The Thumbnail A/B Testing Module

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YouTube Thumbnail A/B Testing

Rankify Analytics allows you to A/B test your YouTube thumbnails, to find out which version you should go with for optimal results in getting views.

This is great if you want to test out a theory that a certain thumbnail performs better than another, for one of your popular videos, and is also fantastic if you’re looking to brand your channel and need to know which version of your branding you should go with.

As this feature needs access, through the YouTube API, to your account and analytics data, this feature is only available for Authenticated channels.

YouTube Thumbnail A/B Testing Module


What is A/B Testing

An “A/B Test” is a test where 2 variants of something (anything) is tested for equal amounts of time, to see which version performs the best.

In this case, what is being tested and compared is 2 versions of a thumbnail, of your own choosing. By uploading 2 thumbnails into the system, they are changed each day automatically on your channel (for a chosen period), and by the end of the test we automatically gather the data from your YouTube Analytics and see which of the thumbnails resulted in the most views.

We do this by tapping directly into the YouTube API, and directly change the thumbnail of the chosen video each day when YouTube Analytics reset, and then let that thumbnail gather views the entire day. Next day, it’s change to the other version, and so forth.

By the end of the test, we wait 1 day for YouTube Analytics to update, and then automatically count how many organic views (non-advertising views gotten within the YouTube ecosystem) each thumbnail in total got.

To avoid polluting the data and giving incorrect results, this test is only available for videos older than 2 days.


How to run an A/B test

Before you start, you should first decide which video you want to run a test on. Since A/B testing is based only on views gotten within YouTube, using the Traffic tab within the Rankings and Traffic module is a great place to find prime video candidates for your test. Once you’ve decided on a YouTube video you want to use, it’s time to run the test.

1) To run an A/B Test, first go to the “Thumbnail A/B Testing” module, to the left.

2) When there, click on the “Choose Video” button, and paste in the URL of the video from your channel that you want to run the test on.

3) Next, choose the length of the A/B test. The longer the test runs for, the more reliable results you will get – you have the option of running it for 5 weeks (recommended – particularly for smaller channels), 2 weeks, or 6 days (6 days is only recommended if you have a very active and large channel).

4) Last, upload the two different thumbnails that you want to test.

5) After that, simply click the “Run Test” button.

YouTube Thumbnail A/B Testing Module Guide

Your test will start the next day at 00:00 to ensure that we get the full amount of views for each thumbnail. After your test is finished, the page will show the winning thumbnail, as well as the amount of organic views that each thumbnail drove to the video.


Learn more about Rankify Analytics here.