Analyze your video performance on YouTube

1. Navigate to the YouTube Analytics dashboard and find all your performance metrics by going to YouTube Studio > Analytics.

2. Familiarize yourself with the different tabs of the dashboard: Overview, Reach, Engagement, and Audience.

You can view each of these tabs either for your overall channel or for specific videos: Overview: Shows Views, Watch Time, Subscribers. This page will open by default. Come here for an at a glance look at your channel’s current performance and recent growth. Reach: Shows Impressions, Impressions Click-Through-Rate (CTR), Views, and Unique Viewers. You’ll also find statistics related to traffic sources. Come here to track the performance of campaigns from your other marketing sources, like social media, that relate to your channel. Engagement: Shows Watch Time in hours and Average View Duration. Channel Analytics also shows your top videos, videos by end screen, playlists, cards, and end screen elements. Video Analytics show audience retention, likes vs. dislikes, and end screen element click rate. Come here for insights on your viewer retention and ways to make sure you are getting full views through your videos. This is especially important if you run mid-roll ads.  Audience: Shows Unique Viewers, Average Views Per Viewer, and Subscribers. You will also find demographic information about your audience. Come here to find who your content appeals to so that you can tailor your content to them.

3. Set a goal for your analysis by specifying what performance means to you.

For some channels, performance may be best measured by views, for others it will be watch time, subscribers, or any combination of metrics. Example goals include:  Earn more views. Keep subscribers engaged. Reach a more diverse audience. Increase traffic to a website. Choose your YouTube performance goals by relating your video efforts to your larger marketing strategy. For example, if your goal is brand awareness, your YouTube goal may be to earn more views.

4. Identify the key metrics for your analysis by quantifying the goals you have set.

For example: To earn more views, evaluate existing view count, returning vs. new viewers, or impressions. To engage subscribers, evaluate subscriber watch time, likes and dislikes, card clicks, or comment count. To reach more diverse audiences, evaluate audience demographics and traffic sources. To increase traffic to a website, evaluate card or end screen clicks. Your specific metrics may differ from the above based on your goals. Two different channels may also choose to look at different metrics for the same goal, so a strong familiarity with the YouTube Analytics dashboard is crucial to tailor your analysis to your specific needs.

5. Find what has historically performed best on your channel by using Advanced Mode.

Advanced Mode allows you to compare performance over time. Use the tabs on the top of the page to choose the dimension you will measure, for example, Video, Traffic Source, then the drop-down boxes above the graph to choose metric, for example, Views, Impressions.

6. Compare performance across different metrics by selecting both a primary and secondary metric to display at the same time.

This allows you to measure multidimensional performance on the same goal. For example, you can measure a video’s performance in reaching your engaging subscriber’s goal by evaluating both subscriber watch time and comment count. For more advanced analysis, you can use the dedicated Compare to function to compare specific videos, periods, and groups within your core metrics.

7. Customize your date range to view detailed breakdowns of specific instances of success or failure.

If you experiment with new content, use this function to measure success like an A/B test. For example, you can choose monthly date ranges before and after pushing a new type of content to see how it impacted your performance on core metrics. On a broad scale, expanding your date range allows you to see large scale impacts of your content strategy as well as overall channel and brand growth.

8. Connect your account to external analytics tools to expand your dataset and improve your analysis.

For example, TubeBuddy is a browser extension that includes many of the data points from YouTube Analytics and more. It adds to the platform’s internal analytics through enhanced data visualizations, like pie and bar graphs, and more direct A/B testing opportunities with percentage comparisons. The tool can also help you implement and expedite video publication and optimization through SEO analytics and publishing templates.

9. Save and export your analytics for reports and implementation.

Once you have finished your analysis, save your results for future reference. Adjust your channel marketing plans to work with your findings and work towards your goals. Revisit your analytics at least once a month to track ongoing growth.