Why should you add images to blog posts?

If you keep a blog for your business, you might know that you should include an image or two in your blog post. But do you know why adding images to your blog post is important? And do you know best the practices behind finding and incorporating images?

If you’re already including images in your blog posts, but you’re just doing it without knowing the reasons why it is a good idea, keep reading.

Reasons for adding images

First, understand the reasons why adding at least one image to your blog posts is recommended. When a relevant image is used in a post, the post can improve visually and in performance.

When readers are strolling through posts, a relevant image helps to introduce them to the blog post at a glance. A good image will tell the reader what to expect. For example, if someone on a pet blog is looking specifically for posts about dogs, they might not stop strolling if they see a picture of a cat — but a picture of a dog might catch their eye.

And, images help to break up chunks of text. Similar to how headers break up blog posts into distinct sections to make content more engaging, well-placed images help make your writing more engaging so that your audience isn’t having to read a large wall of text.

Plus, when sharing posts on social media, people are more likely to engage with a post that includes an image in the preview — this means they’ll click over to your website.

Finally, you should also keep in mind that images can boost your SEO. Yes, that’s right! If you add keywords to the alternative text on an image, search engines will crawl that text.

Best practices to follow

So, when it comes to using images in posts, what practices should you keep in mind? Well, always make sure that the image is relevant to the post. Remember, at a glance, your audience should be able to use the image to form an idea of what the post is about. If your post is about learning activities you can do with a two-year-old, you’ll want to use images of a toddler or the activities.

You’ll also want to make sure the images are as attention-grabbing as possible. This will make the audience want to look at the article to learn more. Returning to the example of the toddler: an image of a toddler engaging in an activity is a lot more attention-grabbing than a headshot of the toddler. People might want to know what the toddler is doing and why.

Finally, make sure that the images are properly sized. Ideally, you want to compress and resize images. Large images take longer to load. To keep your website as fast as possible, make sure to resize and compress images to an appropriate size. WordPress has plug-ins available that will help you with this process, but there is also other available software you can use if your site isn’t hosted by WordPress.

Finding images to use

Finally, the way you find your images is just as important as the image you choose to use. Never just randomly search for an image on Google and use that image in your blog. Most images are copyrighted. You can’t use them without permission.

While there is nothing wrong with using stock images if needed, keep in mind that there are many other businesses out there that are also using those stock images. If you do use stock images, look for affordable stock images. While there are plenty of sites out there with free stock images, the free images are what other companies will be using. Paying for a stock image could help make your content more unique and attention-grabbing.

The best way to generate images for your blog is to take your own. This way, the images are relevant to your post, belong to you, and are unique to you. While professional, high-quality images are great and make a lasting impression, you can also take your photos using your phone! Many phones are capable of taking photos that will have a high enough resolution to use in blog posts.  

Final thoughts

Now that you have a better idea of why people use images, the best practices when including images, and how to find images, you should start looking at your practices. Improving how you’re using images could increase follower engagement, as well as boost your SEO. Don’t overlook the importance of images in your posts!

James Lang
 

James is the Editor of Small Business Sense. His background includes freelance ghostwriting about things that impact SMEs, startups, freelancers and entrepreneurs. He hasn't had a boss in more than six years, and hopes his content will help you fire yours.