YouTube Thumbnails Tips (2024)

Article last updated on:
April 04, 2024

In this guide, we’re taking you through:

  • What makes a great YouTube thumbnail
  • Curated tips on how to improve yours
  • Examples of what attractive thumbnails look like.

Let’s check it out.

5 Tips for More Attractive Thumbnails

1. Avoid Clickbait

Clickbait thumbnails might get a temporary bump in clicks, but they ultimately damage viewer trust and hurt your channel in the long run.

Here’s a ‘good clickbait’ example:

Clickbait video with an exaggerated thumbnail

Here’s how to use clickbaiting smartly:

  • Accurate Representation: Your thumbnail should genuinely reflect the content of your video. Don’t use misleading images or text to lure viewers in under false pretenses.
  • Focus on Benefits: Highlight the key takeaways or value viewers will get from watching your video.
  • Intrigue, Not Deception: Spark curiosity with your thumbnail, but ensure it accurately represents the problem your video solves or the information it provides.
  • Honesty Builds Trust: When viewers click and find the content they expected, they’re more likely to subscribe, like, and engage with your future videos.

Your thumbnail is a promise — make sure your video delivers on it.

External read: You may find this article interesting.

2. Sync your Title & Thumbnail

Working as a team, your title and thumbnail will leave a strong impression on viewers, giving them a clear understanding of what your video offers and enticing them to click.

YouTube Thumbnail with a Gentle Arrow
  • Complementary Content: Ensure your title and thumbnail both communicate the same core message about your video’s content.
  • Keywords in Harmony: If you’re using keywords in your title, try incorporating them visually into your thumbnail as well.
  • Cohesive Style: Maintain a consistent style between your title and thumbnail text. Use similar fonts and colors to create a unified look.
  • Intrigue Together: Let your title and thumbnail build anticipation together.

The title can pose a question or tease a benefit, while the thumbnail offers a visual clue to the answer or the value viewers will receive.

3. A/B Test to See What Works

While the tips above provide a great foundation for creating compelling thumbnails, what truly works best for your audience can vary. This is where A/B testing comes in!

  • Test Variations: Thumbnail Test’s A/B testing feature allows you to upload multiple thumbnail options for a single video. It will then split your audience and show each variation to a different segment.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Once the test is complete, you’ll see which thumbnail drove the most clicks and watch time. This data removes guesswork and helps you identify the clear winner.
  • Refine and Repeat: Use the winning thumbnail and consider testing variations on future videos. A/B testing is an ongoing process that helps you continuously optimize your thumbnails for better performance.

There’s also A/B Testing for Titles as well.

By incorporating A/B testing into your workflow, you can move beyond assumptions and base your thumbnail choices on concrete data about what resonates most with your viewers.

4. Implement your Branding

Develop a consistent style using similar colors, fonts, and graphic elements throughout your thumbnails. This will help viewers recognize your content easily.

Branding on YouTube Thumbnails

Consider incorporating your logo or channel mascot subtly into your thumbnails.

5. Grab Attention Quickly

This thumbnail is a perfect example:

Example of a YouTube Thumbnail with a quote
  • Stand out from the crowd: Use bright colors, contrasting elements, and clear visuals to make your thumbnail pop against others in search results.
  • High quality: Use clear and crisp images or graphics. Blurry or pixelated thumbnails will not entice viewers to click.


1. How can I make my thumbnail better?

Enhance your thumbnail by using vibrant colors and clear, emotion-evoking faces. Keep it simple with minimal text and high-resolution imagery.

2. What is the best practice for thumbnails?

Best practice: Combine vivid colors, clear faces showing emotions, minimal text, and consistent branding for a standout thumbnail.

3. What makes a good thumbnail image?

A good thumbnail grabs attention with bright colors, expressive faces, minimal text, and sharp, high-quality visuals.

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.