Janet Peischel

Janet Peischel

You may be a great writer but content without images will produce disappointing results.

We’re drawn to content that contains rich, attractive graphics. Adding images to an article can nearly double its views and 67 percent of users say that images are more important than descriptions when making a purchase.

Thoughtful image selection

Just adding an image is not enough. It needs to be relevant, visually appealing and appropriate for your audience.

Does it convey your message? Click-bait companies may have some success using an unrelated image for their web ads, but you should be in it for the long haul.

Does it fit your brand? Images should tell a story about your company’s brand — your integrity, customer service and industry expertise.

Is it engaging? Drab, boring images don’t engage you and they won’t engage your readers.

I write a regular blog for a legal company, and we used to use uninspiring images of legal documents — trusts, deeds, etc.

When we thought this through and realized that we were all about creating peace of mind or improving lives for the people behind these documents, we began posting pictures of happy families and couples taking care of each other and we experienced a huge boost in views.

How many images should you use?

There’s no magic number, but you can use more than you might think. Including good images does the following:

Breaks up the text for improved readability.

Can increase your search engine optimization (SEO) value.

Provides more options for social-media shares and engagement.

Each image should

serve a purpose

Think about screenshots, for instance, that will illustrate a new website or function. Images break up a page and make it more accessible. Use two or three images, but beware load times and mobile users.

Size matters

If you’re downloading images from your phone or stockphoto sites, reduce the size of those beasty files.

For websites and social media, 800 x 1,000 pixels is a recommended size. For social media, I generally reduce the size of my images to 650 to 750 pixels.

Remember that more than 60 percent of users are accessing everything on their phones, so streamlining design and delivery is essential.

Best practices: Don’t forget to name your images

If you download your images, they’ll have a number. Rename these images with something descriptive.

Think about the topic of the article and what people would be keying into a search engine to find this information, then name the images accordingly.

Missed SEO value

of images

Do think about images and their ability to increase your SEO value. When you upload images to your website, you’ll see a field to identify an alt tag for each image.

This should be a description that makes sense to the reader — it’s a summary of the image. If you’re adding an alt tag to a graph, make it a summary of the data.

Great images won’t save bad content

But thoughtful, quality images can increase traffic, improve engagement, increase conversions and improve the overall experience for your audience.

Janet Peischel is a writer, Internet marketing expert and the owner of Top of Mind Marketing. Contact Janet at 510-292-1843 or jpeischel@top-mindmarketing.com.