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YouTube Analytics

If you are interested in learning more about YouTube, Screencasting, Webcasting, Webinars and Podcasting then join our MasterCaster Mail List. Steve Dotto here. I’m glad you’re joining me today. Welcome to the next installment of our journey to 100,000 subscribers. Today, I thought I’d take a look at our Analytics a little bit, at least the Analytics that are available directly on YouTube. This isn’t going to be a deep Google Analytics topic but instead it’s kind of the surface numbers that we can take a look to kind of track how we’re trending and what we can glean from them. I’ll give you an idea of what I try and glean from the Analytics that I get. Of course, when you go to your Dashboard—this is called the Dashboard here in the YouTube Video Manager area—you get immediately your total number of views and also the number of subscribers that you have at that point in time. So you get some good statistics there as well as they give you what they consider to be the key stats from the last 30 days. That’s the number of video views that you have and the number of subscribers or the net change in the subscribers that we have. You can see we’re doing pretty well here. We’re at the very end of March, just coming on March 31st, the last day of March, and we’re almost averaging 4,000 subscribers a month increase which is good. It’s keeping us in shooting range of hitting our goal of 100,000 subscribers. By the end of next month, that number has to be a 5. In the next month after that, it has to be a 6. So that has to increase. But increasingly as I look at these numbers as well, I’m recognizing that the subscribers that we have is an important statistic but it’s not THE most important statistic. I’m not sure there is any one statistic that is most important but the number of video views and the number of minutes that a video is viewed is a very important thing to consider and something we should keep an eye on in our Analytics. This is the reason: we all know that there are people out there that have been padding their accounts in different types of social media, be it in Twitter buying followers on Twitter, buying fans on Facebook, increasing the number of subscribers in YouTube to make their channel look more vital, to make it look more worthwhile. While that will translate into a little bit of social equity, people will look at the number and go wow, he’s got 500,000 subscribers, in the real world of engagement that’s not going to make any difference because YouTube doesn’t care just how many subscribers you have. They’re going to care how many people are actually watching the video and if you’re looking at building it as a business, as reaching out to build your brand, you need people who are engaged. You don’t need just a raw number of subscribers. You need people who watch your video, who comment back on your video, who you can reach out and touch as a result of publishing. So that’s what we have to concentrate on. So having a healthy ratio between the number of subscribers we have and the number of views that we have per week or per month, I think that’s the ratio, at least one of the ratios that I really have to keep an eye on. So let’s dive here into what surface Analytics and I call it surface Analytics because it’s the stuff that YouTube gives us as opposed to going right into AdSense where we’re getting a lot more detail. But these are the numbers that they give us. They give us performance numbers which is the number of views we have, the estimated minutes that are watched—they set a default for all of these to 30 days—your earnings for that particular period which is something that we’ll be talking about at some point down the road a little bit more, and then engagement, Likes, Dislikes, comments, shares, favorites added and then finally your subscribers. I think it’s important that these three here, they give it more space: views, estimated minutes and of course any estimated income that you might be getting from that particular channel. They’ve got that rated higher than these other numbers but I still fascinate myself on the number of subscribers mainly because I named this series Getting to 100,000 YouTube Subscribers. That’s kind of the easiest number for us to get our head around. If I say Getting to X Number of Minutes Watched by Video, I don’t think it’s going to resonate quite the same way. But let’s take a look at what we can learn from taking a look at these statistics. Here’s something that I caution you on. It’s really easy to get caught up and check your statistics multiple times a day, multiple times an hour even. It’s almost like watching your weight, stepping on the scale too many times if you’re trying to lose weight where your self confidence and your sense of well-being increases and decreases with the addition of 100 subscribers or the decrease of a few pounds of weight, or God forbid an increase in weight or a decrease in your subscribers would be devastating. So I caution you about spending too much time watching these numbers. But if we take a look here, this has given us a snapshot of the last 30 days of total views, I’m pretty pleased with these numbers overall, 157,000 total views. We can see how it turns up and actually if I track this, I can tell which days I’ve kind of been publishing, the Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays when I’m publishing and Thursdays, and then the Fridays and Saturdays when I’m not publishing I’m seeing a drop in the number of views. But watching this overall and then changing the ratio from 30 days to 90 days will give you an idea of the different trends that you have as far as your videos. You can see we’re increasing healthily. Whether or not we’re going to meet our goal, I guess we will see. Now this number of views that we have—let’s go back to the 30 days because that’s a little easier to digest—the number of views we have in comparison to the number of minutes—watch—I’m increasingly thinking that that is a tremendously important number as far as YouTube is concerned. Now my videos are a little on the long side, I think. I’m not sure I would recommend people out of the gate that they should be making 7 to 10 to 12-minute videos, or 15 minutes or even longer, because there are lots of evidence that people do not engage that long on YouTube. Having said that, I have been doing longer videos and I am getting pretty good engagement. If you do the math here, you’re going to see that I’m averaging a little bit over five minutes per video. Now here’s one of the challenges. Because we’re new, this publishing community doesn’t necessarily communicate all that great with each other, I don’t know whether those numbers are really good or not. If I dive in—let me figure out how to do this again because have to do it each time—if we take a look down here in the bottom, we can see what’s happening with each one of the videos. I’ll take a step back. Instead of diving in right now in the numbers, I’ll tell you what routine I go through. First of all, I check these numbers and of course get a little bit depressed when I see it drop and get a little elated when I see it jump up. But then I go and I look at these numbers here which are the videos, my top performing videos or the latest videos in the last 30 days, and I take a look at how they’re performing minutes viewed, the average duration. If I see an anomaly here, I check it out. if I see something that’s a very high number, I want to check it out to see what the video is to see why it’s doing so well. Now when I see a low number, I go oh, why are people clicking out of that video earlier? What I’m finding though as far as my videos go, I’ve got a very steady standard. I’ve got a very good standard. For example here as I’m looking along, Gmail’s Secret Weapon, I would have gone oh no, it’s only got 3:11 and look, the other video here has got 6:26 viewed so what did I do wrong in this one? Well, it turns out this video here which I think is not as good, Gmail’s Secret Weapon right here, is actually—sorry, 3:25—when I hover over it, I recognize it’s a 5:13 video. It’s a short video anyway so actually 3:25 is well over half of that video being watched so it’s actually performing quite well. The cool thing is we can dive in and we can drill in and we can take a look at any one video just by clicking on it and now we can see the statistics just on that video. As we go through it, the one that I look for and always check is this one here called Audience Retention. I’ll look at this on a lot of different videos. When I have a few minutes and I’m just kind of daydreaming, I’ll sit there and I’ll go into this Audience Retention and I’ll take a look at the videos. I’ll take a look and see if there are any precipitous drops. Now this one here is really smooth but the cool thing with this stat line on YouTube is it will tell us what percentage of people were still engaged in the video at any point in the video. So at this point here, I’m still at 73% of the people in the video. If you see a drop, a big drop, you go why did they drop off that much? From 47% and then they go fast down here. Why? Well, I’m wrapping it up. It’s obvious I’ve reached the end of the video. A lot of people know that. All of the content in here is where I’m probably pitching to get you to subscribe to my channel. This is all but still even at this point here, I’m still at 45% with just a few seconds to go on the video so I’m really pleased with how this video is performing. Occasionally, you’ll see this. You’ll see 102% or you’ll see actually a spike within the middle where it seems incongruent that there could be more views in the middle of a view than there was just before. That’s when you’ve hit a spot that people rewind. If people rewind back and watch it a couple of times, it will count as multiple views here. So that’s kind of a cool thing to see because that’ll tell you that you’ve hit a point that’s really engaging for your audience or it also might tell you that you’re being confusing at that point and they needed to rewind in order to learn what it was you were saying. So getting yourself familiar with these Analytics and then determining which numbers resonate to you, which ones are important to you and which ones you’re going to look for to grow your channel and to improve your product, that’s an exercise that is well worth while. For me, I’m going to continuously monitor and make sure that I’m getting good percentages of my videos viewed. Right now, I’m sitting at about 45% of the video viewed which I think is excellent and I’m getting five minutes per view which again I also think is pretty darn good. But I will monitor that. And as the result of the conversations that we have, going back and forth as this growing your channel to 100,000 subscribers series increases in penetration and more people engage, maybe I’ll be hearing back from you what sort of numbers you’re getting and we can engage in a dialogue as to how we can increase the numbers and what we can learn from each other as far as growing the value of our content, which then of course makes it that much more appealing and allows us to reach a larger audience as we grow along. I hope you found this useful. We publish new videos, two videos per week as far as our growth to 100,000 subscribers and I also publish two productivity videos each and every week. And starting this week, on Fridays, we’re going to be having conversations with successful YouTube publishers. So keep your eyes open for Friday when we will have our first conversation. We’ll be talking to the people that produce Convos with a Two-Year Old, a viral success story that’s grown to nearly 700,000 subscribers in some ten months. What a story! You’ll want to take that in. Please subscribe to this channel. Of course, engage in the conversation with us. I’m Steve Dotto. Thanks for spending time with me today.


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