Understanding YouTube Analytics You Need to Grow

YouTube’s analytics platform serves many purposes, but for content creators on YouTube, there are some key insights that will be most helpful in improving your videos and growing your audience. We’ll go through those types of analytics one by one and discuss what each means for content creators. The goal is to understand the YouTube analytics that you need to grow your channel successfully.

Before we begin, though, it will be helpful to have a basic understanding of how to find the data you’re looking for via YouTube Analytics. To access your Analytics dashboard, just go to youtube.com/analytics. From there, you’ll be able to see your data in real-time.

The dashboard houses many different types of analytics about your videos, but we’ll focus on the most important ones. Here are the nine most important YouTube analytics to help you build a better audience and a better channel overall.


Views are at the top of the list because they are by far the most important thing to pay attention to when you’re trying to grow your channel. Views tell you how many times people have watched one of your videos, and if your views aren’t increasing over time, it’s very difficult for your channel to grow.

It’s easy to think of views as a metric that tells you how many people have watched your video, but they’re actually more important than that. In fact, there are three things you can learn from views:

a) How many times people have started watching your videos

Your views give you a sense of how likely someone is to watch one of your videos. If, for example, someone starts watching your video and doesn’t finish the first 5-10 seconds, it’s unlikely they will continue watching. You can use this information to improve your thumbnails, titles, and descriptions. With these insights, you can make a video that can accurately fit what viewers are looking for.

b) How far into the video people start watching

YouTube Analytics will show you how long it takes someone to get to where they stop watching or leave your video. This may seem obvious if you just look at the number, but it’s important to remember that being able to see where someone leaves your video will inform you on what parts of your video are engaging and which ones aren’t. If 30% of people watching up until a certain point leave, it means there’s something in your video that isn’t holding someone’s attention. You can use this information to make improvements where you need it most.

c) How long people watch your video for

The amount of time someone watches your video is one of the best YouTube analytics metrics because it’s an indication of how engaging your content is. Engagement is key in growing a channel, and if someone isn’t engaging with your content, it’s unlikely that they will watch another one of your videos. It doesn’t mean that you’re not making content that people are interested in, it just means that the way you’re delivering it isn’t capturing their attention or hooking them enough to hold on for longer.

2. Watch Time

Watch time is the total amount of watch time that your videos have received. It’s also sometimes referred to as “audience retention.”

It’s important for your content to earn enough watch time so people can find it later on. This can be especially crucial if you do any advertising, since advertisers will only pay for ads that people actually watched.

Further, it refers to the average length of time an individual spends on your channel while it’s active. This metric is probably the second most important statistic for YouTubers because it directly impacts how YouTube determines which videos to show in their “Up Next” feature, along with how much your subscribers will engage with your content. The more time someone spends on your channel, the higher the probability that they’ll watch another one of your videos.

3. Subscribers

Although views and watch time are the most important statistics in YouTube analytics, subscribers are not far behind. Having a large number of subscribers means that you’ll be able to gain more views in the long run since videos with more subscribers tend to get higher search rankings (and therefore more organic views). Furthermore, it’s easier to build a community of like-minded people who are interested in engaging with your content if you already have an established audience.

4. Impressions

Impressions are probably one of the more complicated metrics in YouTube Analytics – and definitely something that you want to pay attention to. An impression is counted each time a person sees a thumbnail for your video, whether it’s as a result of someone searching or being auto-suggested by YouTube. It indicates the number of times your content was displayed on other users’ YouTube feeds. You can see how many people have seen one of your videos in their search results or when they’re scrolling through suggested videos.

This number isn’t directly indicative of whether your video is successful, but it does have an indirect influence on success since YouTube uses this metric to suggest relevant content for users. A high impression count means that you’ll be more likely to appear in the “Up Next” suggestions, which can lead to more views in the long run.

5. Impression Click-Through Rate

The impression click-through rate measures how often users clicked on your content when they saw it in their feeds. This is different from your conversion rate because it isn’t an actual conversion. Instead, the impression click-through rate is a measure of your content’s engagement and relevance to the users who saw it in their feeds.

Although impressions, as a general metric, are an indicator of success, just being on someone’s feed isn’t good enough. Impression click-through rate is another gauge of how likely it is that people will interact with your content. A high impression click-through rate means that viewers are interested in what you have to say and they want to learn more.

6. Unique Viewers

Although views are the most important statistic in YouTube Analytics, unique viewers is one of the most significant metrics to pay attention to if you’re looking for a deeper understanding of your audience. This metric measures how many different accounts watched at least one of your videos within a certain time period. If you have more unique viewers, your content is likely more global and not limited to a particular area.

Unique viewers is different from total views because it doesn’t measure how many times your video was played. It measures how many unique accounts watched at least one of your videos within a given time period. This is important for understanding who watches your content and the extent to which they’re interested in what you have to say.

This statistic shows how many individual YouTube accounts viewed your content during a given time frame. This number might be lower than your impressions for several reasons:

  • Not all YouTube users are logged in to their accounts when they’re watching videos (i.e., some users don’t use the site on a regular basis).
  • The same user could watch your video multiple times during that time frame, but it will only be counted once.
  • The number of unique viewers for a given video may be artificially limited by YouTube.
  • The number of unique viewers for a given time frame may be artificially high or low, depending on your specific audience demographic. A video with an international audience might have more than one viewer per account, while an American family might only have two accounts between them.

7. Average View Duration (AVD)

This analytics metric measures how long someone watches your video. If people stay for a longer time, it can be an indication that they’re interested in your content and topic.

It is the average time a user spends on your video. While this metric doesn’t directly impact your actual watch time numbers, it might help you understand which types of content are most valuable to users who visit your channel. In other words, videos that hold a viewer’s interest for longer periods of time will contribute more to your total watch time.

8. Revenue Per Thousand Impressions (RPM)

While high view counts help drive up your revenue, the RPM metric provides a good sense of how valuable every 1,000 impressions are for your channel. This metric tells you if viewers are watching and engaging with your content or if they’re simply scrolling past it.

Revenue per thousand impressions is an estimation of how much money you would make by displaying a thousand video ads. RPM is important for understanding the value of every 1,000 impressions you receive and how much revenue your content brings in as a result.

The RPM statistic is one of the most important statistics to consider when you’re using your YouTube channel for advertising. It measures how much it would cost you to run one thousand ad impressions on your video. RPM varies significantly depending on who’s doing the advertising, so advertisers tend to look at this stat when they’re considering which YouTubers to partner with.

9. Cost Per Mile (CPM)

The CPM statistic can be used to measure your video’s performance across different advertising channels. It essentially tells you how much it would cost for an advertiser to place a 1,000-mile ad on your video. This is another important metric since not all advertisers use the same ads on every channel they advertise with.

Why Does this Matter?

By tracking your analytics and using this information to improve your content, you can increase the likelihood of successful video marketing. By continuing to track these numbers, you can consistently measure your progress towards success and make necessary adjustments along the way.

Knowing that the key metrics for viewer demand like AVD and likes can get you onto the YouTube Recommendations will help you go over your previous content and replicate what works in future videos.

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