youtube thumbnail

Are you a YouTuber and want to get more views on your videos? Have you been struggling with increasing the reach and subscribership of your YouTube channel? Do you often wonder why your YouTube videos do not get enough clicks and views?

If your answer to the above questions is ‘Yes’, you have come to the right place. This article will discuss the impact of your YouTube thumbnail on the number of clicks or views you get on your videos. We will guide you through the best practices of making a YouTube thumbnail. Once you learn how to create a YouTube thumbnail, you will notice a rise in your subscribers and watch hours. This shows that more people want to click on your videos and watch them.

If you want to create the best YouTube thumbnail for your next video, make sure you read this post until the end.

What is a YouTube Thumbnail?

A YouTube thumbnail is a reduced-size version of an image that serves as the cover of your video. If the image is eye-catching and relevant to the video content, it can draw in viewers and make them want to watch the video. If it is bland or blurry, it will deter viewers.

marketing video thumbnail and description

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Of course, the quality of your video also matters a lot for getting views and watch hours. But the initial attention is drawn in by your YouTube thumbnail. A video with the perfect YouTube thumbnail will get views faster than one with a lousy thumbnail. Depending on how good your video is, these views will increase your watch hours and channel subscribers.

Value of an Ideal YouTube Thumbnail

Your YouTube thumbnail is just as critical as the title of your video when it comes to attracting clicks and views. Thumbnails draw the initial attention of your videos’ potential viewers and make it easier for them to decide which video to watch first.

A marketing video embedded into a Strikingly user's website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

When YouTube user searches for videos on a particular topic, they see tons of thumbnails in the search results. Deciding which one to click on first can be quite overwhelming. They decide based on the elements that are visible to them, that is, the video title, thumbnail, and the short description below the title.

If your YouTube thumbnail is not attractive, you will likely lose most of your viewers. If they don’t even click on your thumbnail, they will never see the video you created and uploaded. Your effort of making that particular YouTube video will go to waste.

But if you put in the effort to make a perfect YouTube thumbnail, you can get more views on your video than you expect. That’s because, even if some people don’t like your video, they will at least watch it a little bit, at least once, after clicking on the thumbnail that attracted them to it in the first place.

The Ideal YouTube Thumbnail Size for 2022

Now that we are approaching the end of 2021, let’s talk about the YouTube thumbnail size you need to follow in 2022. Following are some helpful notes to create the perfect size.

  • It should be 1280 x 720 pixels.
  • It should have a minimum width of 640 pixels.
  • The file size should not exceed 2MB.
  • It should be saved in Jpeg, GIF, PNG, or BMP format.

An ideal YouTube thumbnail has a 16:9 ratio. Along with the size, it should also follow the file size and file size requirements of YouTube.

Latest Best Practices of YouTube Thumbnails

Here are the best practices for making a YouTube thumbnail that will help you attract traffic and views on your videos.

1. Keep it Simple

Your YouTube thumbnail needs to be concise. They are small and appear even smaller if YouTube is being viewed on a mobile device. That’s why don’t add too much text on your thumbnail. If you add too much text or make the font too small, people won’t read it, and your thumbnail will not look catchy. When people cannot clearly see what’s on your thumbnail, they get put off and click on another video to watch that has a clearer thumbnail.

One way to keep your YouTube thumbnail simple is to avoid writing the complete video title on it. The title will appear next to the thumbnail anyway. Create a shorter version of the title and add it to the thumbnail. Not adding the title to the thumbnail is even better in many cases. You can simply use a still image and add a logo to it.

Still images can help you create the best YouTube thumbnails because they provide a snapshot of your video content to the viewers. You can actually take a screenshot of some point in your video and use it as your thumbnail. This way, you won’t have to spend time making a YouTube thumbnail from scratch.

Youtube videos with simple thumbnails added to a Strikingly user's website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

2. Use Contrasting Colors

You must have seen some lousy YouTube thumbnails with white text on a light-colored background or black text on a very dark background. This again makes the text unclear and challenging to read and spoils your effort to make an ideal YouTube thumbnail.

You need your YouTube thumbnail to stand out. You don’t want it to appear blurry or confusing. Use a combination of colors that contrast nicely with each other and make your typography and image contours more prominent.

3. Place Your Logo Carefully

Adding your logo to your videos and YouTube thumbnails is an excellent way of branding your content. It can enhance your brand awareness and help people remember your brand name. But you need to be careful where the logo is placed on your thumbnail.

Strikingly user's site showing a video embedded into the web page

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Your logo should not be too big, to begin with. It does not have to be the center of attention on your thumbnail. The overall message of your thumbnail needs to be the center of focus. Preferably, do not place your logo in the bottom right corner. If you do so, it might get covered by the video duration that YouTube will publish on your thumbnail’s bottom right corner. This will make your YouTube thumbnail look unprofessional.

4. Avoid Irrelevant Images

Your YouTube thumbnail should be a reflection of what your video is about. It should indicate to the viewers what they will watch if they click on the thumbnail. That’s why it is crucial to avoid irrelevant or misleading images. If people click on your thumbnail assuming and expecting a specific type of video but get to watch a totally different kind of content in it, they will be put off from your channel.

This is why nobody likes clickbait. Make sure your thumbnail depicts your actual video content. If it doesn't, your reputation will be badly hurt. If YouTube notices that many people quit your videos very quickly after clicking on your thumbnails, it might even stop showing your YouTube videos in their search results. This happens when your bounce rate is too high and is terrible for your YouTube fame.

Your YouTube thumbnail is supposed to provide context to the audience. Look for the most critical point in your video, and highlight it by making a YouTube thumbnail around it. Try to create a visual teaser, but at the same time, don’t reveal too much. Leave some scope for curiosity that can only be fulfilled if the audience clicks on the thumbnail to watch the video.

5. Use Your Own Photos

If you are the spokesperson in your YouTube videos, it is best to use your real photographs in your YouTube thumbnails. This will attract the most relevant audience to your videos. The titles will tell the audience what the video is about, and your photo in the thumbnail will tell them who will be speaking on the topic at hand. Only those people will now click on the thumbnail who like both these factors.

a video added to a Strikingly user's web page to explain the courses that the company offers

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

These were some of the best practices to create ideal YouTube thumbnails. Know that the thumbnail you create will also appear on any other platform where you insert or embed your YouTube video.

For example, if you build a website on Strikingly, you can add videos to your web pages published on YouTube. When you insert a video through its YouTube link, its thumbnail will appear before the viewer clicks on it to play it, unless you set it up on autoplay mode.

This means your YouTube thumbnail will not only depict to YouTube viewers what the video contains but to everyone on other platforms wherever you embed the video through its YouTube link.

Strikingly makes it easy for you to add YouTube videos to your website. Our web development tools are created with the ease of use of our customers in mind. If you would like to explore our world of building and maintaining websites in a super simple way, you are welcome to join our online community dedicated to our users.