Is Your Business Blog Picture Perfect?
The thing about blogging is that there is a real focus on writing the right words. Which makes sense: the premise of blogging is that it’s a text-based medium.
But as with all online content these days, you have to think beyond using choice words to get your message across. Images are just as important as writing when it comes to blogging.
Sure, the first guy who said, “A picture tell 1,000 words” wasn’t a blogger, but they were definitely on the money. The images you use in your blog pieces support the story you are telling, and the knowledge you want to impart. They also tell your readers about your business, without having to explicitly say anything.
Let’s not forget that if a relevant image is paired with information, people retained 65% of the information three days later, compared to the 10% of information they’d remember without pictures.
A wall of text is intimidating
Your audience is the first thing you need to think about when you create a blog post. Even though they visit your site for quality information and entertainment, they stay because your content is easy to read. This goes beyond writing style, into the pictures you use.
Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Thisfact is important to remember in an era where we swipe through our news and Twitter feeds, and are more likely to skim through articles. Inserting images into your blog assists the reader by making it easier for them to process your writing - very much like how subheadings textually segment blog posts.
But let’s think about the inverse: a wall of text is intimidating.
Imagine if this post was just words - no images. Would there be anything that would make you click away faster?
You are writing for an audience, so you need to think about blog content from their perspective. Including relevant images with your pieces entices your readers to stay and interact with your content.
Your brand is your image - literally
You didn’t spend all that time crafting your brand on your website to just forget about it on your blog, did you?
The pictures you include with your blog posts are a visual indicator to your reader that they are interacting with your brand, in the same way that if someone was to view your Facebook or Instagram page they’d know who you are because of the way it looks.
After all, you don’t see Coca Cola using Pepsi colours and branding for their advertising!
The reason you blog for your business is to support your marketing strategy. It follows that you should ensure your brand presence is strong throughout any and all of the pieces published for your business - including in the blog’s images.
Images are search engine and social media friendly
Now we have the magic ability of Google’s image search, it stands to reason that any accompanying pictures on your business blog are part of the infamous search engine’s indexing processes.
And that’s a good thing! The more ways you can be found, the better.
Usually the title of the images you insert into your posts are part of what search engines index. If you want to be strategic about your blog post SEO, you should name each image you insert in a way that relates to the piece you’re attaching them to.
For example, the title of this piece is “Is Your Blog Picture Perfect?”. Each of the images that I will be inserting into my blog post will have a file name along the lines of ‘business-blog-picture-perfect’. It includes keywords I have already researched, and the dashes are inserted instead of spaces to make the text easier for computers to read.
Beyond SEO, you should also consider how your posts will look on social media sites.
Whenever you, or anyone else, shares a link to your blog pieces, social media sites more often than not pull an image automatically from the page you link to (Here’s looking at you, Facebook).
Images and thumbnails take up more real estate on a timeline while you scroll through your feed, meaning that eyeballs are going to be on your content for longer, and your link will stand out more than simple text.
Moving forward, make sure to include at least one image when you publish a blog post - if only for the robots who will want to use them to your advantage.
Picture perfect blogs know about copyright
The way that you use images speaks volumes about the ethics of your business.
Sadly, I’ve worked for many businesses in the past that neglect to use content that is copyright-free, meaning they can be used indiscriminately. According to international copyright law, this amounts to stealing.
Imagine if someone started to copy, verbatim, what you’ve spent hours researching and crafting on your business blog? The same can be said for people who use images without first seeking the creator’s permission.
There are a few ways you can ensure your business blog respects the hard work of photographers and graphic designers:
- Use sites that provide stock photos for free. This includes Pexels, Flickr Creative Commons and Picjumbo. BUT pay attention to the way creators specify how they want their work used - some let you use their work for free without any strings attached, others require you to attribute their work to them when you use their images.
- Source images from stock photography websites. You pay for a package, and you can use those images freely, no strings attached.
- Pay a photograher or illustrator to create images, or take your own photos: especially if there is a certain look you are aiming for. This ensures that the content on your business blog is uniquely yours, and yours alone.
Respecting intellectual property is not just about doing right ethically by other businesses and creators, it’s also about making sure you don’t open yourself up to serious legal ramifications.
In summary - the images you choose for your business blog are significant for a number of reasons:
- Your audience will find your posts easier to read if they include images
- Pictures in your blog posts enable you to strengthen your brand and ensure brand consistency
- Images assist search engines in indexing your pieces, and are automatically used on social media sites
- Using images that respect copyright not only signify your integrity as a business, but also legally protect your content
What pictures do you like to use for your blog? Let us know in the comments below!
Freelance copywriter for hire
Hello, I’m Aisling, your friendly B2B and B2C writer from Imagine Copy! When I’m not fine-tuning my black belt prowess on an exotic island, I spend lots of time on the internet scouring new marketing techniques. You can hire me by getting in touch here.