How to Track Video Metrics and Performance with Analytics

Learn how to measure video analytics and understand what they are really telling you. Discover what video metrics to track for engagement, conversion, and ROI of your next video.

February 18, 2023

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli


Alyce Currier


When measuring the marketing ROI of your videos, knowing which video analytics to look at are important. Measuring video performance metrics of your videos against your marketing goals help you identify what’s working — and what’s not!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover what video analytics to explore, how to measure each video metric, and how you can improve them. Let’s dig in!

The 2024 State of Video Report is here! Uncover more data and insights about video performance, creation, distribution, and strategy that’ll help your business thrive with video.

Play rate

Play rate is the percentage of page visitors who clicked play and started watching. It is a great metric for measuring relevance, or whether your video is in the best possible context. Is your video embedded in the right place? Did your page actually benefit from including a video? Looking at your video’s play rate can help you answer just that.

What is video play rate?
Video play rate is the percentage of unique visitors that played your video.
You calculate play rate dividing total plays by total page loads. For example, when 100 people load a page and 25 play the video, the video has a 25% play rate.

It’s important to remember that you might have different expectations for different videos. For example, a video that’s central to the message of your page, such as a homepage video, will likely receive many plays. On the other hand, a supplemental video like a video example in a blog post might receive fewer plays — and that’s okay!


If you’re not satisfied with your video’s play rate, you might want to consider altering the context around the video to get more people to press play:

  • Move the video to a more prominent location on the page above the fold, or make the embed larger.
  • Create a custom video thumbnail. Consider a mid-profile shot of a person, action shots, product close-ups, or animations or graphics.
  • Change the text around the video to better indicate the video’s purpose.
  • Move the video to a different page where it might be more useful.


Plays looks at the view count, or number of plays for your video. With it, you can measure reach, or the size of the audience that has viewed your video.

If your goal is to have your video seen by as many people as possible, reach can give you a good idea about whether your video is making the rounds and reaching an audience.


You can improve your video view count by tapping into your usual promotion channels. For example:

  • Share your video with your audience via email and social media.
  • Use paid promotion methods (i.e. social, ads).
  • Share your content with influencers.

Views are a great measurement of how you’re making brand impressions and fostering familiarity, but they’re just the beginning of your video’s story. Many businesses focus too much on view count and lose track of the deeper story of how their video is performing and resonating. We’d suggest picking a couple of other metrics to measure in addition to view count, depending on your goals.


Unique visitors, also measured as unique page loads, are the number of people that visit your page with the video content.

Get Inspired
Check out this guide to learn how to increase video play rate!

Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is the percentage of a video that a viewer watches. Engagement is one of our favorite metrics here at Wistia! It goes beyond view count to tell you the quality of your views. Once people started watching your video, did they stick around to watch the entire thing? Did you lose them to a slow hook, or start wrapping up too soon?

Engagement metrics can tell you how well your message resonated with your audience.

What is video engagement rate?
Video engagement rate is the percentage of a video that a viewer watches your content.
You calculate engagement rate dividing the total time played by the total plays multiplied by media length. For example, if a 2 minute video is played by 1,000 people for a total of 10 hours time played, the video has a 30% engagement rate.

Lower-than-average engagement isn’t always a bad thing, either. It’s possible that low engagement means viewers are dipping into your video to get one question answered, and as long as they leave feeling educated, that’s still a win for you. Long-form videos also have lower average engagement than short-form videos.

Average video engagement rates are consistent year after year, so you can feel confident relying on these benchmarks to assess video performance — we do!


Not satisfied with your engagement numbers? Here are a few suggestions for boosting engagement:

  • Keep your videos clear and concise.
  • Make sure your videos are fulfilling the viewer’s expectations. If a viewer thinks a video is about one topic and turns out to be about something else, they’re probably going to navigate away.
  • Pay attention to where viewers are dropping off and edit your content accordingly.
  • Split overly long videos into more focused, shorter clips to meaningfully measure individual engagement.

Time played

Time played is the total amount of time people spent watching your video. If you want to measure the impact and value of your video, this is a great video metric to consider. You can look at seconds, minutes, or hours — it’s up to you!

If your video has racked up hours of playtime, you can assume that people are finding value in your content. If your playtime is low, you might want to assess the content and format of your video or the context it’s in.

Time watched is also a great metric for those trying to justify investing in making videos because it can be used to compare different types of media. For example, if you can show that 500 hours were spent reading 20 blog posts, but 700 hours were spent watching five videos, it surely makes the case for investing in video.


Here are some tips for improving your time watched:

  • Create long-form content like webinars or video series that your audience finds valuable to help increase time watched. We also recommend creating engaging, bite-sized videos out of longer-form content to share on social and beyond.
  • If you have videos longer than five minutes, consider adding chapters to your videos. This can help people find exactly what they’re looking for and let them know what’s coming next.
  • Create a playlist for your videos to help increase the amount of time people spend with your content. Putting your videos in a Wistia Channel is one way to make your content more binge-able.

Video heatmaps

Video heatmaps show a visitor’s viewing activity on your video. With heatmaps, you can quickly see where a viewer watched your video, skipped a section of a video, rewatched a part of a video, when the viewer completed an action on your video, and their individual engagement rate with your video.

Location-based analytics

When you embed your video in multiple locations on your site, it’s important to track where your video is performing best. In Wistia, you can measure total plays, play rate, engagement, and conversion actions taken by viewers by top embed location.

Conversion Rate

When measuring a video’s ROI, you should consider its conversion metrics. A video’s conversion rate is the percentage of people that saw a conversion opportunity on your video and completed the desired action.

What is video conversion rate?
Video conversion rate is the percentage of actions completed by the viewer.
The conversion rate of a video is calculated by dividing the actions taken by the actions seen. For example, if a video CTA is clicked 5 times by 10 viewers who saw it, the video has a 50% conversion rate.


When embedding a video with Wistia, you might want the viewer to complete an action with an interactive element on your video. You can add interactive elements to the timeline of your video for these desired actions:

Social Engagement

Word-of-mouth is one of those intangible things that you can’t quite measure without some ethically questionable wiretapping activity, but social sharing is probably the closest thing to measuring sentiment toward your business. How excited is your audience to spread the word about your brand?

Social media platforms often measure engagement with these actions:

  • Views
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares

People might be talking about your company in ways you can’t measure, but keeping track of how they’re sharing and discussing your content on social media can be a decent litmus test. It’s not just about the number of shares and likes you get; pay attention to what people are saying about your content, too.


If you’re not seeing a lot of social sharing, you might try some of the following fixes:

  • Include clear calls to share your content.
  • If the goal of your content is shareability, make sure it can stand alone.
  • Educational or entertaining content tends to be more shareable.
  • Your “shareable content” probably isn’t content that’s directly focused on your product.
  • Optimize your content for social media sharing with open graph tags.

On pages where commenting is enabled, like a blog, comments can be a great way to measure how strongly your content resonated and whether you’re building a community around your brand.

Video may help spur further discussion and strengthen the sense of community around your brand as a whole. Commenting can also help drive what content you make next: Does polarizing content get people talking more than other content? Or does it just make your audience angry? Comments are a great measure of both the qualitative and quantitative sides of your audience’s reaction.

Website analytics

You should also consider using tools like Google Analytics to track your video performance. Some metrics to consider when measuring the impact of your video on your website are:

  • Pageviews
  • Time on site
  • Pages per session
  • Bounce rate

You can also use this magical Google Analytics dashboard to help you measure video ROI. The GA dashboard and reports show you all the video performance metrics for your site from play rate, engagement rate, and conversion rate.

Start measuring your video performance

Now that you understand the video metrics to track, we hope you’ll feel more confident about looking at your video marketing analytics to improve your video strategy time after time.

You should also try A/B testing your videos — it’s one of our favorite ways to impact video performance and see what’s resonating with our audience. It’s time for you to get out there and start measuring the success of your video against your goals!

February 18, 2023

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli


Alyce Currier


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