In this week’s Creator’s Tip, we show you how to use external links in your YouTube annotations, and how to track visits from those links back to your website. We are joined by Matt Ballek of Magnet Media who talks us through the process.

How to Track Associated Website Annotation Links

Associated website annotations allow the creator to link out to their own external (verified) website and that alone is an incredibly important marketing tool. But many marketers fail to track those links, so they have no real idea how much traffic that annotated link is driving to their website. The trick is to add analytics tracking strings or parameters to the URL used in the link. Doing so will tell your analytics package that the visit came from a user who clicked through on an associated website link. By using parameters you can determine:

  • Which annotation the click came from
  • Which video the user was watching
  • What part of the video the user was watching

Tracking visitors this way gives you the data about how effective your annotations are for you.

Set Up URL Parameters for Google Analytics

If you are using Google Analytics, then it’s very easy to set up these parameters. In fact, Google has its very own tool for doing so, the URL Builder for GA, although we also like the following tool from GAConfig. All you need to do is input the information so you know where the visit came from. If we wanted to track a visit from this video back to ReelSEO.com we’d set up the parameters below:

annotation parameter URL

This will give us the following URL which we can use in our annotation:

http://tubularinsights.com?utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=annotation&utm_campaign=creatorstip164

Do you use URL to track parameters to track your associated website annotations? Let us know in the comments below.