At first glance, you probably think blogging is all about the writing. While it’s certainly important, the most successful bloggers know you need more than just words in your posts. In order to combat shrinking attention spans and keep readers engaged, thoughtful visuals are an essential part of every blog post.
The truth of the matter is, after you hit publish, virtually no one will read every single word of your blog post. Today’s blog readers aren’t so much readers as they are skimmers and scanners. Content marketing strategies that don’t take this fact into account are doomed to fail.
Because longer content performs best in search, you don’t want to make your blog posts shorter. Instead, you should focus your efforts on making your content more easily digestible for readers. That means enhancing your blog posts with visuals that complement and support what you’ve written.
Visual communication is imperative to your content marketing strategy. However, you can’t just copy and paste a few images before calling it a day. To make the most of visuals in blog posts, you must understand the various options and how to incorporate them effectively.
How Visuals Add Value to Blog Posts
It might seem overwhelming to have yet another task to add to your to-do list, but making time in your editorial calendar for visual content creation (or delegating this important task to a trusted team member) is more than worthwhile. For proof, you only need to recall this old adage: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
That’s not to say that words don’t have power on their own, but considering that the majority of people are visual learners, enhancing your blog posts with visuals increases the chance that the readers consuming your content will retain your message and gain something valuable from it. Utilizing visuals in blog posts is an opportunity to connect with your audience on a deeper level. If your content is easy to understand and contains useful information, your readers are likely to return for more in the future.
Not only do visuals help break up the text and highlight key points, but they are useful for keeping your readers engaged with your post for longer. Just because someone is scanning your post doesn’t mean they aren’t spending time on the page. Search engines such as Google take session duration and average time on a page into consideration when ranking websites. Similarly, visuals provide opportunities for search engine optimization such as keyword-rich alt text.
Visual communication is a powerful way for digital marketers to connect with consumers, and if you want to establish a meaningful connection with your audience, you must implement the appropriate visuals in your blog posts.
Types of Visuals to Include in Posts
Not every type of visual is right for every blog post. To reap the benefits of using visuals in blog posts, you must understand the various types of visuals.
To start, images are the simplest visual and an easy way to break up your text. Using original images is preferable, but in a pinch, stock photography will do the trick. Interested in doing your own photography for your blog? Thanks to the powerful camera on your smartphone, you don’t need fancy equipment to take great pictures. Understanding the rule of thirds and keeping your lens clean will go a long way toward creating effective, original imagery for your blog posts.
Images have enjoyed a long reign as the most popular type of visual in blog posts, but that’s rapidly changing with the rise of video. Of all the forms of visual content, video is arguably the most engaging, with platforms such as YouTube growing exponentially.
Simply embedding a related video into your blog post can boost the post’s overall performance. As with images, you can create original videos specifically for blog posts or repurpose video content. Whether you yourself or a trusted source created it, consider embedding it into your post to add additional value and further serve your readers.
Videos and images are a good place to start, but you should strive to use a mix of visuals in each blog post. Other types of visuals to include in blog posts include screenshots, infographics, pull quotes, and interactive graphics. These visuals are useful if you’re describing a complex process or highlighting statistics. Visuals such as these break up the text, provide clarification and are invitations to your audience to share your content.
Tips to Incorporate Visuals Effectively
With your visuals selected, it’s time to make a plan to incorporate them effectively into your blog posts. First and foremost, ensure you have enough visuals to embed one approximately every 400 words. Keep in mind that people are more likely to read the few lines before and after your visual so capitalize on that text.
In addition to the visuals, utilize various text formats such as headlines, subheadlines, and bulleted lists to break up the text. When implemented together, visuals and formatting create a skimmable blog post that readers can scan and still take away the most important points.
From enhancing comprehension and deepening the relationship with your audience to keeping visitors on your website longer, visuals are a key component in successful blog posts. Whether you’re new to content creation or an old pro, be sure to leave space in your editorial calendar for conceiving value-packed visuals that will help take your blog posts to the next level.