YouTube Annotations UPDATE: External Linking!


YouTube has recently offered a small feature that can offer BIG results for the small business owner using video…announcing External Annotations.

Now you can create clickable links INSIDE your YouTube Videos that immediately send your viewers DIRECTLY to your website.  It’s called “Video Traffic” for a reason, and now, more than ever, External Annotations can help convert more of your viewers into visitors and INCREASE your TRAFFIC!

In this post, we’ll discuss…

  • The Importance of External Annotations
  • How to Set Up & Use External Annotation
  • Where to Send Your YouTube Viewers

WHY External Annotations

For the average business owner, YouTube is best used as a traffic generation tool.  As Google continues to change and SEO seems as unpredictable as ever, YouTube offers a safer, long-term solution for getting ranked and converting views into vistors.  However, until now, our only effective tactic for getting our audience off of YouTube and onto our website was through a  clickable link in the video’s description.  
With the External Annotation function, YOU can interact and engage with your audience much more effectively.  With this simple point of your finger, you can tell your audience to “click the link IN the video,” and they’ll be magically transported straight to your website.  Imagine the possibilities!!
If you don’t have a Call to Action AND an External Annotation on every video…you ARE leaving traffic on the table.

External Annotation TUTORIAL:

In order to use this new YouTube Function, you’ll need to make sure your channel is set up properly.  The steps are quite simple:
  1. Activate Monetization on Your Channel
  2. Add Your Associated Website
  3. Double-Check The External Annotation Feature has been Activated
If everything is a GREEN LIGHT, the next step is to simply head over to your “Annotations Editor,” add your annotation, and let YouTube know WHERE you want to send that traffic!  Below is a video walking you through the COMPLETE PROCESS:

VIDEO Walk-Through of the External Annotation Setup

WHERE To Send Your YouTube Visitors

I get this question all the time!  Where do I want to send my YouTube traffic for the BEST results?!

Well, the answer may differ slightly for most people, but for most of us, the answer is the same: get ’em opted-in ASAP!

If you’ve been able to successfully navigate your viewers away from YouTube- Congratulations!  Now, before you lose them forever, you need to capture their contact details!  The best way to do that is through a lead-capture page, or squeeze page.  Even using your blog works (if you have an opt-in box on it!)  If you’re looking for some great software or resources for YOUR next squeeze page, I highly recommend Lead Pages

What to do NOW:

So, now that you know this VALUABLE information, here’s what you need to do immediately:

  1. Make sure YOUR External Annotation Feature is Activated
  2. Go through ALL of your past YouTube videos and add the External Annotation to EVERY video
  3. Set up the proper Squeeze Page/Lead Capture Page so you send your viewers to the RIGHT Place
  4. Prepare all FUTURE videos for more effective Call-to-Actions and more Creative Annotation Options 
Now, make haste and go hither!  Your audience awaits!

Like what ya see?
Sign up for more updates! It's FREE!

I take your privacy very seriously!


  1. says

    James – It’s really odd, but the only
    options YouTube is giving me for the Link
    are:Video, Playlist, Channel, Subscribe or
    Fundraising project.

    I have a website approved for annotation
    and my channel’s been monetized.

    Did they suddenly change the rules so we
    can’t send visitors to our website?

    Please advise. Thanks!

  2. says

    Thanks for the update. My channel has several videos about Diabetes…which isn’t IM but you need to learn to use it for different kinds of sites!


  3. says

    This is a very good video and I am itching to start adding external annotations to all our videos,
    However, what is stopping me is I need to verify the website by adding some html code.
    I think I know what to do but I am frightened of doing something wrong.
    I believe you have an OptimisePress theme, James as we do. What would be very, very useful is if you could do a short video showing all us non-techies which page to insert the code into ( this is supplied by YouTube) and where on the page to insert it.
    Thank you in anticipation. I am looking forward to your tutorials on

  4. Erin says

    Hey James! I am just wondering if this was an update that only lasted a little bit or something for larger corporations? It won’t let me add annotations to our site, just other YouTube videos.

    Any insight?

  5. Mark Madere says

    I, too, don’t have an option to do annotation links to external websites… only option is to link to fundraising websites. What am I missing?

    It’s too bad James hasn’t comment on anyone’s question on this… he must be too busy selling RMI. 😉

  6. says

    Hey there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?

    I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.
    I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  7. says

    I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your content.
    This article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new
    information about once a week. I subscribed to
    your Feed too.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *