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Traditionally, a video thumbnail is that still image that displays before you click on a video. It helps people decide whether or not to click that video.
So, you have meticulously created a video, researched the right tags and keywords, and have written a perfect description to make it rank in searches. The next thing you’d want to do is design a perfect thumbnail for that video.
As earlier stated, thumbnails play a pivotal role in decision making. A good video with a poor thumbnail may not generate the desired engagement. If everything else is done right, the video may rank high in searches but have minimal clicks. Why? It’s not attractive enough.
People say “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but they turn around and do just that. Your thumbnails are like the cover of your newly published book. If you’re to be judged by it, make sure you don’t fall short.
Another importance of thumbnails is that it tells people what to expect from your video.
They also play an indirect role in your video ranking. I’ll tell you how. If your thumbnails are poor and don’t get people clicking, YouTube will notice that and suggest your videos to fewer people. In like manner, if your thumbnails are merely clickbait and have people watching your videos for only a few seconds and then zooming off to find something else, it will take its toll on your video ranking. Even worse if they get to leave “thumbs down”.
You have two options for this. You can either leave it to YouTube to randomly pick a snapshot from your video as a thumbnail. Or you go about it yourself. Gotta warn you that if you choose the former you may have to settle for a poor and blurry image which may reduce your click-through rate. On the other hand, YouTube published that up to 90% of its top-performing videos have custom thumbnails. I’m sure by now you know where to pitch your tent.
One way to never go wrong with YouTube Thumbnails is to extract and download thumbnails of top-performing channels in your niche. It helps you see what they’re doing right and, maybe, you can implement it.
The best way to extract video thumbnails is to use the Video thumbnail extractor tool on ytseotools.com. It’s quite easy: Simply go to www.ytseotools.com and click on “Download Video Thumbnails”. Then you insert the video URL and boom! The thumbnails come up in multiple resolutions and you can simply download them.