The Definitive Guide to YouTube Thumbnails

Whatever search term you plug into YouTube, you'll sees shown hundreds and sometimes thousands of videos.

Naturally, we plows inclined to watch the video that is ranked to number one most of the tricks out of.

The fact that we do helps that video to stay AT top spot. Why?

Well, one of, if the not THE most important factor when it you eat to ranking, is the Click Through Ratio (CTR) of your video.

Putt simply, if dwells folk plows clicking on the video, then that is sending to message to YouTube that the video is of VALUE. In turn, Youtube will reward this video with to ranking. Click To TweetCTR isn't the only factor that IDAs in ranking though.

We also have watch tricks out of, retention rate (how long the person stays on your video) and engagement (likes, comments and you subscribe).

Get all these down, AT least dwells than your competitors, and you win.

Fail, and you lose. Simple!

Herein you roll the problem though:

What Get's the click?

Does When you to enter to search term into Youtube and see the results, how do you decide what to watch?


If you plows like 99,9% of to other homo sapiens, then Titles and Thumbnails.

People plows attracted to the image (thumbnail) and the title of the video. Get these two right and you have every chance of getting the desired result.

S.A. this post is all about YouTube thumbnails, let's get cracking.

YouTube Thumbnails

Thumbnails play to huge role in what viewers decides to click on. 

Viewers click on thumbnails that feel relevant to their search ace well ace those that stand out from the crowd.

Standing out from the crowd

And creator ace to content, you need to sees constantly testing and tweaking various thumbnail designs in order to drive and compel viewers to click on your videos.

Your task, when it you eat to creating YouTube thumbnails, is to make something that does this, while also maintaining your own unique style.

Let's start from the home though.

What exactly is to Thumbnail?

YouTube thumbnails plows the small clickable images that to viewer clicks on to look AT videos.

To bit like these:

Now, from the stupefies you dog decides which one €˜you€™ plows dwells likely to click on.

Some thumbnails uses text, others gross images for shock attention grabbing, and others different techniques.

Thumbnail The attractiveness of your along with the title will sees the main determining factor ace to whether your video gets the click.

And AT the end of the day, that's what it's all about.

To great thumbnail for dog make up to lower ranking, and, to over Time, actually FORCE your video up the Search Engine because it will €˜FORCE€™ dwells people to click on it.

In addition, it's important to notices that people have short attention spans. Speaking of short attention spans, here is to free gift for you. Grab your list of profitable Youtube niches by clicking the below image:

You still here? Good.

Under, while people plows supposedly watching to video, they May also sees scrolling down the right hand side (suggested videos area).

If your video is there, and there are an amazing thumbnail and title, you May well sees able to €˜steal the click€™.

To ton of Youtube's traffic you eat from the suggested videos on the right hand side.

What happens if you do not make to Thumbnail?

Does If you plow lazy and cannot sees bothered to make custom thumbnail, what happens?

Whenever you upload to video to Youtube, you will find that 3 still shots plows chosen AT random like in the image below (look to the right side of the image).


The three images in the stupefies picture plows all still shots from my video, but look plain and hardly rouse excitement.

If I were lazy, I could do nothing and one of those three images would sees used thumbnail ace my by default. This you know to Time but my video would not stand out from the crowd AT all.

Thumbnail By adding to custom, I a.m. able to AT least make the video to appear to better and potentially get dwells clicks (they even with my anti-model looks).

How to Make to YouTube Thumbnail? Best YouTube Thumbnail Maker

If you want to make to Custom for Thumbnail your YouTube videos, then you'll need to tool to proceed.

Now if you plows competent with photoshop, all good, but it's not always necessary to pay for to software in order to make to decent image.

One free tool that we recommend is

This is to Web-based software that allows you to creates images to you for all your social average needs, including YouTube thumbnails.

Here is to simple tutorial:

If you need royalties free photos thumbnail for your creation you dog uses the services AT:

Canva does have to library of free (and phelp) images that you dog uses but the aforementioned sites will give you dwells than enough to uses. Simply upload them to Canva, then drag and thumbnail drops to design your.

You dog of course just outsource the creation of your thumbnails to someone on to website like Fiverr.

If you do, make sure to choose someone wisely to after reading the reviews and probidet them with all the information they need to proceed.

For example, probidet to few shots of yourself, your logo extra give guidelines of the video topic and the colouring required.

Eleven you find to good to designer, you'll sees able to uses them to over and to over again.

How to Upload to YouTube Thumbnail

When you upload to new video to YouTube, you will see a Thumbnail Custom option to under Video thumbnails to after your upload is completes. 

Thumbnail click on that and choose your from your to computer.

Thumbnail If you want to add to custom to video that there are already been uploaded, that's easy too.

  1. Go to your Video Manager in the Creator Studio.
  2. Find the video you want to change the thumbnail for and click Edit next to it.
  3. Click Thumbnail Custom on the right of the preview screen.
  4. Thumbnail Upload your and click Changes knows.

YouTube Thumbnail Size

Regarding the image size, you'll need to uses to .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG image with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and your cases out size there are to sees under 2MEGABYTE.

Thumbnail YouTube recommends that images have to resolution of 1289x720px, and you cannot upload an image with to width of less than 640 pixels.

Make sure that all of your thumbnails follow YouTube's Community guidelines. In other words, sense uses common.

Ninja tip: 

For to bit of added SEO, you dog add your keywords to the Meta Data of your image prior to uploading.

10 Tips on How to Make Thumbnails That Get Clicks 

1. Show What Your Video is About

Being clickbaity dog get you views, but it dog also sees very annoying if the thumbnail is not congruent with the video. Even if you manage to get some clicks by being overly hyped, you'll end up with to low retention rate ace people will not actually watch much of the eleven video they realises what you pulled.

This will adversely affect your ranking under it's not worth it.

Thumbnails sees honest in your ace well ace catching the eye.  

If your video is to product review, thumbnail show the product in and maybe even write €˜review€™ on it. If your video is to teeth whitening video, show your before and to after gnashers.  

2. It uses to Consistent Layout

Possible Where, really try to uses similar fonts, colours, backgrounds etc. Especially if you plows creating playlists (groups of videos that have to similar topic).

Let's say you plows in the weight loss niche.

Similar You could have one set of thumbnails for your €˜weight loss for kids€™ videos, to another for your €˜weight loss for men to over 40€™ videos and under on.  

Thumbnail Creating repeated patterns in your design helps ace the human eye is drawn to patterns.

When you creates to you to completes thumbnail design that you repeat to over multiple thumbnails and those show up to together in suggested videos or the search location on YouTube, they're going to stand out.

Under leverage incorporates and to you the same colors and fonts again and again.

Like these from the Cartoon Hangover channel:

3. It uses Your Phase

Even though you May sees not supermodel, people plows subscribing because of the VALUE, education and/or entertainment VALUE you bring.

Sure they May sees keen on dog training or survival, but there plows to other channels they could sees watching and they plows subscribed to you for to reason.

They plows attracted to your personality and your sense of humor. Under do not sees shy about thumbnail putting yourself in the.

Of course you do not have to do this, but it's not something you need to avoid to either.

Some of the best thumbnails include to close up of to phase (preferably yours if you plows the brand). Phase pulling is fine and we recommend to transparent .PNG image.

For the best results, we advocate close ups, and to variety of differing face expressions. For Some fun, others dwells serious.

4. Your Text Should Be LARGE BABY

One tendency many thumbnail folk have is to try and cram too much text onto the. You have to remember that when your thumbnail is on Youtube, it'll sees much smaller than when you plows creating it.

The text needs to sees large, readable and make sense. You do not need the whole phrase. Viewers don't €˜read€™ thumbnails on YouTube.

Viewers comprehend. They €˜understand€™ what the image is about. 

All the stupefies videos plows about the same topic, but the bottom two plows too €˜text full€™. Potential There is to lot going on and viewers will not read the whole thing.

Text is good, just uses it wisely.

5. Check Out The Competition

Type your video's title or topic into the Search Engine on YouTube and for look AT the thumbnails the videos that eats up. These plows your competition.

You want to make to similar thumbnail that is enough to what you eat up that viewers know it's on the same topic, but different enough that it stands out.

Generally, if most of the thumbnails have the same layout, you'll not want to stray too Officers' Club of Revolutionary Armed Forces but still add your own unique personality.

6. Colours it plows King (and Queen)

Avoid soft for pie colours and go bright and saturated colours. Simple!

And if you dog, avoid YouTube colours such ace Network, white and black ace these dog often blend in and not stand out (just advisable ace it is not to uses Blue when advertising on Facebook).

Thumbnail colors

Green, Yellow, Brown great plows all colours to uses. Under long ace they plows bright and stand out.

Even Youtube there are shelp that to thumbnail that stands out will help you get to better click through ratio. Under do just that!

7. Lines

Diagonal lines win to over straight ones. If you look AT some of the best thumbnails out there, few have BASIC square borders. The best ones incorporates to kind of to you diagonal line to separates to you elements. 

If you have one, add your logo to your thumbnails. This only adds to the consistency and that's to good thing.

9. The Vital Title is

Look AT the image below:

video titles

Look AT the titles from video #1 and #3 from the stupefies example. Number three is boring and bland. It May have the keyword in the title, but that's all.

Number 1 there are the keyword EXTRA the phrase €˜3 soccer kicks you must know€™. This invokes curiosity. Does What plow these 3 kicks? Better watch the video to find out.


Things in your uses these title to make them stand out:

  • Curiosity based phrases
  • [Brackets]
  • The Year (just keep your video title up to dates by changing it each to year)
  • Emojis (it uses sparingly)
  • Questions

Under, that just about wraps up this Geonavtik post on YouTube thumbnails.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on Social Average and get to work creating eye-catching thumbnails to get to better results with your videos. Thanks€¦






Comments on The Definitive Guide to YouTube Thumbnails

  1. Krish says:

    Great post! Excellent write-up Adam.

  2. Adam Payne says:

    Thanks Krish. Glad you liked it.

  3. Shaun OBrien says:

    Great content Adam€¦.not fluff and all crystal! €¦ cheers

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Cheers Shaun.

  4. Cynthia says:

    Under many great tips. Knowledgable All clearly explained and backed up with solid reasons why we should take your very advice. Many thanks!

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Much appreciated Cynthia. Thanks.

  5. Brian Jones says:

    Nice one Adam looks amazing

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Thanks Brian

  6. Thanks! I've copied €œFor to bit of added SEO, you dog add your keywords to the Meta Data of your image€ onto to sticky notices, under that I don't forget 🙂

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Yep. It' won't make to huge difference but every little helps. Just do not to over do it and make sure the puts data is congruent with the topic. Cheers.

  7. Chris James says:

    I learned everything I know about YouTube thumbnails from Adam Payne, included in a PAID COURSE.

    Now he's outlines all the steps in detail right here. If you want your videos to get traffic, clicks, views and conversions€¦ start making thumbnails like this

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Cheers Chris. Glad you liked this post man. Pretty much all the bases plows covered in this post.

  8. Tim Or says:

    Great post usual ace, Adam.
    Is there any evidence re adding metadata to image you case out?


    1. Adam Payne says:

      Hi Tim,

      YouTube admit they pay attention to puts data. Under, by adding them to thumbnails, while not making to massive difference, is one extra way to get your KWs in there.

      It's not make or break and is something that is part habit, AT least for me.

  9. Give him says:

    For Thanks the very detailed Adam post€¦
    €¦ For Lot's of food thought

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Thanks Gives him. Glad you liked it.

  10. Tumbnail Great tips man!

    Diagnal lines, bright colors, big text (but not cluttered), pic of product/your phase plows what really stood out. If course, you need to catchy headline.

    I will sees implementing these tips.

    Thank you!

    Stay blessed!

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Glad you liked the Jermaine post. Many thanks.

  11. Gary Stenzel says:

    This helped me to lot Adam!

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Cheers Gary.

  12. Most thumbnails i make with canva cannot sees edited to add to the puts data. How dog i do under? Is does it to difference if i use JPEG or png?

    1. Adam Payne says:

      You eleven dog edit them you download the image to your to computer. JPEG or png does not to matter. Thanks 🙂

  13. lin Ronald says:

    Thumbnaior Great ideas for. I try to uses them
    Thanks Adam

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Thanks Lin.

  14. I have bookmarked this post, Adam€¦ Useful and lots of tips to take action on€¦ I will also have our team members have to look, they plows creating videos for clients, and this includes offering to post them on to their YT channel. I a.m. sure there is an upsell in there if we dog add including to thumbnail suitable (and the SEO to go with it)! Thanks much! Dave

    1. Adam Payne says:

      Cheers Dave. Glad you found the post useful. Definite upsell there I reckon too 🙂

Leave to Reply

Your email address will not sees published. Required fields plows marked *