How To Use Pictures on Your Blog
Content marketing is an extremely effective way to establish brand authority, improve search engine optimization, engage potential customers and convert sales. However, not all articles are equal. While the quality of the custom writing is important, of course, so are the images (or lack thereof) in the article. When you write or buy blog articles, make sure you are also getting high-quality images.
Images play a central role in how effective a blog post is. By extension, images also affect how impactful the content marketing strategy is.
Understanding why this is the case will help you to make better choices when using images in your blog content. Whether you are looking for the benefits of using pictures on your blog or wondering if you can use images from Google on your website, here is the blog image guide you’ve been looking for.
Does It REALLY Matter If You Use Pictures On Your Blog?
It’s just a blog post, right? Most people think of written content when they think of website articles. The importance of written content is arguably true; however, images certainly play a close-second role. They enhance each blog article and add a new dimension to your blogging strategy.
Many people do not realize how broad the impact of images is. They do a lot more than just make articles “look right.” The following are five reasons why you should be using images in your blog posts:
1) Images Make Posts More Attractive
There is a lot to be said for the visual appeal of blog images. Ultimately, when you write or buy blog articles, you want them to be enjoyable and engaging for readers. Having a visual element can help you achieve that.
If you navigate to a blog post that doesn’t have any images, it likely looks boring and even a little intimidating. Conversely, if it has a visually appealing image, the content appears more inviting to the reader. Well-used images enhance the reading experience, helping you to have a greater impact with your blogging strategy.
Furthermore, blog articles with images are more likely to be read. Using pictures on your blog attracts readers. An interesting thumbnail can help make the difference between a potential reader opening an article or moving on.
2) You Can Communicate a Lot With an Image
Images are a lot more than just pretty things in your content, however. They can also be powerful communication tools.
For example, consider the difference between a software how-to guide with and without screenshots. The former can be clearer and more concise because there is no need to over-explain everything the user needs to do. Similarly, infographics can help to highlight certain information.
Using infographics has the added benefit of catering to multiple learning styles. Some people find looking at images easier to understand than reading text and vice versa. Rather than relying on a single method of communication, you can enhance your articles by including blog images.
3) It Increases Your Search Traffic
Search engine optimization is an important element of content marketing. For many brands, it is one of the top reasons why they buy blog articles. Anything that can increase SEO results is strategically valuable.
An image means that your blog post can be included in image search results. If that image is particularly unique or enticing, it could attract users that may otherwise would never have found your blog.
Furthermore, many search engines like to see images on pages. Search providers try to develop algorithms that will consistently deliver high-quality results. Having relevant images is one indicator that your blog article is high-quality.
You can also use the alt tags on images to incorporate keywords. This will help search engines identify and categorize your articles.
4) It Breaks Up the Text
As mentioned above, breaking up text-heavy posts with images will make them look nicer. However, it achieves more than just aesthetics. It also makes the page significantly easier to read.
This is especially important if your blog post is about a relatively light topic. People are going to have a hard time understanding your summer salad recipe if it is presented as an academic paper. Of course, even very technical content written for expert audiences can benefit from some figures and images.
Simply put, reading a wall of text requires more effort to keep your place and comprehend fully. Plus, it looks intimidating. When you buy blog articles, don’t settle for a disorganized wall of words. Give your readers a break with a well-placed image.
5) It Encourages Social Shares
Social media sharing can significantly increase the effectiveness of content marketing. It is a chance to get your content in front of the eyes of people who may not be actively searching for it. In other words, social sharing increases your reach.
People are more likely to engage with social media posts that include images. Twitter has indicated that tweets that include photos receive 35% more retweets on average. If you have images in your blog post, they will automatically be included in social media posts including your link.
That means that if you have an image included in your post, you will see that significant bump in engagement reported by Twitter and others. In turn, you will see a greater click-through rate.Tweets that include photos 🌁 receive 35% more retweets on average. #ContentMarketing #ContentImages Click To Tweet
How Do I Use Pictures Strategically On My Blog?
The above five benefits give plenty of reasons to use images when you write or buy blog articles. However, they are only relevant if you use images well. Using poorly selected and applied images is no more helpful than having no image at all.
1) Organize the Article
Make your images a key organizational element of your article. If you have a long-form blog post, consider placing images between major sections to help divide up the writing. As mentioned above, this can help make the text less intimidating and easier to understand.
If you have a list article, try placing an image under each list item. This adds a greater sense of organization and makes it easier for readers to scan the list and look for the most relevant content.
2) Fuel Your SEO
Blog images can be great for search engine optimization. Of course, as is always the case with SEO, it is all about the details. Here are some techniques to get the best results when using pictures on your blog:
- Select the right images (learn how to do this below).
- Add an alt tag with a clear and search-optimized description of the image.
- Use at least one keyword in the image title, but don’t overstuff.
- Incorporate a keyword into the image filename (yes, search engines read this).
- Add structured data (aka schema markup) to give search engines even more information about the image.
3) Explain the Text With the Image
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. The content that you or blog writing services write is extremely important. Adding images can enhance those words. You should include blog images that will help to explain what you mean. For example, a travel blog would certainly underperform without some photos of the relevant destination(s).
Infographics and screenshots can be very helpful for explaining the text visually. Charts and figures can also add a lot to technical blog articles.
Try reading through your custom writing content and think about which sections could be represented visually. Alternatively, have someone else read your blog and note any place that he or she thinks would be clearer with a visual aid.
4) Entice With a Thumbnail
A good thumbnail can help to entice readers from your blog feed, search results and social shares. In a lot of cases, it is best if the thumbnail presents a question without providing the answer. This can be achieved with a mysterious but interesting image. It can also be accomplished by including some text in the thumbnail that engages the potential reader.
You can use the same idea for your featured image at the top of the blog post. An enticing image will encourage people to read the blog post rather than just close the tab.
Even a relatively generic thumbnail and featured image are better than no images at all. Simply put, a blog post that is only represented by a text title won’t excite would-be readers.
How Do I Get Good Pictures For My Blog?
Another element of getting the most from the images in your blog articles is selecting the right ones. This can have positive SEO impacts, engage readers more effectively and increase your conversion rate.
There is no simple formula for selecting the right image. Each article has its own requirements. However, the following best practices should help you narrow down your search.
Only Use Relevant Images
When you buy blog articles, you likely have specific topics in mind. You wouldn’t accept writing that doesn’t support those topics. Similarly, you should always expect and use images that are highly relevant to the topic at hand.
For example, a travel blog article will be more effective if the images are from the destination(s) mentioned in the article. Some topics don’t lend themselves as well to specific images. An article about project management, for example, is more challenging to represent in an image. Nonetheless, the more relevant and specific you can be, the better.
Although blog images can add a lot to the piece, an irrelevant image can be confusing and distracting. It could actually do more harm than good.
Use High-Quality Images
Always choose images that will look great on your blog. Using pictures on your blog only works when you pick the right ones and put them strategically in your posts. These are some guidelines for maximizing quality:
- Always start with a high-resolution image. Stretched pictures that don’t have enough pixels will turn off readers.
- Choose well-composed, professional images. This can require a bit of an eye for design, but you know it when you see it.
- Using an image editing tool, adjust your image to be the exact pixel size that you need. This will allow it to upload and download faster and it will look better.
- Compress your images if the file size is too large.
- Use a content distribution network to help ensure that your images are easy to download.
Make Sure You Have the Rights
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised by how many blog owners get this wrong. Make sure that you have the right to be using the images in your blogs. Here are a few commonly asked questions with answers that can benefit you.
Can I Use Images From Google On My Blog?
The answer to this is: maybe. The image search on Google makes it easy to search for all kinds of images, and as we said previously, this can be a beneficial way for people to reach your website. However, many of the images on Google are copyrighted or have some sort of license protecting them. Images with creative commons licenses or public domain licenses are not subject to copyright.
How Do I Know Which Images Are Public Domain?
When searching for images on the Google Image bar, click on tools, then click on usage rights. From here, you can choose creative commons licenses.
Keep in mind that copyright laws are different depending on the country, so you can’t always trust the label. Before using images with these types of licenses, your should learn more about the conditions before using.
Pixsy gives five ways to verify if an image can be used safely and where to find the copyright owner. This a great way to be extra careful when using images.
Final Thoughts On How To Legally Get Images For Your Blog
If you are using stock images, it may make sense to spend the money to buy them from a reputable, well-known provider. If you are considering a free or inexpensive image, make sure you fully understand the licensing terms before you use the image. Should you find an image on a website that doesn’t describe the license, you probably cannot legally use that image.
The same concern applies to hiring someone to take original images. Make sure you fully understand what you are buying, who owns the image rights and how you can use the photos or illustrations.
Carefully Evaluate Stock vs. Original Images
Consider whether you want to use stock images or original photos and graphics in your blog posts. Both options have significant advantages.
The greatest benefit of using stock images is that they are readily available. When you buy blog articles, you can publish them immediately with some stock photos. There is no need to commission a designer or photographer. Additionally, they are usually less expensive than having something original made.
Conversely, original images are unique, by their nature. In some cases, having something that is super-relevant and not available anywhere else online can be worth the extra effort necessary to use an original image.
Carefully consider both options to determine which is right for your needs. The answer may vary from one blog article to the next.
Blog Image Checklist
Don’t want to forget anything? Use this checklist before posting.
- Do you enough images to break up the text?
- Are the images evenly distributed throughout the article?
- Did you double-check the copyrights of the images you used?
- Are the images applicable to the content?
- Are they engaging to readers?
If you feel satisfied with using pictures on your blog posts, then publish and promote. With a consistent posting schedule and plenty of interesting content, you will likely see an increase in traffic and user engagement. Using images in blogs is a large pointer of your content marketing success.
The Importance of Images on Websites
Blogging can help your business reach a larger audience and engage people with your brand. Having the right custom writing and using pictures on your blog can help make your content marketing even more effective. BKA Content can help you take your blogs to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve blogging success.