Knowing how to read your YouTube analytics can help you build a very successful YouTube channel. In this blog post I’m going to cover all you need to know including the basics like views, minutes watched and top videos.
YouTube Analytics – All You Need to Know for Success!
I will explain traffic sources in YouTube analytics for YouTube search and suggested video, which are the most important free traffic sources.
Subscribers on YouTube are absolute gold and I will explain YouTube analytics for subscribers and how to know which videos get subs. With this knowledge, you can make new videos that your audience will want to watch and subscribe for.
Introduction to YouTube analytics including views, minutes watched and top videos
If you want to have a successful YouTube channel, getting to know the Analytics is absolutely critical for finding what you are doing right and finding opportunities to improve.
Access your analytics from your YouTube dashboard located at www.youtube.com/dashboard?o=U
Then you go down and click on “Analytics” on the left hand menu.
Here is your basic intro YouTube analytics in your overview section.
You can’t find out a whole lot more than the basics in this area, but it is important to get to know each individual part of the YouTube analytics.
Views are simply the number of people that started watching your video, regardless of how much time they actually spent watching it. Views are a basic metric that now combines with Minute Watched to determine ranking.
2. Estimated minutes watched
Estimated minutes watched are how many minutes YouTube thinks people actually spent watching the video.
This combined with the Views is where you get the power of your YouTube channel.
Now engagement is also very good.
3. Likes and dislikes
You want people liking your videos, and even people disliking some of your videos tells YouTube that people are at least watching and noticing you.
It is funny to see some of the most popular videos in the world having many dislikes on them.
4. Comments and shares
Comments are exceptional too, especially when they are done through Google plus. YouTube loves to see comments and loves to see shares done directly through the YouTube sharing widget.
5. Favorites and subscribers
Favorites Added and Subscribers are also an excellent way YouTube knows if people like your video.
Here is where each one of these metrics is coming from.
Likes happen when someone just clicks on the “thumb up” button and likes your video. The dislike button is the “thumb down” next to it and it is how you get your Dislikes. The Comments are below the description and it is where people share their thoughts. Your Shares are tracked from the “Share” button. Your Favorites are counted from the “+ Add to” button.
Then, people can go to your channel to subscribe or they can do it straight from the upper right of the video if you have a watermark there, which I highly recommend you to have on your channel.
That’s how all of these metrics are generated.
6. Estimated earnings
I have Google Adsense disabled and as you can see the Estimated Earnings do not show up.
I don’t have any of my videos monetized, but if you do have ads on your channel, then this is where your Estimated Earnings are going to show up.
Finally, in the basic YouTube analytics page, you then have your Top 10 Videos.
They only show by views so if you are running ads on your videos, this makes it difficult to see which one actually is organically getting views. I will show you deeper in YouTube analytics how to do that. These are your top ten simply by views and all views are counted equal here.
Then you can sort by minutes watched if you click on it.
Minutes Watched will help you see how much time people are actually spending on a video, which is helpful especially if you have really long videos.
Finally at the bottom you scroll down to the Demographics tab.
The Top Geographies shows you where people are watching your videos from. The United States is number one for me and that is almost all through organic search traffic and suggested videos.
Then you can see that I’m running ads in Thailand, the Philippines, Mexico and Indonesia to get really cheap views to buff the minutes watched on my channel, and then I’m getting organic search traffic from the United States.
In the Gender section, you’ll note that most of my viewers are male, but that may be different for your channel.
Top Playback Locations in the Discovery tab is a very important metric to see where people are actually watching your videos.
People are mostly finding my videos on the actual YouTube watch page because I am doing YouTube advertising. You may have different traffic sources like embedded players on other websites that are driving most of your videos or some other type of YouTube watch.
The Top Traffic Sources metrics are valuable for finding where you are getting people to watch your videos.
55% of my views are on YouTube Advertising, but I am only paying a couple of cents per view and I’m getting a lot of minutes watched, which resulted in this second metric, YouTube Search.
YouTube search and YouTube suggested video are the gold mine on YouTube. You want those search in those suggested video views because absolutely nothing is better than getting found in search and in suggested video for getting conversions through to your website, to getting subscribers and people genuinely interested in you and in what you are talking about.
This is an overview of the YouTube analytics and as you can see there are a lot more details you can go into from the left menu.
I’m going to go into those details with you in the following sections to show you that getting to know some of these reports can give you the chance to do some incredible things on your YouTube channel.
YouTube analytics traffic sources explained for YouTube search and suggested video
I think the most important part of YouTube Analytics are the Traffic Sources because they show you where you are actually getting views from. When I’m on my Analytics menu, I go down and click “Traffic Sources.”
Now you can see where all of my traffic is coming from by source. If I scroll down here, this is where I’m getting the analytical value.
YouTube search and YouTube suggested video are free views, as well as External website and those that follow are also free views. YouTube advertising is not free views, but they helped all of the other metrics to get higher.
I want to isolate all of the other sources without YouTube advertising. I can select all traffic sources and uncheck YouTube advertising so what I can see here is how my traffic is growing just organically.
That’s really powerful and you will notice that I just spiked up close to 2,000 views in one day organically.
What you want is this slow steady march to higher organic traffic because the organic traffic is where nearly all of the value is coming from. Now, as absurd as it sounds, these 50,000 views from YouTube ads are nearly useless in terms of actual conversions. Sometimes I get lucky and pull a subscriber, but most of the time I get absolutely nothing. The people who are watching ads are not in the mood to engage with me.
YouTube search is where all kinds of good things happen and since most YouTube channels don’t run YouTube ads, all you have to do is run ads and YouTube will rank your video high enough to get found in search and suggested video.
When you click on YouTube search then you get keywords across your entire channel. Now this is very limiting especially for long tail keywords.
You will notice that I have very few individual views on anyone keyword. Now, for my video gaming experiment with “wolfenstein xbox one” and “destiny xbox one,” I tested some of these YouTube video ranking strategies to limit, so those don’t actually do much for me. But, for “Facebook ads” and “Facebook marketing” searches are huge.
This is where I’m getting conversions from, but the problem is that you can only see up to 25 results in the search at a time. So the actual search tab itself can tell you what you are doing right in a larger scale on your channel, but you are not going to find out much more detail than the top 25 terms.
Now my top 25 terms are important, noticing that Facebook marketing is one of my top 25 terms gives me a clear signal that I should be doing more Facebook marketing related videos instead of Facebook ads related videos.
After seeing this in my Facebook marketing search results and going in into more detail, I actually changed the name on my Facebook course to “Facebook marketing and ads” instead of “Facebook ads and marketing” because I’m getting more search results, more people are looking for things about Facebook marketing compared to Facebook ads.
That’s how powerful these YouTube search results are.
Another powerful thing is to go to YouTube suggested video.
This gives you an idea of what videos are sending you traffic.
Now most of the time if you have a lot of videos, when you highlight the video like below, you will see your own videos.
But what’s really cool is when you see other people’s video sending you traffic.
This video is from Jeff Usner and in the last 28 days it sent 101 views to my channel with an average view duration of 9:48.
How does that happen?
When you are on Jeff Usner’s video look at what you have on the right side.
There are two videos by Jerry Banfield right next to his video in the suggested video section. Out of these six videos on the side, YouTube is suggesting two of my videos to watch and that’s really sweet because it is giving me free traffic off of someone else’s audience.
This is the same thing on this video.
Mari Smith has worked really hard to get herself an audience and then when someone is watching her video, they are going over and watch my videos.
Eli has an excellent large YouTube channel and it is the same thing.
I am pulling views off of his channel.
Then, all these other channels are also sending me YouTube views. It is really sweet to get to know these videos and figure out what your audience tends to like.
My audience tends to like things about Facebook Ads strategies, of course, but they also like “7 Steps to Facebook Success.” They are watching videos on how to get free Twitter followers also and about Teespring.
That’s very valuable for me to know because if I know what else my audience is watching, then I can make those things for them. If they are wondering if Facebook advertising works at all, that is good for me to know because then I can make the same kind of video. “Does Facebook Advertising work?” I literally can use the same title if I wanted to.
That’s very powerful and between the Traffic Sources, YouTube search and YouTube suggested video, you can get a ton of data that I’m going to show you how to dive deeper into.
One last thing on this section is External website.
Now, after I have clicked on that, what do you notice? Google search is up there on the top.
They are people putting things on Google search like “Facebook ads tutorial 2014.” When someone puts that in, Google is showing two of my YouTube videos in the top three results. That’s sweet!
When people are searching in Google that is pretty much an ideal method to get found. If you look at this traffic, that’s 3,146 views and 15,011 minutes watched in 28 days.
So Google is sending over 100 people to my YouTube videos for free every single day. If I had to pay for those in search, that will cost between $1 to $10 per click and I’d probably wouldn’t get an average of four minutes watched per video.
The power of putting all of these things into practice is getting Google to give you free traffic. I click on “Google Search” to see the details of this free traffic.
Over 1,000 views are from the United States and those are very valuable search traffic and results that I’m getting. They are also coming from all over the world.
118 countries found my YouTube videos in Google search.
You can set these things up all for yourself and that’s how powerful this is getting to know these analytics and really understand all the things that are going on in your YouTube channel.
Traffic sources is where you find your return on investment on your YouTube channel.
YouTube analytics for subscribers explained and how to know which videos get subs
If you want to learn about the value of subscribers on YouTube and how to analyze subscribers into YouTube Analytics to figure out which videos are getting new subscribers, this will be really helpful.
First, let’s talk about the value of subscribers. I have almost 72,000 subscribers on my channel now, but had only 5,000 subscribers in January 2015 when this screenshot above was taken.
That is really helpful for me because my videos get all kinds of free views from my subscribers every time I put a new video out.
Let me show you in the Traffic Sources how that works.
I hit “Show only subscriber views” when I’m in Traffic Sources under Analytics.
I had 5,000 subscribers at the time and those subscribers on average, watched a half of the video where 50% of them viewed one video in the last 28 days, with 18,419 minutes watched. That is over 3 minutes on average watched per subscriber.
Subscribers are absolute gold on YouTube. How do they actually watch the videos? They watch them in the guide, the channel page, suggested videos, embedded in a website. There are a lot of different ways they actually can watch videos.
The bottom line is that subscriber views are gold because they are totally free traffic. When you are making new videos, free traffic is gold for ranking.
Take a look at a guy who is really doing well on subscribers. He has got more than a million subscribers and 400 million views. He is one of the biggest video gaming channels out there in the world.
Every time he puts a new video out, it gets thousands of views for free from his subscribers. It then allows his videos to rank over the top of all other videos.
If you don’t have that many subscribers, the only way you can rank higher than his videos is to get really lucky making a viral video, which you are not going to get most of the time, or spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, in ads.
Here is the thing though, if you have to pay for ads to go up against another channel who is getting them for free through subscribers, how do you think that is going to work out in the long term?
It is not!
Subscribers are absolute gold!
What I’m showing you in this section is how to figure out the value your subscribers are giving you and where they are coming from. If you don’t know which videos are getting new subscribers, how can you know which ones people really like and make more of?
This is for the last 28 days and Google says some of the subscriber data was not tracking correctly around the 14th where you can see a drop in the graph.
What’s important in this tab is to see how your growth is going and how many subscribers you are getting every day. Are you having days where you get a ton of subscribers or are you having consistent growth?
Let me show you my subscriber analytics over the last year. This is what’s amazing: 4,084 net subscribers over the last year on my channel.
A year ago, I was getting about 5 subscribers a day and this year I’m getting around 15 subscribers a day. That’s gigantic growth!
What I want to do is continue to get more subscribers every single day.
Now, if you look back across the history of my entire YouTube channel, you will see that most of the first two years, I hardly got any subscribers.
As I continued to put more and more videos up, I have continued to get more subscribers every day on average. If you want to grow your subscribers, that’s how to do it.
Now, here is where I have got the most subscribers and this is what you want to find out. What videos are driving subscribers to your channel?
I have figured this out and I have been beating it to death. I noticed this was one of my first successful videos showing how to get cheap clicks with Facebook ads.
I got 564 subscribers from this one video alone. My next video in the same series produced 364 subscribers.
Guess what I did next. I made another one and another one, and much more. I continue to make videos about topics people subscribe on because getting subscribers is gigantic. When people are watching certain type of videos and subscribing, then I want to make more of them.
I did a test on a video game video and compared to the amount of views I got, I did very little subscribers.
So I’m not doing those videos anymore because they don’t get subscribers. What I ultimately want are subscribers.
These 3 top videos were advertised and I have probably put about 2,000 views on each one with ads. Consequently, I ranked them very high and then they drew over a thousand subscribers.
If I look at just the last 28 days, the same video “$0.01 CPM Facebook Ads Tutorial” is now third even though it has got the most subscribers for all time.
The newer tutorials I have done are actually getting more subscribers now, and this brand new one I have done is pulling even more subscribers considering it has only been up for a few weeks and it hasn’t been up 28 days yet.
Having a lot of videos is really good to get subscribers. Even if you just get 1, 2 or 3 subscribers per video, you can get hundreds in total. You can see that I have got a lot of videos that have just a few subscribers on every month.
The more videos I do, the more subscribers I get and it will be the same for you. The important lesson to remember is to look at your subscriber analytics and see which videos are driving you subscribers, and then make more like that.
When you look at the last 28 days, all of my top videos that are driving subscribers are about Facebook ads and marketing.
The nine top videos are about Facebook and the tenth one is actually on a website I did looking at earning money with sponsored tweets.
I have done that on a basis of positive reinforcement so I get more subscribers. I find those top 20% of videos that are generating the most subscribers, and then I make a bunch more of that exact same type of video.
The very last thing I want to show you is the Geography section for my subscribers all time.
You will notice the value in the subscribers, especially when you get a lot of subscribers from the United States, Canada and the U.K. Those are very valuable financially.
In total, 117 countries have sent me subscribers and you want to think global with your YouTube channel. A thousand US subscribers is great, but 2,428 subscribers tracked in total is a lot better.
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