makes your audience.

From your viewers’ age and gender to their location, assessing all these parameters can help you plan a content strategy that lets you tap a broader audience base.

You’ll be able to find the preferred languages of your viewers and use subtitles in their languages to help them understand your content better.

9. Subscribers

This one is a bit straightforward. Subscribers are the people who have subscribed to your YouTube channel. These form a significant chunk of your target audience and are touted as your most loyal viewers. By subscribing to your channel, they kind of officially declare that they relate to your content and brand.

One of the reasons why YouTubers are often evaluated based on their subscribers is that the higher the subscribers, the higher the watch time. That’s because subscribers usually get notifications from YouTube (as long as the “All notifications” bell icon is turned on) whenever new videos are uploaded. So, they are likely to watch more videos than non-subscribers.

10. Unique Viewers

Unique viewers are the number of people who have watched your video. However, this metric doesn’t include multiple views from the same viewers.

Apart from helping you figure out the actual number of your viewers, it forms a critical success factor of your video strategy.

YouTube Analytics - unique viewers

Let’s say if one of your videos has fewer unique viewers than your subscribers (which is quite common, by the way), you need to tweak your video strategy to get more active subscribers. Think of encouraging them to turn on the notifications for your videos. It can be a game-changer.

And by bridging the gap between your subs and unique viewers, you can negotiate better during brand integration or sponsorship deals.

11. Traffic Sources

Viewers find your videos through different sources, and YouTube Analytics lets you determine what these sources are. They could find your content through search queries, playlists, suggested videos, etc., which are influenced by the YouTube algorithm, of course.

But in addition to YouTube’s algorithm influencing the reach of your videos, viewers also watch your videos by clicking on direct or external links.

Analyzing how viewers found your content will help you identify the sources which bring the most traffic. You can then capitalize on these sources and work more on the ones that aren’t getting as much traffic as they possibly should.

YouTube Analytics - traffic source types

12. Keywords

This one is a hidden gem for sure. Not every YouTube creator or marketer knows that YouTube Analytics can help find the most popular search queries that shepherd viewers to your videos.

Under the Traffic Source tab, you’ll find YouTube Search. Here, you’ll find the top search queries that led viewers to your videos. You can utilize these terms to update your Video SEO strategy.

Queries that are similar to the videos you’re creating reflect that your content resonates with the audience. If there’s some difference in these queries and your videos’ titles, you can always make more content around them to meet your audience’s needs.

13. Playback Locations

The Playback Locations metric tells you where your videos are being played. It’s highly useful in predicting how your audience is finding your content. You can discover the locations that bring in the most views and update your video strategy accordingly.

For example, if most of your videos are being watched off YouTube through embedded links, you can invest in other video marketing strategies and reap greater benefits. It’s a great way to circulate your content far and wide, if done right.

This report also lists the estimated number of minutes watched and average view duration for a particular playback location. Using all this information, you can put some extra effort into your YouTube optimization strategy to make the most of the platform in the longer run.

14. Device Type

While there’s no hard and fast rule, mobile users often love to watch shorter videos that they can consume on-the-go. On the other hand, desktop users or those who watch videos on TVs are usually more comfortable watching longer videos or playlists.

Now, what if YouTube tells you who’s watching your videos on which device? With YouTube Analytics, it’s possible. You can use the Device Type metric to find out the devices your videos are being played on.

From mobile and tablet to desktop, laptop, game console, etc., you can determine who watches your videos where. And you can then modify your video strategy accordingly.

Pro Tip: Check your videos on smaller screens to test if all the elements are perfectly fitting the mobile screens before you publish them.

Grow Your Channel With YouTube Analytics

Working on your video content strategy may be essential, but you need to analyze your videos’ performance to grow your channel. Make the best use of video analytics to understand your viewers’ demands and offer them what they want to see the most.

Which one of these YouTube analytics metrics has helped you the most while defining your YouTube video strategy? Leave your comments below. You can also let us know if you have any queries on developing more targeted content for the ever-dynamic YouTube audience. We’ll be happy to help.

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