Thumbnail Feedback Not Sure How to Improve My Thumbnail. Any Suggestions?

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My click-through rate was quite low around last week, with the rate being at around 2% on average. I decided to drastically change my thumbnails. I decided to stick with a theme for consistency's sake. I use the same background, same font with the title on the top, the logo on the bottom left, and a screenshot of the video game on the bottom right. It did improve for a few days, but recently I've been seeing the click-through rate at its lowest. It's hovering around 1.5% now.

Any ways to improve them? I'm all out of ideas.

Thanks in advance.

Blade of Darkness.jpg
 

Jonti Sparrow

New User
20
8
Lose all the text. The thumbnail should support the title, the title is where the info goes, the thumbnail is there to draw attention.

Make the game the full image, that's the interesting part of the thumbnail and will grab most peoples attention. Also, brighten it up a little, I guess the game is 'dark and grimey', but you can't afford for your thumbnail to be. Keep your logo for consistency, but make it a smaller part of the overall image.

Here's a mock up using your original assets.

pretentiousHipster.jpg
 

BraveStarrTG

Life Is A Game
Moderator
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Lose all the text. The thumbnail should support the title, the title is where the info goes, the thumbnail is there to draw attention.

Make the game the full image, that's the interesting part of the thumbnail and will grab most peoples attention. Also, brighten it up a little, I guess the game is 'dark and grimey', but you can't afford for your thumbnail to be. Keep your logo for consistency, but make it a smaller part of the overall image.
I can agree with most of what @Jonti Sparrow said but I don't think you need to get rid of the text altogether. While everyone has their own style on how to make thumbnails for their channel one thing is standard for everyone, the thumbnail is your videos "movie poster" thus it's usually the first thing people see before they even read the title of your video so if you want people to notice your video you need to make sure your thumbnail captures that attention right off the bat.

Why not lose the text? Well, think about it. If you look at that thumbnail, can you automatically assume what the video is about? Unless you're a super huge fan of the game most wouldn't figure out what the videogame is. Even more, most wouldn't know what the video about this game is about. is it a tutorial? Is it gameplay? Is it a montage? Viewers looking for content based on this game may be looking for something more specific. A thumbnail with no text on it could be overlooked because people like first impressions more often than not.

What I would suggest is making the text smaller, and shorter. You don't need the video title on the thumbnail, just some text that gives an idea of what the video is about. Like just the word review or maybe a combination of words such as Classic Game Review.

Just my thoughts. Hope it helps. :)
 
OP
OP
PretentiousHipster
7
4
Perfect! I'll redo all my thumbnails now with the above criticisms. I believe just adding the word review would be best. It's at the end of the title so it may be cut off from some devices when they see what the video is. The game's title shouldn't be needed as it's in the beginning of the title for every video. Thank you very much guys.
 

Jonti Sparrow

New User
20
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Re: Text in Thumbnails.

It's now concidered the best approach by most Youtube specialists (and even YouTube themselves) to remove all text from thumbnails. It's a really tricky one to actually 'go through with', it took me months before I had the courage, but I've seen fantastic results.

You gotta remember that Thumbnails are TINY in most places... with most people watching on phones, thumbnails are often less than 2cm wide... most text is just illegable at that size and if it isn't, it certainly isn't eyecatching.

With Pretenious Hipster being a smaller channel, and the game being an older title, chances of him being found organically here are slim, so most people coming across this video will have specifically searched for a nostalgia review (which is a great niche, btw) and therefore don't need to be told in the thumbnail, a stronger image of the game for people to say 'Oh yeah, that's it' is more improtnant... But, a good comprimise would be just the word 'review' on there if you like :)

But seriously, consider no text thumbnails... just look at some of the biggest channels or trending tab and see how little text there is. A picture paints a thousand words :)
 

Andrew

Superman
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Re: Text in Thumbnails.

It's now concidered the best approach by most Youtube specialists (and even YouTube themselves) to remove all text from thumbnails. It's a really tricky one to actually 'go through with', it took me months before I had the courage, but I've seen fantastic results.

You gotta remember that Thumbnails are TINY in most places... with most people watching on phones, thumbnails are often less than 2cm wide... most text is just illegable at that size and if it isn't, it certainly isn't eyecatching.

With Pretenious Hipster being a smaller channel, and the game being an older title, chances of him being found organically here are slim, so most people coming across this video will have specifically searched for a nostalgia review (which is a great niche, btw) and therefore don't need to be told in the thumbnail, a stronger image of the game for people to say 'Oh yeah, that's it' is more improtnant... But, a good comprimise would be just the word 'review' on there if you like :)

But seriously, consider no text thumbnails... just look at some of the biggest channels or trending tab and see how little text there is. A picture paints a thousand words :)
This is a good point. I've seen different results. For our tutorials text in thumbnails does better than just the products and we've a/b tested A LOT. I know that for my gaming channel though. No text just the image KILLED it. SO with that I'd say there is merit. I look at THOUSANDS of channels a day working here at TB, so it really depends the type. However, the people that matter most for ANY creator is the viewers who WATCH the content :) Thumbnail is KEY!
 
OP
OP
PretentiousHipster
7
4
Thanks for the input. I have decided that since it's considered a compromise, to put in the text "Review" for now. The good thing is that with youtube analytics I can do some experimenting by comparing the impressions click-through rate. If it decreases by the average I've had before, then that simply means I'll need to change the thumbnail.

I am worried about the placement of the word "review" and the icon as well on some thumbnails, but that'll just be trial and error until the click-through rate increases.

Thanks again!
 

Beanie Draws

Moderator
Moderator
Re: Text in Thumbnails.

It's now concidered the best approach by most Youtube specialists (and even YouTube themselves) to remove all text from thumbnails. It's a really tricky one to actually 'go through with', it took me months before I had the courage, but I've seen fantastic results.

You gotta remember that Thumbnails are TINY in most places... with most people watching on phones, thumbnails are often less than 2cm wide... most text is just illegable at that size and if it isn't, it certainly isn't eyecatching.

With Pretenious Hipster being a smaller channel, and the game being an older title, chances of him being found organically here are slim, so most people coming across this video will have specifically searched for a nostalgia review (which is a great niche, btw) and therefore don't need to be told in the thumbnail, a stronger image of the game for people to say 'Oh yeah, that's it' is more improtnant... But, a good comprimise would be just the word 'review' on there if you like :)

But seriously, consider no text thumbnails... just look at some of the biggest channels or trending tab and see how little text there is. A picture paints a thousand words :)
You’re definitely onto something but I think it’s all about context. Looking through trending and big youtubers, lots have no text, but sometimes they’ll have 1-3 words depending on the context. I’m definitely guilty of title stuffing into my old thumbnails which I still gotta get around to tidying. I go with the rule of having no more than 4 words max. 4 can be a bit excessive, 2-3 are fine but I really do want to explore the no text thumbnail and letting the image tell the story.