Video Marketing

How to Use YouTube Analytics to Publish Better Videos

Posted June 9, 2020
Written by Lana Sciasci
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How to use YouTube Analytics to publish better videos

Real talk – analytics aren’t exciting. Data, numbers and graphs? Yawn. What is exciting however, is the results video makers see once they understand how to use YouTube Analytics to their advantage. 

YouTube Analytics is your gateway to understanding what makes videos work. Unsurprisingly, with the growing popularity of video marketing – by 2021 80% of all online traffic will consist of video – YouTube Analytics is becoming just as essential a tool for marketers as Google Analytics is now.

With this in mind, we’ve created a blog post that breaks down YouTube Analytics and shows you how to use its learnings to publish better videos. From traffic sources to channel demographics, we’ll be covering it all, so let’s get started.

How to use YouTube Analytics

  1. To get started, you’ll need to log into your YouTube account

  2. Click on your account icon and select YouTube Studio from the drop down menu.

  3. Once in YouTube Studio, select Analytics from the left menu.

See a quick overview of how the YouTube Analytics dashboard works below.

YouTube metrics: how to use them to publish better videos


First things first – the Overview. This tab gives you a high level look at your channel’s overall performance. You’ll get access to four reports:

  • Top videos. Your videos ranked by number of views.

  • Realtime activity. Your performance over the last 48 hours or 60 minutes.

  • Latest videos. The performance of your 10 most recent videos.

  • Typical performance. A comparison of your most recent video to you channel’s typical performance.  

It’s important to note that you’ll only see these reports once your channel has enough data. If you’re just starting out, it may take time to gain enough views and subscribers for a report to become available.

Our tip: For the remaining metrics, you’ll gain insight from viewing the analysis of individual videos, as well as your channel as a whole.


The Reach tab shows you how your videos are discovered. This is top of funnel information that can help you strategise how to reach more viewers or a specific type of viewer. By examining your reach, you can answer questions like: What search terms are helping viewers find my videos? Where is the majority of my traffic coming from? Understanding reach metrics will help you get more eyes on your content. 

You’ll have access to four reports:

  • Traffic source types. Where viewers discovered your videos on YouTube.

  • Top external sources. Traffic from sources outside of YouTube that have your video embedded or linked like a website or app.

  • Impressions and how they led to watch time. How many people saw your video on Youtube and who went on to watch.  

  • Top YouTube search terms. Search terms that led viewers to discover your videos.


The Engagement tab gives you insight into how your video content is performing. You’ll be able to see what your viewers are watching, how long they’re watching it for and how they’re interacting with it. 

Views, high audience retention and likes reflect good content – pinpointing what works will guide you in the right direction for future video content creation. Likewise, low views, low audience retention and dislikes are identifiers of poor content. From this you can see what viewers don’t like and when exactly they disengage so you know what not to do in future videos. 

You’ll have access to three reports: 

  • Top videos and playlists. Your videos and playlist with the highest watch time over the last 28 days. 

  • Audience retention. How long your videos were watched by viewers.

  • Likes (vs dislikes). How many people are liking or disliking your videos.

  • End screen element click rate. How many viewers click on the links in your end screen.


Who’s watching your videos, really? Discover that in the Audience tab. Understanding your demographic will allow you to curate your content accordingly. Or, if you don’t feel like your current audience reflects the “right” viewer for you, you can discover what content you need to change to attract new eyes. 

According to YouTube, tailoring your content to the right audience can also win you subscribers, a group that watches twice as much video as non-subscribers.

You’ll have access to four reports: 

  • Top countries. Your video’s audience by country.

  • Top subtitle/CC languages. Your video’s audience by subtitles language.

  • Age and gender. Your video’s audience by age and gender.

  • When your viewers are on YouTube. Your audience’s online activity timeline.


If YouTube is part of how you or your business makes money, you’re probably already part of YouTube’s Partner Program. While not all of these metrics offer insight into video performance (most are simply recording revenue) it is helpful to see which videos are your top earners.

The report you’ll find useful:

  • Top-earning videos. Videos with the highest estimated revenue for the time period.

It’s time to publish better videos

With this blog post as your guide, it’s time to start exploring YouTube Analytics for yourself. Log in, explore your metrics and see what changes you can make to publish better videos. Want more ways to publish better videos? Explore our Ultimate Guide to YouTube Videos and use an online video editor like Clipchamp, you’ll thank us later.

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