The Importance of Images in Blog Posts and How to Source Them
Imagine browsing through a blog post without images—although the content is good, it isn’t wow—it seems bare, yet in a way, it’s overwhelming to read.
Images are glue to a great blog post—they add sources for the reader to fully grasp your content. They break up the text, making it more appealing to read—that is if you use them wisely—a big mistake bloggers make is adding pointless images.
We’re going to dive deep into the importance of images in blog posts and how to source them. We’ll be taking you through everything you need to know—so sit down and get comfy, cause we’re about to start!
The importance of images in blog posts and how to source them:
- Better structure throughout the text.
- Understanding becomes easier for readers.
- Increases your SEO ranking.
- Creates long-form content.
- Use only legal images.
Why You Need Images in Your Blog Posts
Yes, you’re a writer, not a photographer, so why bother with the images?
To be frank, you’re probably losing traffic—not all readers will take their time going through every word of your post—visitors want content that’s comprehensible. (Psst, most are lazy readers).
Here are a few of the most crucial reasons you need images in your posts:
Walls are intimidating—including those made of text. You’ve probably experienced this while doing research, stumbling upon an article propped up with blocks of paragraphs and long sentences—it’s simply tiring to read.
Yes, breaking the text up into more digestible paragraphs is important—but to improve the structure and flow, you need an additional source: an image.
Strategically placed pictures make your content seem less intimidating to readers—it breaks up the text, increasing its readability.
Understanding Becomes Easier
Whether you’re writing a post with technical data or a recipe for your baking blog, it can be challenging to understand. Words aren’t always enough to make your readers grasp your point—regardless of how straightforward you are.
To assist your audience, pictures are fantastic tools.
Visual aids always make complex information easier to process, especially if your visitors aren’t fully confident on the subject. You don’t have to limit yourself to stock photos—get creative and add tables, wireframe images and graphics to get your point across.
It helps your readers get a clearer picture of what y
ou’re trying to explain. For instance, if you’re doing a post about improving your SEO ranking, including key information in an infographic makes it easier to understand—even for viewers who aren’t as tech-savvy.
Don’t worry if you’re not a graph expert— that’s why we’re here!
Increases Your SEO Ranking
Search engine optimization, better known as SEO, is the name of a process increasing both the quality and quantity of your website traffic.
You have multiple ways to better your SEO ranking—for instance, by hiring a company with top-notch in-house writers that know precisely how to improve your SEO performance (wink wink).
Besides this, you can also increase your ranking by including images. Not everyone is aware of this, but search engines are beginning to prioritize longer content that features pictures and videos.
You can also better this by adding tags, captions and descriptions to the pictures you attach. Now, readers can find your post through keyword and image searches. All you do is use the ‘alt tag’ when adding an image into your Google document.
Makes Long-Form Content
As we said, search engines prioritize long-form content. However, writing up a 2000-word blog post every other day can be draining to your creative side—unless, of course, you’ve hired an expert.
By adding images, your post automatically appears longer to your readers, and search engines. So even though there are fewer words, you’re still prioritized.
Will Any Image Do?
No, you can’t grab just any Google image and copy it into your post. This could lead to a heap of trouble for your site. We’ve amassed a few tips below:
Choose Clear Images
Reading a post with blurry pictures looks unprofessional. It gives the visitor a feeling that whoever wrote the post was lazy, encouraging them to click off the site quickly again.
It’s crucial that you take your time to find high-quality images that give your post a professional appearance. Otherwise, there’s no need to bother with pictures in the first place.
Use Only Legal Images
You can’t, and shouldn’t, take any picture from your Google image search and use it on your web page. Many are protected by copyright law—some companies will actually charge you a fee.
So before you decide to use an image, make sure you’re legally allowed to. Even if it’s a free photo, you still have to credit the photographer or the site you got it from.
Think of it as your post—you don’t want people to copy and paste it to their own site without attributing you, right?
Legal images fall under different definitions:
- Royalty-free images are probably the most common type to use. They aren’t free, per se—you can use them as you wish, but you’re not permitted to resell or even edit them.
- Public domain pictures have no limitations—these have either expired copyright or none at all. Therefore, you don’t need permission to use them—it’s still, however, common courtesy to provide attribution.
- Rights managed photos require you to purchase a single-user license per individual image you want to use. With these, you must decide how you want to use them since you can only add them to one post—after that, you have to purchase another license.
- Creative commons are images where the creator has granted access. You will, however, need to credit them.
Pictures Should Add Value
Including images of random stuff won’t do much for your content—in fact, it may just appear as if you’re only trying to fill out the pages.
Think about each image before you attach them—do they match your content? Or are they irrelevant?
We get it; finding relevant images for every post isn’t always possible. But if that’s the case, utilize diagrams or infographics that are tailored to your text.
Optimize Large Images
The most significant issue with images is that they tend to have a large file size. This can slow your blog down to a point where visitors abandon it before it’s even loaded.
To avoid this, the easiest thing to do is to use an optimization tool for the images. That way, you can preserve the high-quality, but with a smaller file size.
There are many ways to do this, but it can be time-consuming, which is why we do it for our clients.
What About the Image to Word Ratio?
Now that we’ve established the importance of images, it’s essential to understand how many you need to include.
The image to word ratio seems like a delicate balance you need to get right to reap those benefits. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer.
The truth is, you just need to find that sweet balance between words typed and image input. On average, look to include a visual aspect every 75 to 150 words. This is a wide range, and it depends on your text content.
If you can find enough relevant images, then feel free to include them. If not, it’s better to omit those that don’t add any value.
To increase traffic to your blog, you could also post images to your social media. People tend to share posts with photos more often than those without.
Where to Source Legal Images
As we established, Google images aren’t a safe source—so, where should one search for images? You have several reputable sites to pick from, whether you’re looking for a free stock photo or paid ones. Below we’ve listed a few websites, some of which we use for our clients:
Unsplash is one of our favorites that we encourage our writers to use, and they do so frequently. The images available are free for both commercial and non-commercial use, but the quality is superb.
There’s a wide variety of photos, suitable for different niches, whether your blog is about content marketing or parenthood.
Pixabay is another site where you can source free stock photos. Many of the images don’t require you to credit the creator, although it’s still the best thing to do.
Foter has roughly 335 million free photos to choose from. The types of licenses are displayed under each image, where some require you to credit the photographer.
This site can be harder to navigate, and you need to make sure you’re complying with the license.
Pexels offers a variety of free stock photos for both commercial and non-commercial use. It has a clear license policy, and it requires no attribution, although it does provide you with a link if you decide to do anyways.
If you want to create eyecatching content, you need to know the importance of images in blog posts and how to source them legally.
When including photos, you’re optimizing the structure of your text, increasing its readability and appearance. Readers will feel intrigued, and it becomes more comprehendible than a wall of text.
However, not any image will do. Ensure that the photos are relevant to the content and that they’re high-quality—otherwise, you, as the creator, appears as unprofessional. Hence, it’s always a practical idea to enlist the help of experts, like us at Clever Touch Marketing.