Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Images Improve Blog Traffic

I'm often slow about adopting new things. As such, I realize many bloggers already employ images in their blog posts on a regular basis. In fact, I even started using them more regularly in the final months of 2011 (and my traffic increased).


Images can be relevant, thought-provoking, humorous, etc.

Here are some reasons why images improve blog traffic:
  1. Improves blog content. As a writer, I naturally want to think that my words alone are the content. However, images are content too, and they play a vital role in improving blog design. The more relevant the image the more it improves the content.
  2. Increases visibility on social media sites. Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn all reward links that include images by making them more visible in their streams and feeds and flows (and whatever elses). Heck, Tumblr is a visual blogging paradise.
  3. Provides additional traffic via search engines. I've noticed some random posts gaining traction over the past few months, including one on fantasy football and one on remembering 9/11. Both seem to be gaining traction for two reasons: one, good SEO title; two, good SEO images.
One last reason: Recently, I was contacted by Kelly DiNorcia, who mentioned that she's an active user of Pinterest to "bookmark" resources she'd like to view later. Anyway, she said, "I tried to pin your 12/19 post 'Advice for Writers: 013' and it WOULD NOT PIN! I got an error message that said that it was because there was no image on the page to associate with the pin...I tried pinning other pages too, with no luck. I just wanted to let you know of the issue, I'm not sure how it can be corrected (or if you even care to correct it at all) but I thought you probably wouldn't want to miss out on an opportunity for social networking your site! It might be as easy as just including a graphic (photo or video) with each of your posts, or putting a photo in the header..."

Even though I've never used Printerest myself, this helped underscore the main point: Using images is imperative to maximizing blog traffic--even in ways I couldn't possibly anticipate.

Pssst...Here are a few tips on including images:
  • Include images that are relevant. Or humorous. Or thought-provoking.
  • Name the image file something relevant. If it's an image of a specific person or place, include that in the image file name. Think of possible search terms people might use on Google or Yahoo.
  • Use captions. This helps with search and with improving the relevancy of the image to the post, which only improves the overall content of the blog.
*****

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.



*****

Check out previous Not Bob advice for writers:

19 comments:

catyork said...

Also - If you borrowed the image from a place that collects or produces images - it's nice to quote the source and give the person credit. I borrow some of my literary images from someone who takes the time to find things that are public domain. I make sure to give the link at the bottom of my post.
Good topic, Robert. Thank you.

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Good point, Cat. If you can credit and/or link sources, it's always the right thing to do (and karma is important online).

catyork said...

As I'm learning from some of my blunders. Thanks again. :)

Jen said...

I started trying to include an image with every post a year or so ago, and my favorite way to do that is Wylio.com. It searches Flickr for images that are creative common licensed and will build an embed code for you that includes the image and proper attribution. It really simplifies the process, and you can know it's legal. I wish I were better at photography and designing my own images, but this is the next best thing.

Robert Lee Brewer said...

If I didn't blunder, I'd never learn, Cat. :)

Jen, thanks for the great tip!

Jo said...

For the last year I have been blogging about my experience in writing my book, The Call, to a small group of friends and members of my writing group. Now that I am finishing my last edit I have been trying to take my blogging more seriously and found yours. All of your suggestions are spot on! Thanks so much for the suggestions! I will post a picture today (if I figure out how!) Thanks to Jen for the Wylio.com site I will check into it.

Visto989 said...

Awesome. Appearance is everything, whether online or not.

parttimenovel said...

Great post! I am learning a lot from your blog. Thank you for sharing your insights!

Kelly @ Ahimsa Mama said...

Look at me, all being quoted and stuff! LOL

Robert Lee Brewer said...

I don't know if I'd go as far as saying appearance is everything, but it is very important.

Thanks, everyone, for commenting!

Thank you, Kelly, for helping bring this post together!

Mary Mansfield said...

I'd never really considered the importance of images on my blog but have decided to give it a try...couldn't hurt anyway! Thanks for the great info.

Anuschka said...

"Name the image file something relevant"... Never thought this would be important... Thanks for the tip! Also linking where you found the image is great advice. It is a learning process... this blogging thing isn't it?
I appreciate the great information.

Jude said...

Love this info! I was just researching this subject since I'm trying to set up a new Life Coaching website. I know nothing about Blogging and practically nothing about setting up a website, but this was great info. I love any and all advice about how to market my new endeavor and attracting clients quickly! thanks again! Jude

Pssst Poster said...

Great tip & now posted on Pssst.com Thanks for the Pssst! Can you figure out why?

catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com said...

This might be one of the most talked about subjects in 2011, or it seems like it. I love using pictures and need to look back where I may not have given credit to every single one. I'd like to start using some of my own photos since I have such a variety by now. Great post!

Denise said...

I had no idea why images were important until this post. My development team told me to use them and said they were important, so I do. Now I know why! Thanks much!

Traci Loudin said...

Interesting! I guess I always thought that, as writers, we don't need to depend on images. After all, our novels really only have one image with them: the cover. So why should our blogs need them? Thanks for answering the why, and thanks to Jen for answering the how!

Galileo Unchained said...

Another aspect of a photo is it gives you the chance to find an iconic visual version of your message. It's an opportunity to appeal to the visual side of the mind in a synergistic way.

Couple of suggestions for where to get images: Wikimedia is a great place, of course. Another is Flickr (there's a way to show only Creative Commons-licensed content so you can use the image without guilt).

Tracie Skarbo said...

I love sharing photos on my blog but you have just given me one more reason to do so. I always learn so much from your posts. I am so glad I have you on my reading list!