YouTube Thumbnail Best Practices That Will Get Clicks & Views (With Examples)

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The answers to these questions are crucial for any video creator hoping to break into the competitive YouTube market.

Do you think you have what it takes to be a viral sensation on YouTube? Do you want more people to see your videos on YouTube? Do you ever sit and wonder why your YouTube videos aren't more popular with viewers?

In that case, you've come to the proper place if you said yes to any or all of the above questions. Here, we'll look at how modifying your YouTube thumbnail might improve your video's visibility and draw in more viewers.

Many content producers found it difficult to establish a unique voice or style to stand out from the growing YouTube user base. Producers went to great lengths to increase their videos' exposure. The attention spans of YouTube viewers are shortening at an alarming rate, and not everyone can meet the challenge of holding their interest. With the advent of thumbnails, there was suddenly a straightforward strategy for getting more views.

We'll explain what a thumbnail is and how to create one that will increase your video's popularity on YouTube. Therefore, if you learn how to create a YouTube thumbnail effectively, you should expect an uptick in subscribers and views. Thus, you'll realize there has been a rise in those who want to view your material.

Given that every video on YouTube must have a thumbnail, it's just as essential to get the size right as it is to make a compelling thumbnail. For that reason, you can utilize this as a template for your successful YouTube thumbnail campaign. It will instruct you on how to make YouTube thumbnails that acquire more views and clicks.

For the record, top SEO firms did research on why some YouTube thumbnails present better chances of the videos being clicked than others. Findings showed that thumbnails including faces were viewed 7.2% more frequently than those without faces. Seventy percent of the most popular video thumbnails also included a title or descriptive text. You may check these stats here. (Related: 7 YouTube SEO Best Practices That Will Skyrocket Your Views)

What is a YouTube Thumbnail?

Thumbnails are sample images that provide context for their larger counterparts. Use that little picture as the cover art for your video. It's a great way to get people interested in your topic by teasing them with a glimpse of what they may expect to learn more about later. Your video's thumbnail must be engaging and relevant to the clip's subject matter if you want people to click on it. To pique the user's interest and get them to click through to the video, YouTube videos have thumbnails that exhibit information about the video and its context.

To get more people to watch your video, you need a captivating thumbnail that clearly explains what the video is about. Your video's thumbnail is the first thing people will see, so it should be compelling enough to get them to click through and watch the entire thing. This post will discuss (with examples) the top 9 techniques and tips for increasing the click-through rate of your YouTube thumbnails.

1. Check the Size of Your YouTube Thumbnail

YouTube's thumbnail standards are straightforward. YouTube requires a minimum resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Files in JPG, GIF, or PNG format can be uploaded. When sized properly, even thumbnail images preserve their original, high-resolution beauty.

2. Get Clear Photos with a High Pixel Count

When was the last time you saw a thumbnail and gasped at how grainy and pixelated it was? Nobody is immune to these sentiments, not even you. Incomprehensible preview images discourage people from seeing the whole film. You can avoid this by using high-quality thumbnails.

You shouldn't utilize a grainy image if you want your audience to understand what the film is about. If you want to make an impression on your audience, you need to use high-quality images.

Use high-quality graphics for your YouTube video thumbnails to show that you care about the content you're putting out there, which will encourage more people to go through and watch the full video. In today's highly competitive online industry, retaining consumers and encouraging them to consume more of your content depends on providing a consistently high level of quality from the very first point of contact with those users.

3. Label Your Images

If you want your YouTube thumbnail to get noticed, you need to add a text header. Even though a video's thumbnail is captivating, words are often more effective in communicating the video's concept. The text serves a dual purpose by offering additional information about your video and enhancing the thumbnail's visual appeal.

A thumbnail's caption should accurately describe the image it represents. To target a specific audience, the thumbnail text for your video should highlight its educational purpose. However, there is no need to dress formally. There's no need to clutter the screen with more text than is necessary to grab the attention of your viewers and explain the point of your film (and it need only be six words long).

A thumbnail text gives additional and clearer information. An example of a YouTube thumbnail with text is as below:

4. Use Warm, Inviting Colors

YouTube thumbnails with illegible text, like those with white text on a light background or black letters on a very dark background, are not easy to spot. Even worse, it will damage the thumbnail you worked so hard on for your YouTube video.

Using a vibrant layout, your YouTube thumbnail will stand out in the feed and attract more clicks. You don't want it to be confusing or hard to follow, either. Use a color scheme that includes contrasting hues to highlight specifics in your written or visual content. Below is an example of a YouTube thumbnail with warm and inviting colors.

5. Maintain Brand Integrity by Giving it Your Full Attention

If you take the time to design consistent thumbnails for each video, your online video platforms will have a more professional appearance. Customers will be able to recognize your marketing efforts across platforms if you keep a uniform style for all of your playlists.

Brand recognition is a step closer when you use visual elements (logo, colors, etc.) associated with your company in the thumbnails you create for your YouTube videos. Making the background the brand color and placing the brand logo on each thumbnail are just two examples of how you can strategically include various branding components into the thumbnail to increase your brand's visual appeal and memorability.

If you stick to a consistent style, readers can spot your work from a mile away. Thus, it would be best to consider showcasing your logo, colors, typefaces, and filters unique to your brand. This narrows down to having similar aspects like background and logos in all your YouTube thumbnails. An example is shown below.

6. Communicate a Single, Clear Message while Simultaneously Appealing to the Viewer's Emotions

Consider implementing these suggestions into your videos. Video clip summaries that work best highlight a single central idea or feeling from the video. If you do this, it will be much easier to get people interested in your film, to make them feel something and want to share it with others.

People's actions and choices are guided by their internal emotional states. Marketing data shows that individuals are likelier to watch films with thumbnails that make them feel something. Creating unique thumbnails for videos is a great way to entice more people to watch them. Put yourself out there and meet your audience by making an appearance in your videos. If you follow these procedures, your online interactions with people will feel more natural, and your videos will attract more views.

7. Picture Arrangement

Your thumbnail's caption should be placed to the left of the box, where it will be seen most often, to assist viewers quickly understand the video's topic.

In addition, make effective use of white space and negative space to keep your thumbnail looking neat and organized. Thus, if the final image you've chosen has too much detail, you can add some negative space or white space to it. It improves the thumbnail by including a new class, making the image look more refined and expert.

When a YouTube video is returned as a search result, a play button will appear next to the thumbnail. Avoid placing any essential elements in the precise middle of the image since this could cause them to be covered over by the button. The image's focus point should be positioned so that the thumbnail retains its attraction at all times. Consider the rule of thirds when deciding where to include essential elements in your thumbnail design.

Below is an example of an excellent picture arrangement.

8. Keep Things Simple at All Times

A detailed explanation is unnecessary for a YouTube preview. A YouTube thumbnail, for example, will appear much smaller when viewed on a mobile device. Avoid using tiny fonts or incorporating much text if you want your thumbnail to look well on mobile screens.

A powerful strategy for increasing your video's time and views is to disclose that the final product at the end acts as a precursor to something truly outstanding. To give people an idea of what the whole video is like, it's a good idea to show the final scene in the preview. If you can pique the curiosity of your intended viewers, you may expect a higher click-through rate from your video marketing campaign.

9. Video Captioning Tools are Available on YouTube, and You Should Consider Using One

Has your imagination been waning recently? The good news is that you only need a thumbnail generator to kick-start your creativity. In case you're having problems coming up with a design for a thumbnail all on your own, you may use this helpful tool to generate a blank graphic to work with. You'll have extra time for other tasks if you choose such options.

You should know that, although some are free, most of these services have a price tag attached to them, so if you want to subscribe to any of the aforementioned mediums, you should be prepared to part with some cash. Some examples of these sites include,,, etc.

About the Author

I have been in the 'online business' space since 2009 when I started an eCommerce business selling motorcycle parts (sold in 2012). Since then I have owned and operated several successful online business (and had a fair share of failures), along with owning offline home services businesses. Currently my focus is online businesses that are profitable with paid traffic. As a 'self employed individual' I do not use Linkedin, but you can connect with my on my personal instagram and youtube which largely revolve around my mountain biking passion!