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YouTube Traffic Sources Report Shows How to Grow Views

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YouTube metrics

The YouTube traffic sources report in Channel Analytics is useful for boosting views, especially with external sources.

The report is available in YouTube Studio. Click on the “See More” link under the graphic that shows audience numbers for the last 28 days (or any time period).

On the popup screen, click on “Traffic Source” in the upper left. Scroll down to the list on click on “External”. The resulting screen will show the number of views that come from sources outside of the YouTube website.

The sources include Google search, other search engines and any sites that have embedded a view in their own pages. People who visit those sites can play the video there or click to go to YouTube and see it on that site.

External views usually aren’t impressive. The great majority of views usually comes from the YouTube site itself. But any online publishers who have their own websites or publish content on other sites can take advantage of an opportunity to boost views in a major way.

How to Boost Video Views Externally

Testing by this company on a small channel began with a quick analysis of YouTube traffic sources in previous time periods. The sources looked like this:

  1. YouTube search: 51 percent of views
  2. Suggested videos: 23 percent
  3. Browse features: 13 percent
  4. External sources: 6 percent
  5. Other sources: 7 percent

After embedding only one video on only one page on an external site, the top three sources now look like this:

  1. YouTube search: 47 percent
  2. Suggested videos: 21 percent
  3. External sources: 13 percent

All of the increase in external sources came from the website that had the video. The numbers showed a major increase in views — which also increases the potential for getting more subscribers.

Prominence and Relevance

Where to embed a video on a page is key. Like everything else on a website, prominence matters most. So we embedded it near the top of a relevant page in a position that makes sense for the page visitor while also getting their attention.

Another test also was revealing. We placed multiple videos in the right column on every page of the same site. These videos produced not a single view or click. The quantity of videos and the quantity of page views for those videos didn’t matter at all.

That test showed that context and relevance impact whether site visitors play a video or not. Think about it; it’s not much different than AdSense ad performance, which also depends heavily on context and relevance.

The lessons are clear. The YouTube traffic sources report for external views will show which tactics work and which do not. Prominence, context and relevance determine the results.

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