Maybe 1,000 words of text was okay in 2001, but it’s 2012 now and tastes have changed! Images are now vital to the popularity and shareability of web content.
People just like visual content. Whether it is images, videos or even the design on the page and site – if you grab attention with your content then you encourage clicking, engaging and sharing!
Every blog post we write involves a trip to Photoshop, whether it is just to touch up an image and optimise it for the web, to manipulate an image for our purposes or even to create images from scratch. Photoshop is an essential tool for anyone involved in web content.
In fact, a lot of the people who come on our 2 day Photoshop course are there to learn how to use the tool so they can make their site more attractive to users.
We also have a Photoshop for Web Graphics course that looks specifically at images for web content – ideal for any current or future bloggers!
Still not convinced? These 5 reasons should change your mind:
1. Images draw attention on a page
When creating content on your site – product pages, blog posts or any type of page – you can use images to draw your visitors’ attention to a particular point on the page.
For example, if you have a particular offer on a product just writing that into the product description isn’t going to attract attention. Create a banner or advert like image to instantly draw potential customer to the offer.
Images can be used to break up big chunks of text and, by placing an image just above the fold, it also encourages people to scan down and continue reading. They scroll down to see the rest of the image and continue to read the post.
Many heat map studies have shown that web users focus most of their attention on images on websites, so don’t just be happy with one image at the top of the page. Dot images throughout your content and keep your users visually stimulated.
2. Images demand sharing
Twitter is currently alone in a sea of image based social networks, all the others attach image snippets, or in the case of Pinterest just show an image! Users are far more likely to share your content if it has an amusing, interesting or controversial image than if it is plain text.
Especially if you work in Photography or Design, your pictures are what make you stand out and not your writing.
3. Pictures say a thousand words
If you are struggling to make a point with words then you should try using pictures to illustrate your point. How To’s and guides work better with examples and screenshots that show the reader exactly how to do something. It’s often frustrating to read a ‘how to’ post and find that the instruction doesn’t match the reality. With images you can check that you are following the instructions exactly and compare the results.
Have a look at our tutorial on saving for the web in Photoshop as an example. By annotating screen shots, Craig created images that not only helped the learner but that were easily shareable.
4. Image encourage clicks from social shares
Killer headlines are important for clicks from social networks, but images are too. Especially on Pinterest, where all users see is an image.
Your followers (or the followers of people who share your content) are more likely to click on a link that has a great image attached, not only because they want to see the image in full but also because shares with images attached stand out on social timelines.
5. Images gain traffic from Google Images Search (and other reputable image search engines)
As well as gaining traffic from social media, you should also consider image search engines as a great way to gain clicks. Make sure your image filename, title and alt title include the keywords for your content. Then, when users search for images, they will click through to your page.
Just make sure the page itself is good enough to convert this traffic, otherwise they may just turn up, nab your image and disappear, leaving a high bounce rate in their wake. If you’re worried about people using your images then add a watermark or an indiscreet logo, people are going to use your images no matter what your attribution policy is so at least make it forced attribution. If the image goes viral, your name is attached and you get great exposure!
Similar posts you may like:
- Pinteresting Images – Pinterest’s Visual Social Network
- Image SEO – Gain Traffic Through Google Image Search
- Different Uses of Contrast in Web Design
- 5 Tools to Print Pictures from Facebook, Instagram and Other Social Sites
- Five Best Free Photo Sharing Websites