Video is the king of content and YouTube is one of the best platforms for sharing your videos. Since it has been acquired by Google, YouTube has become a search engine in its own right. When people want to search for video content, they go directly to YouTube. And, for some time now, YouTube channel owners can make money from ads displayed before their videos through the YouTube Partner Program.
All these considerations point out to a conclusion: you need to keep track on the metrics of your YouTube channel if you want to be successful in attracting followers and making money with your videos. The Creator Studio of your YouTube channel is the place to go, not just to edit your videos but also to monitor their performances.
You can access metrics that interest you by clicking on the Analytics tab in the Creator Studio panel. Once you do that, you will see various graphs and categories of metrics. Here are the ones you should monitor continuously:
This metric shows you how many times your videos were clicked or tapped on for viewing. This metric used to be of paramount importance before the new rules of YouTube Partner Program (YPP) were enforced in January 2018. However, you must continue monitoring this metric, but not by itself.
Together with watch time (more about this below), the traffic source and playback locations, the total views of your YouTube videos give you valuable insight on how your viewers found your content and help you devise new strategies for promoting your videos.
- Watch Time
The new YPP rules place an increased importance on this metric. The watch time indicates the total time viewers are watching your videos. To qualify for YPP you need to have at least 4,000 hours of watch time per year (or 240,000 minutes).
But that is not the only reason to keep track of the Watch Time metric. Combined with the total number of views, you can estimate how long people spend watching your videos. The next metric helps you do that as well.
- Average View Time
The success of a video depends on how long it runs. People do not have the time and patience to watch long videos, unless they are extremely valuable in terms of entertainment or information they contain.
The Average View Time is a very important metric, because it shows you how much viewers spend watching your videos. If there is a significant discrepancy between this metric and your average video length, then you need to rethink your strategy and create shorter and more engaging videos.
- Top 10 Videos
We all love tops, and especially a top of our own content. This metric shows the top performing videos uploaded on your YouTube account in terms of: watch time, and number of views, likes and comments. The top helps you understand what your followers like best and adapt your future content according to their preferences.
Just because people watch your videos, it does not mean that they like them. Compared to other social media platforms, YouTube allows users to indicate that they dislike a video. The Likes/Dislikes ratio is important to monitor over time. If it inclines towards negative feelings concerning your content, the number of views and the total watch time becomes irrelevant.
To avoid getting many dislikes, stay away from sensitive and controversial topics, even if they are trending at a certain moment.
- Traffic Sources
Where do your viewers come from? Organic searches? Paid advertising? Suggested videos by YouTube? Keeping track of the evolution of your traffic sources helps you create an efficient and cost-effective marketing strategy. For instance, if you have a low number of suggested video sources it may be because you do not use relevant keywords as tags for your videos and in the title and description.
- Top Geographies
Do your videos reach the intended audience by location? Or do you get a lot of views from countries and regions where you are not doing business? This is key information if you are trying to target videos and ads to a specific community, and it helps you see if your content is actually relevant for them.
This metric is also valuable if you are on the brink of expanding your business – it will reveal to you the location where people are already familiar with your brand through your videos.
- Playback Locations
What do your viewers use to watch your videos: the YouTube site, the website where your videos are embedded, or the mobile app? This metric tells you a lot about your viewers’ browsing habits. Thus, you can tailor your content for the specific device they prefer in terms of duration and targeting.