How To Add Annotations To YouTube Videos

Clickable links on your YouTube videos can have a significant effect on your channel or website’s traffic. These YouTube annotations do more than just bring people to your website and to your other videos. They are also good for branding, especially if what you’re annotating are links to *YOUR* other
videos or to your main web page.

With annotations, you can interact with things inside the video. You can highlight something and make it clickable. The only disadvantage though is that they don’t work on mobile devices; so if a person is watching your video on their phone, you have no way of attracting them to go to your other videos or to your website, simply because the clickable links won’t show up.

In the video above, I showed one of my videos ‘How to Be More Confident’ as an example, to demonstrate how to add annotations to YouTube videos. It also shows that when you’re on the Upload screen, there won’t be a button that says ‘Annotations’ where it normally appears.

step1However, I have a tool installed that’s called TubeBuddy. It’s got an Annotations button which makes it easier for you to add annotations. When I clicked on it, it came right to the annotations screen.

At the very end of that video I showed, I’ve prepared some things that I want to link to:

  • my Subscribe button
  • my YouTube channel
  • 2 specific videos

step5If I hit ‘Add Annotation’, we’ll see a few different options. I chose ‘Spotlight’ which brought up a box that I then put around my video. This box allows you to put a text and a title below, but I usually leave that blank. The important thing is to make that a link, or you can paste a link to another YouTube video. You can also adjust the duration or the length of time your annotations will be displayed on the screen.

step6To add more than one annotation, you can use a shortcut; something I’ve been using that’s been very useful in speeding up the process- You will see a button from the TubeBuddy plugin which allows you to use an annotation template if you want two or more clickable links on your videos. This button is the ‘Apply Template’ button.

So if you have a template and each video you want to reference a different video, you just need to go grab that one link from that specific video, and put it there, and simply hit Save.

There is another way of adding clickable links to your YouTube videos. It’s called Cards which I don’t often use. With cards, you’ll see a little eye on the top right corner of the screen. That icon always appears in the same position. When you click on it, your pre-selected image will appear along with phrases that you put in there.

The advantage of cards over annotations is that it allows you to stack up one card on top of the other, without taking over the whole screen, which of course is annoying to most viewers. Come to think of it, it can also be its own disadvantage.

In the video, I promised to let you in on TubeBuddy, which I highly recommend too as it’s a critical tool for annotations. There’s a lot of other features this plugin is able to do for you, but I’ll let you test those out yourselves. As promised, here’s the link to this awesome plugin:

With TubeBuddy, you can gauge how your video is doing in the rankings using a specific keyword phrase. You can also go directly to your videos, dashboard, and do bulk editing. TubeBuddy offers a free version, but it’s a must-have tool for people who own and/or manage YouTube videos either as a hobby or for business.


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