Understanding YouTube Analytics For Beginners

What Analytics Should YouTube Beginners focus on?

For the second part of the Youtube challenge, my goal was to understand what was working for my youtube channel. How could I better understand the analytics of what was showing in YouTube Studio (beta)? This is YouTube’s new analytic tool which provides a wealth of information from the channel view as well as the individual video data. This could all be very overwhelming to a newbie so I focused in on what I feel matters to YouTube: Watch time, Engagement and Subscribers.

Watch this Live Stream of Me Discussing the Challenge Here


More specifically I looked at YouTube Analytics from the perspective of:

  • How long were people watching the videos?
  • Were there any patterns in when people dropped off?
  • How did they find my channel or a particular video? Was there a particular pattern in where they came from in terms of how they engaged with the video? How long did they watch from various channels?
  • Did they subscribe?

Don’t focus on the wrong numbers

While it’s easy to fall into the trap of how many subscribers do I have or how many videos can I upload in a given period of time, I feel this is the wrong approach for myself as a new person using YouTube. It’s important to stress quality over quantity and that includes subscribers and number of videos.

Would you rather have people who don’t care what you post to subscribe for a vanity number or would you rather have people that resonate with your message who can’t wait to see what you post next, or to join you on a live stream and hopefully tell all their friends? I choose the former over the latter any day! Another number I will point out is likes and dislikes… If you are going to be on any social media platform, please develop a thick skin. Any way you look at it, a like or a dislike on your video counts as ENGAGEMENT on YouTube and ultimately it will work in your favor.

What did we learn focusing on Youtube Watch Time:

  • Celebrate the green – Green represents growth and improvement
  • Shorter pre-recorded videos performed the best in all categories: longer watch time, more reactions, converted subscribers
  • Live Streams created the most engagement but had shorter watch times once the video was completed
  • Videos with thumbnails had the highest click through rates and higher watch times
  • Our watch time is averaging at 6.5 minutes so do we really need to have really long videos or can the content be improved to entice viewers to watch for longer.

That’s it for this weeks YouTube challenge. Next week we will look at improving our suggested video numbers to see if this has an impact on subscribers and YouTube Search.

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