In the web-centric world we live in, there are more tools to track every aspect of the user journey than ever before. The marketplace of tracking, reporting and dashboarding software available is ever expanding. Every year a product comes out that simplifies the job. The job is now not just acquiring data from your various platforms, but figuring out how to tie the user journey across all of them.


Digital video is one of the aspects of an online journey that completely lacks this component, when it comes to tying together your video metrics with your clickstream data - there simply are no easy answers for the mainstream.

The biggest problem with tracking video embeds is that the elements cannot be accessed in the same way as other pieces of HTML, no longer can you simply apply the simple Google Analytics event tracking code using event listeners. No, in order to place youtube data into your GA you need to leverage an API. This alone is a huge barrier to entry for people and a much lamented fact of non-developer marketing personnel everywhere.

There are video players out there with integrated tracking that passes data through to Google Analytics, but the major players (Youtube, Vimeo, etc.) simply don’t make it easy.


Youtube’s problem isn’t the complete absence of analytics as much as the constant restructuring of their analytics and embedded technologies, and the difficulty of leveraging them.

 

There have been three versions of the Youtube API:

 

First there was the Flash API using ActionScript3 - obviously as Google began to pull back from the Adobe product line in favor of more open software, they had to replace this API.

 

Then there was the JavaScript API, This was more open than the AS3 API, unfortunately it didn’t support the various new technologies that YouTube needed to utilize to remain competitive. These are features that involve security and file compression.

 

Finally we are now using the YouTube API Reference for iframe Embeds. TO the chagrin of many who thought that they had it all figured out.

 

To learn more about the deprecated APIs see the below links:

 

YouTube References -

https://developers.google.com/youtube/js_api_reference#Requirements

YouTube Deprecation Blog -

http://youtube-eng.blogspot.com/2015/01/youtube-now-defaults-to-html5_27.html

 

There are many guides that effectively instruct how to track Youtube embeds, but it warrants saying that there are no simple to install, robust solutions that can come anywhere near to the native reporting on the platform. Additionally there are no guarantees that the work that you invest in your video tracking will persist for more than a couple years.

If you would like to learn more about SEO, web analytics, or user experience as it regards to your website and Truvisibility you can learn more at http://www.truvisibility.com/en/blog. If you are interested in trying Truvisibility out today simply go to truvisibility.com and press the “Get Started” button, it is free and easy.