YouTube VLOG Thumbnail: 5 Optimization Strategies (2024)

Article last updated on:
June 05, 2024

Vlogging isn’t easy, especially when it comes down to thumbnails

But we’re here to make your life easier — join us, and let’s look at 10 of the best ways to improve your thumbnails as a vlogger.

5 Tips for Vlog Thumbnails

Use these strategies to improve your vlog’s thumbnail: A/B Test with multiple versions, have a clear focal point, and add (2024) in the image.

1. A/B test

Use our A/B Tester for Vlogs — it’s super simple!

Cover image - AB Test Tool For YouTube Vlogging

What it is

A tool designed to compare two different versions of a YouTube thumbnail or video title to determine which one performs better in terms of attracting viewers and increasing engagement.

How to use

  1. Select Variations: Upload two different versions of your YouTube thumbnail or title that you want to test.
  2. Setup the Test: Define the parameters for the test, such as the duration and the metrics you want to measure (e.g., click-through rate, view duration).
  3. Run the Test: Start the test and let it run for the predefined duration. The tool will randomly show the different versions to your audience.
  4. Analyze Results: Review the performance metrics provided by the tool to see which version had better engagement.

Why use

It helps you identify which thumbnail or title is more effective at attracting clicks and views, leading to higher engagement on your videos.

Moreover, it allows you to make informed decisions based on real viewer data rather than guesswork.

2. Have a Clear Focal Point

YouTube Thumbnail with a Gentle Arrow
  • Close-up and Centered: Feature yourself with a surprised or excited expression to convey the value viewers will get.
  • Bold Text Overlay: Use a large, bright font for your title’s attention-grabbing phrase.
  • Eye-catching Image: Include a relevant image like a bar graph or a thumbs-up emoji 👍 → to visually represent optimization.

3. Type the Year (2024)

YouTube Thumbnail with Text Overaly - "2023, A Look Back" from Vox
  • Year in Bold Text: Add text with the year “2024” prominently next to the main title for a sense of freshness and relevance.
  • Subtle Background Accent: Use a subtle gradient or background element with a color representing 2024 trends (if applicable).

4. Use of Colors Smartly

Example of YouTube Thumbnail with complementary colors
  • High-Contrast Background: Use a bright background to make text and images stand out (avoid white text on white background).
  • Complementary Colors: Choose a color scheme that complements your channel branding or video content.

5. Optimize for Mobile

  • Large, Clear Text: Ensure text is readable on smaller screens (phones and tablets).
  • Simple Layout: Avoid stuffing the thumbnail with too many elements.

FAQ: How do you make a vlog thumbnail?

Answer: Use a clear, eye-catching image with bold text highlighting your video’s benefit. Keep it simple and readable on mobile screens for maximum clicks!

Check out this AI-made list with further tips:

  1. Choose a Key Frame: Select a clear, high-quality frame from your vlog that captures the essence of your content.
  2. Add Text: Include bold, readable text that summarizes the video’s main idea. Keep it short and impactful.
  3. Use Bright Colors: Bright, contrasting colors catch attention. Use a consistent color scheme that matches your brand.
  4. Include Your Face: Thumbnails with faces perform better. Ensure your facial expression reflects the video’s mood.
  5. Add Branding Elements: Incorporate your logo or other branding elements to make it recognizable.
  6. Edit for Clarity: Use editing software (like Photoshop, Canva, or online editors) to adjust brightness, contrast, and sharpness.
  7. Test Different Versions: Experiment with different designs to see what attracts more viewers.
  8. Keep it Consistent: Maintain a consistent style across your thumbnails for brand recognition.
  9. Optimize for Size: Ensure the thumbnail looks good in small sizes and is under 2MB. Recommended size is 1280×720 pixels.

Thank you for reading this,
Thumbnail Test

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.