Link to your website with annotations or cards

You can use annotations and cards to link to any of your associated websites directly from your videos. Learn more about using cards in your videos.

Before you start: Make sure that your account meets these eligibility requirements:

Keep in mind that video playback stops when a viewer clicks an annotation in your video, and this can impact your watch time metrics.

Set up link to an associated website

Step 1: Add your site in Search Console

To create an annotation or card that links to your website, first add your site as an "associated website" in your YouTube account.

  1. Go to Advanced Channel Settings by clicking your account > Creator Studio > Channel > Advanced.
  2. In the "Associated website" section, enter the URL. It will show as "pending," unless you've verified the site before.
  3. Under the URL box, click Verify if you own the website or Request approval to have the website's owner approve it. This will take you to Google's Search Console.
  4. In Search Console, make sure you're logged in with the same Google Account as your YouTube channel. If you're unsure, you can check your account information on YouTube.
  5. Follow the instructions to add a site to Search Console. You may be asked to choose a verification method.

After you add your site to Search Console, it will go through a verification process. Once verification is complete, the website's status will change from "pending" to "success" and you can follow the steps below to add an annotation or card that will take viewers to any page in that website.

Step 2: Add an annotation or card with the link

Add an annotation for associated website
  1. Go to your Video Manager by clicking your account > Creator Studio > Video Manager.
  2. Next to the video you want to change, click the down arrow next to the Edit button.
  3. Click Annotations.
  4. If this is the first time 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.
  5. To create a new annotation, click Add annotation, or select an existing annotation to make edits.
  6. To add a URL, select Link > Associated Website.
  7. Add your website's URL, then select Apply changes.
Add a card for associated website
  1. Go to your Video Manager by clicking your account > Creator Studio > Video Manager.
  2. Next to the video you want to change, click the down arrow next to the Edit button.
  3. Click Cards.
  4. Click Add card.
  5. Next to "Associated Website," click Create.
  6. If this is the first time you're using external links, click Enable to accept the Terms & Conditions.
  7. Add your website's URL. You can also add other types of cards at this time, too.
  8. Select Create card

Don't use annotations or cards to further redirect to unauthorized sites from your associated website. Make sure that your associated websites comply with our Community Guidelines, Terms of Service, and other policies for this feature. Violations can result in your videos being removed, strikes against your account, and/or termination of your YouTube account. Refer to YouTube’s policies for more information.

Troubleshoot issues linking to associated websites

My associated website is still pending. What can I do?

Before it's approved, Search Console needs to verify that you own the website you'd like to associate with your YouTube channel — this can take some time. Verification is required to prevent spam and misrepresentation of brands or other entities.

To resolve a pending associated website, contact your webmaster or someone at your company who has access the Google Search Console for your site. Find more information, you can learn more about Associates in Search Console.

Can I associate more than one website with my YouTube channel?

First, you need to associate one website to your account to enable this feature in YouTube's Video Manager, then you can add more associated websites through Search Console. Learn about adding more associated websites to your Google Account.

Make sure to log in to Search Console with the same Google Account as the one you use to access the YouTube channel. In order to link to added sites, the YouTube annotations and cards will refer to Search Console to see if the domain is allowed.

I can't add more than one associated website.
  1. Go to www.youtube.com/account and see what Google Account email is listed in the "Name" field.
    • If there's no email listed, click on Advanced underneath your channel name to see the Google+ Page ID listed under "Account information" (it'll be in the format of "my-other-id-9568@pages.plusgoogle.com"). If you don' have a password for this ID, you can create one by clicking Change or add password.
  2. Go to Google's Search Console.
  3. Log in with the Google Account or Google+ Page ID you use for YouTube (this is the information you collected in step 1).
  4. Associate the website with your account.

If you continue to have problems adding more associated sites in the Search Console, get help in the Search Console Help Center.

Why do I get the "Please enter a valid URL" or "Website not associated with your YouTube account" error?

First, make sure you own this URL in the Search Console. Then make sure the URL you're pasting in the link field is correct:

  • Make sure it's an actual URL that includes the "http://" or "https://".
  • Use the exact same URL format as in the Search Console. For example, having "www." can make a difference for validation.
  • Make sure that new sites are listed separately in the Search Console.
The annotation link to "Associated Websites" is missing.
If the link to your Associated Website is missing, it might be because your channel is no longer eligible for this type of annotations. Make sure your account still meets the eligibility criteria.
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