YouTube Analytics: Metrics You Need to Pay Attention to

Kristina Žiaukė

Kristina Žiaukė is a content manager at sixads that helps to increase traffic and attract buyers to online stores.

If you’ve not already subscribed to the wonderful world of video marketing, your brand is missing out on a massive section of the global market.

Globally, audiences watch over one billion hours of YouTube every day, with YouTube hoarding a massive 37% of all mobile internet traffic, making it the second most visited website in the world. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to make the most out of your YouTube channel with the YouTube Analytics dashboard. Covering everything from how many views your videos are getting to the exact second viewers get bored of your content, you can use these ingenious tools to maximize your content and get your message across.

A Brief Intro to YouTube for Business and Its Analytics Dashboard

So, now you know how profitable a well-targeted YouTube channel can be, it’s time to dive deeper into how you can use YouTube analytics to build your audience, increase brand awareness, and take a potentially decent income.

How to find YouTube Analytics

Before you start looking at your channel’s YouTube metrics, you need to know where to find this information.

Getting to the YouTube Analytics dashboard is simple and can be done from any webpage.

  1. Click or tap on your profile picture in the top right-hand corner of the webpage.
  2. Select “YouTube Studio.”
  3. Choose the “Analytics” option from the list on the left-hand side of the dashboard.

YouTube Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics are measured on YouTube similarly to any other social media platform, with likes and dislikes making up the bulk of what constitutes a successful, engaging channel or video. Comments, shares, and playlist followers are also vital for measuring engagement.

Card and end screen reports

An end card is a YouTube feature that appears in the final 5-10 seconds of a video. They are often used to promote other videos and playlists or direct a viewer to buy merchandise or visit an external website. You can also embed cards throughout your video, directing viewers to complete specific CTAs or watch other relevant content.

YouTube end cards feature

By checking your card and end screen reports in YouTube Analytics, you can see whether your CTAs are effective or if your cards are being ignored. You can also monitor what points of your videos offer the best clickthrough rates and/or whether you’re including relevant cards to the video content and topic.

ProTip: Use the YouTube Watch Time metric (discussed below) to figure out where viewers are dropping off on your videos, and embed a card around that point with a CTA to keep your audience engaging with your brand.

Likes and dislikes

Of course, we don’t need to tell you that ‘likes’ are good and ‘dislikes’ are bad, but monitoring these closely can help you establish what sort of content your audience wants more/less.

Rather than thinking of ‘dislikes’ as the end of the world, these markers can provide valuable information on what makes your audience tick, and both likes and dislikes still count as engagement.

Consider whether each video is well made, addresses a relevant issue, and the title/thumbnail accurately represents what your video/brand is all about.

ProTip: If your videos are receiving ‘dislikes,’ check the comments to see what people are saying. You might be surprised how regularly you can find out precisely what your viewers think without any effort at all.

Most liked playlists

This YouTube metric lets you see which of your playlists are in high rotation. Not only can you see which playlists are popular, but you’ll also be able to check out the total views, average view duration, and watch time, as well as many other valuable engagement insights.

You can also break this down to discover which videos in a playlist have been well received. Some might benefit from deletion or moving to the end of the playlist.

Check most liked playlists on YouTube

ProTip: Including a range of videos from other creators can boost your discoverability and improve retention rates. If your videos have been included in other creators’ playlists, this can also be highly valuable for your brand.

Youtube Revenue Metrics

We’ve already looked at how lucrative YouTube can be, both for advertisers and successful content creators, but how does YouTube Analytics help you monitor and improve your revenue? The answer is the YouTube Revenue Metrics tab.

Revenue sources

Under this heading, YouTube will break down exactly how your channel is making money. This can include advertisers, paid content, and more.

By understanding precisely where your YouTube revenue is coming from, you can tailor future content to aid these income streams and ensure you’re getting the maximum profits from each video.

ProTip: Let’s face it, everyone hates it when their favorite YouTube video is constantly being interrupted by ads. Finding the right balance between boosting income and not irritating your viewers is crucial for a lucrative YouTube channel.

Estimated revenue

YouTube’s estimated revenue metric includes income from all revenue sources and lets you view how much money your channel has made in a specific time frame.

YouTube breaks down revenue into RPM (Revenue Per Mille) and CPM (Costs Per Mille/Thousand). It’s also crucial to note the distinction between YouTube’s Estimated Revenue (revenue from all income types) and Estimated Ad Revenue (revenue from the ads featured on your videos).

ProTip: If you’re not familiar with the YouTube revenue metrics, it’s well worthwhile checking out the support page so you can accurately monitor your income streams.

Youtube Video Metrics

No matter whether you’ve created a full-blown cinematic production or a short and sweet series of clips, it’s crucial to track the performance of every video you produce. You can easily view the metrics for your videos on YouTube by clicking on that video from your YouTube dashboard.

Video subscribers

This metric shows you how many viewers subscribed to your channel after watching a specific video.

If a particular video resulted in a boost to your YouTube subscribers, this is a good indicator that the content was valuable and well received. On the other hand, if your subscribers dropped after watching a video, you know that certain content may not be appropriate for your target audience.

ProTip: If you find your subscribers drop off after watching a particular video, compare the content to more successful videos. Did you say something that could be offensive? Was the topic different from your regular content? Was the production or editing quality lower than usual? Are the title and description appropriate?

Views and watch time

It’s pretty clear to see how many views a YouTube video has had, but did you know YouTube analytics allows you to break these down to see how much of each video your viewers watch before they turn it off?

Watch Time is the primary driver of YouTube’s algorithms. Channels and videos with the highest watch times show up higher in search results and recommendations, so it’s an essential metric for establishing a successful YouTube brand.

ProTip: In addition to being vital for YouTube’s algorithms, you can also use this metric to establish whether you’re producing ageless, ‘evergreen’ content or whether your videos are only relevant for a short time.

Audience retention

Similar to views and watch time, this audience retention shows how far through your video an individual user got before they stopped watching.

Audience retention is an essential measure of how successful a YouTube video is, as it lets you see not only how many people have watched your video, but also at what point they got bored. You can also spot spikes in videos that let you know a viewer has re-watched a specific section of the content, which might give you some inspiration for future content.

ProTip: Use these metrics to figure out where to put cards or ask viewers to like/subscribe before they stop watching.

Audience Metrics

Any successful e-commerce business owner knows that the secret to success is in thoroughly understanding your target market and audience.

Audience demographics

YouTube’s audience demographics enable you to see who is watching your content. This includes key features, including the age, gender, and geographical location of your viewers.

Subtitles for YouTube videos for international audience

ProTip: If you have viewers from other countries, consider adding subtitles or videos in their native language. If you’re running an e-commerce business and aren’t currently operating in an area with high view rates, you might want to make your services available in these locations (this is particularly easy if you’re running a dropshipping business).

Unique viewers

This YouTube metric shows the total number of individual viewers your videos have had over a specific period. Unlike the overall view count, this doesn’t include multiple views from the same person.

This can help establish whether your content is relevant to a broad audience or whether it’s just the same few people boosting your view count. You can also see whether (and how often) people are re-watching your videos, which can be a valuable insight into how useful your content is.

Unique viewers in YouTube Analytics

ProTip: Encouraging viewers to subscribe and turn on notifications can help boost your unique viewer counts and ensure your fans aren’t missing out on new content.

Days and times your viewers are watching

Displayed as a handy bar chart, this section of YouTube Analytics provides insight into the days and times your videos are getting the most views and when your audience is likely to be online.

Knowing when your viewers are active is highly beneficial for picking the optimum time for new video uploads.

Most active times in YouTube Analytics

ProTip: If you have an active Community Tab on YouTube, use these insights to ensure an admin is available during your audience’s most active hours. Rapid responses to comments are a great way to keep the conversation alive and engage with your audience.

Channel Metrics

In addition to analyzing your published videos’, YouTube Analytics also allows you to view your channel’s overall performance. This is incredibly useful for spotting trends and ensuring your content is as relevant and valuable as possible.

Top videos

This metric works out your most viewed videos over a given period. You can adjust the timeframe to see what content has been doing well on a specific day, week, month, year, or even check out your top videos ever.

Most viewed videos in YouTube Analytics

ProTip: Use your top-performing videos to plan future content your viewers will love. On the flip side, it may also highlight topics that haven’t performed so well.


This simple insight tells you how well your channel is performing and capturing your target audience’s attention. An increase in subscribers tells you that you’re doing a good job of turning out YouTube content people are interested in, while a drop in subscribers will let you know where you can improve.

Watch time from subscribers in YouTube Analytics

ProTip: To boost your subscriber count, try looking for videos with high non-subscriber views. Are these videos appealing to non-subscribers because they cover a relevant topic you haven’t discussed much in other videos, or is the content not relevant to your usual topics or channel?

Channel views and channel watch time

Monitoring your channel’s overall views and watch time can provide a broader insight into your audience’s behavior and preferences than just looking at an individual video. You can also use these metrics to look for spikes in channel views, such as posting a video or sharing content on social media.

ProTip: If your audience is rarely watching your videos to completion, this is a valuable indicator that your content is too long.

Real-time views

YouTube provides valuable real-time information on your videos and channel’s performance, with detailed information including the number of views your last published video received in the previous 48 hours.

Real-time views in YouTube Analytics

This metric is beneficial for monitoring the performance of a YouTube Live video, YouTube Premier, or recently published content.

ProTip: Use the real-time views information to track which platforms are most engaged with your content. For example, if you share a recent upload on Twitter and then share it on Facebook an hour later, you can check the real-time views to see which platform causes the best spike in viewers/subscribers.

YouTube Discovery Metrics

By monitoring where, when, and how audiences are coming across your YouTube channel, you can uncover the best platforms to promote new content and/or see whether your YouTube SEO is up to scratch.

This handy insight lets you see where your YouTube traffic is coming from and includes search, browse, playlists, and suggested videos on the YouTube platform, as well as data on external traffic.

What’s particularly beneficial here is the ability to click on a traffic source to see a more detailed breakdown of what your audience was doing when they came across your channel or video.

Traffic sources in YouTube Analytics

ProTip: From the ‘Reach’ tab in the YouTube Analytics dashboard, click select ‘Advanced Mode,’ followed by ‘More,’ then ‘Playback Locations’ to discover more information on YouTube traffic sources. This will even show you whether your video was viewed on YouTube or embedded on an external website.

Top search term

If your YouTube traffic is coming from a YouTube search, you can use the Analytics page to uncover what search terms led viewers to your content. This is a great way to check whether you’re utilizing effective YouTube SEO or if your titles, descriptions, and tags need a little work.

ProTip: If you have a video that’s regularly searched for, adding it to a playlist is a brilliant way to boost the discoverability of related content. 

Impressions and CTR

Any time a user sees the thumbnail for your video, an impression is recorded. By clicking on the thumbnail to watch your video, users contribute to your Impressions Click-Through Rate (CTR).

Impressions and CTR in YouTube Analytics

The CTR is presented as a percentage of your impressions. This enables you to see whether your thumbnail, title, and keywords are effective, relevant, and engaging enough.

ProTip: A high CTR but low average watch time may indicate a “clickbait” video or that your keywords are inappropriate or misleading.

Tools to Track YouTube Channel Performance

Now you know what some of the key YouTube analytic options are, what insights they offer, and how to benefit from the information, it’s time to consider other ways to monitor your YouTube channel’s performance.

There are loads of companies offering excellent YouTube monitoring services. These are some of our top picks for valuable insights that can genuinely help boost your channel’s performance and ratings. 


HypeAuditor’s company goal is to “help marketers create outstanding and effective influencer marketing campaigns.” The data-driven approach utilized by HypeAuditor enables YouTube influencers to benefit from a wide range of critical metrics and insights, and each channel will even receive a Quality Score that helps to better understand the channel performance.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a highly effective and beneficial tool that any marketing expert should already be familiar with, but did you know that you can use it to monitor the performance of your YouTube channel as well?

Google Analytics can also monitor traffic moving from your YouTube channel to your website. This is valuable if you have CTAs or cards sending users away from YouTube, enabling you to monitor your overall marketing goals more accurately.

Brandwatch was set up to help business owners understand their customers and “find meaning in the billions of conversations happening online.” This excellent tool is a great way to uncover new marketing opportunities, improve your ROI, and boost your brand engagement with powerful AI technology and advanced marketing insights.


Hootsuite is possibly the most well-known social media managing program out there. Able to do everything from scheduling social media posts to reviewing your published content, Hootsuite is a popular go-to when it comes to producing and monitoring successful social content.


So, there you have it. Everything you need to understand about YouTube Analytics and metrics to help you create a thriving and successful channel with high-quality videos your viewers can come back to time and time again.

Whether your goal is to build brand awareness, get more traffic to your online store, or simply entertain the masses with fun videos. Understanding how to make the most of YouTube Analytics is vital for creating an awesome channel that your audience will love. 

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