If your business sells physical products, you will want to add pictures to your blog posts quite naturally. You are going to want to showcase your products, maybe even get a professional photographer to take amazing product shots to show them at their best. If you are said photographer, your business IS pictures, so again, you will obviously want to include these in your blog posts. But what about the rest of us? What about all those businesses who provide services, some of which really don’t lend themselves easily to photos? Do all types of businesses really need images in blog posts?
The short answer: yes, they do. And here is why.
Advantages of using images
When you add an image to a blog post, you enhance your article, you make it look better. This improves user experience on your website and people are likely to stay that little bit longer on your website. Google likes this, and will, therefore, rank your website a little bit higher.
Pictures also pull through to the preview of an article when you share your blog posts on social media. And social media posts with images get a lot more engagement (likes, comments, click-throughs and shares) than updates without. As the main point of using social media is engagement, this is usually enough of a reason for most people.
Images in blog posts can provide even more SEO (search engine optimisation) benefits if you apply two little tricks.
How to improve your search engine optimisation with pictures
Make sure that
- The keyword you optimise your article for is part of the filename of the image. So don’t use the generic name. This is usually something like img1234.jpg . Rename it to something more meaningful such as weddingbouquet.jpg if you are a florist and your article is all about wedding bouquets.
- You add said keyword to the ALT tag in the image. An ALT tag is the bit of text that appears on the website if the picture doesn’t load for one reason or another. You are then usually presented with a placeholder for the image as well as some text – the ALT tag. It’s also sometimes called ALT text or alternative text. Alt text is also used by software for the visually impaired to let them know what they’re looking at.When you upload a picture to your blog, you should be presented with several options including which size to display, whether to centre the image, etc. Look for a field where you can add alternative text, alt text or alt tag and add your keyword there. This is important because Google uses this bit of text for search engine optimisation, so make sure you don’t leave it blank.
Don’t use Google images in blog posts!
An important word of warning. Don’t simply copy and paste pictures from Google images. Most of these pictures are copyrighted and you are legally forbidden to use them, especially for commercial purposes. Use a reputable stock image website, such as istockphotos.com or gettyimages.com where you can buy pictures at reasonable prices. If you your budget does not allow this, use Creative Commons Image Search (a collection of free to use images on the web) but do check whether you need to credit the source. Another great resource is pixabay.com where you will find free to use images that you don’t have to credit. And yes, it’s legal, and their images are pretty awesome.
When looking for images, simply type your keyword in the search bar and see what comes up. Even if your keywords are not product related, but are concepts and ideas, pictures will come up that will convey the mood or concept of the keyword. This will make your article more appealing to your readers and provide all the benefits above.
Over to you
Do you have any free image sites you like to use? Let’s make this blog post an even more useful resource and share them in the comments. Thank you! 😊