Get More Views With Impressions Click Through Rate YouTube

Last updated July 29, 2021

user Written by Nhat Kieu Minh

Get More Views With Impressions Click Through Rate YouTube

Maintaining a YouTube channel without using insights from the Analytics tool is like having darkness shrouding you. If you want to break through the noise and make your videos stand out from the sea of similar content, you should focus on impressions click through rate YouTube.

It’s one of the most important metrics that show how well your videos are grabbing the attention of users outside of your existing audience.

Never heard of this data and unsure how to take advantage of it? This article will walk you through all of that.

What Are Impressions On YouTube?

In short, impressions are the times when YouTube suggests your content to potential viewers by displaying the thumbnails of your videos to other users while they’re browsing the platform.

Once you have uploaded a video, it starts surfacing immediately to relevant audiences, based on their viewing history and preferences (what they have searched, watched, and not watched, among other things).

What Are Impressions On YouTube?
Video suggestions are a common place for impressions

YouTube uses this mechanism to introduce new content to its entire user base.

It improves the reach of every video on YouTube and leads to more Watch Time by creating a free opportunity for all content creators to earn views from non-subscribers.

An impression happens when a viewer sees your clip’s thumbnail, and the impression statistic is the total number of times thumbnails from your videos and channels have been shown across YouTube.

The video-sharing platform provides content creators with impression data at both video and channel levels, so you can keep track of how each video is performing and have a broad overview of your channel at the same time.

Bear in mind that YouTube doesn’t consider instances when people find your videos through external sources, like other social media platforms, websites, or even their YouTube’s emails and notifications, as impressions.

How Impressions Change Over Time

The highest number of impressions for a YouTube video usually happens right after its upload, and your subscribers account for most of this spike.

Your loyal fans and passionate subs might see the video right on their YouTube Home page. These returning viewers form the initial audience base of your new video and kick start its performance.

Impressions chart
Impressions hit their peak in the first few days

You should expect the number of impressions to fall after this stage when your new video’s impression rate comes to a steadier state. But YouTube continues to show your videos across the platform in various places, such as Suggested Videos and Search.

What Are Impressions Click Through Rates?

The click through rate (CTR) is the metric showing the percentage of impressions turned into actual YouTube views, providing critical insight into how likely viewers watch your videos after seeing their impressions.

A 5% CTR means that out of 100 people who have seen your video’s thumbnail, five of them have clicked to watch it.

Remember that while important, video views coming from thumbnail impressions don’t account for every view on your channel. Other sources of viewers may come from links shared on social media platforms or simply search results.

How To Find Impressions CTR Data

Go to your YouTube Studio page. Choose Analytics on the left menu and select the Reach tab.

The key metrics here will give you an overview of how your videos are doing, including their unique viewers, views, impressions, and CTRs. You can click on Impressions and CTRs to see how they have changed over time.

Impressions Click Through Rate
An example of Impressions and Impressions CTR data

If you want to learn about the performance of a specific video, go to Videos in YouTube Studio, select that video, click on the Analytics icon, and choose Reach.

This information should be available a few hours after your video gets published. The card “Traffic Source Types” will give you a clear idea of CTR from different traffic sources.

How To Analyze And Make Use Of Impressions CTR Data

As mentioned, views from impressions aren’t everything, and a high CTR doesn’t always lead to a successful video.

Take a holistic approach and look both at the content and other conditions around it.

For example, the Average percentage viewed and Average view duration will help paint a more accurate picture of how well your video is attracting viewers. With CTRs alone, nobody can guess how a video will perform until it gets compared to traffic sources and the Average percentage viewed.

That said, impressions CTR is a critical piece of information if you want to find out how effective your video titles and thumbnails are.

The traffic source shows where Watch Time and views come from. It’s fine if the charts constantly signal that your videos enjoy higher CTRs from YouTube’s Browse and Search functions than impressions.

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Search results usually yield a higher CTR

The reason is obvious: compared to those who only scroll randomly through their Home page, people actively looking for specific content are more likely to watch the returned results.

By combining traffic source and CTR data, you should have a glimpse of whether your current thumbnail tactics are working and drawing a great number of viewers.

Pay close attention to how CTRs change over time to learn how your audience is responding. You can incorporate this knowledge into the production of future videos in your channel by using titles and thumbnails that accurately showcase the content.

On top of that, the Watch Time and CTR data could suggest how viewers think about your videos after seeing the titles and thumbnails, while the average percentage viewed shows how likely your viewers are to stick to the end.

What Affects Impressions CTRs?

Much like other metrics used to measure how compelling your YouTube videos are, below are some factors that play a role in CTRs.


This measurement determines whether the impressions of your videos are viewable by potential viewers.

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Viewability of content

It depends on where YouTube shows the impressions, at the top or bottom of the user’s Home page. This position dictates how much effort the user has to make before coming across your videos.

An impression with higher viewability will have a higher chance of being seen by other YouTube users when they check out their YouTube Home page.

Traffic Source

People who see your video thumbnail in a search result are always more inclined to click on and watch it than those casually surfing YouTube.

As a result, impressions CTRs through search features are typically the highest for YouTube videos. This statement is especially true when your title and thumbnail match the keyword they’re looking for, and your video gets featured at the top.

On the other hand, while the suggestion and browser features may bring plenty of views to your channel, they generally have a worse CTR. These are impressions that display below or on the right side of a playing YouTube video, on which the user is not prone to click.

When a user checks out your channel, it usually means they have watched one of your videos and want to explore similar content from your channel. The impressions CTRs, in this case, may vary wildly, depending on whether the user finds what they’re looking for.

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A niche channel typically has a higher CTR

For example, a channel with a broad range of content will perform worse than a niche channel serving a narrower topic.

It would make sense for the user to scroll through multiple screens but not end up watching any video if the content they’re interested in makes up just a tiny part of your channel.

On the flip side, you could earn a new loyal fan who would binge-watch video after video if your channel’s style is to their liking.

Playlists contribute a small source of views to YouTube videos. When users go through a playlist, they usually don’t click on all of the videos or watch everything in sequence. That’s why even if your videos may get featured in many playlists, the actual conversion rate to views is not that high.


Most impressions of a new video are concentrated within the first few days since its publication (the number could go to as high as 50% in the first two or three days).

During this critical period where YouTube’s algorithms heavily boost your video impressions, your video could become popular and get even more impressions as a result.

However, as this popularity extends viewers of your video beyond your usual audience, your CTR may go down significantly. Don’t panic when you see a decrease in your Analysis since this is a normal phenomenon.

What Is A Good Click Through Rate YouTube?

While YouTube doesn’t reveal exactly what is the average impressions click through rate on the entire platform, it does disclose that half of all videos and channels on YouTube land a CTR between 2% and 10%.

But these numbers don’t define which good click through rate you should aim for, and more importantly, what could make a good channel or video popular.

There is no golden standard for this metric, and a constant 10% CTR doesn’t necessarily mean your channel will enjoy explosive growth.

Tips On Improving Impressions CTR

While CTR alone doesn’t determine the whole outcome, it certainly plays a huge role in gathering more views and Watch Time for your channel. If the CTRs of your videos are too low, following are some tips you could implement to improve them.

Set A Realistics Goal

Nobody but YouTube knows exactly which is a good CTR for each channel category and size. You may know who you’re competing against, but you can’t convince them to reveal their CTR data.

Be cautious when establishing your goal and benchmark your channel against itself, not a magic number that doesn’t exist.

If your channel suffers from a poor CTR, draw a plan and try many methods to improve that number, little by little, and bring your channel to a better state.

Make Engaging Custom Thumbnails

The simplest method for grabbing the attention of viewers is using eye-catching but relevant thumbnails for your videos.

An attractive thumbnail with the right fonts and color schemes goes a long way in converting more clicks from impressions compared to other videos in the same context.

Make Engaging Custom Thumbnails
Eye-catching thumbnails can tempt viewers to watch your videos

Thumbnails could make or break YouTube videos because they are the biggest element that comes into sight when people open their YouTube homepage or carry out a search.

As visual-oriented creatures, humans are easily drawn into thumbnails that stand out from an endless stream of images.

You may have to hire a professional designer or spend a lot of time making your thumbnail video, but the results will be well worth it.

Use Compelling Titles

Titles are the next thing that deserves attention from every YouTuber. When YouTube starts showing your videos beyond your core audience, their titles could be the primary reasons users click on them.

A passionate fan watches your videos regardless of what you put on the title.

But those who are actively seeking content through the search and suggestion tools will only click on it if the title is relevant to their interests. Your title should give this new audience base a compelling reason to pick it.

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Make relevant titles to attract viewers

There are many sites that could help make great titles by suggesting common keywords and questions many people pose on YouTube.

Test Different Title And Thumbnail Combinations

The best way to know which thumbnail or title works best is by putting them into use and tracking the results.

Come up with many combinations of titles and thumbnails and use them in your videos. You should be able to make an informed guess about the best performing videos afterward using the YouTube analytics data.

Create Engaging Videos

At the end of the day, your content matters the most.

Make videos that your viewers find worth pressing the like and share buttons. If your videos can drive more subscriptions, posts, tweets, likes, and shares, they will get a higher rating from YouTube and get more impressions from its algorithms.

Maximize interaction by encouraging viewers to like, subscribe, and comment on your videos. Also, consider posting them to other social media profiles and websites.


While it solely can’t clarify which video is performing better, the impressions click through rate YouTube serves as a good indication of how well the thumbnails and titles currently bring views to your videos. 

There is not a single target to hit, but by boosting CTRs gradually, you could convert more potential viewers to your loyal fans and grow your channel steadily over time.


Nhat Kieu Minh linkedin

CEO & Founder of EazyViral

Continuously growing is our main target to become one of the best trustable providers in social networking services.

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