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YouTube Thumbnail Dimensions

Optimize your YouTube thumbnails with these dimensions: 1280 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall, with a minimum width of 640 pixels. A ratio of 16:9 is ideal as it’s used most often in YouTube players and previews.

If you want to get more views on your YouTube videos, there’s one tactic you can use to get them instantly: use better thumbnail images.

Thumbnail images are just as important as the video’s title if you actually want to get clicks. The images themselves are what can jump out at users and help you stand out in a long line of search results. Since these image thumbnails also show up on Google’s search engines, they’re essential to maximize your impressions.

In this post, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about YouTube thumbnails, including the ideal size, how to create them, and the only best practices list you’ll ever need.

What’s the Right YouTube Thumbnail Size?

By Google’s own recommendations, your image should be 1280 x 720 pixels, with a minimum width of 640 pixels. A ratio of 16:9 is ideal as it’s used most often in YouTube players and previews. Simple tool to help you resize Youtube thumbnails.

This surprises most people, but it makes sense; while the thumbnail will be small when showing up in searches, it will be expanded to a full video’s size when it shows up as a suggestion for the next watch. For this reason, you want a larger image size that can be scaled down, instead of a small size that will be scaled up.

Some other important technical details include:

  • It must be in .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG image formats
  • Your image file must be under the 2MB limit

How to Set a Featured Thumbnail Image on YouTube

Setting a featured image is an extremely easy process that just takes a few clicks. After you’ve uploaded a video, you’ll see a series of default screenshots at the bottom of your video settings. To the right of the thumbnails, you’ll see a button that says “Custom Thumbnail.” Just click it to add the thumbnail of your choice from your computer.

Once you’ve uploaded the custom image, you’ll see it appear where the custom thumbnail button was. You can click on this image if you want to swap it out with another. The thumbnail preview will also appear on the top left.

You can change a video’s featured image at any time, even long after the video has been published.

Few ideas for creating thumbnails

+ Take Still Images

Have you ever noticed that when you pause a video, the person on the video is almost always making some ridiculously embarrassing expression, even it didn’t appear that way when the video was playing? You don’t want to experience the same thing in your thumbnail images.

+ Add a border color

+ Use Contrasting Colors

Contrasting colors, especially when it comes to graphics and text on your images, will immediately draw the eye in. When you’re competing in a long line of other search results or suggested videos, this counts for a great deal.

+ Utilize Whitespace

If you’re using graphics or a designed image of any type, use whitespace (or negative space) to your advantage. This helps keep your thumbnail looking clean and organized. This gives it that high-quality look professional images have.

+ Include a Shortened Version of Your Video Title

It’s likely that many users on YouTube will look at video thumbnails before reading the video’s title or description. For this reason, it helps to include your video’s title in the thumbnail itself. However, space is at a premium, so it’s often better to include an abbreviated version of your video title.

+ Make Sure Thumbnail Text is Large Enough to Read

Highlighting a key benefit in the thumbnail can make a huge difference to the number of views you receive – but only if users can read the text.

+ Include Your Brand Logo

Strengthen your online brand presence by including your logo or business name in your YouTube thumbnail.

YouTube Thumbnail Mistakes to Avoid

- Too much text

Some text is good, and will improve your video’s performance; you just don’t want too much text. If users can’t read the text in one quick, sideways glance, it’s too much. You should never have more than a concise title, and, if absolutely necessary, a concise subtitle in smaller text beneath it. You want just enough text to get your point across and no more.

- Having text that’s too small

In some cases, businesses try to make the text on their images small and unassuming so it doesn’t detract from the image itself. Sometimes we get carried away, though, and the text is too small for users to read when the image is a small thumbnail in searches or video recommendations. This can reduce the number of clicks you get.

- Choosing an image that isn’t relevant or is misleading

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