Navigating the Analytics panel on YouTube is agonizing if you do not know what you're seeing, which is a pity, since it's one of the most useful resources available to a content creator to measure how well it's on the platform. Luckily, once you've broken it, it's pretty easy.
What it all means
Open the Analytics page and take a look at the main charts in the middle. The default YouTube period is 28 days (4 weeks). You can use the drop-down list in the top right corner to change this scale to monthly, weekly, daily, or anytime.
The Analytics page is divided into sections:
- Time: This section shows how long users viewed your videos during the selected time period. This is measured in minutes, making the number appear much larger. If that's true, it probably just means more people are engaging with your content.
- Average viewing time: This section shows the average time people spend watching individual videos. If you see this peak, it probably means that a video you've published is more than normal to viewers. You can get a more detailed analysis by viewing the page of this video separately.
- Views: This section is pretty simple and shows how many people clicked on your videos during the selected time period.
- Your estimated sales:
- Other numbers: The other options on the Analytics page are fairly self-explanatory, measuring just about every interaction a viewer can have with your content
In all These sections will also display an up or down icon that will help you to see if statistics have improved or not compared to the previous period (as in the previous month, when viewing the default 28-day time scale). This is useful for keeping track of how your channel behaves over time.
More detailed statistics
The default Analytics page is great, but the YouTube beta studio is even better. It is better laid out and it also has some interesting statistics. Another nice thing about the beta studio is that it is updated live. You do not have to wait for normal analytics to arrive, which can take a few days with the default Analytics page.
One important factor in tracking is the impressions. This will give you an idea of how your video works with the algorithms of YouTube. If you get more impressions, YouTube might like you more. These impressions cause users to click on your thumbnails (click-through rate) and see the time, depending on how long they watch your video. Playback time is very important because YouTube's algorithm strongly prefers watch time. You can read more about the details here.
CONNECTED: How does the YouTube algorithm work?
On the "Build a Audience" tab, you can see how many unique viewers you have per day, and how much of that watch time is from subscribers. That way, you can get a sense of how many people have subscribed to your channel after watching one of your videos.
If you click the Best Videos widget on the Overview tab, this is displayed with this nice channel overview showing performance per video over time, with detailed statistics below.
Overall, YouTube's analysis is very thorough, even though it's a bit difficult to navigate. Instead, they have more statistics and data to think about than less.
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