How much effort do you put into images for your blog posts?
Are they an afterthought, or top priority? Time and time again, user experience and behavioral studies show that visual content really matters. In fact, it matters a ton because it's what your readers will notice first when they click on your blog posts. Here are some data-driven, scientific ways to boost your visual content game:
1. Include Relevant Images
Humans remember images 6x more effectively than text. That definitely means you need an image in every blog post you create. Optimally, you should have more than one.
Keep in mind there's a chance that your imagery could be all your audience takes away from your content. For that reason, it's crucial to use your images to communicate information. Make them highly relevant or overlay them with text to tell your story.
2. Use More Images
The most successful blog posts probably use more images than you do. In fact, the average among the 100 most popular blogs in a survey by Blog Pros was really high. For the best success, use one image for every 350 words in your article. If you could benefit from even more images, don't hesitate.
3. Incorporate Hand-Drawn Images
Hand-drawn images reign supreme; especially if you're promoting your content on Facebook. Neil Patel's research indicates that these types of visual content are super popular among users of social media. Look to The Oatmeal for inspiration if you're considering producing these graphics in-house.
4. Use Graphs and Charts
If you're looking to build credibility and some links, nothing beats graphs and charts. These types of infographics are especially popular if you're showcasing original data from your research. Patel reports that blogs with data graphics receive 258% more trackbacks than content featuring any other kind of image.
Your charts don't need to be highly technical to earn some respect. They should just tell an interesting story, and be packaged in a way that's easy-to-share on social media. Your chances of earning links could rise drastically if you're willing to let others share your graphs with an appropriate citation.
5. Be Conscious of Size
Even if you've created an absolutely gorgeous custom image, it might not do you much good. The sizing and resolution of your pictures matters an awful lot. Any large files can cause your page load times to soar, making your readers abandon the website before the page finishes loading! On the opposite end of the spectrum, very low-res images will appear unprofessional and sloppy.
Experts recommend using images that are a maximum of 500 pixels in any direction. Your resolution shouldn't exceed 72-96 DPI, or your load times will skyrocket. Remember, readers on the Internet simply don't need print-quality images to get the picture.
6. Infographics are Crucial
Have infographics had their moment? No, not really. These types of informative, data-packed visual content are still definitely in. And honestly, I doubt that infographics will ever completely go out of style.
Research shows that companies who's blog posts include infographics grow their traffic 12% faster than their competitors.
7. Right or Left-Align Your Images
It may sound almost too strange to be true, but alignment actually can affect the performance of your blog. Buffer research has found that right or left-aligned images at the top of blog posts perform better than center-aligned pictures. Images that take up one half of the total width of your blog posts are probably your best bet.
What's the reasoning behind this tactic? Images direct the eye. They also create an optical illusion, and make the content next to them appear easier-to-read.
8. Include Pictures of Real-Life People
Considering using a picture of a book, a landscape, or another object in your next blog post? Ditch that idea! Nielsen Norman group has found that pictures of people aren't just engaging. They're actually one of the most engaging types of web content you can possibly publish!
9. Use Images to Persuade
The world's best marketers treat visual content as a persuasion tool in their blog posts. According to University of Minnesota research, images are 43% more persuasive than text when it comes to selling ideas and products.
Love this blog? Check out 5 Tricks to Win the Visual Content Game.