Yes, you really can now add a website link to your YouTube video.

When showing the title of this blog post around the office, one person did think that I meant that I only changed my pants on special occasions.

Yesterday YouTube announced that:

Associated Website annotations links provide verified partners who are in good standing a way to annotate to their website directly from their videos

WOOHOOO! (What does this mean?)

In simple terms this means that some channels will now be able to have a link directing traffic from your animated explainer of video production to your website. The only way you’ve been able to do this before is by running an ad campaign then you can add a call to action bar. Here is an example:

Or by embedding links on the channel page header as seen here on TeachPE.com (Partners can already link to their sites through their channel pages):

Here’s an exclusive example of the new annotation!

How can you do this?

Firstly, your channel needs to be associated with your website. You also need to be a verified partner. This has become easier to do over the last year. On your journey to become a partner, we’ve found a good way to improve your chances of acceptance is to enable your channel to accept advertising.

Be warned though, if you have films which use music that you don’t have permission for YouTube reserves the rights to remove them.

The example on the left is from a verified partners channel. The one on the right is not.

Next, go into your channel settings and click on your ‘Associated Website’ . There are a number of ways of verifying your website – the easiest way is to download a piece of HTML and then upload it to your site. Google will, however, talk you through the process.

And that’s it, you can now put a link back to your site using an annotation.

What does this mean?

When we first started using YouTube it was standard practice to put a link to your website in the description.

This enables you to divert traffic directly from your explainer animation or video production to your website.  Now you can do this directly on the video – diverting people from YouTube to your site. A very convenient and well-placed call to action.

Your YouTube video just became a more powerful device for attracting people to your website.

But remember the golden rule of of Time Watched!

If you are going to take advantage of this, remember to place it near the end of your animation or video. You don’t want to be directing people off as soon as they arrive, otherwise your ‘Time Watched’ metric will be affected and subsequently where your video appears in the YouTube search rankings.

Don’t confuse your viewer

Don’t confuse the viewer with too many calls to action. We strongly recommend only having one. But, if you do have more than one, make it very clear what the benefit of each is.

Choose your weapon  

As you know, we are strong advocates of making sure you understand the intent of the viewer and the purpose of your video. This applies to your YouTube channel just as much as any other channel.

Quite simply, do you want to attract people to your website or do you want them to subscribe to your channel?

If you’re after diverting traffic to your website then utilise this new tool. Those wanting to utilise the future of YouTube by enforcing their channel will want to keep as many people on that channel as possible without diverting them away, encouraging them to join your community and share your videos.

We’re always keen on feedback here at Curveball, so if you want to get to know the team writing these blogs better, check out our team video – the 6 hour working day experiment:

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