How to increase your YouTube CTR

Simple tricks to increase your Click Through Rate.

2023-02-23 20:10

For creators, few things are more valuable than views. A click is what brings your viewers in, so it’s important to optimize the elements of your upload that generates clicks. With the right title and thumbnail, a good video can become great, and this is precisely what this article is here to help you with. To keep things simple, we will divide the process into three parts.

Grab attention

To get views you need the viewers to know your video is there. So, how do you grab attention? To answer this, we will ask you what the first thing you see on the YouTube home page is. It’s not the titles – those require a second look. What you see is a grid of thumbnails, indicating that your thumbnail is what you need to focus on first. Make sure your thumbnail is simple enough to understand at a glance but complex enough to be interesting. All major elements should be large enough to be visible even on a small screen, and we highly recommend not cluttering the thumbnail with anything unnecessary. Make your thumbnail visually pleasing.
One common trick that applies to thumbnails for all types of videos is to put the focus of the viewer on one or two important elements. These should somehow be highlighted, and there are multiple ways of doing this. In the past, outlining important objects and people was one of the most common methods, but over the past couple years this method has fallen out of popularity to using color contrast for bringing the eyes where you want. The background should be a background – don’t let it bring attention from what you really want the viewer to see.

Generate interest

When you have the attention of the viewer, you need to make sure they actually click the video. This is where it gets complex, and there is no “one size fits all” formula here. Unlike the first step of grabbing the viewer’s attention, we now have to focus on both the thumbnail and title. If you see a video with a really interesting title but a really dull thumbnail, or the other way around, you probably won’t click. The same can be said for your audience.
Other than generating clicks, the second most important job of your thumbnail and title is to generate expectations for your video. The best way to make sure those expectations are good is to ask questions. With this we don’t literally suggest that every title on YouTube should end in a question mark, but rather that a questions should have appeared in your viewer’s head before clicking the video. Let’s say you have a video opening a mystery box. What you want the viewer to think is somewhat along the lines of “I wonder what crazy things can be inside”. An experienced creator should be able to achieve this through both the title and the thumbnail separately. If you then combine these two for one video, you are sure to get clicks.

Get the click

If you’ve executed the previous two steps perfectly, you’ve likely already pulled your viewer in. Great job! In reality though, creating a good title and thumbnail combination is not as easy as it sounds. It takes practice, and even an experienced creator can struggle at times. One good way to both improve your skills and optimize your uploads is by testing your thumbnails before you upload your video. For this, we recommend you to try our free tool ThumbnailTester, allowing you to test multiple titles or thumbnails with your actual audience. To generate more clicks, getting yourself the advantage of knowing what the viewers find interesting might be your best way to improve your CTR and get more views!
We hope you’ve learned something from this. If you’ve used any of the tips and tricks shown in this article, let us know by tweeting us at @testthumbnails.

Hugo Beck-Friis

2023-02-23 20:10