PRO TIP: How To Know If A YouTube Thumbnail Is Good (2024)

Article last updated on:
March 12, 2024

We’re not here to bore you with:

This guide is what made by people like you, looking for real answers.

Join us in studying what to do to actually know if your thumbnail is bad or not.

How to Know if a YouTube Thumbnail is Good

Besides the classic boring lists telling you to make it the right size, the best way to know if a thumbnail is good is to A/B Test with multiple variations.

Illustration of thumbnail testing on YouTube

Why A/B Testing is so important:

  • What it does: You can create multiple thumbnails and see which one gets a higher click-through rate (CTR) with data taken straight from your target audience.
  • Tool: Thumbnail Test can help you test thumbnails and optimize your CTR.
  • Analytics data: Look at your CTR, especially in the first 24 hours after publishing, for videos with high impressions. This can indicate how effective your thumbnail was at grabbing attention.

Even Google recommends coming back in 24 hours here:

Google answers how to know if a YouTube Thumbnail is good
Google’s take: How to know if your thumbnail is good

What Makes a Good Thumbnail

The greatest YouTube thumbnails grab attention and give a clear idea of what the video is about.

  1. Eye-Catching Imagery: Use bright colors and high-contrast visuals.
  2. Clarity: It should be easily understood at a small size.
  3. Relevant: Match the image to your video content.
  4. Text Overlays: Use minimal text to add context, but don’t overcrowd.
  5. Faces: If relevant, showing expressive faces can boost engagement.
  6. Branding: Consistent style or logo helps viewers recognize your content.
  7. High Quality: Use sharp, high-resolution images.

A table’s going to make this easier:

Catchy ImageGrabs attention in a crowded feedClose-up of a surprised gamer’s face for a gaming review
Clear TextTells viewers exactly what the video is about“The BEST Budget Laptop in 2024”
HQ DesignLooks professional and polishedClean desig, bright colors and contrasting text

Focus on making it stand out while keeping it relevant to your video’s content!


This guide just taught you that:

  • The best way to know if a thumbnail is good is to A/B test it.
  • And to do so, you may want to use Thumbnail Test

Why? Because YouTube doesn’t have this feature yet, so your best option is to use third-party tool.

Hope we’ve answered all of your questions!

Thank you for reading this,

About the author

David is the head of the editing team at ThumbnailTest. With his help, the editorial team is able to provide you with the best free guides related to YouTube thumbnails and A/B testing.