Don’t Let Your Videos Hide From Search

Video content has exploded within the last several years. Nowadays every company or brand is trying to deliver their marketing messages via video.

This is why video discoverability optimization has become so important. I know that’s a long term there but I came up with it and it’s the best one we got.

What a lot of people don’t know is that most video views on YouTube aren’t coming from the search box. There are actually over a dozen ways to find videos on YouTube and there’s a lot you can do to influence how often your videos are getting viewed.

This is one of my best techniques to increase organic views and I’ve used it to increase my client’s views exponentially.

On the right hand side rail on YouTube you can see thumbnails of videos related to the one you are watching, this is one of the best sources for new traffic.

It happens all the time, you’re watching one video and then you see something that catches your eye on the right hand side and you click on it. What’s happening here is great thumbnails combined with great titles.

Branded Patterns

What I like to do with my thumbnails is take advantage of the natural way the human mind works and particularly our desire to seek out patterns.

In all my thumbnails I often created a branded color bar and sometimes afix the brand’s logo in the same place in each one. I create a visual theme that carries over from thumbnail to thumbnail. It’s a subtle move but it has a large effect on discoverability.

When you see my videos in the sidebar they look uniform and it gives off a subconscious indicator of authority. All the other videos are all over the place, they have no pattern and our brains don’t take in the information as readily.

I also choose colors that pop out, for me it works best to use lighter brighter colors that are oversaturated and have the sharpness turned up. This is because you’re going to shrink down the full size image to a thumbnail size and you don’t want to decrease the quality.

Title Up!

The other half of the equation is the video’s title. My general rule of thumb is to choose a title that compliments the thumbnail in an intriguing way.

The best title I’ve ever seen was for a video where the thumbnail was just a yellow box and title was “This is NOT Yellow.” It had millions of views!

This is because it plays with your head and the combination of the thumbnail and title create a question that you just have to know the answer to. Anytime you can create that kind of dynamic for your video you are going to do well.

Playing with capitalization can work in your favor but you have to be sensitive to what works in your industry. If you go FULL CAPS it’s going to give a sense of urgency and come off as if you are shouting at the top of your lungs.

I don’t like to over capitalize because it can come off as cheesy. Maybe try capitalizing one or two of the most important words, but it’s best to use it sparingly otherwise you are in danger of coming off as spam.

The more videos you create the more data you get to play with. Take a look at your thumbnails and titles and ask yourself if they are dynamic enough to pique your own curiosity.

Action Steps

  1. Brand your thumbnails with a recurring visual pattern like a color bar or logo.
  2. Use bright colors that are oversaturated and sharp.
  3. Write your titles to compliment your thumbnails in a dynamic way. Make them tell a story.
  4. Experiment with capitalization in your thumbnails and see what feels right. Avoid overuse.


Result You Will Achieve

Optimized thumbnails and titles that will increase your video discoverability on YouTube and other video platforms.

Mentor: Jeremy Vest

Founder & CEO at Vidpow, Over 500 million organic views on YouTube. Jeremy Vest is one of the top YouTube for business experts and is YouTube Certified.

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