How to link your YouTube channel to your website

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 or annotation with the website link

After you associate your site with your account, the next step is to add a card or annotation directly on your videos.

Add 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 “Link”, click Create. If this is the first time that you’re using external links, accept the Terms & Conditions.
  • Under “Associated website”, select your website’s URL from the Select site drop-down menu. 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. Click Next.
  • Add the card title, call to action and teaser text (all mandatory). You can also upload an image. 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. Click Create card.

Add an annotation 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 the down arrow next to the Edit button.
  • Click Annotations. If this is the first time that you’re using external annotations, at the top of the menu, you’ll see a banner that says “Enable your account for external annotation links”. Click Enable and accept the Terms & Conditions.
  • To create a new annotation, click Add annotation, or select an existing annotation to make edits.
  • To add a URL, select Link > Associated Website. Add your website’s URL, then select Apply changes.

We’ve added a very simple card (click on the “i” link) and annotation (at 2min 16sec) to one of our own videos, to give you a taste of what can be achieved.