Seriously people. Add them.
A fair amount of our clients are the independant type. Meaning they do light updates and maintenance to their sites, and they also do their own blogging..... where, at first, they consistently forget to add images to their posts. It's very common and also very easy to fix once you know why it's abolsutely critical to include pictures in your posts.
Sure, blogging is a written medium at it's core, but text shouldn't be the sole part of it. After your headline the most important ingredient to pay attention to are your images. That might sound like blasphemy, "What about the content?!" you rage, but posts need images just as much, if not more, than great books need great covers.
The reasons to use images on your blog can be broken down into 3 categories: Virality, SEO, and Readability.
Virality & Social Shares
Images 👏 Get 👏 Shared 👏 More 👏 Period. 👏
There's a reason Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest are so popular and just happen to be the top apps we spend almost all of our time on. They're photo-based platforms. It's even worth specifying that Facebook has changed it's format multiple times to become more and more image-driven. Small bits of text get passed over because our eyes are automatically drawn to the big and shiny pictures. Notice how the majority of things popping up in your feed are either photos or videos? Facebook now even has a nifty little feature allowing you to add a themed background to your text post to make it look like an image...
"Don't have an image to share? That's ok, we'll help your post LOOK like an image fam!" - If the Facebook app talked.
Is sad because you have no images in your posts.
- Articles with images get 94% more total views.
- Including a Photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%.
- 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results.
- In an ecommerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product.
- In an online store, customers think that the quality of a products image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%).
- Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27% (this translates to a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text).
Images get shared more
Tweets with pictures see a 35% increase in retweets (source).
Posts with images get shared a lot more on Facebook. 87% more to be exact (source).
Search Engine Optimization or SEO
Regular ole' text Google searches aren't the only way people search for content on the internet. They're yet another "thing" on your site that Google can index. If you title your images well and include descriptive text you have a change of them showing up in Google image searches as well. In other words you're increasing your chances of your business/brand/blog being seen. Images are a very powerful SEO asset.
Images factor into Google's algorithm and how it indexes your site!
Google can't look at a photo the way you and I can to determine it's content, it can simply see the specifics of the pixels, their colors and how they're arranged, and the image's alt text. Alt text helps tell google what the photo is of and why it's important to viewers. It's also very important for the American Disabilities Act, which we'll get to in the next section.
Images are more valuable to have than you think. They're not going to make or break your business or online presence (unless your market is ultra image-heavy), but as easy as they are to include, it would be silly not to!
But images aren’t just important for traffic. They’re important for memory. Studies have shown that images make information easier to remember. This is called the “Pictorial Superiority Effect.”
All the content that people read online is increasingly more focused on being visually appealing. It makes your content more digestible and easy to read by breaking up the text into less daunting chunks.
We live in a time where things need to be quick quick quick and attention spans are short. I'm not saying no one reads long text articles or books anymore, but the majority of people browsing the internet for information are doing in
Alt text is required under the American Disabilities Act for individuals who are unable to view images themselves. Descriptive alt text can alert users to what exactly is in the photo. Say you have a picture of a smoothie on your site. The alt text could read:
<img src=”smoothie-1.jpg” alt=”choc smoothie”/> Ok, we kind of understand what it is, but a better alternative text that describes the image would read: <img src=”chocolate-1.jpg” alt=”rich-healthy- deluxe-chocolate-smoothie-DIY”/>
Not only is alt text visible to visitors and helpful, but it's stored in the cached version of your page and website. This also further helps search engines and visitors.
I'm sure by now it's pretty easy to see how beneficial adding images to your website pages and blog posts is. It might seem a little daunting at first: finding all of those photos, making sure they aren't copyrighted, optimizing them, placing them in your content just so, etc., but after you get the hang of it, it really becomes second nature and quite easy.
Now you have no excuses, get to adding images to your content!
- Common mistake new bloggers make, but easy to fix.
- Even though blogs are text at their core, images are very important.
- Historically, anything on the internet with an image performs better than without.
- Things with images get shared more.
- Images increase SEO and visibility.
- Images help Google index your site better.
- Alt descriptions on images assist people with disabilities when they are exploring your website.
- Pictures break up your content and make it easier to read.
- Images have been proven to help people remember information better than without.
What adding images related skills would you like to learn? Comment below!