YouTube Analytics: YouTube Tracking Full Guide

If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably created some videos and distributed them on YouTube. Perhaps, you’re interested in content seeding but lack a basic understanding of YouTube Analytics. We at Explain Ninja have already learned the YouTube tracking from A to Z and will equip you with this indispensable knowledge.

Hurry up to read our new guide on the essential YouTube metrics and their value for your business promotion!

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Illustration by Salmorejo Studio

What is YouTube Analytics?

While YouTube is the largest global video-sharing platform, YouTube Analytics is an effective tool to measure your channel’s statistics and manage your content creation strategy over time. By accessing this valuable data source, you’ll feel more confident in choosing your future topics, trends, types of videos, and overall marketing direction. 

Consider YouTube tracking an essential guide to attracting more traffic to your channel and your brand. The regular analysis of watch time, audience retention, engagement spans, and earning statistics will keep you on the right track when communicating with your target audience. And the ROI increase will prove your strategic accuracy!

Why Measuring Your YouTube Analytics is so Important?

By understanding YouTube Analytics properly and deeply, you’ll get the key to improving your channel’s reach, popularity, and profit from this type of marketing. Not to be lost in this new process, pay attention to the major metrics of your account and find out how to see YouTube Analytics function by function. Do it with video tutorials or our YouTube Analytics guide!

Understand Your TA’s Age

Believe us, it’s worth your time! Social algorithms are the dark matter. You’ll never predict the outcome of each marketing action if you ignore complex analytics findings. For instance, before putting video creation on stream, clarify the viewers’ demographics. Typically, the predominant age of YouTube’s audience is between 25 and 34. Yet, it may depend on the topic.

Get to Know Your Viewers’ Background

Another case to account for is geolocation or, in other words, the cultural diversity of your viewers. Again, while looking at the issue on a global scale, you’ll find India, the United States, and Indonesia as the most numerous YouTube communities. But it’s your channel specifics that determine what teams you’re gathering around your brand. Be aware of that!

How to Use YouTube Analytics?

There are only two ways you can choose when thinking about how to view YouTube channel statistics — a web version and a mobile application. Whatever you pick to find the data in, it’ll be called YouTube Studio. And this magic toolkit will constantly update you on the channel’s overview, reach, engagement, and audience. 

By choosing a web version, you’ve got an opportunity to use various analytical reports and export them to Google Sheets or .csv files. On the contrary, referring to the YouTube Studio app, you’ll get the easy-to-use, convenient pocket format to assist you in correcting the video marketing strategy on the go. 

YouTube Metrics Explained

As YouTube Studio is rich in analytical functions, we’ve decided to get you acquainted with the ten most essential metrics in granular detail. They’re suitable for both newbies conquering this marketing platform and the experienced YouTubers who wish to tap the deepest reaches of the audience’s souls. Let’s get it started!

1. Channel Watch Time

That’s one of the key YouTube Analytics metrics that quickly estimate your channel’s popularity. It operates on real-time data and informs you about the slightest shifts in content watching. Calculated in hours, the channel watch time parameter will help you realize what types of videos and topics are in greater demand for your viewers.

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Account for these observations will help you cherrypick the future themes to ponder upon and adjust the content marketing strategy per the audience’s interests. Besides, don’t ignore such factors as relevance, usefulness, and novelty of the topic, which should set the rhythm to your ideas generation. The care about these constituents will make your videos more engaging.

2. Traffic Sources

Do you know that there exist a few traffic source types on YouTube? In simple words, that’s the information touchpoints. They tell where and how users get acquainted with the YouTube video content. These traffic sources incorporate search, browse functions, playlists, and recommendation lists. Each of them relies on a unique YouTube algorithm.

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This screenshot shows the range of representation within the different traffic source types. Being attentive to these hints, you can broaden your YouTube marketing strategy by refining the ways which are less traffic-driving for the time being. Everything can be changed through the focused effort, right? And the Advanced Mode can support you on the way forward!

3. Average View Duration

As the average reading time for the text content, the average view duration is essential to measure the depth of users’ dive into the video materials. Be extremely careful about this metric as it shows how long you can retain your viewers watching the channel’s pieces. Quite helpful, isn’t it? Then you can rewatch the content to guess the reason for their clicking away.

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Looking at some numbers in the YouTube tracking tool won’t help you reshape your content marketing approach. Never switch off your critical thinking and play hard to get right to the gist! Place yourself into the user’s shoes, forget everything you know, and try to feel their way to assess whether a video content presents what’s expected from its title. And be sincere!

4. Impressions Click-Through Rate

This metric evaluates your channel’s potential in clicking to watch your video after seeing some advertising about it. YouTube users can take the bait from the suggested videos section, trending section, or even their account’s homepages. Whatever the source for the CTR is, it means that the topic resonates with the viewers’ taste and serves its purpose.

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The deliberate analysis of CTR impressions is most likely to show you the path to your audience’s growth and, what’s more, their stable reactions to the new content pieces. Don’t undervalue the weight of this factor! Better learn how to use it to raise trust in your service or product and link it to the overall content marketing plan. Early preparation never hurts!

5. Audience Retention

That’s one of the best and quick methods to analyze the size of your target audience and its absolute and relative loyalty in the percentage of viewers. Then, based on these qualitative results, you can make some conclusions about the channel’s search rankings. Conclusions help you build up your future video strategy following viewers’ reactions to the previous video pieces. 

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Staying abreast of your audience’s bursts of activity is the right tactic for capturing their attention in a steady progression. Make sure your videos include engaging elements and interesting/helpful information to motivate watching them till the very end. Don’t overcomplicate your explanations. Instead, use conversational, simple vocabulary while interacting with viewers.

6. Re-watches

What can be more illustrative of your users’ genuine interest in video content than the re-watches? Playing the video for the second time or more conveys a clear-cut message of favoring your content. Utility and entertainment usually come first in the list of ‘why’ factors, but the unique manner of presenting the material or the non-traditional topic may matter too.

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Figure out what causes the re-watches of the video content after looking at the rising curves in the absolute audience retention graph. If you’re unsure about your assumptions, invite the other teammates to the shared group brainstorming. Put down everything that comes to your and others’ minds and plan the future media coverage to test each of the ideas one by one.

7. Unique Viewers

Another significant YouTube Analytics metric relates to the number of people interested in watching the channel’s videos over a definite period. Paying attention to this figure, you’ll understand the actual size of your active subscribers and viewers. And these revelations are going to take you to the user-centric content and deeper engagement with your videos.

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However, don’t be too critical of yourself while taking the first steps on the YouTube marketing platform. In most cases, popularity comes with time, so don’t expect to make hype in the first weeks of launching the channel and uploading your videos to it. On the contrary, be rational and think of ways to make your content seen by a greater number of users.

8. Subscriber Growth

The tendency to attract new subscribers to your YouTube channel is another sign of things going right. If this is a regular trend in your account, add a few introductory explainer videos to get your newbies quickly familiar with your story. Make it simple, short, and emotionally arousing to create an excellent first impression and evoke the viewers’ interest. 

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Though the number of subscribers doesn’t always correspond to the exact number of potentially interested users, it’s a reasonable metric to take as a reference point and realize a public commitment to your brand. Moreover, as they’re the followers of your channel, it implies that YouTube will send them immediate notifications in case something new appears. 

9. Keywords

If you thought that the SEO improvement was required only for texts, you would be surprised to find keywords are also necessary for videos. Well, Google ranking isn’t limited to articles and different web pages! The YouTube videos desperately need SEO support, so make a logical connection between viewers’ queries and your videos’ titles.

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So, what’s the step-by-step guide to gathering this information and using it correctly in video marketing campaigns? 

  1. Come to the Traffic Sources Report in the YouTube Analytics account’s menu tree. 
  2. In this section, go directly to YouTube’s Search Report, which gives you an overview of the most popular users’ requests connected to your videos. 
  3. Analyze all the viewers’ queries to see how they’ve driven the interested users to your particular video pieces.
  4. If the queries somehow differ from your video’s topic, make the corresponding changes in your metadata and insert the keywords if needed. 
  5. Point out the list of topic recommendations you need to account for while creating the new editorial calendar.

By following these simple rules, you’ll make your video content more user-focused and get more viewers. Thus, the general channel’s statistics will improve. Learn from these insights and create the content marketing plan per users’ popular queries. At least to the extent they correlate with your channel’s topic specifics and goals. 

10. Playlist Engagement

Any type of content needs a good structure, and videos on YouTube are no exception. Even if your videos are interesting, relevant, and engaging, the lack of proper organization in the playlists can cause a headache for users. Don’t make a mistake that can cost you lost subscribers! Instead, divide all your video pieces into categories to ease up UX.

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If your channel is only in the bud, try to plan at least some of the future playlists you will create. The editorial calendar will make this job more convenient and transparent while you won’t lose track of staying digestible and intuitive to your audience. At the same time, YouTube Analytics will be your unbiased evaluator on the efficacy of your content sorting out.

As for YouTube’s assistance in this process, you can analyze the playlist engagement by two metrics from YouTube’s Playlist Report. They’re the views per playlist start (how many people watched the videos from this category in total) and average time in a playlist (how much time they spent watching on average). By combining the two, work on the retention progress.

Do You Want to Create Your Own Video? Feel Free to Contact Us!

We hope that now you’re more confident in understanding YouTube tracking and planning to use it more actively and consciously in your future video marketing. But if you prefer delegating this video creation job to Explain Ninja, we’re ready to relieve your pain and doubts! Being the experts in video creation for businesses, we’ll do it exclusively well!


These ten major metrics described above are the ones we advise you to start with. Later on, you’ll be able to give deeper and open up some new supporting evidence from the YouTube Studio. However, this list is more than enough to realize how to see YouTube Analytics and access your channel’s video marketing strategy.

If you’re eager to create a video for marketing, contact us and we’ll supply you with the unique, customer-tailored video pieces to build a long-term and robust rapport with the target audience. Remember, today is the best moment!

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