YouTube marketing and not just advertising on the platform has become essential over the years. Some digital marketers get hooked on tracking numerous metrics. However, it is necessary to remain focused and measure KPIs that are directly related to your business’ end goal. This article will provide you with the details on YouTube Analytics and measurements that matter in 2020/21. Thus, saving you time and energy in finalising the metrics that will suit your channel’s aims and objectives.

1. Watch Time

Like any online business, YouTube aims for user engagement. Therefore, it only recommends and shows videos in the viewers’ interest area that have a higher watch time. In simple terms, watch time is the total amount of minutes viewers have spent watching a particular video. So, make sure your videos are relevant to your audience and have a higher watch time for them to appear in homepages of your potential viewers. Watch time gives greater insights into what type of video works over others and helps you optimise your strategy. Thus, generating greater revenues for your channel.

2. Audience Retention

Another interesting metric that is vital to track is the audience retention that shows you the percentage of viewers who watch and leave your video in between the watch time. YouTube promotes videos with high audience retention in their search rankings and suggestions because these videos can effectively capture a viewer’s attention. Audience retention can also inform your future video strategy. The most engaging parts of your video could be your next best video topics. And watching your video during steep dips of engagement will tell you what might be boring your viewers, allowing you to scrap those elements from current and future videos.

In YouTube’s audience retention report, there will be two graphs: the absolute retention curve and relative retention curve. The absolute retention curve shows you how well your videos retain viewers. And the relative retention shows you how well one of your videos retains viewers compared to all other YouTube videos of similar length.

3. Subscriber Growth

Subscribers are important, but not more than the watch time, which helps you generate substantial revenue and visibility in the already cluttered platform. However, subscribers help with word of mouth advertising, they are your advocates and will likely view your video 2 times more than non-subscribers. YouTube’s Subscribers Report gives you complete information on videos, viewer locations and time period of gains and losses of subscribers. Eventually, you will be well informed and prioritise your subscriber needs before your own wishlist. Subsequently, creating a video that will increase your watch time, and boost your search rankings.

4. Traffic Sources

Traffic sources are an interesting metric, this helps you learn how and from where the viewers are coming to your videos. For example, for many channels social media remains a good feed from where viewers land directly to their content. Therefore, they exactly know where to further optimise to generate quality watch time and increasing subscriber base. Referrals also come from YouTube itself, through search, recommendation section and homepage. Hence, it is important to know your audience and make quality videos that have higher watch time to feature in viewers homepage on YouTube.

5. Re-watches

Re-watches pin-points exactly the part of the video that viewers like the most. To be honest, it cannot be stressed enough how great this metric is in terms of the content strategy and what works best for your channel. Re-watches are rising curves in the graph that can be found in the absolute audience retention graph.

6. Engagement

This is by far the well-known metric and usually the first you’ll go and check because it just makes sense. Engagement is the tracking of comments, shares, likes, and dislikes that provides you with qualitative data. In YouTube’s Interactions Report, each engagement element highlights your viewers sentimental and emotional analysis. Comments explicitly determine the viewers’ viewpoint on your videos, shares are an endorsement to your videos, while likes and dislikes sends a clear-cut message on the acceptance of your videos.

Engagement must be evaluated thoroughly as it is the voice of your customer.

7. Impressions Click-Through Rate

The Impressions click-through rate shows how many people have clicked on your video after seeing it on their homepage. When your video title and thumbnail connect with your audience you may see a higher click-through rate. However, it is necessary to see this metric in full by correlating it to the average percentage viewed and average view duration. This will explain if viewers watched the entire video or just left in the beginning, helping to determine whether the title or thumbnail was misleading.

8. Card Click-Through-Rate

Displaying cards (such as subscribe or to watch other popular videos from the channel) at the end of the video is a popular strategy for YouTube videos. Each cards’ click-through rate gives insights into the viewers’ actions. This insight will help you in boosting your watch time, subscriber growth, or website traffic. Easy way to find this metric is to look at it in the Cards Report.

9. Demographics

Demographics are a great way to have insights into your audience. YouTube’s demographics report will segment your viewers by age, gender, and location. This way you can exactly know who your viewers are and where they are located, helping you create content specific to the target audience that have a natural inclination towards your channel’s content. Nevertheless, if your target market is different, with such insights you may look to pivot and create content that will capture your true audience.


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