Knowing how to make a youtube thumbnail that gets attention is important for getting views. I believe that having an exciting youtube thumbnail for your Youtube video increases engagement.
Even if your video has great content. If people aren’t attracted to click on it in the first place then what does it matter.
I’m going to show you how to create attractive youtube thumbnails (for FREE) that will attract people to your videos.
How to make a youtube thumbnail that gets attention.
Table of Contents
Let’s get started
#1 YouTube Thumbnail Size & Best Practices – PART 1
We have to cover the basics and establish a solid foundation for your Youtube Thumbnail. First, let’s go over the size of your Youtube Thumbnail.
Youtube Thumbnail Size
YouTube recommends that your thumbnail be 1280 x 720, with a minimum width of 640 pixels. If you don’t know how or have never had to create a picture to the exact size of pixels, don’t worry I will go over that in detail below.
If this section seems confusing and overly technical don’t worry I will go over this in detail to make it easy.
This is easy to accomplish using any of the free tools I’ll go over below.
Most phones or modern webcams will record at a minimum of 1080P which is perfectly fine for Youtube videos. You will want to make sure the quality of your Youtube Thumbnail has the same quality of your video. So if you do your video in 1080p then make sure the thumbnail picture is at least the same quality of 1080.
I like to create thumbnails at 1920×1080. This is the recommended size requested by Youtube for thumbnails.
Best practices for YouTube Video Thumbnails
1. Plan For Your YouTube Thumbnail
By planning for your thumbnail you will be able to pick and capture exactly what you want for your Youtube Thumbnail. You can let the video continue to run after you have recorded what you want to. While the recording is going point in a specific direction if you want to point out a specific location in the video.
You can make various facial expressions and put other specific attracting elements in the video.
This will give you the opportunity to pause the video exactly where you want and take a screenshot picture of the exact frame you want.
Now you have the exact photo frame that you want to use as your Youtube thumbnail and can head over to CANVA and make your edits and modifications for free. More on Canva later.
2. Use people pictures (Head Shot)
I have received more clicks on my videos and have found other data online that proves facial shots in thumbnails increase clicks to videos.
Check it out for yourself. Go to youtube and after a while, you subconsciously start clicking on videos without even knowing why.
I know if someone asks you why you click on a specific video the logical side of your brain kicks in and you may say the reason is because of XYZ reason. The point I’m trying to make here is people and businesses who’ve spent a lot of money on youtube marketing say that having a head shot facial photo included in your Youtube Thumbnail will increase viewership.
3. Have Interesting Text
Having good text in the Youtube Thumbnail will not only increase your clicks but it will also increase your ranking on Youtube.
If the text in the Thumbnail has something to do with the topic of the video and closely matches the keywords of the video and description then you will ultimately rank higher in youtube search engine. Since Youtube is owned by Google this may also get your Youtube videos ranking higher on Google.com
4. Use Colors that pop
If most of the videos around yours on the page are boring and don’t use very interesting colors, then they see yours in vibrant colors. Who do you think they will most likely click?
They will most likely choose yours.
Try a variety of different colors and styles to see what colors get the most clicks. Smart marketers track things like this. A marketer who is spending money on Youtube will track what colors work best. Every marketing dollar counts and you definitely want to get a return on your investment.
5. Research Your Niche
If you are recording videos and making thumbnails on a subject you’ve been doing for 10-20 years then you will have most of the information you need.
However, if you’re doing a Youtube video and Thumbnail on a subject your not very knowledgeable about then you will need to do some research to talk about the subject and provide value-based content.
Videos that are done by people who have low energy and aren’t interested and knowledgeable in that niche are boring.
I can typically tell when someone is trying to fake it until they make it. So do yourself a favor and research the topic and niche you are making the Youtube Thumbnail about and it will greatly increase your views and shares.
Part 2. The meat and potatoes on how to do it yourself.
Based on what you read above you should have a solid understanding of what goes into your Youtube video.
If you are wanting to use a good FREE resource I recommend using
If you’ve never used canva you can click on the link above and go create a free account. You can do so many things on the free account, it’s pretty amazing.
Step 1. once you have your free account click on the green CREATE A DESIGN BUTTON.
Step 2. Select YOUTUBE THUMBNAIL from the dropdown. When you select YOUTUBE THUMBNAIL you will be taken to the image editor.
1. Select The Image You Want For Your Thumbnail.
You will be selecting an image you saved from screen capture. Above I described taking screen captures of different poses and facial expressions. If you didn’t read it refer to the beginning of this and read it again.
So select the image that you want which you should have already saved on your computer on your desktop or other files.
Once you’ve got the image you want to use your going to upload it to Canva.
DON”T WORRY ABOUT MAKING A MISTAKE OR SELECTING THE WRONG PHOTO. You can do over as many times as you want until your a pro.
2. Upload and Modify Your Photo in Canva
As of this writing, the upload button on Canva is in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
At this point, you can click on the screen where your picture should go and start making the modifications you want to the picture.
You can start to resize the picture to fill the screen or make it any specific size you want.
You can start adding text etc.
Go ahead and play around with all the various features Canva has to offer.
Now that you have your background ready let’s move on to adding text.
3. Putting Text In Your Youtube Thumbnail
When adding text to your thumbnail remember to stay keyword focused. You don’t want to put something that will confuse the search engine and affect your Video ranking.
for example, if your video is about car repair, and your video mentions a specific type of part or car try using some of those exact words in your Youtube thumbnail.
4. Download Your Thumbnail & Add it to Youtube
Now you need to download your Youtube Thumbnail to your computer so you can upload it to your Youtube page.
Download the finished Thumbnail by clicking the DOWNLOAD BUTTON on CANVA. I think it’s best to use the PNG format.
Go back to your personal Youtube page and look for the section that says CHANGE THE THUMBNAIL.
This will be found on the very page where you have uploaded the youtube video.
Select “CUSTOM THUMBNAIL”
This will upload the custom Thumbnail that you created in CANVA for free.