Update: for the latest information, always check with YouTube/Google itself.
A client of ours has a web page which is incredibly successful in Google for a competitive search term. The reason for its success is slightly baffling, however, as the page only has a small amount of text and a video. The site is clearly right for the term, and the video is too, but the page doesn’t really tick the conventional boxes for success in the Google results. So what’s going on?
Well, we reckon that the page is riding on the back of the video’s relevance. And to get this, I think two things need to be in place: the video on YouTube needs to be optimised, and the video on YouTube needs to be associated with the company website. I’ll get stuck into optimising YouTube videos in the future, but in the meantime, here are Google’s instructions for associating a video with your company website. You’ll need a Google Search Console account set up. (Note – your YouTube account needs to be verified. Check status by going to Channel > Status and Features, follow instructions to verify).
- Go to Advanced Channel Settings by clicking your account > Creator Studio > Channel > Advanced.
- In the “Associated website” section, enter the URL. It will show as “pending” unless you’ve verified the site before. (If you don’t have this field, it highlights your account isn’t verified – see note above)
- Under the URL box, click Verify if you own the website or Request approval to have the website’s owner approve it.
Add a card with the website link
After you associate your site with your account, the next step is to add a card directly on your videos (you can add up to five).
Adding a card that links to your website
- Go to your Video Manager by clicking your account > Creator Studio > Video Manager.
- Next to the video that you want to change, click Edit > Cards. Click Add card.
- Next to the type of card that you want to add, select Create. (Note that some cards aren’t available to all users).
- If you haven’t done so previously, for some link types select Enable first to accept the Terms & Conditions.
- Enter the URL where you want viewers to be sent from the card. (If you haven’t associated a site with your channel or want to add a new site, click Add an associated website or Settings and follow the instructions to associate a site).
- Upload an image or select one of the suggestions from the site if applicable. Uploads need to be in .jpg, .gif or .png format and no larger than 5 MB. (Note: this image will be cropped to square).
- If applicable, edit the title, call to action and any other text (up to 30 characters). You can adjust the start time for the card teaser in the timeline below the video.
- If you need to edit your cards in the future, just go to the Cards tab and select Edit next to the card that you want to change.
You don’t have to link to the homepage of your website. If there’s specific information that you want to let your audience know about, you can link directly to that subpage on your site.
YouTube has a comprehensive help section on View Engagement Tools providing step-by-step guidance on all the above.
Previously offered ‘annotations’ tool is no longer available, YouTube discontinued this offering Spring last year – this was mainly due to problems viewing on mobile devices, and has phased out in favour of the card tool.