How To Conduct An In-Depth YouTube Audit

YouTube videos can provide great value for your business, since they have the potential to show up on the first page of Google search results, thereby increasing your brand’s reach and authority. However, this is possible only if your videos perform well.

A channel audit can help you determine if your YouTube videos are performing up to their potential. In an audit, you examine your videos in depth and analyze critical areas of your content, including watch time, click-through rates, and so on. Based on your analysis, you can determine what’s working and what’s not.

Since YouTube is the second most popular social media platform, the competition is always high, so you should strive to stay ahead and get more subscribers. A YouTube channel audit is a great way to assess how your videos and channel are performing and helps you identify opportunities to enhance your strategy.

Before creating a video or starting an audit, you need to identify your business and social media goals. This will help you identify the direction that you need to head to and will also help you understand how your YouTube channel and content are performing.

How to conduct an in-depth audit for your YouTube channel

Here are some important tips to audit your YouTube channel to improve your brand’s visibility on YouTube.

1. Get an idea of the basic stats

Source: RedRiver

It is important to get an idea of the basic stats by checking the number of views, subscribers, and watch time on your channel.

YouTube views indicate the reach of your content, i.e., the total number of times your video has been watched on YouTube. If your video has a large number of views, it indicates that your video has strong content that is creating a good impact on your audience.

While the number of views is a significant metric, view duration, which is also known as watch time, is equally important. For example, if viewers click the play button and watch it only for a few seconds, then the YouTube algorithm will not favor you. YouTube expects your videos to keep the viewers glued to the platform. Watch time is a very important metric, since YouTube’s algorithm strongly considers it while ranking videos.

Audience retention is important. If the duration of your video is about five minutes and your audience is watching it only for a few seconds, then you need to find out what’s causing your viewers to bounce. It could be because of a dull and slow-paced intro, a misleading title, or something else.

You need to fix the issue to keep your audience around for longer. If you notice steep dips while checking the audience retention graph, you should investigate it further.

You need to ensure that your videos hold the viewers’ attention for a longer time. How can you do that? You need to first make sure that your video is not slow-paced; instead, it should be engaging and captivating. In your attempt to make it interesting, do not deviate from your core message.

Make sure that your video is relevant to your product or service. Avoid clickbait (a deceptive tactic designed to get users to click on a link with a thumbnail or title that is exaggerated or irrelevant to the actual content), as it can make your audience feel deceived. So, your video should deliver what your title and thumbnail promises.

The number of subscribers refers to the number of people who have subscribed to your YouTube channel. These are individuals who choose to follow your channel to stay updated on the latest videos. This is a crucial metric as it represents the number of people who are interested in your brand. 

Subscribers are the ones who will not just engage with your content regularly, but who are also most likely to share your videos with their networks. When you have a large number of subscribers, it reflects your YouTube channel’s popularity. A YouTube channel that has many subscribers is likely to get more views, traffic, and exposure.

2. Calculate the Click-Through Rate (CTR) of your channel

Source: SealSkinCovers

Calculating the percentage of viewers who clicked on your video after seeing the thumbnail and title of the video is referred to as CTR. Your thumbnail and title are similar to the teaser or the first look poster of a movie. If many people watch a movie out of curiosity they developed after watching the teaser or first look poster, it indicates how compelling the promotional campaign is.

Similarly, CTR indicates how captivating your video’s packaging is.

Unique titles and eye-catching thumbnail design can significantly boost your CTR, which can lead to more views and watch time. As mentioned in the previous section, you should avoid clickbait, as it can affect your watch time and audience retention if your video doesn’t stick to what it promised to deliver.

To find your channel’s click-through rate, you should first open YouTube Studio and click Analytics, which you can find in the navigation bar, towards the left side.

After that, you need to click on the Content tab and scroll down to find the overall click-through rate. Along with CTR, you will also be able to view impressions and views from those impressions.

3. Identify the videos that are performing well (and those that aren’t)

Source: RedRiver

You can evaluate the performance of your videos by analyzing engagement – the number of likes, dislikes, shares, and comments. You need to find out which videos in your channel are generating a large number of comments. More comments indicate that many people find your video to be intriguing.

If one of your videos is being frequently shared, it means that people have really liked and enjoyed your content and want to share it with as many people as possible, since they think that your video can be valuable and informative.

A large number of likes or dislikes indicate that your video has created some kind of emotional impact on the viewers. Emotional engagement is very important, because it indicates that people have taken an interest in your video and care about what you’re saying in it.

The above-mentioned metrics will help you identify which videos are performing well on your YouTube channel. They give you a good idea of what kind of topics, styles, and packaging are creating interest and generating engagement. You can utilize these factors in your upcoming videos to get more engagement and perform well in the algorithm

You can also identify which videos aren’t performing well. You get a sense of what topics and styles aren’t clicking with your audience. You can either fine-tune them to get better results or you can note down the factors that aren’t working and avoid them altogether in the upcoming videos. A user-friendly social media reporting and analysis tool helps brands make data-driven decisions.

In Creator Studio, click Overview under the Analytics tab. You can calculate the ratio of engagement to views by adding up the stats for shares, comments, likes, and dislikes.

You can use these details to determine which videos are generating more engagement and create videos with a similar style and similar topics in the future to spur better engagement.

4. Conduct YouTube keyword research and analyze your YouTube Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Creating a top-quality video can prove futile if it doesn’t show up in the search results. It is important for your videos to appear in the search results, preferably at the top spot, or at least somewhere near the top spot, when people search for something that is related to one of your videos – something that your YouTube channel covers. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into the picture.

You should conduct in-depth keyword research to identify the right keywords – the keywords relevant to your brand that people use to find your videos on YouTube.

Once you identify the keywords, you should place them in your YouTube video titles and descriptions. After this step, you can use the channel audit tool to see if those keywords become the top search terms on your channel. Once you get this information, you can create more content based on the top search terms as they rank highly.

There’s a section in the channel audit tool named “Actionable SEO Score”. It rates your actionable SEO score on a scale of 1 to 50. Based on your score, you can determine how well you have optimized the titles, tags, and descriptions for your video with relevant keywords. If the average SEO score for one of your videos gets displayed as “Too Low”, you need to optimize the video right away.

5. Check the quality of your thumbnails, length of video titles, and posting frequency

Source: IES

You need to ensure that the character length of your video title does not exceed 60 characters, otherwise, there’s a chance that the text may get cut off in the YouTube app. If you weren’t aware of this and have already created many videos without considering this aspect, there is nothing to worry about, as you have the option to edit and shorten those titles easily.

There is a section named Average Metrics in the channel audit tool. Go to that section and you will be able to view Title Length, which represents the average character length of your YouTube video titles.

Once you click that, a list of titles gets displayed. If any of those titles exceed 60 characters, they will have the symbol “Too Long”. You need to work on them and reduce the character length.

If your video has a low-resolution thumbnail, it can create a bad first impression, as most often people notice the thumbnail first – and it is a well-known fact that the first impression is usually the last impression.

There is a section named Items to Improve Upon. Go to this section and have a look at Videos Without High-Res Thumbnails. You can simply ignore it if the number is 0. However, if it’s higher than that, then click the number to find out which videos you need to work on to improve the thumbnail image. Once you have identified them, replace the existing thumbnail images with ones that have higher quality.

Video posting frequency is crucial for your YouTube marketing strategy. You need to post videos on a regular basis, otherwise, people may lose interest in your brand and unsubscribe from your channel. You can check the Posting Schedule in the Items to Improve Upon section to check the posting frequency.

Wrapping up

As mentioned earlier in the post, an in-depth YouTube audit helps you identify which videos on your channel are generating results on expected lines and which ones aren’t.

You can then utilize the positive aspects of your better-performing videos in your upcoming videos to generate similar results. You can identify the flaws in your poorly performing videos and take the necessary steps to fix them.

Another amazing thing about auditing is that you may end up discovering things you were never looking for. Use tools like Keyhole for not just YouTube audits but all your top-performing social profiles in one place.

Never stop looking, as you never know until you look.

Author Bio

Andy Beohar is the Managing Partner at SevenAtoms, a leading B2B demand generation agency. SevenAtoms is dedicated to driving growth for SaaS and B2B businesses through innovative and optimized paid search and is recognized by Google as a Google Premier Ads partner. At SevenAtoms, Andy plays a strategic role in managing paid search campaigns.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a YouTube audit?

A YouTube audit helps you determine how well your YouTube channel is performing by letting you analyze important areas of your content (video) such as the number of views, view duration, click-through rate (CTR), and more.

2. What is YouTube video optimization?

YouTube video optimization refers to the implementation of various strategies and techniques to rank your video higher in YouTube’s search results by putting your video in front of your target audience.

3. How can I optimize YouTube videos for SEO?

Here are some simple steps to help you optimize your YouTube videos for SEO.
-Identify your target keywords through keyword research tools like WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool, Google Keyword Planner, Moz, and so on.
-Use relevant keywords in your title and video file.
-Optimize the description of your YouTube video.
-Add hashtags to your YouTube video title and description.
-Create an attention-grabbing thumbnail image.