In my previous post I showed you how to Audit your YouTube Channel in order to see what changes may be needed to take your channel to the next level.
However before you make any changes to your channel or content strategy I always suggest taking note of some vital statistics in your YouTube Analytics so you can see what affect any change brings.
In the video below I take you live into the Analytics of my YouTube channel to show you what statistics I took note of before making a number of changes to both my channel and content strategy.
Watch along to see exactly the process I used to set my channel benchmarks and then follow my top 10 benchmarking tips below before you dive into your analytics.Use this worksheet and track your YouTube stats, and use the in-built formula to measure your growth.
Top 10 Tips For Benchmarking Your YouTube Stats
#1 – Start With The Basics
Views and Subscribers are the most common metrics spoken about in terms of YouTube Analytics and are probably a good place to start when benchmarking your Channel.
When benchmarking for the first time I would measure the average per month over the lifetime of the channel. You can then use this as a baseline for comparison going forward.
#2 – Audience Retention
Watch Time is YouTube’s most important ranking factor so you should probably be tracking overall minutes watched but in my opinion average Audience Retention is much more important to track.
This tells you what percentage your videos get viewed on average and here’s a quick guide to how you stack up:
0-40% – This is poor and you need to look at making serious changes to your content or how you are presenting that content to the public.
41-50% – This requires some attention and it is likely you’ll need to make some adjustments to your content
50-60% – This is about average for the platform so you’re not doing badly but not setting the world alight.
60-70% – If you’re in this range you’re doing well and people like what you are creating
70%+ – You are in the upper echelons of YouTube if you are averaging this level of audience retention.
#3 – Engagement
People engaging with your content is a good indicator that your audience like what you do, or say.
It also tells YouTube that you’re creating something people want to see and therefore are more likely to promote or suggest you to other users.
With that in mind I’d suggest tracking comments, likes and shares.
Also worth keeping an eye on dislikes too as you don’t want to see this creep up too high.
#4 – Traffic Sources
Knowing where your views are coming from is very important.
It can allow you to see what areas you aren’t doing so well in and will allow you to focus on those sources in the future.
For people like me that are doing more functional or How-To videos, the two most important sources are likely Search and Suggested Videos.
For more personality lead channels this is likely to be views from subscribers but also you want to see a high percentage of Suggested Video views.
To find out where your traffic is coming from go to Creator Studio > Analytics > Traffic Sources.?
youtube traffic sources
#5 – How Are People Searching For You?
Following on from point 4, by clicking on Analytics > Traffic Sources > Search you’ll be given a list of the most popular search terms by which you’re being found.
youtube search analytics
Are the search terms you expect here? If so are they bringing you the traffic levels you thought?
Are the terms you’re targeting missing? If so you need to focus harder on targeting these terms via Optimization.
Are you being found for terms you didn’t expect? If so could you have a new source of video ideas based on these unexpected terms.
#6 – Where Are Your Videos Being Embedded?
YouTube embeded views
Getting views from 3rd party websites, apps and platforms is an increasingly important way to get views, especially with increasing competition on YouTube.
Not only is it important to benchmark the amount of traffic you’re getting from embedded sources but take note of the sites that are embedding your videos.
Could you reach out to them and start a relationship with them that means they take more of your videos more often?
You can find out which videos are embedding your videos by clicking Analytics > Playback Locations > Embedded in external websites and apps.
#7 – Click Through Rates
I promote having strong calls to action constantly on FAQ Tube but the only way to test if they are working is by checking the click through rates of your annotations.
You can check these by clicking on Analytics > Annotations.
For Cards you can check the analytics by clicking on Analytics > Cards.
Don’t be alarmed if these are low numbers generally annotations rarely get clicked.
Single digit figures are fine but when you start to drop below 2% you need to consider making a change.
#8 – Benchmark Retrospectively
The beauty of YouTube analytics is that you can change the time period you’re looking into.
This can be really useful if you made a change before you undertook this benchmarking process.
For example if you implemented a new intro graphic on all videos starting the 1st of May, go back and benchmark all videos before that date and compare the results to all videos posted after that date.
This can help you to pinpoint potential problems early on and can save a lot of pain later.
#9 – Track Over Time
There’s no point in undertaking this process if you aren’t going to follow up and check the stats going forward.
I would suggest repeating the process at least every 6 months if not quarterly and also just before you’re about to make any significant changes to your channel or content strategy.
Put a calendar reminder in place so that it doesn’t slip your mind?.
#10 – Track Percentage Growth
In the early days it can be disheartening to see only small increases and conversely when you get to a certain high volume you’ll become immune to the numbers you’re seeing.
This is why I always recommend calculating percentage growth as well as literal growth as it puts it into perspective how well or not you’re performing and the impact any change has made.
Here’s a quick formula for percentage growth:
(100 / Last Month’s Figure) x (This month’s figure – Last Month’s Figure)
It may sound complex but it really is simple. However if just looking at it hurts your brain it will take just a few seconds with my FREE downloadable template (with built in percentage growth formula) and all of the guesswork is removed completely.