In a world where 600 million blogs are struggling to create content that commands attention, learning how to use images to drive blog post engagement has become one of the biggest avenues to gain improved traffic and better ROI on content marketing.
Although most content creators are not aware of this, not only is it accurate that a picture is worth a thousand words, it is also worth a higher engagement rates for your content.
Using relevant images in your blog posts does not only make your content visually appealing, it’ll also grab attention boost reader engagement, drives shares and even create a deeper connection with your audience.
In this guide, we’ll be exploring in the following paragraphs, the most effective ways you can use images to captivate your audience, get them on the edge of their seats and keep them coming back to your website again and again.
Choose Relevant & Quality Images
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The first step to use images to drive blog post engagement is to start with selecting the right kind of pictures.
This means that you have to put into consideration exactly what you want to achieve with the post, the title of the post as well as the target audience before embarking on your search for images.
Whether you’re using it as a featured image or as contextual image in the body of your content, before using any image for your blog post be sure that the image you’re selecting is directly related to the content you’re creating or the relevant section of the content you’re using it with.
Also, image quality is very important. Always go for high quality images. They look more appealing and professional. Avoid blurry and low quality images as these can deter your audience.
Use Eye-Catching Featured Images
Another way to use images to drive blog post engagement is to use attention grabbing pictures as featured images.
For most websites, a blog post’s featured image is the first thing a reader sees as soon as they land on your page. You want to make it so appealing that the moment a reader sees the image they get captivated enough to read up the post.
Also, your featured image is used as thumbnail when your post gets shared on social media. So, to get people coming over to read the posts from social media, you want to put up the most appealing and relevant image as your featured image.
Outside your post title, your featured image is one of the biggest factors that will decide whether a reader will read your post or not. You have to pay attention to fully use it to your advantage.
Add Relevant Visuals to Text
Although featured images are very crucial, it’ll be difficult to use images to drive blog posts engagement without adding relevant visuals to the body of your blog posts.
Naturally, long paragraphs with extended texts can be overwhelming. Breaking up your content by adding images at strategic sections in the body of your blog posts makes it easier to add context and meaning to the post.
Also, if you’re writing a tutorial for example, consider using images to illustrate key points, examples or even steps as regards your topic of discussion.
Use Infographics for Data & Stats
While trying to use images to drive blog posts engagement, adding infographics and can serve as a very useful tool for the display of data, statistics and most illustrations.
Beyond that, infographics are also highly shareable thus increasing your potentials to get shares and even back links from other websites.
Using tools like Corel Draw, Canva and Piktochart including some specific AI tools, you can design eye catching infographics to add context to your data while creating an even more engaging post.
Optimize for Visibility
One of the best ways to use images to drive blog posts engagement is to optimize your images for visibility.
It’s easy to upload an image to your blog posts for the purposes of boosting engagement but beyond that, a well optimized image can also serve as a traffic booster to your website.
To get this sorted, after downloading or creating an image for your post, start with changing the default name of the image on your device to the name of the post you’re writing about.
After that, the moment you upload it on your website, head over to the image library to update the alternate text (alt) and title sections with your relevant keywords.
Doing this enhances the chances of getting your images to show up in Google Image Search.
Use the right Caption for Images
Using the right caption for images used in the body of a blog post can provide a better context and additional information as regarding the images.
Instead of leaving them blank, you can use images to drive blog posts engagement by using picture captions to reinforce your message, tell a specific story or encourage interactions.
Also, where you’re using images that need attribution, you can also use a part of this section to include your attribution text or copyright information.
Optimize for Speed
Although it’s essential to use images to drive blog post engagement, using images with large file sizes can effectively slow down your website.
So, while using images on your website, the goal is to use high quality images but at the same time, to maintain a decent website speed, your image must be compressed to reduce the file size without reducing the image quality.
For most websites, 45-85 kb can serve as a decent file size for most images. There are a number of image compression tools that like bulkresizephotos.com among many others that can be used to resize your images before using them on your website
How to get Images for Blog Posts
To effectively use images to drive blog posts engagement, you need to know the ways to get the right pictures. The following are the three steps to go about this:
Create your Own Images: Creating your own images is by far the best way to get images for blog posts. It allows you to create the right image that will completely capture the essence of your blog posts while also giving you the full rights to the image.
The shortcoming of using this option however that is it can take time. And while this option might be the best fit when it comes to the use of infographics, using this approach for all blog post images will be time wasting for a solo blogger without a dedicated team.
Buy Stock Image: This is also another great option to get images for blog post. Depending on the license buying stock images out rightly most times gives you full rights to use the image without any need for attribution.
The major down side of this however is that stock images can be licensed to multiple buyers at multiple times. So, even though you paid for it, you can also find the same image you used for your blog posts being used on another blog.
Use Attribution Free Images: Attribution free images are a great option for bloggers on a budget to add images to blog posts. You can find them on websites like Unsplash.com, Pexels, Pixabay among others.
The best part of this option is that you can find free images and still use them on blog posts, free of attribution. However, one of the major cons with this option is that you are not the only blogger licensed to use the image.
Any of these images can be used multiple times on different blogs around the world.
Another notable concern is that even though it’s not always compulsory, some of these websites will expect you to appreciate the creators willingly by either dropping a token or citing the source of the image in your blog post.
Adding images to blog posts can significantly boost engagement, drive traffic and increase your overall ROI with blogging but to get the most out of this you have to purposefully engage in using only relevant images in your content.
Additionally, while using the steps outlined in this guide can get you to become a more successful blogger, pay attention to using best practices. Use only images that will further your content while adding genuine value to your audience. Your readers will love.
And of course, as a beginner, to get a hang around blogging in a way that yields high volume ROI, sign up for our Smart Content College here. Learn the secrets to effective blogging and gain the mentorship that will improve your outcomes.
Now it’s your turn. Between creating your own image, buying a stock photo and using attribution free pictures, what’s your best option to get an image for a blog post? Drop your comments below.