How to Mine YouTube Analytics to Understand Your Audience and Grow Your Channel

Andrew Moore-Crispin
April 11, 2024
How to use YouTube Analytics

YouTube Analytics can feel intimidating, especially if you’re inspired by the art of content creation more than the science of data analysis. But understanding these powerful metrics is essential if you dream of turning your YouTube passion into a sustainable income.

Don’t worry – you don’t need to become a data scientist. You just need to know where to look and how to extract actionable insights from YouTube analytics. 

Today, we’re breaking down YouTube Analytics step-by-step. 

Your YouTube Analytics Control Center

To access YouTube Analytics, you’ll need to be in YouTube Studio:

  1. Log in to YouTube and click on your profile icon in the top right corner.
  2. Select “YouTube Studio” from the dropdown menu.
  3. In the left-hand sidebar menu, click on the “Analytics” tab.

Now, let’s dive into the most important sections:

1. Overview Tab: Your Channel’s Vital Signs

Consider this your performance dashboard. Key metrics here include:

  • Views: Total number of times your videos have been watched.
  • Watch Time (Hours): The total time people have spent watching your content.
  • Subscribers: How many people are subscribed to your channel.
  • Estimated Revenue: Approximate earnings if you’re in the YouTube Partner Program.

Insight Power:  The Overview tab gives you a bird’s-eye view of your channel’s trajectory. Look for trends – is your channel growing steadily? Are there sudden surges or dips in viewership? This is where you’ll start to identify areas where you should take a closer look.

2. Reach Tab: How Are People Finding You?

The Reach tab reveals the journey viewers take before clicking on your videos.  Key metrics include:

  • Impressions: How many times your video thumbnails were shown to viewers.
  • Impressions Click-Through Rate (CTR): What percentage of people clicked on your video after seeing the thumbnail.
  • Views: The total number of video views from all sources.
  • Unique Viewers: How many individuals watched your videos.
  • Average View Duration: Average amount of time people spend watching a video.

Insight Power: This data is marketing gold! Learn where your videos are being seen (search results, suggested videos, etc.). Use this insight to optimize your presence there in those channels, yes… but be on the lookout for opportunities; if you’re not showing up in search, for example, spending some time with YouTube video SEO will yield dividends. 

If you have a high CTR, your thumbnails and titles are doing what they’re supposed to do: driving viewers to click. The reverse is also true. 

If you have a low Average View Duration, that suggests you’re not engaging viewers or they’re losing interest. Shoot for an average view duration of at least 50%. Look for the drop-off points in individual videos to begin to understand where you’re losing people. 

how to use YouTube analytics to uncover data gold

3. Engagement Tab: Is Your Content Hitting the Mark?

This is where you find out how your audience is interacting with your videos. Keep an eye on:

  • Average View Duration / Average Percentage Viewed: See which videos keep audiences hooked, and where they tend to drop off.
  • Likes/Dislikes: Gauge whether viewers are generally enjoying your content.
  • Comments: Look for thoughtful discussions happening around your videos.
  • Shares: Did your video inspire people to share it? That’s powerful!
  • Subscribers: Do your videos deliver such value that viewers can’t help but hit the subscribe button? 
  • End Screen Element Click-Through Rate: Do viewers want to see more from you when a video ends? Are your end screens directing viewers to your other content successfully?

Insight Power: Engagement is vital for YouTube’s algorithm and organic growth. Strong engagement metrics encourage the platform to promote your videos. Analyze comments to see what resonates with your audience and do more of that. 

If you’re not converting viewers into subscribers, ask them to subscribe! Even if it feels weird. Asking for likes and subscribes makes a huge difference.

4. Audience Tab: Get to Know Who Is Watching

Data here tells you about your viewers themselves:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, geographic location.
  • Other Channels Viewed: Understand your niche and your viewer’s interests better. Find potential YouTube collaboration partners. 
  • When Your Viewers Are on YouTube: Figure out the best time to post on YouTube for your channel specifically to schedule video releases for maximum impact. 

Insight Power: Cater your content style and topics to your core audience. Be mindful of time zones when uploading. For deeper insight into the best time to publish and to schedule videos in the optimum time slots, check out TubeBuddy Video Scheduling tools

Mastering YouTube Analytics: It’s a Process

It takes time to grasp the full picture your analytics paint. Track them consistently, compare videos, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Remember, it’s about quality content and smart strategy.And while YouTube analytics are a goldmine of insight, TubeBuddy Data and Analytics tools offer even deeper and more valuable insights, and helps creators make sense of the data. TubeBuddy puts everything in context and our AI tools help you develop your action plan.

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