Last week, we explained what YouTube Annotations are, how to create them, and what to consider when you are using annotations. This week, we will show you how to add a link to your annotations, what links you are allowed to add, and how to strategically use YouTube annotations to drive traffic to your website.

How To Add Links to Your YouTube Annotations

Adding a link to your YouTube video through annotations is very simple. Once you have added an annotation, click the “Link” checkbox and choose what type of link you will add.

youtube annotations link
youtube annotations link

There are 8 types of links that you can add to an annotation.

  1. Video - Add the link to another video on YouTube
  2. Playlist - Add the link to a playlist on YouTube
  3. Channel - Add the link to a YouTube Channel
  4. Google+ Profile/Page - Add the link to a Google+ profile or page
  5. Subscribe - Add a link for the viewer subscribe to your channel
  6. Fundraising Project - Add a link to a fundraising project on a website such as or Kickstarter (Click here for a full list of supported fundraising project sites).
  7. Associated Website - Add a link to your company website.
  8. Merch - Add a link to a site where you are selling merchandise such as Etsy or iTunes (Click here for a full list of supported merch sites).

How to Add Your Website as an Associated Website

The main reason why you should use annotations on your YouTube video is because they allow you to link straight from your video to your website, which is extremely valuable to your online marketing strategy.

In order to link to your website within a YouTube Annotation, you must set up your website as an Associated Website with your YouTube Channel, and both your YouTube account and your website must meet certain qualifications to be eligible.

  • Your YouTube account must be verified and in good standing.
  • Your website must be set up on Google Webmaster tools.
  • Your website must be added as an Associated Website through the advanced settings of your YouTube Channel. You must agree to the terms of service and guidelines of associating your site.

Once you have completed these steps, you are able to add a link to your website directly on your video, keeping in mind that only desktop viewers will be able to see and click on the link.

Strategic Uses for Links in YouTube Annotations

  • Is the video part of a series? Add an annotation link to the next video in the series at the end, so that the viewer can continue on to the next video.
  • Do you have a playlist of videos you've created that the viewer of this video content might be interested in? Add a link to that video playlist.
  • Do you use YouTube strategically and post videos regularly to build a following? Add a link for the viewer to subscribe to your channel.
  • Share a link to your channel at the end of your video for viewers to learn more about you or your business, and see other videos from you. Make sure that your channel information is complete and encourages people to move further through the engagement funnel.
  • Do you have a product to sell? Create a product video or how to video and add the link to purchase the product on your website or through a supported merch website.

More Tips for Using Annotations

  • Don't over use annotations.
  • Share your annotation strategy with your video production company, and have them include the strategy in their filming & post production.
  • Use annotations with links towards the end of your video. Why? Clicking on a link stops the video from playing and opens another page. This shortens the view times of your videos. You want people to watch your video as long as possible because YouTube takes the viewing time metric into account when delivering search results. The longer people watch your video, the better it will perform in search results.
  • Your annotations shouldn't distract from your video. They should be valuable and attractive to the viewer.
  • Keep annotations short, so they can be displayed and read within 5-10 seconds.
  • Bright colored annotations can be annoying to the viewer. If there is text on the screen they will see it, so keep it simple. Transparent or semi transparent annotations are the best.
  • Place your annotations in the upper corners of the video so that they don't block the video, and so they are not blocked by closed captioning.
  • When you add a link to an annotation, add the link into the description as well so that viewers on all platforms can see them.

For more tips and tutorials on using YouTube for business, click here.