If your business hasn’t started making video content, now is the time to start.
But before you do, you have to pinpoint the YouTube Analytics metrics that matter most to your business, and which YouTube analytics tools you can use to track them.
So why is YouTube such a big deal?
With 2.5 billion active users and over 1 billion hours watched daily, YouTube is the second most trafficked website on the planet after Facebook.
Investing in video—and YouTube in particular—is key to a strong marketing strategy. And any strong video marketing strategy is backed by powerful YouTube analytics tools.
But the truth is, most companies and brands simply post videos on YouTube, share them on social networks, and then never return to track their performance.
Only by tracking your YouTube Analytics will you learn how to grow your brand effectively through video, and how to make videos people actually want to watch.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Why you should track YouTube Analytics
- Key YouTube metrics
- How to make the most out of each YouTube metric
- Top YouTube Analytics tools
Table of Contents
- 4 Reasons to track your YouTube Analytics
- How to access YouTube Analytics for free
- Top YouTube metrics you should be tracking
- Top 8 YouTube Analytics Tools
- Final Words
- Frequently Asked Questions
4 Reasons to track your YouTube Analytics
If you’ve successfully managed another social profile, you understand the role that analytics plays in driving future content—and YouTube is no different.
But YouTube offers specific content tracking advantages that other platforms don’t offer. Here’s why you should pay attention to your YouTube data.
1. Reach more viewers
The data is clear. YouTube is growing in a big way.
And it’s about more than entertainment. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, where people look for how-to videos, product reviews, explainer videos, vlogs, and more.
If your brand isn’t present on YouTube, you’re missing out on a large segment of the online population.
By learning how to use YouTube and the YouTube Analytics platform, you’ll gain valuable insights into how to grow your online viewership.
2. Make better content
Content is King. You have to make content people actually want to watch. By tracking your YouTube Analytics, you’ll see what content resonates most with your audience.
What topics is your audience most interested in? Which titles do they click on more? What types of visuals result in more thumbnail clicks? Which topics lead to the most engagement?
By understanding how to get the most out of YouTube video metrics, you’ll learn how to build your brand, get more engagement, and ultimately make better videos.
3. Understand your audience
In order to develop amazing video content that actually resonates emotionally with your audience, you have to understand who they are.
And if you’re not a brick-and-mortar business, or you have a new product, you may not actually know who your audience is yet.
By tracking your YouTube Analytics, you’ll uncover demographic data like age, gender, location, and preferred devices. By using this data, you can adjust your future content strategy to better appeal to your customers.
4. Educate your non-video marketing
Because video content is much richer, you can find out what messages really resonate with people. By tracking moment-by-moment video engagement, you can test which types of insights, advice, messaging, or stories register most with your audience.
And whatever you learn from your YouTube Analytics tracking, you can take to your other marketing efforts. Maybe it’s a new slogan, branding campaign, social strategy, or product idea.
Now that you have learned why you should track your Youtube Analytics, let’s dive right into key YouTube metrics to track and how to make use of them.
How to access YouTube Analytics for free
Now that you understand the value of YouTube Analytics, let’s look at the steps for accessing it.
There are essentially two ways to access YouTube analytics.
1. From the profile icon
- Open your channel.
- Click on your profile icon.
- Select YouTube Studio from the drop-down menu.
- Select Analytics from the menu on the extreme left.
- Open your channel.
- Head over to the navigation panel on the left side.
- Scroll down to the More from YouTube section.
- Select Creator Studio.
- Select Analytics from the menu on the extreme left.
Both options will lead you to the same page. You will see 4 different categories on the analytics page with an Advanced Mode option. Read on to find these metrics in detail.
Top YouTube metrics you should be tracking
As the name suggests, the Overview tab gives you a brief snapshot of your channel performance. You also get detailed insights about videos you are posting currently.
Here are the metrics you’ll find in this tab:
- Views: Number of views received by your channel
- Watch time: Total duration of watch time by your viewers
- Subscribers: Number of users that have subscribed to your channel
- Estimated revenue: Net revenue from Google ads and transactions over a period of time
- Average view duration: Average watch time of a particular video in a fixed date range
- Impressions: Number of times your video thumbnails were shown to users
- Impressions click-through rate: The rate at which users watch your video after viewing the thumbnail
You can select a particular video from the Overview tab and view respective analytics. Some of the key metrics here are:
- Likes vs. dislikes: Number of viewers who liked or disliked your videos
- Card clicks: Number of clicks on a particular card
- Cards shown: Number of times a card was shown
- Card teaser clicks: number of clicks on a card teaser
- Card teaser shown: Number of times a card teaser was shown
- Clicks per card shown: Number of times a card was clicked when shown
- Clicks per end screen element shown: Average number of clicks on end screen element when shown
- End screen element clicks: Number of clicks on a particular end screen element
- End screen element shown: Number of times an end screen element was shown
- Teasers clicks per card teaser shown: Average number of clicks on card teasers per impression
Please note you can also find top videos, playlists, posts, cards, videos by end screen, end screen element types, and remixes here. Use them to find your top-performing assets.
Apart from this, the Overview tab also shows the following data:
- Top videos: Lists your top videos as per the highest watch time
- Realtime: Insights on your recently published videos
- Latest content: Overview of your latest video
- Stories: Number of views, likes, shares, and comments received on stories for the last 7 days
- Top remixed: Your content that’s used for creating shorts and remixes
Tip: This tab is great for performance comparison in different periods of time. Get an understanding of your typical performance and identify if the trend is upward or downward.
The Content tab, when paid attention to, can reveal surprising results. It tells you how your target audience stumbles across your content and what exactly they are watching on your channel.
Here are a few metrics related to posts, shorts, live, and videos:
- Views: Number of views on your shorts, videos, and live streams
- Impressions and how they led to watching time: Number of times your thumbnails were shown to viewers and how frequently they resulted in a click
- Published content: Number of videos, shorts, and live streams published on your channel
- How viewers found content: Lists sources that bring viewers to your channel like feed, shorts, suggested, search, channel pages, etc.
- Subscribers: Number of subscribers gained from each content channel[live, video, shorts, others]
- Key metrics card for videos: Brief overview of views, impressions, clickthrough rate, and average view duration of videos
- Key moments for audience retention: Shows key moments in a particular video that grabs the attention of your audience
- How viewers find your video: Lists sources that bring viewers to videos like feed, shorts, suggested, search, channel pages, etc.
- Key metrics card for shorts: Brief overview of views, impressions, clickthrough rate, and average view duration of shorts
- How viewers found shorts: Lists sources that bring viewers to shorts like feed, shorts, suggested, search, channel pages, etc.
- Top shorts: List top shorts from your channel
- Viewed(vs. Swiped away): Percentage of viewers who viewed your shorts vs. percentage of viewers who swiped away
- Top remixed: Overview of all remixes, top remixes, and total views on remixes
- How viewers found live:
- Key metrics card for live: Brief overview of views, impressions, clickthrough rate, and average view duration of live streams
- Top live streams: Lists sources that bring viewers to live streams like feed, shorts, suggested, search, channel pages, etc.
- Impressions: Number of times posts were shown to viewers
- Likes: Number of likes received on community posts
- Subscribers: Number of people subscribing to your channel from community posts
- Top posts: Number of top community posts based on likes and votes
- Unique viewers: Number of unique users that watched your channel’s content
- Average percentage viewed: Average percentage of the video that viewers per session viewed
- Post likes: Number of likes on your posts
- Post like rates: Percentage of viewers that liked your posts
Tip: Click on Spikes to trace instances from a particular video that causes more viewers to watch, rewatch, and share your videos. Similarly, have a look at Dip to find the segments that are most skipped.
A close inspection of the audience tab will help you understand the background of your audience. You will get to know their detailed demographics as well.
Here are the metrics that you can easily track from the Audience tab:
- Videos growing your audience: Top videos that have resulted in subscribers in the last 90 days
- When your viewers are on your video: Shows the times when your audience is most active on YouTube
- Content your audience watches: See what other content has been watched by the audience in the last 7 days
- Channels your audience watches: Know what other channels your audience frequently watched in the past 28 days
- Top geographies: Lists countries where your majority audience is located in
- Age and gender: Age range and gender splits of your viewers
- Top subtitles and language: Top languages of subtitles opted by your viewers
- Returning viewers: Number of viewers who returned to your channel to rewatch your content in a fixed date range
- New viewers: Number of new viewers watching the content of your channel for the first time during a fixed duration
- Unique viewers: Number of unique viewers that watched your content during a fixed interval
- Total members: Number of users who have accessed perks
- Active members: Number of users with active paid memberships
- Members gained: Number of new members who signed up for memberships
- Canceled memberships: Number of members who canceled their memberships
- Members lost: Number of members who lost their access to memberships after cancellation
- Average views per viewer: Average number of times a video was watched by a viewer
- Subscriber bell notification: Number of subscribers receiving notification from your channel
- Watch time for subscribers: Total watch time between subscribed and unsubscribed viewers
Tip: Knowing your audience’s location will massively shape your content strategy. You can cover topics that are most prevalent in those geographic areas. This will boost your views and retention massively.
The Research tab is your go-to place for content inspiration. See what your viewers are searching for on YouTube. Here are a few things you can track from this section:
- Searches across YouTube: Top-related searches for a search term in the last 28 days
- Your viewer’s searches: Top searches that audiences of similar channels have searched over 28 days
- Saved: Tab that shows all your saved searches
Tip: Use insights from this tab to bridge content gaps. You will get potential ideas for your videos from here.
5. Advanced Mode
Advanced mode is crucial for comparing your video performance with the overall channel analytics.
Find out your top-performing content and identify the ones that missed the mark. Group videos and compare their analytics to find your sweet spot.
Note that here you can compare videos of different duration or year-on-year. Alternatively, you can use a YouTube analytics tool to compare your performances from different social media channels.
Apart from these categories, you can also find the following metrics for more insights:
- Traffic source types: Sources from where viewers find your content
- External: Traffic to your channel from different websites and apps
- Suggested videos: Traffic from suggested videos and video descriptions
- Playlist: Traffic from the most-watched playlist having your videos
- Bell notification sent: Number of bell notifications sent to subscribers
- YouTube search: Traffic from the YouTube search console to your channel
- Audience retention: Shows key moments in a particular video that grabs the attention of your audience
- Top tagged product: Products tagged in a video that received the highest engagement
Please note that you can find these metrics under Reach and Engagement tabs from video analytics.
Though YouTube analytics is free, you still need other tools to monitor your presence on other social media platforms.
That’s why our advice is to invest in a good YouTube analytics tool that spans its usage to other channels as well.
Read on to find our best picks.
Top 8 YouTube Analytics Tools
While YouTube offers a strong suite of in-platform analytics, third-party tools can help you truly understand larger patterns in your viewer behavior, monitor your competitors, discover potential influencers, track your ROI, and track trending topics.
We’ve previously covered the top social media analytics tools and top social media listening tools, many of which provide tools for YouTube, but this list below is curated specifically for YouTube. Let’s dive in!
1. YouTube Studio Analytics
As we’ve already covered above, YouTube Studio provides a comprehensive list of metrics that let you analyze the quality of each video, the demographics of your viewers, and your subscriber counts.
- Viewer retention – YouTube gives you incredible insight into moment-by-moment viewership data
- Robust – YouTube Analytics has an incredible wealth of data that feeds into most other tools
- Free – For new or infrequent users, this is a big plus.
Cost: Free with every YouTube channel.
Keyhole is a multi-platform social listening and advanced analytics tool that provides powerful at-a-glance insights. Keyhole combines social listening, social media analytics, media monitoring, and social media account optimization, all included in one suite.
- Trackers – Track metrics for as many YouTube channels, hashtags, or keywords as you need, not just your own channel.
- Optimization – Unlock insights like the optimal time to post your video, the optimal video duration, the top tags by views, the optimal number of video tags, and average views by day.
- Influencers – Keyhole has useful influencer-tracking tools that let you measure the impact of each influencer and co-collaborator on your YouTube channel
Cost: After a 7-day free trial, Keyhole has 4 tiers of pricing: Social Listening & Campaigns, Profile Analytics, Influencer Tracking, and Enterprise, with a scalable pricing scale dependent on account trackers.
Vidooly is an AI-powered video marketing tool that provides insights and analytics across Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. In addition to free metrics for any channel on YouTube, Vidooly allows you to measure the success of targeted video campaigns.
- Influencers – Identify and partner with content creators relevant to your genre
- Benchmark – Compare your video data with your competitors
- Content ideas – Research trending topics within your niche
Cost: After a free demo, Vidooly pricing varies widely depending on the solution you choose.
ChannelMeter is a tool for discovering and managing brand influencers on YouTube—a great option if you’re looking to grow your brand through other users’ channels. ChannelMeter is sales and monetization-focused, providing tools to discover monetization opportunities, manage your content creator network, and manage payments.
- Earnings analytics – Provides an intuitive dashboard of recent video earnings
- Influencer payments – Tools to manage payments to content creators
- Recruit – Tools to recruit related influencers
Cost: ChannelMeter pricing is not publicly available. For pricing information, contact the vendor directly.
5. Rival IQ
Rival IQ provides competitor benchmarking analytics and tracks your cross-channel audience across every major online content platform.
- Benchmarking – Track how often competitor brands post certain types of media (e.g. videos) and what engagement rates they receive
- Cross-channel analysis – See which media websites are most likely to share YouTube content
- Social listening – Track trending topics to inspire new video content
Cost: Rival IQ has a 14-day free trial, followed by three pricing tiers, starting at $239/month.
Quintly is a social media analytics tool that offers an organized library of YouTube Analytics. It offers a convenient dashboard to track views, subscribers, and engagements across every social media platform.
- Flexibility – Quintly allows you to custom-arrange your dashboard to display the analytics you care about most
- Automated reports – Create and automate social media reports for your team or clients
Cost: Quintly pricing depends on your custom plan, but pricing starts at $449/month.
Klear is an influencer marketing platform that allows you to find and manage influencers, analyze key metrics, and measure the ROI of your campaigns.
- Influencer tracking – Klear makes it easy to find YouTube influencers that will help you build your brand
- Depth of data – Klear has a robust collection of influencer data across all social networks
Cost: Klear is primarily an enterprise-level platform, for which pricing is not publicly available, but they do offer discounted pricing for agencies under 20 employees.
TubeBuddy is a popular YouTube optimization tool. It offers productivity tools, bulk processing abilities, video SEO tools, automated promotion tools, and robust data and analytics tools.
- YouTube SEO – TubeBuddy has auditing tools, suggested tags and keywords, keyword rank tracking, and caption services
- Channel analysis – Channel and competitor insights, comment word clouds, brand alerts, retention analyzer, and more
- Bulk tools – Easily add cards and end screens to multiple videos
Cost: TubeBuddy has several pricing tiers depending on the features you choose, starting as low as $3.50/month if your channel has under 1,000 subscribers. They also offer discounts for non-profits.
By tracking your YouTube Analytics, whether it’s on YouTube or through one of these helpful third-party YouTube Analytics tools, you’ll gain valuable new insights about your business and your video strategy. But it’s important to note that YouTube isn’t the only platform that needs your attention.
With its intuitive features like competitor analysis, influencer management, profile tracking, social listening, and more, you can truly automate your everyday marketing drills.
Don’t believe us? Try for free and see it for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is YouTube analytics for?
Only by tracking your YouTube Analytics will you learn how to grow your brand effectively through video, and how to make videos people actually want to watch. You will get to know how to get more views, create content that your audience want, and boost brand awareness.
2. What are the metrics of YouTube?
YouTube metrics are divided into 4 different categories on the analytics page with an Advanced Mode option. These categories as follows:
1. Overview: Includes channel and video specific metrics
2. Content: Insights related to all content types
3. Audience: Details about viewers' demographics
4. Research: Details about target audiences' searches
You can further access more data about sources, reach, engagement etc., from the Advanced mode.
3. What are the top YouTube analytics tools?
Some of the top YouTube analytics tools are:
1. YouTube Studio Analytics
4. Channel Meter