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. Judy Fitzepatrick says

    Excellent tutorial… as always James. Thank you! I set up my account as I watched your video and now I am linking my Youtube videos externally! Ya baby!

  2. Jo says

    Hey James thanks for the great value you supply! troubleshooting Q – I have green light on all features except the External Annotations. Do I contact Google re this? Can you point me in right direction please? All other steps done successfully. Thanks James.

  3. says

    Hey James, this is FANTASTICAL!!! You’re the bee’s knees! Thanks so much for letting us know about this great new update to Youtube – loving it – woohoo!!

  4. says

    James – We’re building a brand through YouTube. We have “Name”, “Name” and “Name”.com. After I set up the redirect link in YT, can I use different links for each video, depending on which site I want to send them to?

  5. says

    @Jo: Had the same result, though clicking on “Learn More” had to Verify Account with Cell Phone Number and the Green Check went on.

    Great Video & New Feature! Just got Leadplayer also. Noticed at the end of watching your video it redirects to another page. Is that through a plugin or Leadplayer feature?

  6. Lois says

    Like Jo, I can’t get the features “external annotations” check to work. You Tubes directions are hopeless. Can you help?

  7. Lois says

    Like Jo, I can’t get the features “external annotations” green light to work. You Tubes directions are hopeless. Can you help?

  8. says

    James! Just came to your blog from Vesone (we’re in a mastermind group together).

    I just found out about this too but wasn’t sure that it was the real deal!

    That’s pretty awesome that YouTube is finally allowing the “traffic love” to spread around!

    Hopefully a ton of people can capitalize on this amazing opportunity that Google/YouTube has put in front of us!

    And I see you’re using “Lead Player” that’s awesome bud!

    Great post!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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