How to Do a YouTube Channel Audit: A 10-Step Checklist

How to Do a YouTube Channel Audit: A 10-Step Checklist

YouTube is one of the largest video platforms in the world, with billions of hours of video watched each month by millions of people across the globe. If you have a YouTube channel and you’re not familiar with the term audit, let me explain. An audit is a review of your channel, taking stock of what you’ve got and where you could improve. You might want to do this regularly, or if your channel has changed significantly since its launch, you might want to do it more frequently.

Step 1 – Search Keywords
The first step in conducting a YouTube channel audit is to identify which keywords you want to rank for. You can do this by looking at the search terms that people use to find your videos, as well as the keywords that you’ve used in your titles and descriptions. Once you have a list of keywords, you can use a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to get an estimate of how much traffic each keyword is getting.

If a keyword has low search volume, it might not be worth targeting; if it has high traffic but low competition, it might be worth targeting even if there are many other videos about the same topic.

Step 2 – Review Past Videos
Take some time to watch your past videos and get an idea of what’s working and what’s not. Make note of any videos that got a lot of views and engagement, as well as any that didn’t do so well. This will help you understand your audience and what type of content they respond to. Step 3 – Determine Goals: Now that you know what has worked in the past, it’s time to figure out your goals for the future.

What is it you want from this channel? What kind of viewers do you want? Step 4 – Decide on a Direction: It might be hard to figure out where exactly you want to go with this channel but once you decide on one direction, start building up the momentum by putting out regular content along those lines and build up your followers accordingly. That way when you finally put out that video or campaign you’ve been waiting to release, there will already be an established following waiting for it.

Step 3 – Analyze Lyrics & Tags
Now that you have all of your content in one place, it’s time to analyze what you have. Look at the lyrics of each song and make sure they are appropriate for your channel. Also, check the tags on each video and ensure they are accurate and up-to-date. This will help potential viewers find your channel more easily. If there is a new single or album coming out soon, be sure to update your tags so people know when it drops!
Let’s take another look at Example 1 from earlier.

Let’s add in steps 3 & 4 now so we can see how this checklist would look when it is completed. Here’s our list so far:
1) Sign up for free with Google Sheets. 2) Gather all your videos together in one spreadsheet by copy/pasting links into Column B. 3) Analyze Lyrics & Tags – check the songs’ lyrics against what you want to convey through your music as well as making sure that every tag is relevant and current (look out for new singles and albums). 4) Once you’ve created your playlist(s), link them back to corresponding sheets using column E (highlighted below).

5) Assemble everything into a PDF report by going File > Print Preview > Pages per sheet > 2 pages side-by-side > OK. 6) Print the PDF report!

Step 4 – Browse Related Channels
Once you have your list of target channels, it’s time to do some research. Look at the channels that are similar to yours and see what they’re doing right (and wrong). This will give you some ideas of what you should (and shouldn’t) be doing with your own channel. Plus, it’s always good to know your competition. What are their strengths? Weaknesses? Who do they target? How often do they post content? What kind of content do they post? There is plenty more information available on other channels too – like engagement rates, subscriber counts, number of videos posted per month, etc.

Step 5 – Use Google Analytics
By default, YouTube channels are not set up with Google Analytics. You need to go into your Google Analytics account and set up a new property for your channel. Once you do that, you’ll be able to track things like how many views your videos are getting, how long people are watching, and where they’re coming from. This data is incredibly valuable for understanding what’s working and what’s not. For example, let’s say one of your goals is to increase subscribers by 10% in the next month. If you look at the data and see that only 2% of viewers watch more than 20 seconds of any given video, then it would make sense to focus on short clips (less than 20 seconds) instead of longer ones (more than 20 seconds).

Or if your channel has 50% fewer views than the average number of views across all other channels in your niche, then you may want to consider refining or changing the type of content that you post.

Step 6 – Understand Demographics and Playlists
If you want to make sure your channel is reaching its target audience, then you need to understand demographics. This includes things like age, gender, location, and interests. Once you know who your target audience is, you can create content that appeals to them.
You should also pay attention to the playlists that are popular on YouTube. This will give you an idea of what kinds of videos are currently trending. It’s important to keep up with trends so that you don’t miss out on opportunities for viewers.

Step 7 – Know What You Are Measuring (Subscribers, Views, Total Minutes Watched)
If you want to grow your channel, you need to know what you are measuring. Are you looking for more subscribers? More views? More total minutes watched? Without knowing what metric you are trying to improve, you won’t be able to effectively grow your channel. One of the most common mistakes is putting too much emphasis on one aspect (e.g., views) and not taking other aspects into account (e.g., subscriber growth). You will never grow your channel if you do not understand how to measure success!

Step 8 – Spot Negative Trends Early
If you notice any negative trends in your channel’s analytics, it’s important to address them as soon as possible. If you let them continue unchecked, they could damage your channel’s reputation and cause long-term harm. For example, if your engagement rate has been declining steadily for the past few months, that means that people are starting to unsubscribe from your channel.

Identifying this early will give you time to correct the problem before it gets worse and causes a significant drop in subscribers.

Step 9 – Watch Competitor Videos (Not Just Your Own)
You learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t by paying attention to your competitors. Of course, you should also be watching your own videos and taking note of what’s working well for you and what needs improvement. But don’t forget to study your competitors too! What is their video strategy? What types of video do they post? How often do they post? It’s an opportunity to glean insights from them that might help you improve your channel in the future.

Step 10 – Reach Out To Influencers for Feedback
Now that you have an idea of what’s working and what’s not, it’s time to get some feedback from people who are experts in the field. Reach out to influencers in your niche and ask for their thoughts on your channel. Be open to constructive criticism and use it to improve your channel.

You can also reach out to other smaller YouTubers in your niche or even just regular viewers and see if they would be willing to share any thoughts with you about how you could improve your channel.

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