A deeper understanding of four main metrics of Youtube Analytics

To begin with, this topic may trigger some creators who are not a fan of Maths, we guess. Since some people love all sorts of these numbers and statics, while others absolutely hate them. However, no one can avoid Youtube Analytics data since this tool determines the development of their Youtube channel. 

Youtube Analytics

Youtube Analytics tools

In order to ensure that early creative work goes well, we cannot focus entirely on quantity., Thus we also need to find ways to solve existing problems, one of them is the quality of the first videos. These are the first products, the brainchild you have devoted your heart to.

In fact, a lot of inexperienced creators think they just need to upload a few videos to their channel and ignore the metrics. They think that instead of re-checking that data they should take the time to continue researching and producing more videos. Nevertheless, this will not work in the long run.

Therefore, tracking data is very necessary. Besides, the interface of Youtube Analytics may be a bit overwhelming for newcomers, in this article, we will simplify those statistics into the following 4 key metrics so you can have a big picture.


Basically, Impression is a statistical indicator of how often an ad is viewed by visitors without having to click on the ad. This figure is determined by the number of ads displayed on a Google search engine or other Internet sites.

Youtube Analytics

Impression metric on Youtube

An impression is an estimate of how many people a particular ad is reaching and can be calculated differently depending on how the ad is placed on the page.

On the Youtube homepage, every time a viewer sees your video thumbnail on the platform, that’s called an impression, which means the number of times the video thumbnail shows up on YouTube. Per impression can be considered as potential reach on YouTube and an opportunity to increase more views.

Besides, not only on homepage, if one video appears in search results, watch history of a trending page, subscription fees, video playlists, recommendations, that’s an Impression. 

It can be admitted that all other important metrics of Youtube Analytics are derived from impression. Every time that your video is displayed on any position on Youtube, you get free advertising for your content.

In other words, every time a video’s title and thumbnail appears by targeting a potential viewer, they could click on it and watch that video.

So to look at your channel analytics, Impression specifically, click on your channel icon on the top right hand corner then choose Creator Studio. After that, down the left hand side you can see Analytics, click on it and it will show you your Youtube channel analytics. 

Youtube Analytics

Reach viewer tab

In the toolbar at the top, select Reach Viewers then you can see a breakdown of your video’s impressions over the last 28 days of your channel. 

To see the impression data of each video, go to Overview and there’s a list of your top performing videos and you can see a rundown of individual impressions for different videos. 

CTR – Click through rate

CTR, which stands for Click through rate, is the percentage of people who click on a particular link that appears in front of their eyes. For an ad campaign, CTR is the ratio of the clicks your ad or link received divided by the number of times your ad or link was shown.

Youtube Analytics

CTR – click through rate

In other words, if a user sees your videos on Youtube and clicks on it to watch, an impression has converted into a click, or view. For example, if one of your videos has 10,000,000 impressions and 100,000 views, hence the CTR will be 1%. 

You will find your CTR right next to Impressions of  Tab Reach Viewers in Analytics. If you tap on the box, you will see the graph changes to represent what your CTR is. 

According to Youtube itself, half of all channels and videos on Youtube have an impressions CTR that can range between 2%-10%. Today, creators are also focusing on this statistic to be able to most effectively optimize their video promotion strategy to increase CTR, which goes as high as possible.

Impressions click-through rate will vary depending on the type of content, viewers and placement of the video on YouTube. In general, the best way to get more impressions is to consistently create great quality content that viewers love.

In short, CTR is directly proportional to the number of views of the video. This metric scores your titles and thumbnails to see if they are compelling, appealing and enticing enough to  grab their attention. You can be confident that your content is unique and awesome, but if you don’t convince your viewers about the quality of the content through these “impressions” then everything will go down the drain. 

From there, you miss out on opportunities to increase views, as well as hinder the improvement of other critical metrics and negatively affect video performance.

Watch time – the most essential Youtube analytics

That being said, the two metrics mentioned above, Impression and CTR both have an impact on the views of your videos. Views can also be understood as a visit, like you click on reading a blog post or article title on Google.

Youtube Analytics

The most important metric – Youtube watch time

So, views are very good for an article or a search title, like List of most-viewed Youtube videos or most-viewed Youtube videos in 24 hours. However, the number of views is just the tip of the iceberg. Since the Youtube Partner Program (YPP) changed its monetization policy in 2018, in the eyes of creators, views are not given too much attention.

Instead, the 4000 watch hours phrase is seen as a holy mantra that any creator aspires to achieve to participate in YPP, and Youtube watch time is now considered the most important indicator in Youtube Analytics. 

Watch time is literally the amount of time an audience spends watching a video. As a result, the longer a viewer watches your video, you as a creator are one more step closer to the threshold of 4000 watch hours. The longer you spend your time on the platform, the more chances Youtube has to serve you advertisements. This is a win-win situation one way or another. 

To this point, on your Youtube Analytics, click on the Overview tab to see your total watch time of your channel. 

In addition, Watch time also affects the Average View Duration of all videos as well. This report helps you see how your videos interact with your viewers. The less engagement your video is with your audience, the less average watch time and watch time itself will be. 

Average watch duration also has an impact on your ratings and recommended video searches. The higher this metric, the more appreciated and prioritized your video will appear on search results.

Audience Retention 

Last but not least, Audience retention tells you the proportion of visitors who watched and left the video at a given moment. 

Youtube Analytics

Audience Retention Rate

Youtube once stated that: “Audience Retention is a huge influence on rankings. Your target is to increase retention rate as close to 100% as possible. Because this means users stay to watch all of your video. Videos that have a consistently high retention and watch time audience will have a better chance of appearing more often in Youtube searches and recommendations.” 

So to say, videos with a high retention rate are often prioritized by Youtube to rank in the search bar and recommend because it has been shown to attract viewers’ attention.

You can leverage your audience retention report for future video strategies. Specifically with this report you can know:

  • Top videos or channels listed by watch time
  • Average watch duration for all videos on your channel
  • Relative audience retention of a video compared to the average of similar videos on YouTube
  • Data holds viewers of a particular video over different time frames

Based on this analysis, you can use the most engaging parts of the video to generate new video topic ideas and use the least engaging parts of the video as a signal to stop creating content around that topic.

In a nutshell: Want to learn more about Youtube Analytics?

Using YouTube Analytics and reports is crucial to your channel’s success. Thus, the analysis like we just introduced above will help you to adjust the channel in a positive direction, thereby improving watch time, views and increasing subscribers,… 

All your efforts will be rewarded, and to have more extensive knowledge on this topic, join the AudienceGain community now and leave a comment right below. 

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