We all know the importance of YouTube on the Web today. It’s a go-to destination for many users looking for entertainment, how-to and health-related videos. Knowing who is watching your videos, how long they watch, and where they watch can be very valuable, especially as you make content creation choices.
Luckily, YouTube is providing more and more data to channel managers via YouTube Analytics. You can pull all sorts of data about the users who view your YouTube content on your channel or across the Web. You’ll find data such as:
- Demographic information
- Device specifics
- Playback locations
- Audience retention data
- Engagement (social) data
YouTube Analytics is automatically available to you as a YouTube channel owner. Just make sure you’re signed in with your organization’s Google account that is used to manage your YouTube channel.
Once you’re logged in and on your channel’s page, find the link just below the YouTube search box to access your data:
Alternatively, you can access your Analytics dashboard by clicking your username in the top right, choosing “Video Manager”, and then choosing “Analytics” on the left navigation menu.
Note: This is the dashboard for my personal channel – hopefully you are more popular!
The dashboard provides you with an overview of your current YouTube engagement. You’ll see trends for views, minutes watched and subscribers, plus a listing of your top content.
You’ll also notice several numbers that show how users are engaging with your YouTube content – everything from likes to favorites to comments.
This view is perfect for getting a high-level assessment of how things are going, but to understand exactly how certain videos are performing, you’ll want to dig deeper.
Accessing “Views Reports”
The core of the analytics data you’ll want from YouTube pertains to how many times users have watched your videos, where they’ve watched them, and with what devices they used to view your content. The “Views Reports” is perfect for getting this information. You can access any of these reports via the menu on the left of the Dashboard.
Let’s take a look at what each report offers:
- Views provides an overview of the views each of your videos has received, as well as the average minutes watched and the average view duration.
- Demographics gives some insight into what type of audience is viewing your content. Great data for choosing your next video mission!
- Playback Locations helps you understand exactly where users are viewing your YouTube videos, whether that’s on YouTube itself, your own website, or even other websites that have embedded your content.
- Traffic Sources provides an overview of how users found your content. Clicking any of the sources listed should provide more detailed information about that source, such as what search terms the users used.
- Devices provides information about what type of devices users used to access your content. As you may expect, phone and tablet (mobile) data can be very interesting.
- Audience Retention helps you understand how long users are engaging with you on the YouTube platform. Do your videos resonate?
If you’re more curious about how users are sharing your content and commenting on what you’ve published, engagement reports will help you out. Again, you’ll find them in the left menu.
These particular reports are fairly simple, but be sure to pay close attention as this data may be the most valuable in proving that your efforts are paying off!
For example, the engagement reports can tell you which videos are being shared the most or commented on regularly. You may use this data to decide on future video content for your channel.
Go Forth & Analyze
If you’ve been using YouTube Analytics in the past, great! If not, the time to start is now. As it is with your actual website, data is one of the best tools for making smart choices when it comes to content creation.
Who knows? The data you collect and the adjustments you make to your strategy may get you the next viral video.