It’s important to add a thumbnail to a youtube video to increase the click-through rate. When visitors are suggested your video by Youtube, and they don’t click, because the thumbnail isn’t appealing, it can hurt your video ranking.
Add a Thumbnail to an Existing Video
You can change the thumbnails that appear on videos that already exist on your channel.
- Open YouTube Studio and click Videos.
- Choose the video you want to change the thumbnail for.
- Click Edit. If you are using Tubebuddy, you can also click the TB and add a custom thumbnail.
- Next, click Edit thumbnail.
- Choose your thumbnail:
- Click Custom thumbnail to upload a thumbnail you already created and saved to your computer. I create mine using Canva Pro.
- Or, choose one of three auto-generated thumbnails from video stills.
- Confirm your thumbnail selection and click Select.
- Click Save and you should see your new thumbnail.
The following thumbnail for youtube video best practices will help you create the right size thumbnail image.
- 1280×720 resolution (with minimum width of 640 pixels)
- JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG image formats
- Under the 2MB limit
- 16:9 aspect ratio
Canva Thumbnail Steps
- Log into Canva (I use Canva Pro so I can remove the background of my profile pics)
- Choose Youtube Thumbnail from the options or type it into the search bar. They are already the correct dimensions of 1280×720
- Choose your favorite layout
- Edit backgrounds, colors, pics, and so forth.
- Save as a .png image
Thumbnails with Tubebuddy
Tubebuddy is an optimization tool for Youtube that helps with best practices for SEO, Video Descriptions, Tags, and more. There is also a built-in Youtube Thumbnail creator.
- Install the Free Tubebuddy Extension for Chrome
- Click Edit Video
- Find the Thumbnails and click the TB
- Choose your Background: Still frame, Solid Color, Image or Existing Thumbnail
- Add Layers: Text, Image, Shape, Emoji, Frame, Template
- Preview, Save and Publish
- Use vibrant colors and high contrast images
- Use a close up of a human face as often as possible
- Use large enough to read on any device
- Use fonts, colors, shapes that match your brand