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YouTube Analytics Explained: How To Use YouTube Analytics (2021 Tutorial)

Written by: GetFans Team
On Jun 13, 2021

YouTube Analytics tutorial

If you’re trying to grow your channel on YouTube, you might be feeling like you’re fighting a losing battle. This usually happens when people aren’t aware of how their channel is performing - for better or for worse. Being unaware of your channel’s performance is like driving a car blindfolded - you’re going forward, but you don’t know which direction you’re heading. This is where YouTube Analytics comes into play. 

In this tutorial, we’re going to explain what YouTube analytics is and how you can use your analytics to gain insights into your channel performance and ultimately improve it. So, without further ado, let’s get started. 

What Is YouTube Analytics

According to YouTube, YouTube Analytics allows you to monitor the performance of your videos, channels and content with up-to-date metrics and reports. It’s a part of the YouTube Creator Studio and is available for all YouTubers, no matter how big and how small.

Where To Find YouTube Analytics

Your YouTube Analytics is located inside your YouTube Studio. To access your analytics, go to YouTube’s front page and click on your channel icon. Then, in the drop-down menu, click on “YouTube Studio” -

youtube analytics location

Next, on the left sidebar, click on Analytics. That’s it, you’re in! 

analytics inside channel menu

Why Looking At Your Channel Analytics Is Important

1. It Can Give You Insights Into Your Audience Retention

Audience Retention is a key factor in ranking in YouTube’s platform as a whole. When you have good audience retention rates, you’re more likely to be promoted both in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and in the video suggestions/recommendations bar, as well as on homepages and discovery pages (such as the Trending tab). The higher your audience retention is and the more stable the graph is, the better! Without analytics, you won’t be able to see what your audience retention is like, so it’s really important to look at your analytics for this metric.

2. It Can Give You Insights Into Traffic Sources

Traffic sources are the places people find your videos. Without looking at your analytics, you won’t have a clue where people are finding your videos. This is important to know because when you have an idea of how people are discovering your videos, you can tailor your SEO strategy and your content to accommodate these traffic sources. It also helps you know whether your SEO strategy is working, for example, if most of your video views come from the search engine (or YouTube Search). 

3. It Can Give You Insights Into How Well Your Videos Are Performing

Great video performance isn’t measured by audience retention or watch time alone. A well-performing video also has a high engagement rate - we’re talking about comments, likes/dislikes and shares. Your analytics can uncover how much engagement your videos are generating. The higher the engagement rates, the better your video is performing on the platform! 

Channel Analytics

The Overview Tab

overview tab

The Overview tab does exactly what the name suggests - it gives you a general overview of how well your channel is performing. In it, you will find the main graph - it’ll be divided into:

  • Views
  • Watch time hours
  • Subscribers
  • Your estimated revenue

On the right hand side, you will see your Realtime graph. This graph updates “live” and shows you how many subscribers your channel has and how many views it gained over a period of 48 hours. It also shows you the top videos for the last 48 hours.

Scrolling down, you’ll find your channel’s top videos in a given period (the default is 28 days) and the latest video you uploaded (along with general stats on the video like views, impressions CTR and average view durations).  

overview tab 2

This tab is important for keeping tabs on your channel at a glance. 

From here, you can dive deeper into your channel analytics to learn even more information and gain even more insights into how well your channel is doing. 

The Reach Tab

the reach tab

This tab is all about your channel and content’s Reach on the platform. The graph shows you statistics for the following aspects:

  • Impressions - how many times your video thumbnails were shown to viewers on YouTube’s platform
  • Impressions Click-Through-Rate (CTR) - how often viewers watched your videos after seeing an impression
  • Views - channel views compared with the previous period (if your chosen period is 28 days, this will show you how many views were gained during these 28 days). 
  • Unique Viewers - An estimated number of people who watched your videos within the selected time frame. 

Scrolling down, you will find your Traffic Sources graph. This graph shows you where people find your content - 

traffic sources graph

Next to it is your Impressions And How They Led To Watch Time funnel graph. This funnel shows how many times thumbnails were shown to users on YouTube (impressions), how frequently those thumbnails resulted in a view (CTR), and how those views ultimately led to watch time - 

Impressions And How They Led To Watch Time

Then, scrolling down further, you’ll find a detailed breakdown of the video’s traffic sources. This will show you what playlists your videos are in, what search engines your videos are on, where your videos are suggested on the platform and what keywords people use to find your content on the platform - 

traffic sources 2

This tab is important for understanding how and where people find your content on the platform. It also helps you determine whether your thumbnails are working or not and whether your YouTube SEO strategy is tight enough or needs improvement. 

The Engagement Tab

the engagement tab

This tab is all about engagement on the YouTube platform. The main graph is divided into two sections:

  • Watch time (hours) - channel watchtime compared with the previous period. This includes all videos - public, private, unlisted and even deleted videos. 
  • Average view duration - average watch time per view compared with the previous period. 

Scrolling down, you will find the Key Moments For Audience Retention section. This will show you how well your audience retention is for your latest video - where do people click off, how much of your video they watch and how many people (in percentages) are still watching after 30 seconds of your video - 

key moments for audience retention

Scrolling down even further, you will find “Top” sections - meaning top videos, top videos by end screens, top end screen elements top cards and top playlists. 

top section

This is important if you want to learn more about how people are interacting with your videos - are they watching them all the way through? Are they clicking any cards or end screen elements? Are they watching your playlists?

This will also help you understand if your end screen elements are serving their purpose or not - if no one’s clicking on any, either you don’t have any cards or end screens on your videos (and you should definitely add those) or people just ignore them. If people ignore your end screens and cards, they might need some tweaking. 

The Audience Tab

the audience tab

This tab is all about who is watching your audience. The main graph is divided into three sections:

  • Unique viewers - the estimated number of people that watched your videos in the given time period
  • Average views per viewer - the average number of times a viewer watched any video on your channel. 
  • Subscribers - the change in total subscribers on your channel. 

Scrolling down, you’ll find many other sections to look at. The first two are the When Your Viewers Are On YouTube and the Subscriber Bell Notifications. These two sections allow you to see when your subscribers are usually online (and therefore when the best time to upload is) and how many of your subscribers turned on the notification bell for your channel (and are therefore interested in your videos enough to not want to miss them as soon as they go live on the platform). 

when your viewers on youtube

Up next we have Watch Time From Subscribers. This section will show you how much watch time is gained by your subscribers and how much is gained by non-subscribers. This is important because you want to know that your subscribers are watching your channel. If they’re not, maybe you’re doing something wrong or not interacting with them enough to make them want to watch your videos - 

watch time from subscribers

Then we have the Age And Gender section - 

  • This will show you what ages are watching your videos most and will allow you to tailor your content accordingly to make sure you’re making age-appropriate videos. 
  • If, for example, you find that only old people (65+ years old) watch your content but you intended it to be for 20-somethings, you might want to look into what you’re doing or saying in your video to accommodate younger audiences. 

age and gender

Next up we have the Other Channels Your Audience Watches and Other Videos Your Audience Watched - 

  • This will show you who and what your audience likes to see and will help you gather inspiration and ideas from their content to make sure you’re making videos that your audience will like. 

other channels your audiences watches

Finally, we have Top Geographies and Top Subtitles/CC Languages sections. This will show you where your audience is from and whether they’re using the subtitles/CC function while watching your videos to be able to understand them:

  • This is important because if your viewers come from a non-native language to where you’re from, you might want to consider adding subtitles and closed captions to engage a wider audience with your videos. 

top geos and subtitles

The Revenue Tab

the revenue tab

Since our example channel isn’t monetized you can’t see any data. However, if your channel is monetized, you will find all the data about your channel revenue here. The main graph is divided into three sections:

  • Your estimated revenue - total estimated revenue (net revenue) from all Google-sold ads and transactions for the selected date-range and region
  • RPM (Revenue Per Mille) - tells you how much you earned per thousand views. This includes revenue from ads, channel memberships, Super Chats and Super Stickers
  • Playback-based CPM (Cost Per Mille) - tells you how much advertisers paid per thousand monetized playbacks. 

Below this graph you’ll find other sections. The first section is your Monthly Estimated Revenue, and it will show you what your revenue was over the last six months, month-by-month. As your channel grows, so will your revenue.

monthly estimated revenues

The next two sections will show you your Revenue Sources (memberships, ads, Super Chats and Super Stickers) and your Transaction Revenue

revenue sources

Finally, you’ll see the Top Earning Videos and Ad Types sections. These sections will show you which videos are your highest-earning videos and which ad-types generate the most revenue for your channel. 

top-earning videos

This tab is important for keeping up with your money-making aspect of YouTube. 

If your revenue isn’t growing and changing, it means that people stopped watching your videos and interacting with them and that it might be time for a change. 

Keep in mind that revenue does tend to fluctuate after the holidays, so you might find that your revenue was very high during December and very low during January. That’s perfectly normal and happens to everybody on the platform. 

Video Analytics 

Your video analytics will be almost identical to your channel analytics. You will see the same graphs and sections, with minor changes -

video analytics

This tab gives you an overview of how well your video performed. The main graph is divided into four sections: 

  • Views - how many views were gained over the given time period 
  • Watch time (hours) - how much watch time your video generated over the given period
  • Subscribers - how many subscribers were gained from the video over the given period
  • Your estimated revenue - how much money was made from the video over the given period

On the right side, you will find the Realtime section. This section will show you how many views were gained over 48 hours and it updates live. 

Scrolling down, you’ll find the Key Moments In Audience Retention section, which will show you your average view duration and average percentage viewed, as well as a graph showing audience retention trends:

  • This is important because the more of your video people watch, the better your watch time hours are
  • The more watch time your video have, the better your video is performing and will be more likely to get suggested by YouTube and promoted on the SERP.

key moments

The Reach Tab

reach tab video analytics

This tab is all about the video’s reach on the platform. The main graph is divided into four sections:

  • Impressions - how many times your video’s thumbnail was shown to viewers
  • Impressions click-through-rate (CTR) - how often viewers watched your video after seeing an impression
  • Views - how many views the video gained over the given time period 
  • Unique viewers - how many people watched your content over the given time period. 

Scrolling down, you will find the Traffic Source Types chart. This chart will show you where people find your video. 

traffic sources types

You will also find the Impressions And How They Led To Watch Times funnel chart, which shows you how your impressions turned into views and watch time. 

impressions led to watch time funnel

This chart is really helpful in determining the performance of a thumbnail and your video, and is very important to look at. You wouldn’t want to miss out on it. 

Scrolling further down, you will find a breakdown of your channel traffic sources

traffic sources video analytics

This is important to make note of to find out how people are finding your video on the platform and on the internet. 

The Engagement Tab

engagement tab

The main graph is divided into two sections:

  1. Watch time (hours) - how many watch time hours this video has over the given period.
  2. Average view duration - how long people watch your video. 

Scrolling down you will find the Key Moments For Audience Retention graph, which is identical to the one in the overview tab - 

audience retention vidoe analytics

Right next to it you will find two sections: Likes (Vs. Dislikes) and End Screen Element Click Rate. These two sections will show you how people are interacting with your videos - are they liking and disliking it? Are they clicking on any end screen elements? 

  • This is important because if people aren’t interacting with your content, it’s less likely to get promoted by the algorithms
  • This will help you see the engagement rates on your video and determine whether you need to come up with a new strategy

likes and dislikes

The Audience Tab

audience tab video analytics

This tab is all about the audience themselves. The main graph is divided into three sections: 

  1. Unique viewers - meaning the estimated number of people that watched your video in the given period
  2. Average views per viewer - meaning the number of times a viewer watched this particular video
  3. Subscribers - meaning how many users clicked on subscribe after watching your video. 

Scrolling down, you will find the Watch Time From Subscribers section. This section will show you how much watch time was generated by subscribers compared to non-subscribers - 

watch time from subscribers 2

This will give you an indication of whether your subscribers are watching your content or not. If they’re not watching your content, you might want to change your content promotion and marketing strategies. 

Up next, you’ll find the Top Geographies and Top Subtitles/CC Languages sections. These will give you an indication of where your audience is from and whether or not they turned on the subtitles/CC function to watch your videos. This is important because if most of your viewers are non-natives to the language you’re speaking, you might want to consider adding subtitles and CC to make the video more accessible for audiences from all over the world.

top geos and subtitles 2

Finally we have the Age And Gender section: This section is important because you have to know who the people in your audience are in order to make tailored content that they’ll find engaging and compelling -

age and gender video analytics

The Revenue Tab

revenue tab video analytics

This tab is all about revenue for the specific video. The main graph is divided into three sections: 

  1. Your estimated revenue - meaning how much money you made from this video over the given period
  2. RPM - meaning how much you earned per thousand views
  3. Playback-based CPM - how much your advertisers paid per thousand views for this video

Scrolling down you’ll find three sections, identical to those on the channel analytics: Revenue Sources, Transaction Revenue and Ad Types.
These are important to make note of in order to maximize your revenue from certain ad types on your videos. 

You can also see which revenue source is making you the most money on that specific video - 

revenue sources video analytics

YouTube Analytics Tools


YouTube Analytics tools can help you if you’re unsure of how to use YouTube analytics or how to read YouTube analytics and you want the data and information presented to you in a more convenient way than it is presented on the Analytics page in your YouTube Studio dashboard. While this tutorial did explain how to read your YouTube analytics, you might want an external tool with more functions and metrics to help you out. So, for this, we gathered 7 of the most popular YouTube analytics tools on the internet: 

  1. Unbox Social - this is an efficient and handy tool to have if you want to track your performance on YouTube. This tool allows you to track audience response to your videos and will provide you with other information, including: how fast you get subscribers; which video attracted more viewers; which videos were shared on the internet; the duration between when a video was shared and the time it was watched; and more. 
  2. Channel Meter - This tool features a detailed dashboard filled with different kinds of data and information, organized into charts and graphs, to help you keep an eye on the performance of your YouTube channel content as well as your growth rate on YouTube. It will also allow you to compare other people’s performance to yours.
  3. Quintly- This tool is great for managing multiple YouTube channels all at once. The data this tool provides will help you build the correct strategy and will enlighten you on new opportunities to take advantage of. It’s user-friendly, easy to navigate and offers tons of meaningful and important information that will help you assess your performance on YouTube and grow accordingly. 
  4. Socialbakers- This tool offers three features that make it stand out amongst the other YouTube analytics tools out there. The first feature, the content intelligence tool, will tell you the right time to post videos, the type of videos you should post and the quality of the videos you should post. The second feature, the social media monitoring, will help you gather insights from different sources. The third feature is the audience analytics tool, and it will give you all the information you need about your audience. 
  5. Vidyard- This video analytics tool will help you track video engagement and learn more about your viewers. Their detailed analytics dashboard can let you see who’s watching your videos and for how long, so you can refine your video strategy accordingly. 
  6. ViralStat- This tool is very highly regarded in the YouTube industry. It allows you to track your competitors’ video content, so you could find out what all the hottest trends are on YouTube. It also has several reports and analysis features that will improve your general performance on the platform. 
  7. Tubular- This tool is one of the biggest players in the industry and for good reason, too. With endless data reports and information to analyze, Tubular gives you the information on a silver platter with graphs and charts to make the information more accessible and the insights gained from it are priceless. 

Conclusion

In this article, we guided you through the YouTube channel analytics and video analytics. We’ve gone through every graph, chart and section and highlighted the importance of them all, so you’ll never be confused or left wondering why YouTube deemed something important to look at. We hope you found this article useful and we wish you good luck and success in your YouTube career

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