YouTube: The 5 most important KPIs

If you want to be successful on YouTube, you have to face several challenges: How can I generate more growth with my channel? How do I make my viewers permanent viewers? And how do I become visible in the algorithm?

21st Mar 2020
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"How can I be successful as a brand on YouTube?" In order to answer this question, a look at the most important key figures is necessary. Only those who know how to use them can be successful on YouTube.

First of all: YouTube has excellent own analytics with the Creator Studio, but also KPIs that differ from other marketing channels. 


This can make it difficult to start a solid video strategy and continuously optimize it.First of all: YouTube has excellent own analytics with the Creator Studio, but also KPIs that differ from other marketing channels. This can make it difficult to start a solid video strategy and continuously optimize it .


The most relevant KPI for the algorithm is "Watch Time". However, there are other KPIs that can count as indicators of well-functioning storytelling and a strong community, such as engagement and audience loyalty.The most relevant KPI for the algorithm is "Watch Time". However, there are other KPIs that can count as indicators of well-functioning storytelling and a strong community, such as engagement and audience loyalty.

Play time

Experts agree that every YouTube channel should measure and evaluate the playback time - for one simple reason: it is the metric that the YouTube algorithm optimizes for. Of course, views are also an important metric to evaluate the scaling of a measure, but views alone do not provide enough information to significantly improve videos.

 

A channel with millions of views will not be able to build a long-term reach if the playback time does not reflect the length of the videos. A short average playback time is an indicator that viewer attention is not being held strong enough. If an advertiser regularly publishes videos with low playback time, they urgently need to adjust their strategy. A good option here is to improve the storytelling of the videos.

 

Watch Time is the biggest ranking factor for YouTube SEO. Comparable to bounce rate and length of stay, which have a strong influence on the organic ranking on Google. Views are relevant, but the YouTube algorithm hardly attaches any importance to them. Probably also because it is easy to influence this metric with clickbaiting. Playback time is a better indicator of quality.


There are three points at which watch time needs to be optimized: 

1. Average view duration

The more time viewers spend on a video, the better. If viewers get out in the middle of the video, this speaks for moderate storytelling. Keeping an eye on this metric helps you see if you can keep the audience's attention - and where viewers choose to stop the video because they have lost interest.

 

Audience retention is an extremely important step in extending watch time. Because when viewers watch a video to the end, there is a higher chance that they will immediately watch the next video on the channel.

 

While advertisers can use the percentage of audience retention to improve storytelling, the algorithm optimizes for the average display time. A 20-minute video that is viewed 60 percent through is likely to work better than a five-minute video with 90 percent audience retention.

 

20 minutes x 60 percent = 12 minutes watch time per viewer

5 minutes x 90 percent = 4.5 minutes watch time per viewer 

2. "Binge-ability"

The second step to increase playback time is to increase binge-ability. We want to create the effect familiar from Netflix with our YouTube videos by creating formats that promise the same thing to the viewer, but differently - as with a good series.


The KPI that can be used to measure binge-ability in the YouTube Creator Studio are the views per viewer. Another key figure can also be used to derive it: In the traffic source report, for example, we can see how often our own videos recommend each other. 

3. Click rate of impressions / click-through rate 

Since YouTube has shown the click-through rate (CTR) of videos, this metric has become an increasingly important indicator for the algorithm. The click-through rate describes how often a user to whom a video was suggested clicked on it. It is not the pure CTR of thumbnails. An impression always refers to the combination of thumbnail, title and possibly description (in the YouTube search).


In addition to the thumbnail, the video suggestions also show the title, channel name and views.

 

Various factors have a positive impact on the click rate. The preview image has a crucial role here, because it is the largest area outside the video player that you can fully control.

 

The thumbnail and title must make a promise together, which is fulfilled in the video. This promise must be so strong that it brings new viewers to the video. Existing fans of your channel will gain you a high level of recognition. The thumbnails should be designed uniformly so that they increase the "binge-ability" of your formats.

View Velocity

Now that viewers have seen 20 of our videos in a row, we want them to come back every week. This is also possible with a clever format strategy. The success of regularity can be measured using the View Velocity.

 

Simply put, if advertisers want their video to go viral on the YouTube homepage, then View Velocity - the views in the first 48 hours - is the relevant metric. This already says how many views the video will have after 30 days. This is because there is a direct correlation between the rate at which a video wins views and the ranking in the algorithm.

Subscribers per video

Over the past few years, subscribers have become an increasingly unimportant metric on YouTube. However, subscribers help to generate constant calls in the first hours of a release, which in turn leads to a better ranking. Looking at the overall growth in subscribers isn't particularly useful. Instead, you should analyze which videos are causing the increase. 


In this way, formats, topics and story elements can be identified that bring new subscribers.Over the past few years, subscribers have become an increasingly unimportant metric on YouTube . However, subscribers help to generate constant calls in the first hours of a release, which in turn leads to a better ranking.

 

Looking at the overall growth in subscribers isn't particularly useful. Instead, you should analyze which videos are causing the increase. In this way, formats, topics and story elements can be identified that bring new subscribers.


Read: Highly Effective YouTube SEO Tips

Conclusion

In order to spend a lot of time with the target group on YouTube, advertisers have to improve their storytelling in a data-driven manner. The best way to do this is through rigorous data analysis using the KPIs mentioned here.

 

Numerous tools and platforms can also help with the analysis. So you can develop a holistic understanding for viewers and analyze their behavior with videos. But the YouTube Creator Studio is also a powerful tool that provides all the basic functions to develop better videos.

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