SEO Glossary: Thumbnail



In a nutshell: What is a thumbnail?

A thumbnail is a small preview image that is intended to give users and interested parties a first impression. Thumbnails are used, for example, for products, image albums and videos.


What is a thumbnail?

Translating the term thumbnail into German results in "thumbnail". That doesn't really fit the explanation behind it. Because the thumbnail is a small preview image with a reduced size of a larger original.


Meanwhile, thumbnails from the Internet and especially E-COMMERCE have become indispensable. For example, they are used in online stores to present preview images of products in a product category. Interested parties and potential customers thus get a first impression. If they like what they see on the thumbnail, they click their way to the corresponding product.


Further examples and areas of application in which thumbnails are used:


  • Pinterest: Visitors scroll through numerous pinboards on Pinterest and see many interesting pins here. If you are interested in a thumbnail, click on it to see it in full size.


  • Google Image Search: The Google Image Search also offers the possibility to quickly and easily find images from various areas. A click on the thumbnails shows the large original view and further information such as link and image description.


  • YouTube: But also on video platforms like YouTube also use thumbnails. These are now so modern in design that users initially recognize them as "rigid" thumbnails. If they are interested in a video, they hover over the image with the mouse pointer to get a moving thumbnail.



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Why should you use thumbnails?

If website operators want to give a small taste of their content on their home page or in a category, for example, thumbnails are ideal for this. Because thumbnails are significantly smaller than the original, this results in significantly faster loading times. If users are now interested in more, simply click on the thumbnail to go to the corresponding content.


Especially when websites offer a lot of content, thumbnails are excellent for not unnecessarily increasing the loading times of a page.


The advantages of thumbnails at a glance:


  • As visitors scroll through thumbnails, they curiously search for interesting content. If they like a thumbnail, they click on it to go to the corresponding content. This increases interactivity.


  • If only any links or text blocks are placed, this does not really increase attention. Images, on the other hand, are quickly grasped by the user, which significantly increases user-friendliness.


  • Thumbnails are much smaller than the original. Accordingly, they are much more space-saving to present a lot of content in a small space. Consequently: less data consumption and faster loading times.


What is the best way to design thumbnails?

There are several ways to create thumbnails. In the meantime, YouTube, Pinterest and the like are capable of generating thumbnails independently and fully automatically. Content providers only have to and can take care of making thumbnails more stimulating and interesting. This can lead to an increase in click rates.


Below are some tips on how best to do this:


  • Action shots increase attention


  • Texts can ensure to increase the interest and create an incentive


  • Brandings and logos can ensure that the recognition value is established


  • Meaningful colors stand out so that attention is increased


  • If faces are visible in the thumbnail, a direct connection to the viewer is established



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Conclusion on the subject of thumbnails

Thumbnails are great for giving visitors a taste of content. They also save space, so pages load faster and less data is consumed. Furthermore, a thumbnail can be designed in such a way that it increases the attention of visitors.



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