When you make a long video full of delicious content, you may want to mark places where viewers can skip to important key points of the video so that you don't loose them entirely.  This can be done with chapter markers built via YouTube skip annotations, a nifty, interactive way to give people a quick jump to wherever they need to go in the video.  Sometimes you're making content full of information and you cover multiple topics, and you want to be able to give people the chance to go straight to where they want to go without having to scrub the video looking for it.  Skip annotations can actually increase engagement and watch time on your content, which is now critical for YouTube SEO.

Chapter Markers & Skip Annotations: Video Tutorial

Here are the steps to creating chapter annotations:

  1. Copy the URL of the video you're working with
  2. In the Video Manager, click the down arrow next to your video and select 'Annotations.'
  3. Choose the type of annotation you want to use.
  4. Type whatever you'd like in the text window that will direct people to the right place.
  5. Check the box at the bottom that says, "Link."
  6. Copy and paste the URL in the box below.
  7. Go to the "Start linked video at" field and type in the time code for the associated annotation.
  • Kayla M

    How did you create that sliding annotation on the bottom left corner of your video? I have been googling for awhile and haven't found how.

  • Señor Vega

    good tip Tim! Knew about annotations, but not to jump ahead in the same video.

  • Ken Fisher

    I wondered about the engagement factor while using these ideas. I find myself fast forwarding...basically similar to annotations? Yes. No? ...a good number of YT videos. Does anyone have a guess as to what that does to your "engagement" factor or how the algo treats it? Studies in the works?

    Sure would be nice to get a reply. You guys aren't good at that here and on FB. Have a forum???????????????

    • Tim Schmoyer

      I've found that the audience retention scores on long videos without annotation chapters tends to be a straight downward line, but when I use annotation chapters, people are definitely skipping ahead and sticking around longer than they would if they had to sit through the hour long video with no chapters.

      • LittleVoice

        Hi Tim,

        Annotations on videos increase viewing time that's for sure. We built a holiday channel for sailing experiences and the average duration is 53 min.
        We have developed a video elements we call VIDA that does the trick for us.

    • Mark Robertson

      Hey Ken. I try to personally respond to every comment on here (perhaps we're not so good on Facebook)... so, if there's other comments that you dont have a response to, kindly let me know. I sometimes miss them Im sure. I'm not totally sure I understand your question but I'll echo the response Tim laid out below.

      • Ken Fisher

        Tim answered it well, but I have one question that's been nagging for months...maybe nobody has an answer because of the newness of the current algo. I'll try your Disqus PM