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YouTube Analytics: How to Measure YouTube Performance

by Julian Gottke on August 17, 2017

Are you putting increasingly more effort into your YouTube channel and wondering how you are performing? In the following article, we will share some social media metrics with you that will improve your YouTube analytics. Find out how to measure YouTube performance in greater detail than you normally would do.

Measure your YouTube Performance #1 – Views Total

If you think of a dashboard with the most important metrics in it, you want to go step by step deeper in the analysis. Due to this we start off our YouTube analysis with a bird’s-eye view metric. Views Total shows how many views your channel has received. Through this metric, you can identify noticeable changes at a glance.

Other helpful metrics for a start on how to measure YouTube performance might be an Videos Table, an overview of the number of Subscribers or the average amount of likes and dislikes per video.

measure YouTube performance

Measure your YouTube Performance #2 – Average Interaction per Video

After the first important insights, it makes sense to pinpoint the interactions you received on your videos. The average interactions per video is a good first indicator how viewers perceived the video. After seeing that interactions peaked - which can be positive or negative -  the next step would be to understand why they did. Important here and in every analysis: Go step by step. Identify first what happened and then take a closer look at the how and why.

measure YouTube performance Interaction Rate

Measure your YouTube Performance #3 – Metrics by Country

Now it starts to get interesting. We are digging deeper into information of the geographical location of your viewers and subscribers and, even more interestingly, reveal how they interact with your videos. This private YouTube metric is especially interesting for brands that run different campaigns per country and want to understand which campaigns do best. A second use case for this metric is that you can easily identify which countries are interacting well with your content and might be good to target for future campaigns. You can also view how many subscribers you gained or lost per country and how positive or negative interactions you have received. As a table like this contains a lot of information, it is worth spending a bit more time to understand the meaning behind the numbers. The interpretation here is key, so try to understand all correlations to improve future campaigns.

YouTube Metrics by Country

The following two metrics shed light on how people find your videos (Traffic Sources) and where they are watching them (Playback Locations). First both metrics sound similar, but actually they reveal very different things. So let’s go over what these differences are:


Measure your YouTube Performance #4 – Traffic Sources

Generally speaking this metric answers the question: How are people discovering your videos? Here you can also dig deeper to see the specific websites that bring traffic to your videos. Traffic Sources should be part of your YouTube analytics, as this metric is often forgotten or underestimated. 

When analyzing our web traffic we like to look at sources as well. Here we can see what has been successful in the past and which channels still can be improved. Why don’t we do that in social media analytics? This metric is often not supported in analytics tools even though it’s no less important than in web analytics.

Traffic Sources


We sometime tend to think tables are boring. This certainly is not the case here. With the help of this metric, you can see the traffic sources for your video views at a glance. This will help you to identify area of improvements. How much YouTube search traffic does your video receive? Is your traffic from external websites too low? Then you might consider writing guest articles on topics your video is about to embed the video.

Measure your YouTube Performance #5 – Playback Locations

The fifth metric we want to present is Playback Locations. This metric answers the questions: Where are people watching your videos? Potential playback locations can be Facebook or external apps. Here it might be worth digging deeper into the location in order to reach out to other websites that embed your videos and work on a partnership with them. It is always easier to reach out to people that are already using your videos than reaching out to people that have never seen your videos before. These website owners, journalists or bloggers are interested in your product, service or simply like your content, but will most likely be interested in embedding your videos in the future as well.

Playback Location

Measure your YouTube Performance #6 – Top Ten Videos

For numerous businesses, YouTube is a major part of their digital marketing strategy. Part of that are many videos, which often come with high costs for these corporations or agencies and their clients. The following table enables the analyst to get an immediate understanding of which videos are the best performing ones. In order to give a brief overview, the Top Ten Videos metric shows the top 10 videos for the YouTube channel analyzed. We define the Top 10 by videos with the most views in the analyzed period.

Note: As this is also a private metric, these insights are only available for YouTube channels you are an admin for and that you connect with Analytics in the tool. Private data can never be analyzed for competitors, as social network providers do not share them in their public APIs.

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Summing Things Up

The shown metrics are highly interesting for many occasions but the exact selection of metrics depends on the specific use case you have. In general, it can be said that an analysis should always go step by step from a more general perspective to very specific metrics and KPIs. This applies for every social network analysis. For YouTube, it is essential to know which videos are performing well and which are performing below what was predicted. After finding that out, let’s say “how-to” videos perform best, you should consider putting more effort into these videos.

It might be wise to choose some of the metrics explained to understand which videos are well-perceived by your audience and where the traffic comes from. When taking a closer look at Playback Locations, our last metric, you can also start to build relationships with people important to you.

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