To summarize the findings in a study done by Jeff Bullas about the importance of good images in your blogs, social media posts and on your website they're critical.
We live in an age of visual sophistication and a visual culture. Since everyone who has a smart phone is snapping images and uploading them, we're inundated with images. But not necessarily GOOD images. And the good ones stand out.
If you’re blogging for your company, you’d better use good images, because they’re a reflection on your product or service. It’s not a stretch to say the better the image, the better, more professional image viewers will have of your organization.
Why good images are so critical?
- Articles with images get 94% more total views
- Including a photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%
- 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results
- In an e-commerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product
- In an online store, customers think that the quality of a product’s image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%)
- Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27% (this translates to a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text)
There’s simple ways to adapt to the “Visual Culture” in your business:
- On your website or blog: no matter what your product of service, you need to use high quality, high definition photos to engage your visitors
- On Facebook, it is just as important to include photos in your posts. Just posting text and links is a recipe for not engaging people
And while this formula sounds simple, it doesn’t seem to be for many companies. They’re either not convinced they should pay for professional images, or they don't want to pay for good stock photos.
#1 reason not to use $1 stock image websites
- they’re $1 stock images. They're so cheap, too many folks are using them.
See the three images of the model below? She is the most popular model in most stock photo houses. She is all over the place, which means you should never use an image with this woman in it.
Next best tip for stock images
Try not to use images where the model is looking at the camera and smiling (if you can help it).
Images where the people aren’t looking into the camera feel much more spontaneous and natural. Hopefully, you can tell the different between the middle image which is kinda corny, and the bottom image which appears to be more spontaneous and less "stock-y."
While we’re making suggestions, let’s mention…
links in and our of your website
One thing which gives your blogs, and website, credibility is having links to back up whatever claims you’re making.
By showing a third party that has done a study or research on the topic you’re writing about, it helps your claims.
It also shows you keep up on studies within your industry so you stay current on topics that affect what you do for your clients.
And while creating links to other websites (as long as they are credible websites) does give you some SEO juice with Google, though they're not as powerful as links back to your websites from other sources. When other people link back to your website, it shows Google and other search engines you have good content worth sharing.
However, not all back links are equal. The ones you create yourself through social media, aren’t as strong as the ones others create to share your content.
length of your blot posts
Research shows people share longer blog posts of 1,500 words or more. (That is assuming the blog posts are actually worthwhile.)
This humorous blog post entitled “You Won’t Finish This Article, gives some great insight into how quickly people drop off reading articles.
And this article by The Verge explains why people share articles without ever reading them.
When you’re dealing with human nature, it’s a tough thing to anticipate what they'll do. All you can do, is offer is insight that might help them in their jobs or lives, and hope they share what you have to say, and maybe even come back to your website themselves to learn more.
Good luck blogging and keep those images looking good!