YouTube thumbnails are critical to get more views for your videos and I will show you how to make a great YouTube thumbnail with Canva based on data.
How to Make Great YouTube Thumbnails for More Views
There are many software that you can use beside Photoshop and I will share with you what software to use for your YouTube thumbnails and graphics. If you are not a graphic designer and don’t want to go through the trouble to try to do it yourself, you may want to consider YouTube thumbnail creation simply with Fiverr.
YouTube thumbnails in search ranking for branding consistently and getting clicks is a little trick that can help you get more views for your videos.
How to make a great YouTube thumbnail with Canva based on data
Thumbnails on YouTube are critical and I will quickly share with you what works to make a good thumbnail. You have to look at your YouTube analytics and see where you are getting views on suggested video. If you are getting views on suggested video, that means the YouTube thumbnail is good.
The title can be important, but the thumbnail is the key for suggested videos. I can see on this video that my YouTube thumbnail is really good.
Good thumbnails are very simple. It has some words and a recognizable logo that matches what the video is about.
When your video is doing well on search, but not so much in suggested video, it is usually theYouTube thumbnail.
This one is doing well in suggested video as well. You can see it has the same type of design as the last one. It is straightforward with some words and a couple of related symbols.
Now you can see that this YouTube thumbnail is not working well in suggested video.
It is showing up on YouTube search so I know it is ranking well on keywords. It is not getting clicked on in suggested video, the issue is probably not the video itself or the words, but the thumbnail. The main thing to do then is to improve the YouTube thumbnail based on what’s already working.
I use Canva.com to manage my thumbnails because there is easy availability of additional designs and stock photos.
I have all my YouTube thumbnails here and I have got this Facebook ads thumbnail which is working really good.
All I’m going to do is copy it.
If you don’t have a thumbnail to start from, what you need is a custom dimension of 1280 x 720, that’s the size you want to use for a thumbnail.
What I want to do now is change the thumbnail I just copied.
This is the original YouTube thumbnail.
What I want to do is change this thumbnail into something more like this.
So, what people are showing they want is some recognizable Facebook brand symbol and what I can do is actually shrink the text on this. “Facebook Ads,” and then I could put something like “for conversions.” I can put the 2015 somewhere else and make the font a little bit bigger so that it shows up more clearly on the thumbnail.
I can then add the year, align the text left and move the Like symbol to the right a little bit. 2015 is important to let the viewers know that it is a new tutorial and it is not something that’s old school. It is risky sometimes to use a lot of text, but what I saw in my other videos is that the YouTube thumbnail with a lot of text is working.
Now I have got a new YouTube thumbnail that should work better based on what the last thumbnail is doing. Whether it will work better or not, the analytics will say.
All I have to do with Canva.com now is to download the image from it.
When it is downloaded, I go back to edit the video in YouTube and change the thumbnail. Look at that thumbnail “Facebook Ads for Conversion 2015.”
It is very clear what value you get out of watching this video in the thumbnail now, so I hit “Save changes.”
So now, I have got my new YouTube thumbnail and the timestamp doesn’t overlap the Like symbol.
This is how you look at what’s working on your existing thumbnails, and then optimize them with what’s proving to actually work.
YouTube thumbnail creation simply with Fiverr
Your YouTube thumbnails are really important for getting clicks on your videos, especially in suggested video and search. If you are not good at doing thumbnails, all you need to do is get someone to make you a good YouTube thumbnail.
Go to Fiverr.com and type YouTube thumbnail. You can easily find people who will make you a very good thumbnail and I usually sort by high rating to see who is doing the most.
This one right here looks like a good gig for YouTube thumbnails and you don’t have to guess either, you can just try ordering one from different gigs and see which freelancer does the best work for your videos.
It is that easy, you just go through, pick a gig and order a thumbnail. However, if you have 400 videos, you may not want to do that for every single one of your videos to get started.
What I’m going to do now, because I have some videos that need some YouTube thumbnail help, is to order a couple of thumbnails for videos that are getting views. If your video is getting views and you want it to get more views, doing a thumbnail is a good way to do it. How do I decide which video needs a new thumbnail?
I did some basic thumbnails and what I want to do now is find where my thumbnails are not very good, and where I am getting views. On the analytics tab, I’m figuring out which videos need new YouTube thumbnails.
I’m checking out which videos I have here that got views recently and are actually getting suggested video views, and then I can figure out what I want to order a new thumbnail for.
I go down to the Traffic sources for this video, which is a YouTube SEO tutorial, and I’m getting views in YouTube search and suggest video. So, I would like to get a new YouTube thumbnail for this video.
On this video, my face could definitely use a new thumbnail. I am getting a few views and also suggested videos.
I would definitely get a new thumbnail instead of my face.
The problem again with YouTube thumbnails like this one below is that they are so bland it is hard to get clicks.
The suggested video is not very good but I’m coming up in the YouTube search for Hellobar, so I do need a thumbnail for this video.
All I do now is I go through and pick a gig on Fiverr and this one looks good. The YouTube thumbnail on that one looks really good.
So I just click “order now” and I’ll see what the order instructions are. I have already a $207 balance, so I copy the YouTube link and then I paste it in this window.
I need to tell this freelancer now the wording, the theme and the color scheme I want for the thumbnail. I don’t want any particular images incorporated and I can just make a little short description of what I want.
When it’s done, I can stick that new YouTube thumbnail straight in the YouTube video. This is a lot easier than trying to mess around with it myself because I am more than likely to consistently get good thumbnails out of this. That will look better than anything I would try to do, with much less effort.
There are ways you can try and do thumbnails yourself, but if you are not a graphic designer, just get someone else to make your thumbnails. If you have only a few videos, get thumbnails for all of them. If you have a ton of videos, pick out the videos that most need a new YouTube thumbnail.
What software to use for your YouTube thumbnails and graphics
When it comes to creating graphics, the first software that everyone thinks about is Photoshop. If you have it on your computer and already know how to use it, well it is great.
If you don’t know how to use Photoshop and don’t have the budget to buy a license, don’t be disappointed as there are other options. Photoshop is overkilled for making YouTube thumbnails anyway.
Paint for Windows is useless and what you need is a simple software that can handle different layers, so you can make a nice graphic easily.
These are my suggestions, I have used all of them.
Getpaint.net for Windows is a free software which is very easy to use. It is an improved version of the Paint program in Windows, and you can work with different layers, apply special effects and make titles. The software also has many other powerful tools to edit your images and photos.
Acorn for Mac
With Acorn for Mac you will be able to do all you need to do with graphics. You can add layer masks, add vector shapes, use custom brushes and non-destructive filters, add text and do instant Alpha to remove backgrounds.
It is an excellent alternative to Photoshop and it is what I use the most now. There is a 14 day trial and a license is $29.99.
Gimp for Mac, Windows and Linux is an Open Source software and is free. It is very similar to Photoshop and you can do very complex image manipulations with it. You can add layers, text, effects and all the things you will need for your YouTube graphics.
I prefer to have a software installed on my computer so that I can re-use previous work to make new images, but there are also other image software on the cloud that you can use.
Canva is a free software that can help you to do your YouTube graphics very easily. It is on the cloud and you need to be connected to the Internet to use it, nothing to download on your computer, except the image you have created with the application. It can be used to easily make your YouTube thumbnails.
You can do all the things that the other software above can do and it is very intuitive. You can use their free images, upload your own or buy one for $1.
If you like effects in your YouTube thumbnails, PicMonkey is maybe what you need. You can do all the image manipulations you can do in Canva plus very specific effects like Zombies effects.
Or maybe you like vampires…
Definitely a fun software to use with lots of themes and graphics.
There is a free version with limited tools and annoying ads, and a paid version at $4.99 a month. Maybe a good idea if you have lots of thumbnails with effects to make.
YouTube thumbnails in search ranking for branding consistently and getting clicks
Do you want to see how to use your thumbnails on YouTube to rank higher and get more views. Here is a sweet little trick I’m going to show you now.
I want to look at a search term I’m ranking on and working to be top on. If I search for “Facebook ads” and scroll down past the ads, I have the third and fourth video down there.
If you just look at the YouTube thumbnails, you can’t tell exactly that I have made both of these videos. What I want to do is take advantage of having two videos in the top and brand them so they all stand out as mine. What can be more impressive than having two branded videos in the top? No one else has two videos in the top, and in fact I have three videos in the top ten.
Here is how I’m going to do it quickly with Canva.com.
I go to my previously created thumbnail and I copy it to make a new one. The original is for 2015 and what I want to do is change the year to 2014 like this.
Now that will perfectly line up with my existing YouTube thumbnail. So when you see this on the results, you see one is newer and one is older, but both of them are obviously from me. So if you take a look again, that will make my branding consistent between these two.
Now all I have to do in search for my “#1 2014 Facebook Ad Tutorial” video and change the thumbnail.
Then, I have a nice new thumbnail up there that’s consistent with the other one instead of looking different. The YouTube thumbnail size should be exactly 1280 x 720 pixels so it looks good.
What I can do is actually do it again with my third video on the first page results.
I will then see if I get a better ranking with the new thumbnail in the analytics and I can repeat this with other search terms. That’s a little trick you can do with your thumbnails to help you get more clicks because when people see consistency, then they are more likely to have higher amounts of trust, and a higher likelihood of wanting to go straight to you.
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