Whether you’re a beauty guru, a travel pro, a tech expert, or any other kind of vlog content creator, you’re probably interested in getting more views on YouTube, right? Of course. Getting more views will help your YouTube channel grow and stand out, and they’ll help you earn more revenue with your channel, too. So what can a custom thumbnail image do for you?
While there are a lot of different ways to increase your YouTube views, custom thumbnail images are one of the very best, and they don’t require a lot of work, either. You don’t have to learn a whole new skill set to create images that will tell your audience what your YouTube vlogs are about and encourage them to click through and see what you have to say.
Increasing Your YouTube CTR with Custom Images
First of all, when potential viewers search for content that is relevant to your vlogs, if you’ve optimized your YouTube videos, at least one of them is likely to show up on the SERP (search engine results page). 85% of life may be showing up, but when it comes to YouTube and Google searches, you need to do a little bit more than just show up – you need to stand out. You can significantly improve your CTR (click-through rate) on video searches and on social media posts by creating quality thumbnail images for your YouTube vlogs.
Use a Relevant Screenshot or Separate Photo
By default, YouTube will use a frame of your video as your thumbnail, which is why you see so many videos with random images for thumbnails. However, the better choice is to usually go with either a really great screenshot from the video or take a separate photo for your YouTube thumbnail image.
At times, taking a separate photo can be a great idea because it gives you the flexibility to highlight what the vlog is about without giving away too much from the video itself. For example, let’s say that you’re reviewing a subscription box service in your video. You may or may not want to show off the contents of the box in your thumbnail, so you could take a quality picture of the sealed box or of it opened with a peek at what’s inside.
Add Text to Your Custom Thumbnail Image
Many of the top YouTubers don’t just leave it at that, though. They also add legible text to the image so that it acts as an advertisement for the video. For example, you could write the title of the video or other informational text over the image, such as “iPhone 6s – Complete Review” or “What’s in This Month’s Beauty Box?”
The best way to see what really works most effectively for your YouTube videos is to experiment and test out different custom thumbnail image layouts and designs. For example, you could display the image on about two thirds of the thumbnail and the text on the other third, but this is up to you.
You can even overlay the text over the photo, but make sure that the image doesn’t end up looking too muddled or unclear. Be innovative and creative to see what works best for video thumbnails on your YouTube channel.
Always Avoid Creating Misleading Custom Thumbnails
Have you ever been scrolling through your social media feed and found a video with a thumbnail and title that made it look like something you wanted to watch…only to find out that it was about a completely different subject?
Misleading thumbnails can draw viewers in, but they’re a bad idea because those viewers will not stick around to watch your entire video if they thought they were clicking on something different to watch. Building trust with your YouTube channel’s audience is very important, so this is definitely something you want to avoid.
Great Thumbnail Images Help Get More Views
A great thumbnail image will always be tailored to your target viewers, and it will always show them what they can expect from your YouTube videos and vlogs. Your thumbnail image should be relevant to the subject of your content, and it should stand out and be easy to read. If you meet these criteria, you’ll notice more views on YouTube.
Lastly, aim towards uploading large images for higher quality (while staying under the 2MB size limit), and also work with a 16:9 aspect ratio (1280×720) in mind.
Wherever your viewers find your videos – through a search, on social media, etc. – the images they see for your thumbnails will have a significant impact on whether or not they click through to watch. So take a little bit of time to create quality custom thumbnail images for all of your YouTube videos.
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