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social media how toDo you use YouTube for business?

Want to connect Google Analytics to your YouTube channel?

Google Analytics can show you how people find and engage with your channel, and how YouTube drives traffic to your website.

In this article, you’ll discover how to set up Google Analytics to track and measure the impact of your YouTube marketing efforts.

measure youtube marketing effectiveness using google analytics

Discover how to track and measure your YouTube marketing efforts with Google Analytics.

#1: Set Up Google Analytics for Your YouTube Channel

To track your YouTube marketing with Google Analytics, first you need to actually set up Google Analytics for your YouTube channel. The process is similar to tracking a website with Google Analytics.

To get started, create a new property in your Google Analytics account.

google analytics create property

Create a new property.

Set up that property as a website. Use your YouTube channel URL as the website link.

add youtube url as website in google analytics

Use your YouTube channel URL as the website link.

Next, you’ll find your Google Analytics tracking ID, which usually starts with “UA-,” followed by some numbers.

google analytics tracking id

Find your Google Analytics tracking ID.

Go to your YouTube channel and open your Advanced Settings. At the bottom of this page, you’ll see a field where you can enter your Google Analytics tracking ID.

google analytics tracking id in youtube settings

In the Advanced Settings, you’ll see a field at the bottom to enter your tracking ID.

This ID will allow you to track your YouTube channel visitors similarly to how you track website visitors inside Google Analytics. Note: The analytics inside YouTube still provide the best data for the videos themselves.

Google Analytics will track the visitors to your YouTube channel’s homepage (youtube.com/username) and clicks to specific tabs on your channel, such as About, Discussion, Videos, Playlist, and other tabs. You can see this data in the Behavior > All Pages report below.

traffic to youtube channel in google analytics

Google Analytics tracks visitors to your channel homepage.

To find out how people discover your YouTube channel, go to the Acquisitions > All Traffic > Source / Medium report.

youtube traffic sources in google analytics

See how people discover your channel.

You can see the geographic breakdown of channel visitors in the Audience > Geo > Location report.

geographic breakdown of youtube channel visitors in google analytics

Geographic data is also provided.

In short, you run the same reports about your YouTube channel as you would with your website.

#2: Track Traffic From Your YouTube Channel Profile Link

The second way to use Google Analytics to track the impact of your YouTube marketing is to measure how much traffic you’re getting from YouTube to your website. In general, Google Analytics will track YouTube traffic to your website like this:

track youtube traffic in google analytics

Measure the amount of traffic you’re getting.

From there, you won’t get much additional detail to see if it was a link from your channel, your videos, someone else’s video, a video embedded on someone else’s website, and so forth.

This is where using UTM parameters helps. You can add UTM parameters to most of the links on your YouTube channel and videos to ensure that every click from your channel and videos can be specifically linked to its source.

Here’s an example of how it works on my own channel. I start by editing the link to my main website that appears at the top of my channel.

edit youtube website link

Start by editing the link at the top of your channel.

Instead of just linking to my website, I append the following UTM tags to my URL.

use utm parameters with youtube channel link

Append the UTM tags to your URL.

The full link looks like this:

http://kristihines.com/?utm_source=youtube.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=website&utm_content=profile+link

Here’s the info provided by the various parameters:

  • “utm_source=youtube.com” tells Google Analytics the click came from YouTube.
  • “utm_medium=referral” tells Google Analytics the click is a referral traffic source.
  • “utm_campaign=website” is a custom campaign name for tracking general website traffic.
  • “utm_content=profile+link” tells Google Analytics the click is a general profile link.

Combined, these parameters indicate this click came from my YouTube channel’s profile link. You’ll learn how to do this later in the article.

#3: Track Traffic From Each YouTube Video

Next, you’ll want to track the traffic from your YouTube videos inside Google Analytics. The same tactic applies: you’ll just use UTM parameters with your video links.

For example, in the following video, I use an annotation spotlight.

use utm parameters with youtube video links

The same UTM tactic applies to videos.

The full link looks like the one below and sends the same information to Google Analytics. Except this time, the UTM parameters tell Google Analytics the traffic came from an annotation link in the video instead of a profile link for my promotion campaign.

http://kristihines.com/blog-post-ideas/?utm_source=youtube.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=promotion&utm_content=video+annotation+link

You can also use shortened links on the video and in the video description text below the video. For example, there are two shortened links above. The one on the video, “kristihines.com/ideas,” is short and easy to type in. It redirects the visitor to the following UTM parameter tagged URL:

http://kristihines.com/blog-post-ideas/?utm_source=youtube.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=promotion&utm_content=video+noclick+link

The second one below the video is “http://bit.ly/2bkwkds.” This one is a clickable link in the video’s description. It uses the Bitly URL shortener service to create a shorter link so that no one misses it in the URL. It will redirect visitors who click it to the following UTM parameter tagged URL:

http://kristihines.com/blog-post-ideas/?utm_source=youtube.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=promotion&utm_content=video+description+link

These URLs tell Google Analytics that the traffic came from either the text link in the video that visitors typed into their browser’s address bar or a click on the link in the video description.

#4: View Overall YouTube Traffic

Once you’ve set up all of your UTM parameter tagged URLs, all you have to do is wait for visitors to start clicking them.

To find out if they have, go to the Acquisition > All Traffic > Source / Medium report. Use the search box above the table to search for “youtube” and your YouTube traffic will appear.

view youtube traffic in google analytics

Search for “youtube” in the box above the table.

From here, use the Secondary Dimension drop-down list to add the Ad Content column.

add column to google analytics

Add the Ad Content column.

Now you can see the traffic from YouTube that came from your channel and videos or someone else’s. (Other traffic will typically show “not set” in the Ad Content column.) More importantly, you’ll know exactly which links are most effective.

view youtube traffic sources in google analytics

Quickly see which links are most effective.

In the above report, you can see that two visitors came by clicking video annotation links, one visitor came by clicking the link on the channel profile, one visitor came by clicking a video description link, and one visitor came by typing in a link from a video.

This report also shows conversion data (percentage rate, completions, and value), so you can see which YouTube links result in actual conversions (sales, leads, etc.).

If you want to get more specific data, you could include the name of the video in the utm_content parameter so you can find out which video each video click comes from.

In Conclusion

With Google Analytics, you can gain insights into your video marketing in two ways. First, you can learn more about how people find and engage with your YouTube channel. And second, you can learn how your YouTube channel drives traffic to your website.

What do you think? Which metrics do you find most valuable when it comes to your YouTube marketing? Please let us know in the comments below!

Tips for using Google Analytics to analyze your YouTube marketing efforts.

Tips for using Google Analytics to analyze your YouTube marketing efforts.

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