Algorithm: A set of rules or calculations used by a social media platform to determine which content it will deliver to a user. (“Definition: What is an algorithm,” 2018). Algorithm search results are very important in YouTube. Many users use YouTube as a search engine. Therefore, the more keywords and search terms that are in your title, description and keywords, the easier it will be for the algorithm to display your content.
Channel trailer: Used like a movie trailer. A video trailer that you can show to all unsubscribed viewers on your channel to offer a preview of your channel (“Create a channel trailer for new viewers”). Your trailer might include a welcome message, a sample of the content on your channel, and/or a call-to-action to subscribe to your channel.
End screen: Elements added to the last 5-20 seconds of a YouTube video to direct viewers to watch something next or subscribe to your channel. End screens can increase watch time on your YouTube channel (“Let cards and end screens do the work”).
Engagement rate: Total number of likes, dislikes and comments of all the videos on a channel added up and divided by the total number of the channel subscribers in the selected time range (“How to measure YouTube success with Analytics PRO”).
(Likes + Dislikes + Comments)/Subscribers = Engagement rate
Metadata: Extra data that can be edited while uploading YouTube videos, including titles, descriptions, tags, cards, thumbnails and captions(“YouTube metadata basics,” 2018). Including this metadata helps the YouTube algorithm to show your content when viewers are searching. The YouTube algorithm even reads your captions, so they’re important not only for accessibility but also for search optimization.
Mid-roll advertisement: Ads that play during the middle (“mid-roll”) of a YouTube video (“Manage ad breaks in long videos”). Only videos longer than 10 minutes can show mid-roll ads on YouTube. Even if your channel is not monetized (most higher ed channels are not), the 10-minute marker might be a good one to aim for, as many YouTubers produce 10-minute long videos in order to be able to use mid-roll ads, so 10 minutes is an accepted length.
Percentage viewed: Percent of the video that the average viewer watched. This is a measure of your video’s ability to hold attention (Chi). When looking at the percentage viewed for any one particular video, try to determine if there was a reason so many viewers dropped out at a certain moment. Did the subject matter get boring? Was there a technical glitch? Did they encounter a term they couldn’t define?
Sentiment: Emotions within text data (“Sentiment analysis,” 2018). In the case of YouTube comments, we’re judging whether the comments have a positive or negative connotation to determine sentiment. For reputation management purposes, most higher education institutions would, of course, prefer a positive sentiment, however, data shows that anything but a “neutral” sentiment will get you more interaction on your videos.
Subscriber: A YouTube viewer who has indicated they want to see more of your content and clicks the Subscribe button on your channel (“YouTube basics”). More subscribers mean more reach. Subscribers who have notifications turned on will receive a notification each time you publish a new video on your channel.
Suggested videos: Videos YouTube recommends to viewers based on what viewers were watching before (YouTube Creators, 2017). To determine suggested videos, YouTube considers your metadata and your interaction rate on related and recent videos.
Video hosting: Uploading and storing your video on a third-party website. Viewers can then watch the video on the website directly or watch an embedded version of the video on any web property (“A beginner’s guide to video hosting,” 2011).
View: YouTube counts a view as a viewer-initiated intentional play of a video (“How does YouTube count views?”). Any auto-played video will not count towards the “view” metric. A view is only recorded when a user intentionally hits the play button.
Watch time: The amount of time that a YouTube viewer has watched a video, usually measured in minutes(“Check your impressions and CTR”). Watch time is also an important metric in YouTube’s algorithm to determine what it shows viewers in search results and suggested videos.