Great blogs, often times come with powerful images. However, using an irrelevant image could confuse your readers and make them leave your blog, sooner than you think. So are you wondering how to use images correctly in your web content? You could be doing some of these mistakes so let’s find out.
(1) Where to Get Them?
If you are new to blogging, you are likely to source for your images online. You could either use paid sites that offer high quality images or free sites, whereby the image quality are just as good, but you might have to do some digging to find the right one.
Unless you are striving for originality and tip-top professional look for your website, I personally find that the resources from free sites work just great. The only requirement for you to use them lawfully online is to include attribution to the image source on your site.
If you are looking for more originality without spending too much money, you can always take your own photos such as using Instagram (they take awesome pictures!!!) and upload them onto your blog post.
Whenever you do this, just make sure that you follow these safety internet tips to protect your privacy online.
(2) Are They Relevant?
It’s obvious that you should be using images that are relevant to your blog post. Objective oriented articles like products or service related usually have plenty of image resources, but subjective oriented articles such as tutorials or discussion based are a bit more challenging to find.
But there’s a way around it. Just the other day, I was reading an article about friendship building (discussion oriented) and the featured image was none other than a dog and his owner. Is that relevant at all? Absolutely! The dog is a symbol of a man’s best friend and the photo is a perfect representation of the topic.
So, think creatively and you’ll be surprised with various image choices out there.
(3) What Is the Format?
There are generally three types of image formats that you should know.
- GIF – For small-sized pictures with line art, simple designs or 2-3 colored logos.
- PNG – For nice looking images in small files (not ideal for professional printing).
- JPG – For colorful and complex images (just like photographs). This is the format that most of us are familiar with.
All of these are good for a blog post and the choice largely depends on the relevancy of the image to your web content.
(4) How Do You Check for Quality?
One of the tenets of image quality is understanding the concept of pixels, which are basically tiny little boxes on the PC screen. Generally, the more the pixels, the better quality you’ll be getting out of a photo because it shows more details.
When it comes to editing, higher pixels can be shrunk to maintain the quality of the images, but when enlarging smaller pixels, the image can turn out to be of very poor quality and look distorted.
As the pixels increase, so does the file size. Too big a file can cause the page to load slower and this is not good for the user experience. So it would be wise to keep the size range between 300-400kB or less.
A great site that can do all these image editing for free is PicMonkey and it is user friendly too.
Another attribute that defines an image quality actually derives from the guidelines of photography and it is called ‘The Rules of Third’. For example, an image can be divided into 3 horizontal and 3 vertical imaginary lines (see image below).
According to the guideline, any subject that falls along or at the intersection of these lines, will give the image more tension, energy and make it looks more natural to the human eyes.
So if you have the choice, find or take an image that favor this guideline to give your blog a more professional look.
(5) What about Adding Text?
For images that you want to provide a side-by-side description, you could add text to the images by using an online program called Monosnap. I often use this free software to add relevant text or edit screenshots to the pictures that I took (just like what I did with the two images above).
Another form of image with text that you are probably familiar with by now is called an infographic. Most infographics are pretty long images that can really take up a lot of space in a blog and hamper the page loading speed.
So what I would often do is to crop a small portion of the infographic that’s relevant to my content and use the Responsive Lightbox plugin to pop up the image for better readability. Click the infographic on your right to see what I mean.
Alternatively, you can also create your own infographic using Piktochart and embed it on your website.
(6) Important Tips for Attachment
These tips would apply if you are using WordPress to create your website. When adding an image (also known as the media), you would see a column on your right that says attachment details.
- Fill out an appropriate TITLE for the image instead of using the default name such as IMG1234, which doesn’t make any sense.
- Use your targeted long tail keywords in the ALT TEXT as this provides additional information for search engines to crawl your site.
In attachment settings, do consider aligning the image to the right side of the text (instead of the left). There are actually a few theories for this.
- The general reading pattern is normally from left to right, so naturally, important text content should come before an image.
- 90% of the world’s population are right handed people so they generally ‘trust’ a site better when images are placed on the right.
- Google spiders also ‘read’ from left to right when they crawl your web page, hence the importance of adding Title Tags and Alt Text as mentioned previously.
Next, link the image to your WordPress media if you want it to show up in the light box feature, or to a custom URL if you want to point it to a certain webpage, which can either be internal or external. Choosing ‘none’ will render the image non-clickable.
Lastly, Share It Socially
I couldn’t think of one social network that doesn’t like fancy images. Pinterest is a good example that people use to share about their business blogs these days. So once you have completed a fantastic article, remember to always share the content and images with your readers.
I hope you have found some values from this article. If you like to learn more, check out this video training by Jay from Wealthy Affiliate as he walks you through how to use images effectively on your web content.
Do you have any thoughts or questions about using images on your content? Please leave them below and I’ll get back to you.