Not long after the final word is typed, a sense of blogger satisfaction sets in.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a 100-word teaser or a lengthy behemoth – when you’ve finished crafting a blog post and are content with the outcome, you can’t help but feel a hint of euphoria. It’s like experiencing “runner’s high” while only breaking a mental sweat and crossing a symbolic finish line.
Before you bask in the glow of blogger victory, however, it’s necessary to take pause and make sure there’s a visual (or two) amidst your sea of digital text. You see, blog images really do matter. They matter to your readers’ eyes, to our society’s ever-shrinking attention span and – perhaps most important – to the online performance your blog post ultimately produces.
When you embark upon consuming a piece of content that’s void of images, the task of reading feels overwhelming. The authoring blogger has done you a disservice, and you’re inclined to gloss over the text or skip reading altogether. Like being handed a bowl of ice cream without a spoon, you want to be able to enjoy an image-less blog yet simply can’t.
Your post-blog checklist likely already includes freshening your coffee, editing your content piece and high-fiving any available coworker. Those are all well and good, but catapult selecting blog images to the top of that list. In fact, put it in bold: Always have an image accompany your blog post, even if it’s just your company’s logo.
We previously discussed our favorite stock photo sites (both of the free and affordable paid variety), but now it’s time to delve into the “why” of photo inclusion. Here are five reasons blog images matter when it comes to maximizing the value of your blog posts:
1. Enhanced Visual Appeal
As humans, we’re naturally drawn to that which is aesthetically pleasing. We appreciate visual attractiveness in everything from outdoor scenery to fellow humans to your business blog posts. When you succeed at complementing your blog post with an interesting image, your audience will feel more compelled to explore your content. Visual stimuli represents a powerful force for luring in blog readers.
2. More Catered to Your Audience
Although not everyone claims to be a visual learner, it’s clear that many of us are wired for visual comprehension. The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than it decodes text. Moreover, the average consumer nowadays boasts an attention span estimated to be only eight seconds – or one second less than that of a goldfish. But what does this all mean from the standpoint of your business blog? Simply that you should capitalize on our visual strengths and minimize our attention weaknesses through use of blog images.
3. Increased Search Engine Traffic
Ultimately, your blog exists to inform, educate and entertain your audience. You want to help your readers address and solve a problem, driving prospective customers into your sales funnel in the process. Blog images support this objective by boosting your blog’s traffic on Google and other search engines. On average, content with images receives 94 percent more views than content without them. And the SEO benefits associated with images only grow when you optimize the title of each photo’s alt text – the text added to an image tag in HTML.
4. Added Context to Your Content
The “picture is worth a thousand words” mantra still rings true 95 years after the phrase was initially coined. An appropriate image selection helps explain your blog content to readers, adding an additional layer of intrigue and context. It can prompt a “Oh, now I get it” type of response. Rather than always selecting a descriptive image that precisely illustrates your blog topic, seek a conceptual image that hints at your topic while conveying a larger idea.
5. Better Social Shareability
You’ve been taught to share since a young age, and this lesson is particularly relevant with regards to social media. When you accompany your blog posts with appealing visuals (photos, logos or infographics), you entice your audience to share your content on social media sites, driving additional traffic to your blog. This is especially true as photo-centric social sites like Instagram continue to emerge among the most popular social media platforms. When you incorporate blog images into your posts and utilize captions to encourage readers to share the content on their social sites of choice, you give your blog a fighting chance to garner the larger audience it deserves.