Using photos with your blog posts is one of the most effective, easiest, and simplest things you can do to grab the your reader’s attention. Using photos can make your blog look better and make your articles easier to read. No one enjoys reading a massive wall of text, adding a picture to give the reader’s eye a break is appreciated. What are some important things to remember if you want to start using photos in your blog posts in an efficient way? Here are 5 tips on how to use photos on blogs effectively.
Tip #1 – Use a relevant photo
It is true that being creative is one thing, but using a completely irrelevant photo to accompany your blog posts is another. If you write a blog post about fleas on dogs (to give but one suggestion), it makes little sense to have a picture of an African bullfrog that accompanies your post. Using photos effectively means that they complement your writing, not take away from it.
Tip #2 – Do not ignore the SEO aspect
You probably know that the right photo can increase the chance that your reader continues reading on, create interest, and set the tone for your writing, but did you know that photos could help your blog when it comes to SEO ranking as well? Instead of giving your picture a generic name such as “picture003.jpg,” use a keyword for your blog. Remember that SEO is mostly about making the information accessible, and if the search engine crawlers cannot make up their mind about what content your blog offers, chances are that you are missing out. It is also important to take the time to fill out your alt tags. Always use alt tags and captions, or you are missing an opportunity to provide search engines with details about your blog.
Tip #3 – Photos can be a call to action
Everyone has heard the expression that “a picture is worth a thousand words;” the same goes for your blog. No matter the quality of your writing, a good photo can be a great call to action. The footer and sidebar are the perfect place to have photos that link to products, events, resources, etc… – anything you want as a call to action. Use a photo to make it clear to the reader that you want them to take a certain action.
Tip #4 – Make sure you have the right to use them
Now this has very little to do with ‘effective’ use but if you use work copyrighted by someone else, you would not be the first person to be caught doing so. In fact, copywriting company Webcopyplus recently paid upwards of $4,000 because of copyright infringement over a single picture. What would the actual cost of the picture have been if they had gotten the license? $10.00. It is not just relatively new companies too that make these mistakes, as the L.A. Times is in hot water because they used 500 pictures without permission.
Tip #5 – Adjust the picture if you need to
It is perfectly okay to tweak your images: you can adjust the properties (dimensions, alignment, border) – anything in order to make sure that the photo looks perfect. You do not want it to appear as though the photo was placed on your blog arbitrarily.
It is also perfectly okay to resize the image if you think it is too big. Even though standard Internet connections are getting faster and many users are using high resolution screens, anything over 600 x 400 pixels qualifies for resizing. The last thing you want is someone waiting several seconds before a picture loads; this would detract from his or her experience of your blog.