Carla Marshall has 10+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, and SEO. She was previously Editor in Chief at ReelSEO.com, and as a journalist and video marketer, she's covered news stories, creator journeys, and digital-first publishing initiatives across all the major online video platforms. She is YouTube Certified and a judge for the Shorty Awards, as well as the UK, US, Canadian, Global, and EU Search Awards.
How to Test Which YouTube Videos Generate The Most Views
If you're really serious about YouTube and you want to grow your channel (and we know you are because you’re reading this post), then you should know that there’s a way of ‘testing’ your content to see what's actually working for you. It's a feature called 'YouTube Groups' and to access it:
- Go to YouTube Studio
- Navigate to the ‘Analytics’ dashboard
- Click on either ‘Advanced Mode’ or ‘See More’ (both take you to the same screen)
- On the left-hand side of this new screen, you'll see your channel name. Click that and you'll activate a new mini dashboard
- Now click on the ‘Groups’ tab
This feature is a little hard to find, but it's going to allow you to test absolutely anything you want on your channel. Notes, these YouTube groups are not public, so viewers won't be able to see them as they do Playlists.
It's not going to interrupt their watching habits, but it does allow you to test the most minute changes on your videos to see what works so that you can double down on the best content on your channel. Check out our video tutorial about the feature:
How to Set Up a YouTube Group to Test Your Channel
OK, so now we know all about YouTube Groups, let's set one up. The first thing we need to do is to create a ‘Group.’ We're going to call this group ‘Thumbnails with Faces,’ and the feature allows us to search through our entire channel to add as many videos as we wish. Do note that you can search for videos by their ID, and the maximum number of videos in one single Group is 500.
In our example, we chose five videos that have a ‘face only’ custom thumbnail, then we created another group of videos that had no faces in the thumbnail.
Once you set some Groups up, you can view all of the advanced analytics for them, which is really useful in itself. But we can take all of this one step further.
On the right-hand side of the screen, there is a compare to function which allows you to compare Groups. And that's exactly what we're going to do now - compare the group of videos with faces in thumbnails versus those without.
At a glance, we can see from this small sample size that video thumbnails that don't contain faces appear to perform better.
In the space of just 30 seconds of effort, we've learned something incredibly valuable about our channel. And that’s just one idea, how about these for ways of checking how your video content is performing? How about grouping videos by:
#1 Certain metadata, perhaps having something consistent in the title like ‘how-to’
#2 By video length, say five minutes. Do videos under five minutes work better than videos over five minutes? You'd be surprised at the potential answers to that, especially with educational content.
#3 If you still haven't nailed down at your channel niche or focus, then you could try grouping videos by topic or style. That might be beauty and travel, or it might be product reviews and vlogging. If you create a group of 10 videos of each of those topics, you'll get your answer from your audience pretty quickly as to what they prefer to watch on your channel. You could also group your videos by the month that they were published. So you may discover that all of the content that you create between April and July is a bit of a lean period for your channel. Whereas all of the content you make coming up to Christmas, say October to December, is your boom period.
Now once you've created these groups of videos, just be cautious of outliers. There may be a group of videos where one of the videos in that group is contributing more than 50% of the views or the impressions because it's just a viral video for you. You'll have to trim those out of your analysis.
Now we do have at one more thing to show you, and that is a cool way that vidIQ groups videos for you. The ‘Channel Audit’ tool quickly breaks down the success of your channel into specific groups, so if you want to know which videos gain your channel, the most subscribers, or which videos have the most engagement or the highest watch time, we can quickly tell you.
The ‘Channel Audit’ tool also shows you what you're doing wrong on your channel and things to fix such as missing end screens on videos. You can start using the tool for free, there's a download link below.
Want to Find Success as a Creator on YouTube?
If you want to get more insights into YouTube then make sure to download vidIQ. Over 1 million creators use vidIQ to help with keyword and competitor research, channel audits, and so much more. Click here to install now for free!
And if you’re serious about growing your YouTube views and subscribers, sign up for exclusive access to the vidIQ Academy. Learn how to launch a successful YouTube Channel in just 30 days.