Video SEO Tip: Optimize Your YouTube click to action Link (part 2) youtube link to yourself1

When I first posted a Video SEO tip on how YouTube's click-to-action buttons can be duplicated by anyone with their own YouTube account for every single video, responses we got were that it sounded too good to be true, or that it was just meant for YouTube's partner sites, or that maybe it might be viewed as spam? After further testing, we discovered even better tactics of how to optimize a "Hot URL" link in your Description field to get optimal call-to-action results. Read on... Previous to this, YouTube would only allow internal links, and not external ones. You could only paste a link to a YouTube Video, Channel, or Google search result.  But with the new "click-to-buy" links (buttons and text links) that YouTube is doing with some of its major video partners, the floodgates have been opened for everyone else. Whether intended by YouTube or not, and even if there's no "link juice' behind hit, its what a lot of people have been wanting for a legitimate call-to-action strategy.

How to optimize the YouTube description field with a Hot URL

View the example below for our recommendation on optimizing a working link into a video page

  • Start the description field off with a few of your top keywords.
  • Have the URL immediately follow it. (You must start the link with "http://..." for the link to be active. "www." is not required to follow it to work, however.

Video SEO Tip: Optimize Your YouTube click to action Link (part 2) david bachman

Truncated URLs work

You can even have your URL break off on the first line, and it will still be fully functional. However, to be effective with your audience on the YouTube page, least leave enough text of the URL on the top line so it does stand out as a link, and people will know to click it. (Keep in mind that on the default one-line viewing of the description, the URL will appear truncated if its longer than 19 characters past the "http://") Video SEO Tip: Optimize Your YouTube click to action Link (part 2) grant youtube free link Multiple URLs possible (but use with caution)

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As this other example shows, we were able to include multiple URLs in the same description. Each one of the links pointed to their correct place. Video SEO Tip: Optimize Your YouTube click to action Link (part 2) sue dobbe Could an example like this video be flagged for spam? My initial research on the YouTube community help forums didn't find any indication by an official YouTube rep that it was. (Google's own press release example did feature multiple links themselves, so why not?)  My recommendation: if you're going to put in multiple links: keep them all relevant to the content and don't overdo it. (I'd recommend two, maximum. Just do what is already being done by YouTube partner videos.)

  • Kruti

    Along with an optimized description and URL, one can also have a keyphrase-rich, catchy title for the video. Like webpages, let the title be at most 60 characters in length with minimal use of stopwords (words like ‘the’, ‘and’, ‘is’ etc.). The file-name, description and tags for the video should also be keyphrase-rich.

  • Mark Robertson


    Thanks for the email. Actually, I think that CTR from universal SERPS is higher than normal. To answer your question, I would need to know a bit more about the keyword searched and the resulting video. It may just be the thumbnail, or it may be that it just started to rank. When you say that it is 3rd, do you mean with a thumbnail, or without?

  • Vivek

    Hello Mark

    Good Stuff!

    Hey! I want to ask you something very important.

    I’ve seen a Youtube URL which is ranked 3rd in Google for a keyword that gets 50k searches per month. The video was submitted more than 3 months back.Now when I checked the views on it, it showed just 1400.Technically it should be way more than that. Do you think people has the tendency not to click the youtube links appearing in Google listings ?

    I think CTR is a serious problem when we’re promoting through video. Can you please give tips to improve that.

  • Mark Robertson

    Yes absolutely - I actually just did this for a friend a few minutes ago. Make sure that you dont put code in there - rather, just put the full URL - for example

    Description: Here is my video blah blah blah blah.

  • ady

    Does this still work? I can't get the link to go live in the description. I've included the full path etc but it's not having it.

  • Grant Crowell

    Mark's correct. This is primarily a conversion tip, and not a direct means to improving link popularity in itself. It may be confusing for some expecting all of the tips here to be about Video SEO, but we try to feature as many opportunities with online video marketing beyond just SEO.

  • Mark Robertson

    Well, I dont believe that the author was referring to generating link juice. Youtube has always nofollowed the link but it is a good way to refer users back to your site..

  • Naomi

    Interesting story but it looks like YouTube has now set ALL outgoing links to nofollow so this method will no longer work. Let me know if I am wrong.