The most important YouTube KPIs

December 07, 2020

YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world after Google. The likelihood that your customers use YouTube is very high. Most users use the video platform for entertainment and education. Depending on your business, your YouTube marketing is sure to include a bit of both. But what’s a YouTube channel without a strategy and a YouTube influencer marketing campaign without KPIs? If you’re looking to grow your YouTube channel or analyze your influencer marketing campaign, here are the top ten YouTube metrics to help you succeed.


  1. YouTube KPI #1: Watch Time

2 YouTube KPI #2: Impressions Click Rate 3. YouTube KPI #3: Most popular videos 4. YouTube KPI #4: Target group information 5. YouTube KPI #5: Actions per video 6. YouTube KPI #6: Number of video views 7. YouTube KPI #7: Audience engagement 8. YouTube KPI #8: Video engagements 9. YouTube KPI #9: Number of subscribers 10. YouTube KPI #10: Best Videos

YouTube KPI #1: Watch Time

Playback time is the proportion of a video that someone watches. On YouTube, the average playback time for each video is averaged and reported in your analytics. Your playback time may not be 100 percent for every video. That would be like having a conversion rate of 100 percent - so you’d have to fit your niche so perfectly that you’d have the holy grail of marketing success at the ready. And that’s probably unlikely.

Play time is an extremely important metric for your YouTube growth because it tells you how well your content addresses your viewer’s problem. If viewers aren’t getting what they saw in your title and thumbnail, they’ll keep clicking. Conversely, if your viewers feel that you can provide them with the information they want, you’ll have excellent timing metrics.

For example, if you find that your playback time for a video is less than 40 percent, you should reevaluate the submission of that video. That way, you’ll find out what needs to be done to improve playback time. Maybe the introduction is too long or the time spent, was too long and viewers decided to go elsewhere.

YouTube KPI #2: Impressions Click Rate

The click-through rate for impressions indicates how often a video is clicked. You can equate these YouTube metrics with the click-through rate (CTR) of a Facebook ad. How many people saw your video in their feed and clicked to watch it?

If your videos have a high click-through rate, you’re doing something well. This could be due to the fact that your title hit your customer’s pain point, your thumbnail was a real eye-catcher and contained the right information.

The thumbnail of the video plays an essential role in YouTube marketing. Changing your thumbnail can have a drastic impact on your click-through rate. If you’re consistently seeing a click-through rate of less than five percent on YouTube, change the subject of your thumbnails to see how it makes a difference.

YouTube KPI #3: Most popular videos

You can find your most popular videos by clicking the filter option on your YouTube page and selecting “Most Popular”. This will show you the most popular videos in descending order. This way you can see which videos carry the most weight.

These YouTube metrics can help grow your YouTube channel by providing a direct line of communication between you and your customer. What content do they prefer and how can you create more of it?

Another benefit of these KPIs is that it also allows you to see your competitors’ most popular videos. This way, you get ideas for more content and can check what content your viewers want to see. If your competitors have a similar audience, you know right away that your audience probably wants to see that content too.

YouTube KPI #4: Target group information

Audience information is essential knowledge for anyone trying to build a social media following or business. Knowing your audience is key to creating the content you want - and making sure you’re creating videos for the right people.

There are two YouTube metrics here, the first being your internal traffic sources. This tells you how many viewers came to your video by finding it through YouTube search, selecting it on your channel, etc. The second is to look at your external traffic sources. How many viewers came from a Google search, Facebook, or a website?

Knowing these YouTube metrics will tell you where your audience is coming from and what you’re doing right or wrong. For example, if you find that most of the views are coming from YouTube search, you should create videos that your target customers are specifically looking for.

YouTube KPI #5: Actions per Video

Actions per video are the number of viewers who clicked on the link you attached to the video. This is the only YouTube metric that can’t be captured with YouTube analytics. You should still pay attention to it.

Having a million views on a YouTube video is great, but if no one clicks on your link, how successful is it? These KPIs will show you how successful your call-to-action and overall offer are performing. To track metrics in your YouTube marketing, use a link tracker to see how many viewers clicked on the link you placed. This way you can see how many people watched the video. Divide the number who clicked the link by the total number of viewers and multiply that by 100 to get the click-through rate of your video link.

Your YouTube metrics can help you improve your reach and build awareness for your business. Use these metrics to grow your YouTube channel and generate more conversions.

YouTube KPI #6: Number of video views

Analyzing the number of views of individual videos can be particularly exciting. Such a view directly helps to quickly identify your most popular videos. It is important to note with this KPI that a video is not always good just because it has a lot of views. As an additional indicator of success, the watch time of the videos should be considered in comparison to the number of views. If a video has many views but only a mediocre to poor watch time, these could be possible causes: misleading title, a poor description or a click-optimized video thumbnail. These create false expectations in the user regarding the content of the video.

YouTube KPI #7: Audience Engagement

Audience retention is an important YouTube KPI, which can be monitored in a standardized way using the average watch time already mentioned. In addition, it makes sense to compare the course of individual videos: When do users end the video? Is this progression the same for all videos? Is the video description meaningful? Is the video quality worse than usual? An early dropout of users can have many causes. Therefore, it is important to observe exactly what this is due to.

YouTube KPI #8: Video Engagements

As on other social media platforms, engagements (interactions such as likes, dislikes, shares or comments) are also a key success factor on YouTube. It seems that the sheer number of video views does not play a major role in the YouTube algorithm. Much more important are active users who stay on the video as long as possible and engage with it intensively. For this reason, many YouTube videos also frequently pose questions and ask the user to answer them in the comments. This additionally promotes user interaction.

YouTube KPI #9: Number of subscribers

This YouTube metric may be quite obvious, but it should not be neglected. Because the number of your subscribers significantly influences your potential organic reach of newly published videos. Since some users and thus your followers sometimes become inactive, your goal should always be to gain new followers. If a large number of your followers suddenly unsubscribe, you should ask yourself why. The same goes for rapid growth. Analyze your last videos and adjust your strategy.

YouTube KPI #10: Best Videos

This last YouTube metric quickly shows you what topics your target audience is interested in or what they are looking for on the YouTube video platform. As already noted, the number of views should not be used as the sole indicator of success, but should always be considered with other KPIs such as watch time. Ultimately, this KPI almost sums up the basic approach: Analyze your most successful videos in detail and develop best practices for your future videos.

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