YouTube offers a dynamic and powerful method of reaching an audience through visual media. When people like the content they see, and a channel provides fresh content regularly, they come back again and again. They share your content and increase the circle of interest and influence.
What Can Your YouTube Channel Tell You?
This is all great, but there’s a lot of valuable data wrapped up in those visits, views, and shares. YouTube Analytics already provides watch time, the sources of your channel’s traffic, and demographics of your audience. You can also see what kind of device folks use to view your content, their geographic location, subscriber status, playback type, date/time. But real news-you-can-use comes from Google Analytics. And if you’re not taking advantage of it, you’re missing out. It’s important to maximize the return on your time and financial investment. Tie your YouTube channel to your Google Analytics.
Using Google Analytics with Your YouTube Channel
Connecting your channel to your Google Analytics will give you the chance to learn more about your audience. Sure, you can keep track of content views and likes, and even the comments section will give you some insight (those Internet commenters can be brutal!). And, it’s not hard to set up your Google Analytics account to draw data from your YouTube channel. If you have come far enough to establish a Google Analytics account and a YouTube channel, you’ve got this. The really nice thing is that YouTube and Google Analytics are part of the same Google “family” so you know they already play well together. This is a huge plus if you’re at all unsure about how to connect the two.
This is a 2-part process. Basically, you’ll enter some information in Google Analytics and get a piece of code. And then you’ll enter that code in your YouTube account settings. Let’s get started.
Step 1: In Google Analytics
Let’s assume you already have a Google Analytics account. The first piece of information you need is the tracking ID associated with your property. This is the key that unlocks everything Analytics can do for your YouTube channel.
Each Analytics account can have up to 50 properties. So, step one is to log into Google Analytics. Next, find the ADMIN tab and then click ACCOUNT and PROPERTY. Choose website or mobile app, and then type in the name of your website or app. Make this very clear to yourself – you’ll need to keep your properties organized, and if you have 50, it can be hard to sort them out if they’re not labeled well. You’ll definitely want more than Site1, Site2, Site3, etc. Then, you’ll add the site URL. Include the http:// or https:// or it won’t work right; at the same time, skip the last / that is sometimes associated with a URL.
The next thing is to pick your industry category and reporting time zone. This time marks the end of your “day” for analytics and reporting purposes. If you’ve already got an AdWords account set up, this setting is already based on that account, and you may not have the opportunity to change the reporting time zone here. You can change this setting at any time, but you may notice you results are a little funky for a little bit after that. Past logs and reports are not re-calculated if you change the reporting time zone afterwards. That would make it hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing your reporting time zone.
And the last step is to click the blue GET TRACKING ID button. This piece of code is what makes the magic of Google Analytics happen for your YouTube channel. You need it if you are going to connect your YouTube channel and your Google Analytics account. Copy and paste it into a plain text editor or write it down.
Step 2: In YouTube
Now it’s back to YouTube. Log into your account and find your Advanced Settings page. Go to this page, and find the spot at the bottom of the page for GOOGLE ANALYTICS PROPERTY TRACKING ID. This is where you paste (or manually type in) that snippet of code you got on the Google Analytics page. It will begin logging data about your YouTube channel and you’ll be able to access it through your Google Analytics dashboard.
You may need to wait a couple of hours for the YouTube channel data to be collected and presented in reporting style on Google Analytics.