YouTube SEO: Custom Video Thumbnails


At the end of 2016, after being promoted to Marketing Manager at Transmet Corporation, I revisited the video content we were sharing on our YouTube Channel. When I joined in 2014 the company had 3 public videos. We produced and uploaded 4 new videos in 2015 and 2 more videos in 2016.

Views would initially spike when we shared with our email subscribers, but growth fell flat after that. Building on the organic growth of our website, I wanted to take advantage of the YouTube search engine and optimize our videos for search.


In order to take full advantage of the YouTube search engine, I updated all videos with new Titles, Descriptions, Tags, and other details. The changes would help our content show up to new audiences, and set the foundation for future videos to build on.

Here are the changes made to the Transmet YouTube Channel in December 2016:

  • Channel keywords
  • Channel description
  • Contact links
  • Video descriptions
  • Video titles
  • Custom video thumbnails

Transmet YouTube Channel with Custom Thumbnails


Custom Video Thumbnails

In addition to the new Titles and Descriptions, I found a large opportunity for organic growth through custom video thumbnails. Google crawls video thumbnails like they do other images.

The Channel looked great as a whole (see above) and each individual video looked even better. Below are 3 examples of the custom video thumbnails and a link to each video.


YouTube Thumbnail Example 1

Video: Deburring Aluminum Die Cast Parts


YouTube Thumbnail Example 2

Video: Paint Removal From Aluminum Die Cast Parts


YouTube Thumbnail Example 3

Video: Paint Removal From Automotive Paint Fixture


Resulting Growth in Video Views

After making these changes, our video views grew organically. The graphs below track video views monthly and quarterly.

Transmet YouTube Monthly Video Views

Transmet YouTube Quarterly Video Views


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