Best Practises for YouTube Video Thumbnail: The Complete Guide

Best Practises for YouTube Video Thumbnail The Complete Guide
Best Practises for YouTube Video Thumbnail The Complete Guide

You need an excellent YouTube video thumbnail if you’re wondering how to increase the number of views and clicks on your YouTube videos. It is actually unassailable.


After all, you spent a lot of time, money, and creative energy making a stunning YouTube video with all the bells and whistles. You post it to your channel and eagerly press the “Publish” button after watching it a million times.


Even after all that work, a clickable YouTube video thumbnail was the missing link in the jigsaw. Your video has hardly received any hits, views, or user engagement as a result. The pain and the dismay!


A poorly designed (or automatically generated) YouTube thumbnail can undermine the overall visual appeal of your material and perhaps defeat the whole point of making a video.


What is the story’s lesson? By ignoring the significance of a quality YouTube thumbnail, you risk missing out on tremendous traction.


We’re delighted to say that if you’re in this predicament right now, it can be fixed. If you’re not sure where to start with YouTube thumbnails, read this article to find out more about their significance, the advantages and disadvantages of created vs. automatically generated thumbnails, how to update your current thumbnails, and other topics.


You’ll be one step closer to maximising your channel’s development potential and achieving your YouTube video goals by adhering to these thumbnail best practises.


YouTube Video Thumbnails Are Important For These 5 Reasons


Particularly when it comes to YouTube, first impressions last a lifetime. Videos draw viewers in, add visual motion, and dynamise content to a certain degree. Users first glance at your YouTube thumbnail before deciding to view your video (much less subscribe to YouTube channel).


Additionally, there is an endless supply of YouTube videos to choose from, and user attention is fiercely competitive. In fact, according to a recent estimate, there will be 2.6 billion YouTube viewers worldwide in 2022.


Furthermore, let’s face it: you only have a few seconds (or even milliseconds) to persuade a visitor to click on your video. Without that interest and drive to click, your YouTube video has no chance.


Therefore, a well-designed YouTube thumbnail helps to generate buzz and increase interest in your channel. Here are the precise reasons why you must one in case you still aren’t persuaded.


1. The Click-Through Rate Is Increased by a Great YouTube Thumbnail,


Consider this: Would you click on a grainy, repulsively designed, or glaringly unimpressive YouTube thumbnail? Maybe if you’re interested enough, but there’s a good risk that this information will be disregarded (or even looked down upon).


A captivating YouTube thumbnail raises intrigue and curiosity, which boosts clickthrough rates.


2. For YouTube SEO, Strong YouTube Thumbnails Are a Must


It makes sense why a well-designed thumbnail is a big contributor to your films being noticed. A YouTube thumbnail is considerably more likely to be suggested for related searches when it accurately represents the video content, raising the click-through rate.


The more trusted and pertinent people find your video material to be, the more probable it is that it will score well in YouTube searches. This will consequently have a favourable effect on traffic, views, and subscribers.


3. A thumbnail on YouTube acts as a visual summary of the video’s content.


You want a potential viewer to quickly understand the main idea of your YouTube video material. Additionally, YouTube thumbnails play a role in this.


A strong YouTube thumbnail piques visual interest by summarising the content and rapidly communicating your message.


4. A strong YouTube thumbnail encourages viewers to subscribe.


A YouTube thumbnail is a contributing factor, albeit it does not ensure an increase in channel subscriptions. A strong thumbnail should be your first course of action before going over the subscription figures because you can’t put the cart before the horse. After all, if nobody wants to watch your YouTube video, you won’t obtain any subscribers.


Pro-Tip: Keep in mind that while a compelling YouTube thumbnail may bring a user in, a well-made video will ultimately determine if they decide to subscribe to your channel. Make sure your thumbnail and video content are in sync to increase the chance that people will subscribe.


5. Professional-Looking YouTube Thumbnails Raise the Bar


A well-designed thumbnail gives you an advantage because it demonstrates your dedication to producing top-notch content.


Making the effort to create and upload a superb YouTube thumbnail demonstrates your commitment to producing top-notch material. It has the potential to establish a positive brand image right away and demonstrate your professionalism.


Benefits and Drawbacks of Designed and Automated YouTube Video Thumbnails: 


You can choose between an artificially intelligent or human-designed thumbnail on YouTube. You might question whether you should even bother designing a thumbnail in light of the simplicity of an automated thumbnail.


Each choice has particular benefits and drawbacks to take into account, which we’ll go over below.


Automated thumbnails for YouTube


After publishing your YouTube video, you can select a thumbnail that was created automatically. Take into account the advantages and disadvantages listed below.


Advantages of Automatic Thumbnails

  • Simple and quick to produce
  • Obtains an occasionally pertinent, straight still image from your YouTube video.
  • eliminates the need to create a separate thumbnail, saving time.

The drawbacks of automated thumbnails

  • A YouTube thumbnail’s lack of customisation (such as adding summary text)
  • Automated thumbnails can not have the finest quality or resolution, particularly if the movie contains a lot of movement.
  • There are few automated alternatives, and YouTube might not produce your selected thumbnail frame automatically.

Made-for-YouTube Thumbnails

However, you also have the choice to upload a customised YouTube thumbnail, which has advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Thumbnails with design advantages

  • Completely editable—add text, graphics, and other design components
  • Possibility of raising click-through rates
  • provides a chance to concentrate on a particular visual message or selling point
  • Branding consistency across several thumbnails.

The drawbacks of designed thumbnails

  • Making designed thumbnails requires some level of design expertise.
  • It takes more time to create a thumbnail.
  • There is no assurance of increased traffic and views, even with a well-designed thumbnail.
  • Some viewers could find it excessively corporate, which is a drawback.

The Decision? Most of the Time, A Designed YouTube Thumbnail Wins

There is no question that spending the extra time to create a thumbnail is the best course of action. When a viewer only has a second to catch their attention, well-designed thumbnails make it simpler for them to understand what your video is about.

Take a look at some of the most popular YouTube channels, and you’ll see that almost all of them have attractive thumbnails.

The fact that 90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube have personalised thumbnails speaks for itself. Designing a thumbnail could seem difficult, especially if you’re pressed for time. If so, think about using a thumbnail generator to speed up the design process.

If you’re a well-known YouTube content provider with lots of videos to publish, be aware that there are daily limits on the number of customised thumbnails you can upload. You might not be aware that you’re close to your limit until you see the dreaded “Daily custom thumbnail limit reached” warning because this restriction will change depending on your region or YouTube channel history.

A great tutorial video on adding unique thumbnails to your YouTube videos can be found here on YouTube:

Make Use of a Brief, Clear Summary of the YouTube Video

Users who see your YouTube thumbnail should be able to quickly and easily understand what is in it. To do this, write a straightforward headline that summarises your YouTube video’s content and isn’t too long. To create expectations, whenever possible, add a numerical snapshot, such as “5 Ways to Increase Video Views”.

Avoid at all costs using clickbait headlines that don’t correspond to the substance of the video in your efforts to boost click-through rates and video visibility. This not only misleads viewers, but it also creates a negative perception of the brand.

A YouTube Title Should Match the Thumbnail

It won’t make much sense to have a headline that has nothing to do with the YouTube thumbnail you’ve chosen. As a result, your YouTube content will have a disjointed narrative and confuse viewers.

For instance, “How to Ask Your Doctor Tough Questions” shouldn’t be placed above a picture of a beach, and the title “Why Blue is the Best Colour for Bedrooms” shouldn’t be on a background of red.

Create a headline that is consistent with your images in order to achieve this. Viewers won’t feel mislead this way, and as time goes on, they’re more likely to trust your brand.

Tap Into The Emotions Of Your Target Audience

The most effective marketing is emotional, as we all know. Consider the needs and search terms of your audience to help you write a compelling YouTube headline. By doing this, you may make a headline that speaks to a certain audience’s demands in terms of content search.

Thumbnail Image Best Practises for YouTube

YouTube has provided suggested guidelines to follow in order to get the most out of your thumbnails. The most crucial points are listed below.

The size and resolution

Your image should have a minimum resolution and size of 1280720 pixels (with a minimum width of 640 pixels), if you decide to use a created thumbnail, which you should. Additionally, the file size should not exceed 2MB.

A hazy, pixelated thumbnail that appears to have been taken with a first-generation camera phone is not what you want, keep in mind. It won’t make sense to spend many hours crafting a YouTube video just to have a poor thumbnail that doesn’t effectively reflect the content or show the video in a visually appealing, appetising manner.

Even worse, you don’t want important text and other components of your YouTube thumbnail to be omitted because the proper proportions weren’t applied. Make sure your YouTube thumbnail is clear, high-quality, and the right size to avoid making this error.

Picture Format

You should use a JPG, GIF, or PNG file for your YouTube thumbnails if possible. Just make sure the file doesn’t exceed 2 MB in size.

Pro-Tip: Take it a step further by include keywords related to your video in the name of your thumbnail. Although it’s not a surefire strategy to boost your YouTube or Google ranking, it just in case. People are more likely to be drawn to your video if they can link their search to your YouTube thumbnail.

Factor Ratio

The aspect ratio that YouTube suggests is 16:9 because it is the most typical size for YouTube players and previews.

Design a Unique, Eye-Catching Thumbnail

It’s simple to be drowned out by rival content in the immense sea of YouTube videos and unlimited scrolling potential. It’s nearly a given that someone has already created comparable content for every YouTube video you make.

Because of this, you should consider the competition to see if there are any ways to set your YouTube thumbnail apart. Having more enticing language, adopting an unusual image viewpoint, or positioning your video thumbnail for an underserved demographic could all be sufficient solutions.

Use a colour palette that is eye-catching and pleasing to the eye. Consider adopting the same (or a complementary) colour scheme for all YouTube thumbnails if your objective is to establish a readily recognisable brand presence. By doing this, you may preserve a distinctive aesthetic while building brand familiarity over time.

The best way to update or change YouTube thumbnails

You might want to make adjustments or modifications to your YouTube thumbnail later. A designed thumbnail may have been utilised initially, but you later opted to replace it.

Whatever the situation, updating or modifying a YouTube thumbnail is as simple as following the instructions below.

  1. Make sure you are signed into your YouTube account before anything else. Next, click on your circular profile picture in the top right corner to go to the “YouTube Studio” section.
  2. Select the ‘Content’ tab from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.
  3. Following that, a list of every video on your YouTube channel—including unlisted ones—will be displayed. Find the video whose thumbnail you want to alter or replace.
  4. To change the details of the video, hover over and select the pencil symbol.
  5. Thumbnails, which is located directly beneath the “Description” section, is where you’ll make your modifications. Upload your own YouTube thumbnail or choose with one of the pre-made ones.

That’s all, then! Don’t be hesitant to go back and make changes to your YouTube thumbnail after you’ve released a video. After all, making constant changes can help you get the most out of your YouTube videos.

End of sentence 

Making a visually appealing YouTube video thumbnail may seem like a small thing, but it gives your channel a good first impression. Giving this frequently ignored stage a little more attention will help to increase views, subscription rates, and the visual recognition of your business.


Making successful YouTube video thumbnails becomes second nature once you get into the practise, which sets your videos for success.

Leave a Response