There’s A Method To The Madness

Now it may seem like random chance regarding which videos do well on YouTube and which are never clicked on, but it’s not. There are some proven techniques you can use with your video titles as well as your thumbnails that can massively improve your views over time.

If you can master this step of the process you will be on your way to building a strong community around the content you’re putting out there online.

Here’s some of the techniques I’ve used with my own clients that have helped them grow to millions of views per month.

There’s no way someone is going to join your community without finding out about you first. On YouTube, this means they have to click on one of your videos , and this isn’t going to happen unless the title and thumbnail draw them in.
It’s the very first thing they see and it needs to hook them over all the other videos lining their side bar, and it needs to do it right away!

Let’s start with titles.


Your video’s title should tease a story or pitch the viewer on an offer of value right away.
A lot of people just describe the content and don’t go the extra step that makes the offer enticing.

This usually means hitting on the pain point you’re addressing as well as the solution you’re providing. This is what needs to make the viewer say, “hey I need that!”

For example if your video is on how to set up two-step authentication for a login, you wouldn’t just title it “How to set up 2-step authentication.” You would want to try something like, “How to stop your YouTube channel from being hacked by setting up two-step authentication.” Now someone knows exactly why they need to watch your video and what you’re going to be providing when they click.

You want your title to read well and you don’t need to be overly concerned with keyword matching. In other words it should sound like a human talking rather than a robot. The YouTube algorithm has advanced significantly from when this SEO tactic was used in the early 2000s. Times have changed!  


Now for thumbnails, what’s worked best for me is to use bright colors that have a high contrast. This is because most videos are now viewed on the phone and you want them to be optimized for mobile. The size of the thumbnail is going to be compressed down even further here and you want it to be clear to the viewer what’s happening.

It’s important for your thumbnails to match your titles! Remember they are a pair. Also don’t cram too much text into them, it’s not necessary for SEO purposes because this text isn’t picked up by the YouTube crawl anyway! If you do include text keep it short and compliment the title, don’t just repeat it. For more narrative content use a strong visual, you don’t need any text at all.

In terms of color strategy, there’s some evidence that using yellow gets you more clicks than any other, but I prefer to brand all the thumbnails for your channel in some way visually. This takes advantage of the eye’s desire to search for patterns and works really well to signal your authority when you can fill up a users video side bar.  
Try these techniques out and watch your views increase.

Action Steps

  1. Create a title that teases the value of your video
  2. Don’t write your title for a search engine, talk like a human
  3. Use bright colors in your thumb nails
  4. Make sure they are optimized for mobile phones
  5. Don’t use too much text
  6. Use a branding strategy on every thumbnail so your channel has a uniform look.

Bonus: Use yellow in your thumbnail branding.

Results You Will Achieve

More views on your YouTube videos from better titles and thumbnails.

Mentor: Tim Schmoyer

Founder at Video Creators, one of the first to be certified by YouTube in Audience Growth. Grew channels from 0 to $15k/month in Adsense revenue in only 9 months.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.