Four year old Natalie picks up a book, sits down on the couch with her teddy and her mom and snuggles in for a story.
The second the book is opened, however, shes howling for an old favorite, instead. How come? It looks like Mom dared to try to read her a story from a book without pictures!
Few of us would have such a public reaction. Yet, admit it; you have judged a book by its cover AND by the images (or lack thereof) inside. Why? Is it because youre lazy? Hate to read? Not at all! Humans are, and always have been stimulated by all things visual. Its simply our nature.
Blogging to Give People What They Want
What does Natalie love in a book? Fun characters, a good story line and really great pictures! You probably spent hours creating a content strategy before you started writing. You thought about your potential customers and what their needs, challenges, and questions are. Then you figured out how you fill those need and answer those questions with your products, services or expertise and started to deliver.
But, have you forgotten a basic truth of nearly all humans that we like pictures? Make it your aim to include at least one image on every blog post.
How Good Images Increase Website Traffic
Facebook updates with images generally get more likes, shares and clicks. Check your page insights to see if this is true on your page.
Twitter has begun rolling out images in the newsfeed (if you insert images). These tweets get 55% more engagement than those without images.
Even if you dont insert an image in the tweet, if you use Twitter Cards, your image appears.
Google Plus showcases images beautifully, and anecdotal reports suggest image updates receive the most engagement.
Pinterest is all about images. Give people something to pin.
So, what does social media activity have to do with website traffic? A lot! When people engage with your updates on social media, they are more likely to share and like increasing the exposure of your updates. When people click on the accompanying link, they visit your website.
Just like Natalie returns to her worn out favorites night after night (sorry, Mom), when you make your website and blog a pleasant place to be with useful and interesting images, people will return. As trust builds, eventually they may decide to download one of your content offers or even contact you directly.
Bonus Tip Pinterest Images
Every one of our blog posts includes what we call a pinnable image. These are images of sufficient size for Pinterest, with a compelling caption, so that even if someone doesnt read the pin description, they will know what the article is about. We also include in the image alternate text the description we want to show up for the Pin when, depending on which version of the image they choose, someone pins from a browser bookmarklet. This will even tag us in pins, making it even easier for viewers to see the original source and include yet another link to our article.
Note: If someone pins from your site, the username tag will work. At the moment, however, if someone repins their pin, the tag is corrupted. For us, some poor user named Edel Scally gets tagged when someone repins our pin. We hope it gets worked out soon, and might wait until it does before we continue adding our username to alt text.
You might also notice that our pins show not just the image and description, but a bit more We have configured rich snippets for articles (you can use them for recipes and products, too), which gives us a bit more real estate on Pinterest and makes it even easier for people to learn about us. It gives an additional description we have entered and prompts people to Read this on Scalable Social Media
Choosing the Image
Use images in your blog posts to drive traffic to your site. Via @scalablesocial http://scalablesocialmedia.com/2013/11/images-get-blog-traffic/Inserting an image just for the sake of having one is not good practice. Instead, think of a way to illustrate the point made in your post or to entice people to read on. Some professionals claim that using stock photos is bad business that you should take your own photos or create your own graphics all the time. However, most businesses simply do not have the time, talent, or budget for that hard a stance. Using quality, royalty-free images fairly paid for is a perfectly good substitute.
Beware the Cheesy Cliche!
We do not need to see one more smiling headset-wearing woman to illustrate the concept of customer service or a man screaming depict dissatisfaction or frustration. Be just a little bit creative, and you will be rewarded. You will appear more professional and will catch the attention of your visitors. Instead, pay a couple of dollars for a more subtle, interesting image and use PicMonkey or Canva to add interesting touches that make it your own.
Beware Image Copyright Issues
Just a quick reminder the fact that an image is online does not mean it is free for the taking. While most individuals will simply ask you to remove an image of theirs unfairly reused, big companies like Getty (iStockphoto) WILL pursue outrageous damages (starting at $780 per image) for copyright infringement. Keep yourself in the clear by using images only from royalty-free sites like BigStock or completely free sites such as stockxchng.
Do you need help getting more traffic to your website? We can help! With inbound strategies for content, lead generation and converting leads to customers, we can change your business for the better. See if we might be a good fit request a consultation today. Or, learn more about our key service offerings.