YouTube Analytics: 10 Ways To Track Video Performance

YouTube Analytics: 10 Ways To Track Video Performance


Did you know that video is one of the most crucial weapons in your ecommerce marketing arsenal?

In other posts, we've provided you with a comprehensive guide to starting a YouTube channel for your business and 5 reasons why ecommerce product videos will increase sales. After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Ignoring such a large reservoir of potential customers to promote your products is foolish. Every ecommerce retailer should be using video as a part of their marketing strategy, and they should know the analytics to track their YouTube campaigns performance.

Once you have learnt the proper analytics behind your videos, you can implement strategies to widen your video's reach, thus increasing sales. We've compiled ten of the best techniques to analyse and track you YouTube video performance. Here we go: 

1. Monitor Views Over Time

The amount of views that your video is getting is one of the most important metrics to consider when trying to determine the success of your content.

Your views are displayed on the bottom right on each individual  video, but in this blog post we're going to be mostly using data obtained from YouTube's analytics panel. Find your total view count metrics under the 'Views Reports' section:

1. Monitor Views Over Time

When using the YouTube Analytics panel, you will be presented with a graph illustrating your views since your video's publication date. You also have the option to compare views between multiple videos within your channel.

By analysing the view count metric, and comparing your videos, you can begin to assess which type of video attract the most views. You may then use this information to shape the content of your future videos, to maximise your total views.

2. Discover the Source of Traffic

When analysing your product video's reach, it's vital that you figure out just where your viewers are coming from.

On your YouTube Analytics panel, under the 'Traffic Sources' page, you are presented with another graph, displaying your various sources of traffic, along with the total amount per source. This gives you insight into how your viewers are finding your videos. Here's what it looks like:

2. Discover the Source of Traffic

Looking behind the scenes at Shopify's YouTube analytics, you can see that 50% of the views are from unknown sources. We know that the likely attribution is views from the video front and center on our homepage at Disappointingly, you can see that less than 1% of Shopify's YouTube views come from Google search, so this tells us that we should better optimize our videos for Google.

Do the same type of analysis for your ecommerce store's videos. Understanding each traffic source allows you to determine which source of traffic is most beneficial to you. For example, if your video is attracting more views via Google search than it is by YouTube search, you can begin to implement ways to capitalize success with Google, and improving your YouTube search engine optimization.

These distinct metrics will help you determine which traffic source is more important to your video promotion strategy, and which source needs to be worked on.

3. Determine Audience Demographics 

To get a better understanding of your audience, venture into the 'Demographics' page of your YouTube analytics. Getting a deeper appreciation of your audience demographics will help you create future content which is relevant to the age and gender of your current audience. 

The interactive pie-chart and graph allow you to visualise exactly who your product videos are already targeting. 

3. Determine Audience Demographics 

Above you will notice that in the last 30 days Shopify's YouTube channel's demographics have been predominantly males between 25-54 years old.

Ecommerce merchant's product videos will almost certainly reach a portion of customers whom were unreachable to you via conventional search engine marketing alone. Thus, reviewing the age & gender of your video audience may furnish you with new information to build your future product videos upon.

If you already have a set target market on which to market your products to, reviewing your video demographics will help you to achieve the audience you desire, and will alert you when you begin targeting the wrong demographics for your industry.

4. Find Out About Your Geographical Impact

Without having to leave the 'Demographics' page, you can also discover where in the world your viewers are.

Many industries are not particularly bothered by the geographical variations in their video audience. A viewer is a viewer. However, as an ecommerce business, the location of your potential customers should be of great interest to you. 

The Demographics page allows you access to your viewers based on their country. The top ten locations are displayed, along with the age groups and genders. 

4. Find Out About Your Geographical Impact

To delve further into the geographic statistics, you can select each individual country, displaying a new age and gender graph for that particular country. Using this information, you can create geographically specific product videos in the future.

5. Pay Attention To Playback Locations

Determining where your videos are being viewed can help you understand how your audience is discovering your content. Are they searching and finding it through YouTube itself, or via external websites?

The 'Playback Locations' page displays a segmented presentation of your total views, based on the playback location. Your views will be divided between YouTube Channel page, YouTube Watch Page, Embedded Video and Mobile Devices.

5. Pay Attention To Playback Locations

Evaluating the location of your viewers when they view your content can help you analyse other metrics when you cross-reference them. For example, playback locations would be closely linked with traffic sources, and may help with analysing your audience retention, which I will discuss later.

By reviewing which location is serving you best, you can determine both your video's popularity on and off YouTube. This will give you an indication as to whether you need to spend more time on YouTube optimization, or to encourage sharing and embedding on external websites.

6. Analyse Audience Retention

Monitoring your views over time is important, but evaluating the quality of your views is paramount. 

By opening up your Audience Retention page, you'll be presented with yet another handy graph, which clearly displays the exact times of your video when people stopped watching. Using this information, you can discover the weaknesses in your video content, thus preventing the same mistakes in the future.

We're going to use Shopify's 3rd Build-A-Business Competition Winners in New York City video as an example. The video is 5:06 long. 

Using YouTube's Audience Retention analytics, we can see that the average view duration is 2:53 which is about 56% of the video. This might seem bad, but it's actually considered slightly above average. You can further break down retention by looking at various graphs, like below:

6. Analyse Audience Retention

Often, you can pinpoint one particular time in your video where you suddenly lose a large percentage of viewership. You can then determine what your video is conveying at that particular time, to trigger such a negative response. 

The audience retention page only allows you to see the analytics for one video at a time, not for your channel as a whole. It would be a good idea to assess a number of your videos to discover any common issues that can be worked upon. 

7. Keep Track of Subscription Rate 

It is also essential that you monitor the fluctuations of your subscriber base. This will allow you to understand the overall reach of your YouTube content as a whole, as opposed to a single video.

Subscribers represent customers, or potential customers, who retain an interest in your products. Under the 'Engagement Reports' tab, you can select 'Subcribers' to view your report, which displays the amount of subscribers you lost or gained on a video-by-video basis.

7. Keep Track of Subscription Rate 

This one's pretty obvious... the more subscribers you have, the more people who have the potential to see your channel’s video content on their subscriptions stream on the YouTube homepage. Thus, the more exposure your products and brand will get.

Utilizing calls to action in the form of video annotations can go a long way towards gaining subscribers. Use this report to test your use of annotations to see if your channel’s subscriber rate rose or fell as a result.

Take into account other factors which may also impact your subscriber rate, such as your relevance to your demographic.

8. Study Social Shares

Social media can play a big role in promoting your product video. In fact, 100 million people take a social action on YouTube every week. So it would be wise of you to always be aware of who is sharing your content, and how.

When you click on the 'Sharing' page on YouTube Analytics, you can view the amount of shares you have received over time. You have the option to view the shares made on each video by social platform, date and geographical position.

8. Study Social Shares

Here we can see that most of Shopify's YouTube audience uses Facebook and Twitter to share content. Understanding your brand's social status on each major social networking website will allow you to take relevant action to expand your position within each one.

Take steps to incorporate your video content along with your social media accounts to capitalise on any attention you may already be getting. 

9. Review & Respond to Comments 

Commenting is a crucial component of audience engagement. Keeping tabs on who is commenting and what they are commenting about can help you convert viewers into customers. 

By clicking on the 'Comments' page of the YouTube Analytics section, you'll be presented with a graph section illustrating the frequency and dates of your comments, as well as a section dedicated to displaying your total amount of comments on each video.

9. Review & Respond to Comments 

By cross referencing your statistics, you may find common trends between your videos concerning commenting. 

It is important that you portray your brand as an approachable and engaging one. Respond to each comment on your video in a helpful fashion. This will also help increase your total comments, a good indicator to viewers that your brand is respected. 

Furthermore, viewers who comment are easier to market to. Once you receive a comment, you can view that person's profile, giving you access to more personal means of communication and marketing. 

10. Check Your Likes, Dislikes & Favorites

Your video ratings, such as likes, dislikes & favorites, are important metrics that exemplifies viewer feedback. Together with the total number of views and favorites of your video, you can begin to determine what video content your target audience likes and what content they don’t like.

By clicking on the 'Likes & Dislikes' page, you can analyse your likes and dislikes over time. It is important to pay attention to your dislikes, as you obviously want to minimise them. Cross reference the timing of the dislikes with other metrics, to see if you can find a correlation.

10. Check Your Likes, Dislikes & Favorites

If you click on the 'Favorites' page, you'll see a similar set up of your rate of favorites over time. Cross-referencing this metric with your other statistics could help you paint a picture of how to maximise favorites.

YouTube takes likes, dislikes, and favorites into account when deciding where to rank your videos in it's search engine results. 

Likes, dislikes & favorites are often a greater indication of engagement than just the views of your videos, because the ratings require more action from your YouTube audience than simply watching your content. By paying attention to such feedback, you can plan out your future videos based upon the preferences of your audience.

Do you have another YouTube Analytics strategy to measure your product video's performance? What have you found that works for creating and promoting your YouTube content? Share your methods and ideas in the comments section below! 


  • Craig Morantz
    Craig Morantz
    July 10 2013, 01:48PM

    this was really great, thanks for taking the time the put together all the detail.


  • Lisa
    July 30 2013, 12:07PM

    Great article, really fleshed out and informative. Thanks!

  • hannah
    October 30 2013, 07:37AM

    You say that 56% view duration is above average. What is the average view duration on a YouTube video and where did you find that stat?

  • Simon
    November 10 2014, 08:54AM

    Do not forget to track rankings of your videos. One possibility is with:

  • Hanna
    November 03 2015, 09:03AM

    Without a doubt, an interesting article. Do double/triple check for spelling mistakes before posting. Did enjoy reading this content!

  • reginacassandra
    April 19 2016, 05:52AM

    Analytic is important because w can all the details of a particular video Take a look at

  • Daphne
    June 24 2016, 08:15AM

    This is really good advice. A very nice tool to do all this is the Youtube Channelytics by Rocketgraph. (

  • tom martin
    tom martin
    July 26 2016, 04:03PM

    awesome tips.

    One that i added in my guide ( is to look into the search terms that people are using to find you. that way you can optimize more for those words and also get inspiration for new content.

  • altin
    March 15 2017, 11:58AM

    Cdata Software has created The YouTube Analytics Excel Add-In is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from YouTube Analytics, directly from Microsoft Excel. Use Excel to connect to YouTube Analytics Traffic, Sources, Demographics, Subscribers, etc.

  • Amelie
    April 21 2017, 05:02AM

    How can i get More views on

  • Nicky
    July 12 2017, 06:24AM

    Thanks for going into such detail on this. It’s amazing that this piece is 4 years old and still one of the most relevant articles on the web about YouTube Analytics. If YouTube is the second most used search engine, why aren’t people talking about this more?

    We wrote this article to try to address this:

    Would love to hear your thoughts!

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