Investing in time to create captivating thumbnails for your videos is the key to getting more views which makes YouTube algorithm boost your visibility and recommend your videos more often to more audiences.
I will show you how to create an attention grabbing and memorable thumbnail that people will want to click on and how to know if your impressions click-through rate is high or low.
How to make a clickable thumbnail?
1. YouTube Creator Playbook Recommendations
The general guidelines to follow in order to create an attractive thumbnail are:
Clear, bright with high contrast, foreground stands out, images that compel viewers to click, using close-up faces to show emotions and finally represent the content precisely. Don’t use clickbait.
2. Choose A Recognizable Image
Try to use a thumbnail image that is connected to your brand or content or associated with the topic of your content. If you check my first channel “NoSteroids”, you will recognize my brand as I use the same thumbnail theme across most of my videos. You have to use a certain look that triggers a connection in your viewers’ minds.
3. Use Contrasting Colors
Using contrasting colors with a good image will make your thumbnail stands out especially if you are using text on your images. This will help to increase the readability of your image and help your video to get more attention and more clicks. You can use Canva’s free color wheel tool that can help you choose the best contrast colors for your thumbnails. You can check the link below:
4. Use Different Colors
You can use colors that are not commonly used such as blue, yellow, green, grey, orange and purple. Scroll down when you browse videos on YouTube and check which colors grabbed your attention.
5. Adding Text To The Thumbnail
Adding some text can improve your video’s click through rates as this will help the viewer to know what your video is about without reading the title. Just don’t use small text that can’t be seen on mobile phones when people are searching for videos on YouTube. Don’t write too much text. The text should not be the title of the video. You can use 3-6 words (around 30 characters or less) to convey the message and build interest.
6. YouTube Video Thumbnail Dimensions
According to Google’s Custom thumbnail best practices, your thumbnail should be 1280 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall with a minimum width of 640 pixels. Try to use a 16:9 aspect ratio as it’s commonly used in previews.
7. Don’t Use Still Images
You can rarely find good still images taken from your video. A high quality, professional-looking image is far more important than one literally lifted from the video.
8. Use White Space To Your Advantage
You can catch the attention of viewers faster when you use a design having plenty of white space. Thumbnails that are clean and professional can edge out your competition.
9. Add Your Logo
For brand awareness purposes, you can add your logo in the corner of your thumbnail but don’t place it in the lower right corner as this is the place displaying the video length.
10. YouTube Thumbnail A/B testing
Split test different designs of your thumbnails and check which one is getting you more organic views and have higher click through rates. You can use TubeBuddy’s video A/B feature to see which thumbnail works best for your audience.
11. YouTube Thumbnail Design Tools
You can use Photoshop to create professional thumbnail templates, or you can use other free online services like Canva, Snappa and FotoJet.
How To Know Your CTR is Good Or Bad?
The average videos on YouTube have impressions CTR ranging from 2% to 10%. It’s better to look at impression CTR and your average view duration to know your audience retention percent.
1. High CTR and LOW view duration: Clickbait thumbnail or your content is not good enough.
2. Low CTR and HIGH view duration: Not enough viewers to click or your video is promoted to new and wider less targeted audiences.
Don’t miss the opportunity to capture viewers’ interest with an engaging thumbnail to increase your click though rates and get more views for your videos on YouTube. Creating high quality and engaging content is the most successful long term strategy on YouTube. Good thumbnails will not help you if your content is bad.
Click the PLAY button below to watch a video version of the article: