Are you having a hard time getting traffic from search engines and social media? Maybe you’re wondering how to get more attention to your blog posts?
Today, we want to share with you one aspect of blog content that can help you get more eyeballs on your content.
Remember, if you want to have a successful blog, you need to have images in your posts. Blogging is more than just a page of text; a quality post includes a mix of text, images and other visual elements like infographics, videos, graphic illustrations, screenshots, tables, and wireframes.
Read more to discover why using images on your blog is important to help you achieve your goals.
1. Images Improve Blog Readability
Have you ever found yourself reading a blog post that seems to be going on forever with no end in sight? You get an annoying feeling knowing how long you have been reading and you are still nowhere near a conclusion. If you’re like me, you either skip to the bottom or, more likely, you leave the website altogether.
Adding images to your articles is a great way to break up large blocks of texts and long paragraphs. In fact, images can reduce the likelihood of your reader jumping ship.
When you follow an ideal post layout and add quality images every 100 words or so, you make your content more digestible.
2. Images Get More Shares
Research shows that articles with an image once every 75-100 words receive double the social media shares as articles with fewer images. In addition to getting more shares, you’ll earn more traffic to your website from social media platforms.
It’s worth noting, no one wants their social media wall to look ugly. So if you don’t have high-quality, attractive images, users will not want to share your content.
We recommend using the Yoast SEO plugin, which allows you to choose the image to be shared on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. It’s an easy-to-use plugin that’s great for driving viral traffic.
It’s also a good idea to encourage sharing in your image caption. Just insert a direct link to share the post to the social media platform of your choice.
3. Images Make Your Posts More Visually Appealing
Adding quality images to your blogs make your posts more appealing. We all enjoy looking at interesting images and they help us to connect to the content and retain the information.
Finding the perfect stock images help you to tell your story. They support your claims and add depth to your content. They keep your reader interested as they scroll down the page.
The best images send a message to your readers and help them to simplify confusing ideas.
4. Images Improve Your SEO
If you want to write blogs that actually drive traffic, you need to include images throughout your content.
Your blog posts will rank higher in search engines when they include the right images. That’s because search algorithms reward longer posts with supporting media such as slideshows, videos, and images.
Remember to do some search engine optimization (SEO) with your images. Adding titles, tags, and descriptions to your images are extremely easy in WordPress or whichever content management system you use. In this way, you are telling Google and other search engines what your content is about so they can more accurately rank your site.
Adding images improves the “stickiness” of your page meaning the reader stays on your page longer. This is called “dwell time” and it’s an important Google ranking factor. A longer dwell time tells Google that your content is valuable and they reward you with higher rankings.
We also detailed how images help you get more social shares. Search engines take note of social signals such as how often your posts are liked, reposted and shared. The more engagement your social posts earn, the higher your site will rank in search engines.
Finally, most bloggers have “related posts” or “most popular posts” with thumbnails in the side column of their pages. The best thumbnails are from attention-getting images that result in a higher click-through-rate (CTR) than if it was text-only links.
As a result, the user is staying on your site and not bouncing to another site. Your bounce rate is another highly important search ranking factor. The lower your bounce rate is, the higher your site will rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
5. Adds Your Post to Image Search
In order to rank your images in searches, they need to be optimized. Describe your content in your Alt tag and in the image description. So when you upload IMG_6034 to your blog, use your Yoast SEO plugin to rename the file to reflect your article content.
6. Images Make Your Posts Appear Longer
If you are writing a short post, adding an image can fill it out and make it more complete. Adding images to longer posts can make the post appear longer. Your word count will be the same, but the images will help support your content and round out the post.
Give your readers a chance to relax and look through some quality and relevant images. That’s better than reading long blocks of text.
And hey, let’s face it; sometimes you don’t feel like writing a lot but you want to convey a quick message. Pick out some great images and create a quality post in less time.
7. Images Help Explain Complex Information
Sometimes you need to write about complex topics that include technical language, legalese, or industry-specific terminology. Don’t let your readers struggle to get the message. Spell out complex information in simple terms with a helpful infographic, screenshot, slide show or a video.
For example, if you writing a software tutorial, use a screen recorder and create a video of yourself using the software. Readers will get a clearer picture of how to use the software. You can even get additional exposure by posting your videos on YouTube and Vimeo.
Using images is particularly helpful for educational articles where you are teaching a particular subject. Some people learn better visually and you can help them by illustrating detailed or confusing information. Screenshots, images, videos, tables, and wireframes are helpful ways to get your message across more clearly.
8. Images Improve the Personality of Your Brand
Whether you are building a business brand or a personal brand through blogging, images can help you tell your story and give personality to your content.
For example, let’s say your company was recently honored at a trade show. You can write an article about it and call it good.
But wouldn’t it be better to post clips of the award presentation. What if you included a clip of the acceptance speech? You could show interesting pictures and clips of interactions with attendees and even some behind-the-scenes footage from the office.
Clearly, adding images and other media to your post gives it more life and shows the story of your brand in an illuminating way.
The same goes for personal branding. A post about your recent adventures in Australia would be interesting. But it would be much more captivating to give viewers a peek at your escapades. Improve your article with pictures of yourself with the koalas, a video of you surfing the waves in Queensland, and a slideshow of your time in the Outback.
9. Images Are Influential
Did you know that content that includes visual images are 43% more effective in converting the user to agree with your point of view? This should be music to the ears of anyone with a blog. Getting sales online is all about persuasion and the right images can influence your readers to make a purchase.
Even if you aren’t selling something, you still need images to support your claims and bolster your arguments.
And images are necessary if you want to inject emotion into your content. For example, if you are writing an article on traveling overseas, adding pictures of your trip across the pond might motivate your readers. Motivation is the same reason why fitness gurus always use before and after photos.
You can use images to make people laugh, cry, or feel other emotions. Make sure your images correlate with your text for a coherent voice throughout the piece.
10. Images Make Your Posts Appear More Professional
When was the last time you visited a page that only contained text? Yeah, I can’t remember either, unless you count Wikipedia, and most of their pages contain at least one image.
A text-only site looks outdated. It doesn’t look appealing or inviting at all.
On the other hand, websites with a strategic mix of text, images, and other media look much more professional. You’re beautifully designed posts deliver a message that you care about your content. Viewers recognize the information is likely to be valuable.
Pro Tip: Go the extra mile and create custom infographics and illustrations. Viewers see the effort you’ve put in and they give much more credibility to your content.
11. Images Are Easy to Find
Why wouldn’t anyone include images in their content? After all, they are incredibly easy to do. You can find an image, optimize the titles and tags, and include it in your post in a matter of minutes.
You don’t need to pay out big bucks to Getty Images to get a quality photo. You can find royalty-free images on Shutterstock and IStockPhoto for a small fee. You can even find free images on sites like Pixabay and Unsplash.
If you operate on WordPress, you can use the PhotoDropper plugin. This tool searches Flickr to find images with Creative Commons license, which allows you to use the image on your site.
The Pixabay Images plugin also searches for free images. It’s very handy because there is a Pixabay icon in your text editor, making it very easy to select a photo and then optimize and insert it into your post.
The Best Ways to Use Images
Are you convinced you should use images freely in all your blog posts? Great, now let’s talk about best practices when it comes to images.
1. Always Include a Feature Image
Attention spans are short these days. You have about two seconds to convince a viewer to stay on your site. And when a user visits your site, the first thing they should see is an attention-grabbing feature image that pulls them in.
The featured image is usually what is shown when your blog is shared on social media. That’s why you need to select a featured image that not only grabs attention, but it relates to the blog topic as well.
2. Resize Your Images
If you find a photo that is 1200 pixels wide, but your blog column only extends 800 pixels, there’s no need to upload the full image to your site. It will take longer to load your post. A long page loading time is bad for search rankings, and many readers will leave if they don’t see content fast enough.
Resize all photos to fit the correct dimensions for your blog. Typically, 550 px wide or 600 px wide is all you need.
3. Compress Your Images
You also need to compress your images for the same reasons you need to resize them. You don’t want your images to take a long time to load.
There are a few ways you can do this. If you use Photoshop, save your images using the “Save for Web” tool. For most other image editors, you can save images in a web-friendly format. For pictures, resave the image in the JPEG format. For illustrations and graphic visuals, resave using the PNG format.
Resaving images in this way will cut down the file size of your image dramatically and improve your page loading time.
Final Thoughts on Using Images on Your Blog
If you’re not currently using images on your blog, now is a great time to start. As you can tell, the benefits are many. It’s certainly worth the small amount of time it takes to include images in all your new posts.
If you have the time, we highly recommend going back and editing your old posts and beefing them up with images. You will be surprised how much longer your viewers stay on your page. And you’ll love the boost in social media shares you get.
If you want to make your blog posts even better, find out how you can improve your content with the FANBOYS acronym now.