Screenshots Versus Thumbnails
I had a few queries this week from people wanting to know if it’s OK to create your own site preview images, rather than use the basic screenshtos our process generates.
That’s a definite YES!
In fact quite a few people have been doing this… that’s probably what prompted the questions… and checking the stats, some of these custom thumbnails are getting 2-3 times the site average for click-throughs. So it’s definitely worth a look.
If you’re new to this, we’re talking about creating an image similar to the YouTube thumbnails you se all the time… a carefully selected image, often a person doing ‘something’ interesting or relevant, and some big, bold text to build curiosity and get the click!
If you haven’t made these before, a free site like Canva is probably a great place to start.
Look for Templates => Social Media => Twitter Post.
It turns out the Twitter Post templates are almost perfect for our needs. They are very close to our format ratio, 2 x 1, and there’s over 7000 designs to choose from!
Find a design you like the look of… if it looks good as a thumbnail, it will look great as an ExClix Screenshot!
You can swap out images if you like, or leave them as-is. Up to you.
You will want to edit the text though. Keep it short & compelling and relevant. No click-bait please! Build interest and curiosity by all means, but we don’t want to see misleading headlines.
When you’re happy with your design, just click on Share in the top right corner, and you’ll get the option to Download your image.
That will be larger than our required dimensions though, so you’ll need to resize it.
Open it in your photo editors, uncheck any ‘constrain proportions’ option, and resize to 512px x 254px. This will distort the image slightly. If it still looks OK, that’s great, you can use that. But if not, you’ll need ot start over with the next option…
Resize the width to 512px, then crop the height to 254px. This will avoid any distortion and give a better result, so this is the preferred option if you can work it out.
Then it’s just a matter of logging into EzClix and uploading the image. If you already have a screenshot saved, delete that first, then click on the upload button, locate the file on your computer and upload.
Have some fun with this, but do keep your thumbnails relevant and on message. No one likes clickbait, and getting people to your offer under false pretenses doesn’t do you any good at all anyway.
You want people to take action once they get there, so you’ll get much better results if you your images to presell the offer rather than trick the visitor!