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YouTube Metrics: Top 12 Metrics You Need to Measure

YouTube Metrics: Top 12 Metrics You Need to Measure

Discover key insights for YouTube success. Our Top 12 YouTube Metrics guide helps you understand what to track for views, engagement and growth.
What we'll cover

Imagine hitting "Publish" on your latest YouTube video and watching the views roll in. It feels great, right? 

Now, what if you knew which metrics fueled that success? Understanding YouTube metrics can turn that great feeling into a strategy for consistent growth. 

That's where YouTube Analytics comes into play.

Here’s the thing: There’s no point analyzing poor video content. Luckily, with Maekersuite, you have every tool you need to create amazing videos, from video ideas generator to insightful data.

This article will guide you through the top 12 YouTube metrics that can maximize the ROI on the videos you've worked hard to create. We'll explore everything from audience engagement to channel pages in YouTube Analytics. With Maekersuite as your ally, discover how to fine-tune your strategy for maximum impact.

What Are YouTube Metrics?

Youtube studio analytics page Overview Dashboard

Tracking your video performance is key to a successful YouTube channel. YouTube metrics provide detailed insights into how your videos are doing, helping you understand your audience, measure engagement and improve future content.

To access your YouTube metrics, go to YouTube Studio and click on "Analytics" on the left menu. You will now see metrics like watch time, views, subscriber growth, and more here.

YouTube metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are important but serve different purposes. Metrics are raw data points like views or likes. KPIs measure progress against goals you set, like reaching 10,000 subscribers within a year. Metrics inform you, and KPIs guide you. Thus, both are essential for measuring success.

What Does YouTube Metrics Mean to Your Channel?

YouTube metrics are the pulse of your channel. They offer multiple benefits that contribute to its growth and profitability. With the platform having over 2.7 billion monthly active users in September 2023, tracking the right metrics can give you a slice of this massive audience.

Metrics such as watch time, engagement rate and subscriber count help you understand what resonates with your audience. 

4 thumbnails on the left for each categories of Use cases, Marketing, Education, Social Media and Business.

Since YouTube is the most widely utilized video marketing platform – 90% of marketers use it – understanding metrics can help your brand gain recognition.

Leveraging YouTube metrics has both micro and macro effects. 

  • On a smaller scale, you can adjust your video titles, tags, or descriptions based on YouTube keyword research. These adjustments attract more views and improve your search rankings. 
  • On a broader scale, understanding these metrics helps you craft a more effective long-term strategy. Metrics give you the roadmap, and following this leads to channel growth and higher revenue.

Top 12 YouTube Metrics You Need to Measure

Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics focus on how your audience interacts with your videos. These metrics reveal the audience's interest and activity level, which are critical for video success. Measuring them helps you tailor your content for more impact. 

You can boost these engagement metrics using tools like YouTube Description Generator and YouTube Title Generator to generate engaging descriptions and titles for your channel.

1. Watch Time

Youtube analytics report of Watch time in minutes

Watch time is the total number of minutes viewers have spent watching your videos on a platform like YouTube. It's a crucial metric because it shows engagement levels. Platforms use it to gauge the quality of your content.

How Does Watch Time Work and How is it Measured?

Watch time is often measured in minutes or sometimes seconds. It's calculated by adding up each viewer's time on your video. Many platforms offer analytics tools that show watch time. For instance, you can find this data on YouTube Studio under the "Analytics" tab. Here, you'll see graphs and charts to understand the watch time better.

Interpreting Watch Time

Reading the watch time metric requires context. Look for patterns over a period, say a week or a month. If your 10-minute video averages a watch time of 6 minutes, that's generally good. It means people are staying to watch most of it. But if you see a sudden drop, that's a signal that the video had a boring part or technical issues.

2. View Count

View count report in youtube analytics, shows a line graph

View count is the number of times viewers have watched a video. Unlike watch time, it doesn't consider how long someone stayed. It's a simple counter that ticks up each time a user clicks on your video.

For example, a video with 100,000 views will likely appear more compelling than one with 100 views. But remember, high views don't always mean high engagement.

How View Count Works and Its Measurement

Every time someone clicks on your video, the view count increases by one. Platforms like YouTube have strict algorithms to ensure that views are authentic. That means accidental clicks or short views may not always count. 

Interpreting View Count

The view count is simple but can be misleading. A high number of views can boost your ego, but it's crucial to dig deeper. If your video has high views but low watch time, people are clicking but not staying. That's a red flag. Look at view count and other metrics like watch time and click-through rate for a balanced insight into your video's performance. Then, you can grow your channel by focusing on what’s working.

3. Likes and Dislikes

youtube logo and icon with like and dislike stats below it

Likes and dislikes are quick feedback options on many platforms. A thumbs-up for "like" shows approval, and a thumbs-down for "dislike" shows the opposite. These clicks help viewers express their opinions.

How Likes and Dislikes Work and How to Measure Them

When viewers click on the thumbs-up or thumbs-down icon, the count changes. You can see these metrics under your video or in your analytics dashboard. 

Interpreting Likes and Dislikes

High likes are good, but pay attention to dislikes. A high number of dislikes can offer critical insights. Maybe the title was misleading, or the content quality was poor. If you see balanced likes and dislikes, that's also a clue. Your content might polarize people and spark debate.


comment section screen capture

Comments are text-based feedback that viewers leave below a video. Unlike likes and dislikes, comments allow for detailed opinions, questions, or suggestions. High comments usually mean high engagement. For example, a cooking video might have comments from viewers asking for recipe details, signaling interest and engagement.

How Comments Work and How to Measure Them

Users type their comments in a designated section and hit 'post.' You can see the number of comments under a video's 'comment section'. 

Interpreting Comments

It's important to read the comments to understand them. Look for common themes or repeated questions. Positive comments usually mean you're on the right track. Negative comments aren't all bad, as they can show you areas for improvement. If viewers point out a confusing part of your video, it's a cue to clarify it in future content.


youtube page with red arrow pointing to Share button and stats

Shares occur when viewers distribute your video on social media or through direct links. This action amplifies your video's reach beyond your immediate audience.

How Shares Work and How to Measure Them

A share happens when a viewer clicks the 'Share' button. You can track shares in your analytics dashboard. 

Interpreting Shares

It makes sense to keep tabs on the number of shares. This metric reveals what topics and formats grab the interest of your target audience. For example, if a video type gets shared more, it indicates a preference for a particular niche/type.

Viewer Metrics

Viewer metrics help you understand who is watching your content and how they find it. These metrics are crucial for long-term success, enabling you to tailor content to your target audience. 

To know what your viewers want to see next, use tools like the YouTube Video Ideas Generator and the YouTube Keyword Tool.

6. Impressions Click-Through Rate

impressions click through rate report

Impressions click-through rate (CTR) shows the percentage of impressions that led to a video click. YouTube counts one impression when it shows your video thumbnail to someone. CTR tells you how often people clicked after seeing this thumbnail.

How Does Impressions CTR Work and How is it Measured?

You can divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions, then multiply by 100 to get a percentage to find the CTR. This data is available in your analytics dashboard. 

Interpreting Impressions CTR

CTR gives insight into the effectiveness of your thumbnail and title. A high CTR means your video is compelling enough to make people click. It can improve your video's ranking on YouTube. For example, if your video gets 1,000 impressions and 100 clicks, your CTR is 10%. A high CTR is a sign of strong viewer interest.

7. Card Clicks

youtube video of a guy in glasses with purple arrow pointing to a card pop out at the end of the video slideroi

Card clicks refer to the number of times viewers click on cards in your video. Cards are interactive elements that you can add to your videos. They can link to other videos, playlists, websites, and more. 

How Card Clicks Work and How to Measure Them

You can edit the videos in the content section of YouTube Studio to add cards. Each click on a card increases the card's click count. This data is usually available in your video analytics section. Some platforms even show what percentage of viewers clicked on the cards.

Interpreting Card Clicks

A high number of card clicks often suggests effective engagement. But context matters. If card clicks are high but watch time is low, viewers might leave your video to click the card. If the card takes them to another one of your videos, that's usually good. You may want to reconsider the card's content or timing if it takes them off-platform.

8. Demographics

youtube analytics report with bar graph and statistics specifically under demographics report

YouTube analytics offer key insights into your audience, including age, gender, and where they're located. The geography report is especially helpful as it shows views, average view duration, and watch time hours per region.

How Demographics Work and How to Measure Them

You'll see various charts and graphs breaking down your audience on YouTube. 

The age and gender report breaks down views and watch time into two segments. This helps identify the age groups most engaged with your videos. 

Interpreting Demographics

Look for trends and patterns. If you notice a spike in viewers from a certain location, maybe consider content that resonates with that audience. If your audience includes older people, complex tech jargon might be off-putting. Always consider demographics when you plan future videos.

Reach Metrics

Reach metrics gauge how far your content travels across YouTube. They're essential for assessing how many people your videos reach and how they find them. Use these metrics to adjust your SEO strategy. 

You can leverage tools like YouTube Search Trends and YouTube Tag Generator to boost your reach metrics.

9. Audience Retention

audience retention rate and report

Audience retention refers to the time viewers spend watching your YouTube videos. It shows you how well your video holds the audience's attention from start to finish. 

How Audience Retention Works and How to Measure It

YouTube shows audience retention as a percentage. It's calculated by dividing the total watch time of a specific video by its overall length. You may find graphs on YouTube that show where viewers drop off and give specific insights.

Interpreting Audience Retention

Higher percentages are generally good, as they show that your videos have the capability to hold the viewer’s attention. If retention drops at a certain point, you must dig deeper into the cause. Maybe your video had a confusing or boring section there. Similarly, spikes in retention can indicate parts that viewers rewatch as they signal high interest.

10. Unique Viewers

unique viewers report

Unique viewers refer to the individual people who have watched your video. Unlike view count, which counts multiple views from the same person, this metric counts each viewer only once. It gives you a sense of your video's true reach. 

How Unique Viewers Work and How to Measure Them

YouTube tracks unique cookies to identify unique views. You can find this information in your analytics dashboard under the section focused on the audience. 

Interpreting Unique Viewers

A high number of unique viewers is generally positive, as it signifies a broad reach. However, looking at this alongside other metrics like watch time or engagement rates is crucial. For instance, if you have many unique viewers but low watch time, your content may attract people but not interest them.

Channel Metrics

Channel Metrics are sets of data points that measure the performance of your entire video channel. They help with long-term planning and identifying what's working or not. These metrics can guide your keyword research efforts and help you discover the terms and titles that bring in views and engagement.

11. Subscribers

sample youtube channel with red underline on the 15M subscribers

Subscribers are users who follow your channel. They get updates when you post new content. Subscribing is a stronger commitment than viewing a video, and it represents a stable audience that’s likely to watch future videos. 

How Subscribers Work and How to Measure Them

Users can click a "Subscribe" button, usually found below your videos or on your channel page. You can track the number of subscribers on your analytics dashboard. 

Interpreting Subscribers and Subscriber Growth

A rising subscriber count is generally a good sign. It usually means your content is resonating with viewers. However, don't just focus on the total count. Look at the rate of subscriber growth. Rapid growth could mean a hit video or effective marketing, while a slowdown could indicate waning interest.

12. Most Popular Videos

sort by most popular screen capture

The most popular videos are the ones that have gained the most views, likes, or engagement on your channel. These videos often serve as a gateway to your channel. They attract new viewers and can convert them into subscribers. They can also inform you about what type of content resonates most with your audience.

How Most Popular Videos Work and How to Measure Them

You can identify these videos through your analytics dashboard. Platforms often rank videos based on various metrics like views, likes, and engagement rates. 

Interpreting Most Popular Videos

Understanding why certain videos are popular can help refine your content strategy. Look at the common themes or features in these videos. Do they have compelling titles? High-quality visuals? Did the specific topics hit a nerve?

Unlock Your Channel’s Full Potential

Maximizing your channel's power hinges on a deep understanding of YouTube metrics. Here’s what we learned: 

  • Each set of data offers valuable insights into your channel’s performance
  • The metrics guide your content strategy, fine-tune your marketing efforts, and maximize engagement and reach. 
  • These metrics are your roadmap to consistent growth and high-performance content.

Don't miss the chance to elevate your YouTube game with Maekersuite. With a suite of tools designed to optimize every aspect of content creation, like our Video Title Generator, Maekersuite has you covered. 

Armed with these insights and tools, you're on your way to unlocking your channel's full potential.

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