The internet is fast becoming a highly visual medium. Look at the skyrocketing influence of Instagram in recent years, let alone Pinterest and Twitter, and it’s taken as a given that the mysterious Facebook algorithm favours image-based posts when it comes to prioritising content on people’s feeds.
But why is this? To be blunt, people are lazy. They want information as quickly and easy to digest as possible. Images that are eye-catching and easy to understand will ensure people are more likely to stop and try to find out more. That doesn’t mean words don’t matter – the images are a supporting tool that can take content from boring to engaging.
This is worth keeping in mind when you post blogs for your business. Here are six key points to keep in mind to make your blogposts hit the mark.
1) Use good quality images
This can’t be stressed enough. Blurry, pixelated images are hard to read and give the impression that you simply don’t care – if the image content is poor, why should the writing be any better?
2) Stay legal
A lot of companies simply find a nice image through Google and use it on their blog, but they’re taking a massive risk as well as behaving unethically. You need to use images that make it clear they are for public use – such as those found under Creative Commons – or pay a subscription fee to use a specific image provider such as Shutterstock. If you just take an image at random it’s quite likely the copyright owner will find out and contact you demanding a fee, and you’re legally obliged to pay it. Of course, you can always use photographs you’ve taken yourself, but like we said in point one, make sure you use good quality professional-looking shots.
3) Make sure the images serve a purpose
It’s not good enough to have images on your blog simply because they look pretty. There needs to be a reason for them, whether they illustrate points from your post or explain things in more detail. Better still, if your blog is explaining complex points use diagrams or attractive infographics to help clarify what you’re saying.
4) Use SEO to your advantage
Images can help boost your SEO ranking, and it’s good to be aware of how to do this. For example, if you use WordPress you can add SEO keywords to the ‘alt text’ box – this is what Google uses when crawling the internet for images, so will help your ranking on those all-important search results.
5) Use images of people
Humans are naturally drawn towards faces, so take advantage of this. But don’t simply use random pictures of people, make them related to the post and match the tone of the content. It’s good practice to use a picture of the person writing the content, or the head of the business. It builds trust in both the content and the brand.
6) Don’t go overboard
Use images in proportion, don’t fill your page with photographs as the reader will be confused and it will take your page longer to load. A good rule of thumb is one image for every 150 words. Of course, this isn’t a hard rule but a good starting point for your posts.
Images should be a key part of your blogposts but it’s very easy to get wrong and alienate the reader. Follow the above advice and you’ll increase both retention and trust among the visitors to your site.