How engaged is my audience?
YouTube Analytics can help you see which videos your viewers like the best, both by how much they watch, and how much they interact with your content – liking, subscribing, commenting, rewatching. If you can understand what gets them engaging with you or sharing your videos, consider making more like that.
You can turn your channel into a viewing destination. Find out which videos your viewers interact with and like the most.
Do viewers enjoy my videos?
When someone enjoys a video, they’ll often watch it to the end. The measurement of how much of a video someone watches on YouTube is called audience retention. The audience retention report in YouTube Analytics not only helps you to see how much of your videos viewers watch, but also when they drop off. Knowing when viewers leave can give you insight into why they leave. Did the topic change? Did they get bored?
Your goal is to keep audience retention as close to 100% as you can (because this means viewers are watching all of the way through your videos). And videos with consistently high audience retention and watch time have the potential to show up more frequently in Search and Suggested locations on YouTube.
When you click into the Absolute Audience Retention report you’ll see a trendline which indicates exactly how much of a video people watch (in real time). It adjusts for the parts they rewatch and where they drop off. You can use this information to help you make creative decisions for your next video. For example, when you know what parts viewers like to rewatch, you might consider making new videos with similar content. This data can give you insight into the way you present your videos and make choices that can keep viewers watching longer. For example, if you see drop-off right at the beginning, this may suggest your title or thumbnail don’t accurately represent your video and that it’s time to make an adjustment. Try using a new image for the thumbnail or editing the title.
See it in action
Take a look at great retentionAudience retention starts at 100% and the goal is to remain relatively flat throughout – it looks like this video successfully hooks viewers and most watch to the end. Well done!
Determine why viewers leaveA sharp drop off within the first 10-15 seconds may indicate that your video wasn’t what your viewers expected. Revise your title, thumbnail and description to better fit what the video is about.
Pinpoint where engagement changesA rising curve can mean viewers are re-watching or sharing at these points in your video. Dips can mean that viewers skip those parts or leave your video. Take a look at these moments – did the image or title promise something the video didn’t seem to deliver, or the video took too long to start, or get to a point, or was there a card that took them away from the video?
It’s normal to see a gradual decline in your audience retention graphGradual declines mean viewers are losing a bit of attention over time and it's normal to see this. Sharp declines can indicate something in the video is causing many viewers to stop watching at a specific point.
Are my cards working?
Want to get that click? The cards report may help you to determine the best time and place to show this interactive feature within your videos. The total number of clicks can tell you how effective your calls to action are at sending viewers to the videos or websites associated with your channel through cards (like merchandise or crowdfunding websites).
- Learn which card types viewers interact with most by looking at the “clicks per card shown” column. Consider including more of the popular types of cards in future videos.
- Look for cards with the highest, and lowest, click-through rates and compare their timing, placement and duration.
See it in action
See which cards work bestIn this example, cards that link to other videos (purple have the highest card clicks per card shown; playlist (red) or merchandise (orange) cards had lower engagements. This channel has used cards effectively to suggest additional videos to its viewers. Poll cards tend to have the highest click-through rates.
Are viewers watching my playlists?
Did you know that the way that you organise, promote and order videos in a playlist can influence the number of videos viewers watch? Playlists can encourage viewers to watch more on your channel, translating into more watch time. The playlist reports in YouTube Analytics give you insight into which playlists are popular and how much of your playlists are watched.
How can you entice more viewers to watch your playlists?
- If you have some playlist topics that are more popular, you could make more of these.
- Consider changing up the video order to start with videos that have the highest audience retention.
- Check which playlists have the lowest “Playlist exit rate" to understand what keep viewers watching.
- Help your viewers find these awesome playlists! You can share them and feature them as sections on your channel, especially those that drive the highest average watch time.
How can you encourage viewers to watch through your playlists?
- By including videos with high audience retention in your playlists, you can increase ‘views per playlist start’ and ‘average time in playlist’.
- Check to see if the number of playlist starts or exits is low and think about promoting top playlists and videos more.
Which videos get people talking and sharing?
Have you shared a video lately because you could relate to it, it reminded you of someone or something, or because you thought it was cool? Your viewers, too, may be motivated to share your videos with their friends and social networks if your videos are compelling or influence them on an emotional level. Try taking a look at your videos’ comments to see what your audience is saying and combine that data with how much they’re commenting and sharing, what video themes generate the most likes and dislikes, and which social networks show up in your traffic sources. All of these factors can help you to plan a strategy for your next video idea and how to get it out there to an audience who loves your stuff.
Take stock of your inventory
Ever wonder how different types of videos are doing, or how you can learn if their performance changes over time? Try these features to find out if you are reaching your goals:
- The “Comparison...” button (at the top right of the page) can help you benchmark performance between different types of content, geography and/or time periods across many different reports.
- The “Groups” button (at the top right of the page) gives you the opportunity to aggregate different videos together (around a common topic, type of video, as well as by the recency of the upload) to see how well they're performing.