3 Ways To Confirm YouTube Is Actually Working For You

3 Ways To Confirm YouTube Is Actually Working For You

24th October 2012

After you put the effort in to upload your corporate or client videos to YouTube and optimised/promoted then accordingly, it’s vital that you are able to track and measure how each individual video (plus the channel as a whole) is working for you. Luckily, YouTube provides users with statistical and analytical tools help you measure the reach and engagement of your videos very easily.  Utilising these free tools will provide you with the information you need to understand how your video strategy is working and how it can be further leveraged.

Many people rely on view count stats alone, and while it’s hugely important to know how many people have watched a video, it’s equally important to know how just long viewers watched for and what action they took after.

Time Watched

YouTube recently updated their search algorithm to rank videos based on time watched. Essentially, they are rewarding great content that gets watched all the way through by rankings those videos higher in the search results. For YouTube, It’s all about the engagement – whether the video is 45 seconds long or 4 mins long, if a viewer has sat through the whole thing then the chances are they liked the content. You’ll be able to access the data via the Analytics tab on your video manager. You also have the option to compare metrics such as time watched vs unique views.

If people aren’t watching all the way through, consider editing if possible or take the findings into consideration for your next video.

Overall Views

This is a quick and easy metric to use to evaluate the impact of a video. Remember, YouTube is a ‘lean forward’ medium, users have to be pro-active and click on the video they want to watch, and by doing so, they register their interest. Luckily, there is an option below each video (IF the stats have been enabled) that shows the popularity of it and, even better, also shows which search term drove a number of significant views and from when.

You can use this data to understand what works for your target audience and what doesn’t. A lot of views when first uploaded but only a handful since suggests that you need to work harder on video seo so that the video can be found in the first place for it’s target keywords. Also, that further distribution via social media or your site itself needs to be addressed.

Traffic Sources

Using the Video Manager > Analytics > Traffic Sources feature, you will be able to monitor the impact of the video elsewhere on the web. This is absolutely vital information if video is part of your overall SEO & social strategy because it will show you at a glance where the views are coming from. Drilling down into each source gives you a further breakdown of  data.

You’ll know your video is working for you when it gets distributed and embedded outside of YouTube and consequently  drives huge engagement from those other sources. If it hasn’t worked then you will be able to address this – because you will have the data that tells you where people watched and where they didn’t. That sounds odd I know, but if you put a lot of effort into a Facebook campaign that drove far less traffic to the video than a newsletter, you have the metrics available to you to make a more informed decision next time.

If video promotion and distribution is important to your marketing campaign (and it should be but that’s another blog post….) then you need to know that your video content is being watched by the largest and most relevant audience available where possible. Using the inbuilt tools that YouTube provide will give you the feedback you need to understand what’s working and what isn’t so you can alter your strategy until you start achieving the ROI you need.


Written By
Carla Marshall is Director of SEO at ReelSEO.com.
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