Not long ago, YouTube announced they would be launching associated website annotations. The program has only been in pilot mode for the last few weeks, but now it's totally here. Partners in good standing who declare their YouTube channels the official representation of their brand can now put annotations on their videos that will link directly to their website. The opportunities presented by these annotations are huge, as your calls-to-action can lead viewers to your website, where you can sell your own stuff, offer exclusive content, and not be inhibited by the rules of YouTube.
How YouTube Associated Website Annotation Links Work
Here's a look at this annotation at work at the top of this ReelSEO video:
How to Link to your Website with Annotations
Those looking for instructions on how these annotations work should click here. Essentially it's easy:
- First, you need to make sure that you've associated your website with your YouTube channel. here's how to do that.
- Go to the annotations area in your video manager.
- Click on "add annotation" and then under "link", choose the category Associated Website.
- Put your associated domain link in the link area, save, publish, done.
With YouTube, you have certain rules you need to abide by and certain limitations to what you can do on the site itself. Before, you could put a link to your website in the video description or on your channel page, but that method isn't really interactive and doesn't give the viewer a quick, easy link while it's fresh on their minds. Many times, a video would tell you to look in the description below, but that could easily be forgotten or ignored.
REMEMBER - Time Watched
But just like with the Merch Annotations, you'll want to do this in a clever way to keep people watching your videos, because YouTube measures "time watched" now as part of SEO. So linking offsite is something in which users will need to be creative: find a way to get people to watch most or all the video, and still get people to click the link.
What these annotations have over the Merch Annotations is that you can link to your own website, where you might have all sorts of other kinds of merch you can sell that isn't approved by YouTube. With Merch Annotations, you have to sell exactly your approved merchandise through the approved merchants. Your website is your own thing that you can do whatever, you know, within the law.
So everyone rejoice, it's here! You can now link within videos to do just about everything now: send people to other videos, send people to a featured video, send people to the merch store, and send people to your website. This interactive video thing is awesome, and it increases the power of what you can do with YouTube videos.