When I first posted a Video SEO tip on how YouTube’s click-to-action buttons can be duplicated by anyone with their own YouTube account for every single video, responses we got were that it sounded too good to be true, or that it was just meant for YouTube’s partner sites, or that maybe it might be viewed as spam? After further testing, we discovered even better tactics of how to optimize a “Hot URL” link in your Description field to get optimal call-to-action results. Read on… Previous to this, YouTube would only allow internal links, and not external ones. You could only paste a link to a YouTube Video, Channel, or Google search result.  But with the new “click-to-buy” links (buttons and text links) that YouTube is doing with some of its major video partners, the floodgates have been opened for everyone else. Whether intended by YouTube or not, and even if there’s no “link juice’ behind hit, its what a lot of people have been wanting for a legitimate call-to-action strategy.

How to optimize the YouTube description field with a Hot URL

View the example below for our recommendation on optimizing a working link into a video page

  • Start the description field off with a few of your top keywords.
  • Have the URL immediately follow it. (You must start the link with “http://…” for the link to be active. “www.” is not required to follow it to work, however.

Truncated URLs work

You can even have your URL break off on the first line, and it will still be fully functional. However, to be effective with your audience on the YouTube page, least leave enough text of the URL on the top line so it does stand out as a link, and people will know to click it. (Keep in mind that on the default one-line viewing of the description, the URL will appear truncated if its longer than 19 characters past the “http://”) Multiple URLs possible (but use with caution)

As this other example shows, we were able to include multiple URLs in the same description. Each one of the links pointed to their correct place. Could an example like this video be flagged for spam? My initial research on the YouTube community help forums didn’t find any indication by an official YouTube rep that it was. (Google’s own press release example did feature multiple links themselves, so why not?)  My recommendation: if you’re going to put in multiple links: keep them all relevant to the content and don’t overdo it. (I’d recommend two, maximum. Just do what is already being done by YouTube partner videos.)