How to Conduct a YouTube Audit in 5 Steps

Part search engine, half streaming service and half social community, YouTube has a bit little bit of every little thing. A wholesome channel can have main implications in your video discoverability—on YouTube and past. That’s why it pays to conduct an intensive YouTube audit.

YouTube isn’t simply surviving—it’s thriving. The platform touts over 2 billion month-to-month lively customers (when it comes to month-to-month lively customers worldwide). And after only one yr, YouTube Shorts—the platform’s reply to short-form video’s recognition—was already producing over 15 billion every day international views. Yet whereas 51% of shoppers count on YouTube to be one of many platforms they use essentially the most within the subsequent yr, solely 35% of entrepreneurs say the identical.

Growing a YouTube channel takes greater than asking individuals to “smash that subscribe button.” If you’re questioning tips on how to get extra views on YouTube, performing a YouTube audit is a good place to start out.

Why conducting a YouTube audit is necessary, and tips on how to begin

As the second hottest social platform, the enterprise worth of YouTube can’t be understated. Besides offering a go-to hub for ever-popular video content material, YouTube movies have the potential to point out up first in Google search outcomes to develop your model’s attain, presence and authority.

But with 500+ hours of content material uploaded each minute, competitors is excessive. A YouTube channel audit will help you keep forward and get extra YouTube subscribers by assessing how your channel is performing, and figuring out alternatives to boost your technique.

Before you begin your audit, take into consideration what you are promoting and social media targets, and the function YouTube performs in reaching them. This will allow you to perceive how your channel and content material is performing, and can act as your compass to determine the route you must go.

With the stage set, listed below are 5 steps to performing a YouTube channel audit:

  1. Complete and replace your profile
  2. Get to know your YouTube viewers
  3. Evaluate your content material
  4. Check and optimize your channel for search
  5. Conduct aggressive analysis

1. Complete and replace your profile

Let’s begin easy—finishing and updating your profile is vital to creating an interesting, user-friendly channel.

Here’s a step-by-step course of to stroll you thru it:

Check the weather of your profile

Channel trailer and featured video

A channel trailer exhibits non-subscribed guests what your channel and model are all about. Once somebody subscribes, your trailer is changed with a featured video you select.

Before subscribing to Shopify’s channel, you see an explainer video—their trailer.

And when you’ve subscribed, that video is changed with an inspirational “First sale” featured video.

Shopify's youtube homepage view for subscribers, where the channel trailer is replaced with a featured video about making your first sale.

To set these up, go to your YouTube Studio and choose Customization > Layout > and below Video Spotlight, add every of those components.

Featured sections

Featured sections are to YouTube as present suggestions are to Netflix. They’re collections of movies in your homepage that assist information your guests to attention-grabbing content material.

Notice how the Chicago Bulls characteristic their Run With Us collection, humorous movies and in style movies on their homepage.

Chicago Bulls homepage displaying their featured sections, including their Run With series, Funny videos and Popular uploads.

YouTube will robotically show your Shorts, Uploads, Created playlists and public Subscription sections. But you possibly can customise and embody as much as 12 sections, together with playlists, upcoming and previous livestreams and extra.

Add new sections or change the order by going to YouTube Studio > Customization > Layout > Featured Sections.

Channel description

In 1,000 characters or much less, summarize your channel, who you might be or what your model is in a fascinating and informative approach.


Playlists are a good way to prepare your movies and information viewers to collection, associated subjects and extra. Assess your present playlists to determine what might be up to date or added.

Check your visuals and branding

Profile image

You have a profile image on Twitter, TikTookay and Instagram—YouTube is not any totally different.

At a perfect measurement of 800 x 800 pixels, examine that your profile image isn’t blurry, is legible and matches your model’s character.

Banner picture

At the really useful dimensions of 2048 x 1152 pixels, there’s a whole lot of actual property right here.

Besides guaranteeing your banner picture is on-brand, get artistic. LEGO’s brilliant and attention-grabbing banner consists of details about a weekly collection on their channel.

Lego's bright pink youtube banner image that includes text informing viewers of their weekly video series.

You can even add as much as 5 hyperlinks to your banner. LEGO makes use of theirs to direct guests to their web site and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

A gif of Lego's YouTube demonstrating that their banner links lead visitors to their website and social channels.

Pro tip: With round 70% of YouTube site visitors coming from cellular, ensure your banner is mobile-friendly. 1546 x 423 pixels is the “safe area” to keep away from cropping necessary data or hyperlinks.

Create participating video thumbnails

According to YouTube Creator Academy, 90% of top-performing YouTube movies have customized thumbnails.

Part branding alternative, half interest-grabber, customized thumbnails like those for these two Sprout collection tie every assortment of movies collectively.

Two of Sprout's youtube playlists which contain videos that all have similar thumbnails that tie each series together in a visual way.

Pro tip: If you have already got strong thumbnails, assessment their efficiency. Under the Content tab in YouTube Analytics, “impressions and how they led to watch time” will present you ways typically your thumbnails had been proven to viewers, how typically that led to a view and the way lengthy a viewer stored watching.

2. Get to know your YouTube viewers

Growing your channel begins with realizing your viewers. Understanding what they care about is essential—particularly contemplating that one of many targets of YouTube’s rating system is to serve related content material to its customers.

Here are a couple of methods to raised perceive your viewers, and the way you’re rising.

Dig into your demographics and information

Understanding your viewers is a mixture of digging into who they’re and what they like. Uncover these insights in three fast steps:

Step 1: Log into YouTube and head to the YouTube Studio.
Step 2: Click on “Analytics” on the left facet of the display.
Step 3: Click “Audience” close to the highest of the display

In your channel analytics, you will discover out:

  • When your viewers are on YouTube
  • Other channels and movies your viewers watches
  • Watch time from subscribers
  • Age and gender
  • Top geographies
  • Top subtitle/CC languages

All of this information can let you know tips on how to interact together with your viewers. For instance, seeing what channels and movies your viewers watches can encourage your future movies. Top geographies might uncover a necessity for captions in several languages. And watch time might let you know that your viewers prefers shorter content material.

Pro tip: Look on the demographics of your present YouTube viewers. If this data doesn’t line up with the viewers you’re making an attempt to achieve—or if it’s in all places—you might must rethink your technique.

Find out when your subscribers are most lively

Posting when your viewers is most lively will help seize early engagement, construct views, pull forward of different new uploads on their homepage and sign to the YouTube algorithm that your content material needs to be recommended to browsers.

Find this data by going to YouTube Studio > Analytics > Audience, and discover “When your viewers are on YouTube.”

Knowing when your viewers are most attentive inside your movies can even allow you to perceive what subjects work, the most effective timestamps to ask individuals to subscribe in your movies and the place individuals fall off. YouTube’s key moments for viewers retention report will let you know the place viewer consideration was strongest in every of your movies—discover this in YouTube Studio > Content > click on on a video > and click on Overview or Engagement.

How is my viewers rising?

Your complete follower depend solely tells you a lot. Tracking your follower development can let you know concerning the well being of your channel, benchmark what strong development seems like in your model and extra.

Benchmarking your development and paying attention to what results in extra subscribers—like posting extra typically or particular video subjects—helps you keep on observe. Visualizing your development will help with benchmarking and understanding what’s resulting in extra subscribers. Sprout Social’s Profile Performance report, for instance, exhibits a graph of your channel’s day-by-day development.

Sprout Social's profile performance report that makes visualizing your audience growth easy and clear.

3. Evaluate your content material

This is without doubt one of the most necessary elements of your YouTube audit. Identifying what content material works greatest is a vital a part of rising your channel.

Here’s a step-by-step course of to judge your content material:

Take stock of your present movies

If you’ve had your YouTube channel for some time, there could also be outdated movies, or some you aren’t even conscious of.

Start easy: Scroll by means of your channel and take stock. Ask your self:

  • What movies do I have already got?
  • What subjects haven’t I coated that I ought to?
  • Are there outdated or low-quality movies I can replace?
  • Which movies have weak titles and descriptions that I can refresh to enhance discoverability?
  • How are my calls to motion? Am I asking individuals to subscribe?

Answering these questions will determine content material gaps and the place you must make adjustments.

Identify your most profitable movies

All content material isn’t king—the proper content material is king. Identifying your most profitable movies helps you prioritize what you need to publish sooner or later.

Analyze your information to determine which movies your viewers likes essentially the most. Then, search for patterns: Which movies have essentially the most views? What lengths are inclined to carry out the most effective? Which subjects get essentially the most engagement?

Views, impressions, engagements and common view length are a couple of video metrics to observe. A software like Sprout Social’s YouTube Videos Report shortly pulls this data for you, and you’ll type by the metrics that matter most to you.

A screenshot of Sprout Social's YouTube Video Report. In the image, four different YouTube video thumbnails are seen with video views, minutes watched and engagements metrics listed underneath.

Find your gaps

What subjects have you ever not coated that your channel ought to provide?

If you’re having hassle brainstorming new subjects to cowl, begin with what your viewers is watching.

In the Research part of your channel-level YouTube Analytics, discover a record of what your viewers and viewers are looking for to assist spark concepts, and determine what opponents are publishing.

Assess your accessibility options

Provide closed captions for accessibility—each as an inclusivity greatest follow and to maintain sound-off viewers watching. Also examine your captions to keep away from awkward and even offensive auto-caption errors. You can edit the textual content and timing in YouTube Studio below Subtitles.

A screenshot of the YouTube Studio where the subtitles area is circled on the left side of the screen.

If you will have a worldwide viewers, offering captions and descriptions in several languages could make your channel extra accessible and develop your viewership. Head to YouTube Studio and choose Subtitles so as to add translations in your captions, titles and descriptions.

4. Check and optimize your channel for search

YouTube is taken into account the second largest search engine behind Google. Optimizing your video for search is essential if you wish to get found on YouTube and Google alike.

A screenshot of a Google search for

YouTube doesn’t simply serve essentially the most seen movies in search outcomes. Their important objective is to point out a searcher related content material. YouTube determines this by matching titles, descriptions and video content material to go looking phrases, and evaluating which movies will drive essentially the most engagement.

This is why the correct key phrases can get extra eyes on new content material, and provides new life to your previous movies as effectively. Here are a couple of locations you possibly can optimize your key phrases:

  • Video titles: Think about what your viewers would possibly search to seek out your video. Limit your title to 70 characters to keep away from phrases getting reduce off, and embody an important key phrases or search phrases you need to rank for.
  • Video descriptions: Out of those 5,000 characters, concentrate on optimizing and together with key phrases within the first 200—these seem above the “show more” fold. This ought to learn in a pure, participating approach—not like a listing of search phrases.
  • Chapter titles: These are headings for various sections of your video that seem in Google search outcomes. Name every title with useful key phrases that searchers might use.
  • Tags: These are useful in case your model, channel or matter has widespread misspellings. Including these in your tags helps everybody discover your content material—even with typos.

Pro tip: If you’re interested by how your web optimization well being seems, take a look at how persons are discovering your content material. In the “Content” part of YouTube Analytics, you’ll discover a breakdown of how viewers discovered your content material. If search is low, you could have some web optimization work to do.

5. Conduct aggressive analysis

If you need to sustain with or outpace your opponents—and who doesn’t?—you first must know the way you stack up towards them.

Perform a condensed social media aggressive evaluation to determine your opponents, consider their efficiency and determine alternatives to face out.

Identify your opponents

You in all probability already know who a few of your opponents are. But to seek out opponents you may not concentrate on, seek for key phrases or phrases you need to rank for. Then, pay attention to the movies that come up on the primary web page, and who posted them.

A screenshot of the top videos in the Youtube search results for the query, how to propagate plants.

You can even take a look at who your viewers follows. In YouTube Analytics, discover this information below the Audience part inside “Other channels your audience watches” and “Other videos your audience watched.”

Take observe of competitor efficiency

How many views are your opponents getting? How many subscribers have they got? How typically do they publish?

Getting an concept of how lively these accounts are, and the way giant their viewers is, may give you a good suggestion of the way you stack up.

Mind gaps

Where opponents fall flat, you possibly can stand tall.

Look on the subjects your opponents have coated, and people they haven’t—the place are you able to fill a spot? Where are you able to create higher movies? What makes you stand out?

Tools that can assist you conduct your YouTube channel audit

Besides the highly effective analytics YouTube already supplies, there are dozens of sources and instruments obtainable that can make this course of a lot simpler. Here are a couple of to take a look at.

Sprout Social

We’d be remiss to not point out our personal highly effective instruments. Sprout makes your YouTube audit, and day-to-day social media administration, simpler.

Powerful reporting instruments can pace up the method of analyzing your YouTube information. And recommended Optimal Send Times determine the most effective occasions so that you can publish on YouTube.

Not prepared to totally commit but? Try Sprout free for 30 days to see how we will help.


If having a full “YouTube audit” software makes you breathe a sigh of aid, VidIQ’s Chrome extension and gear is perhaps your zen area.

From offering key phrase alternatives to competitor monitoring, VidIQ will help fast-track your audit. And with free and low-price tiers, they’re additional accessible.

A screenshot of the homepage of VidIQ's website


One of our favorites, Canva’s free or paid tiers are particularly helpful for the branding and visible a part of your YouTube audit.

Canva’s pre-sized templates make creating up to date banners, profile footage and thumbnails for YouTube movies easy, and even enjoyable—whether or not you’re keen on graphic design, otherwise you’re new to it.

A screenshot of Canva showing the options for creating YouTube specific graphics


Already have pictures to make use of for YouTube however want them resized? Landscape by Sprout is a free software that can allow you to shortly resize pictures for various social channels.

This is particularly useful for those who’re auditing a number of channels directly and need to edit and use constant imagery throughout platforms.

A screenshot of Sprout Social's free tool landscape where you can resize images to perfectly fit any social platform.

Moz Keyword Explorer

A key phrase software is particularly helpful whereas auditing web optimization in your YouTube metadata. Moz presents a free Keyword Explorer software for as much as 10 key phrase queries a month that may allow you to determine essentially the most related and top-searched key phrases to make use of in your video titles, descriptions and extra.

A screenshot of the Moz keyword explorer tool and an example of the suggested keywords it provides when you search for propagate plants.

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a free software inside Google Ads. But it will also be a useful software when doing web optimization and key phrase analysis throughout your YouTube audit.

Rev translation software

You can actually use auto-translation instruments in your captions, video descriptions, titles and extra. But this could result in complicated translations that don’t present the most effective expertise for international viewers.

Rev has a crew of precise people to translate your copy, guaranteeing extra high quality management. Rev isn’t free, however when you have a worldwide viewers and want translations, utilizing a software may very well be price the associated fee.

Conduct a YouTube channel audit that grows your viewers

Performing a YouTube channel audit can really feel daunting, however it doesn’t must be.

Follow this information step-by-step to set your self, your YouTube channel and what you are promoting up for fulfillment—now, and in the long term.

You have the steps. You have the instruments. Now all you must do is begin your audit. Download our free social media video metrics cheat sheet to additional assist manage your audit and start monitoring key metrics to find your in style video content material.

Carly Hill –