Blogging is a powerful tool for everyone from influencers, to content marketers, photographers, et al. Blogs have evolved from simple websites to being a key channel for businesses and individual bloggers to connect to their target audiences and build their digital presence.
As blogs have evolved, there has been a growing trend for more imagery and other visuals to also be included in blog articles.
It’s important to define what we mean by visuals. Visuals can mean a lot more than photos. And depending on the type of blog you’re writing, each can be impactful in its own way.
Here are some examples of visual content for blogs:
- High-quality still images
- Quote cards or other graphics
- Short-form videos
- Long-form videos
- Embedded tweets or Facebook posts also can act as a visual
- Interactive graphs or charts
- Slideshow presentations
- Annotated Screenshots – especially for tutorial blogs
We’ll explore some of the reasons why visuals like these are becoming more important and how they can help enhance your blog.
1. Keep the reader’s attention
Keeping someone’s attention in today’s digital world is a challenge. It’s estimated that it takes a user an average of 8 seconds to decide whether or not to stay on the page. 8 seconds! That is short for a decision on whether or not to read a 1000+ word blog article.
Having visuals in your blog is crucial for maintaining a reader’s attention. When they scroll through the content, you want to grab their attention. Visuals can give your blog the added boost to convince a reader to continue. They also serve to break up the text and increase readability.
Visuals can also aid in easily answering readers’ questions. For example, if you’re a food blogger, images really help the audience understand recipes and how the final product should look when you do it right. This applies to any type of education-based blog with tutorials or how-to guides.
2. Build brand equity, awareness, and trust
`Brand equity’ is a phrase that is thrown around a lot. It is about building trust with your readers, viewers, and customers. The more you build trust and authority in the space, the more brand equity you’ve built.
Adding professional-looking visuals to your blog can help build trust with your audience by signaling that they’ve found a high-quality site. When visuals are unique and help readers understand the content on the blog, it’s even better. Instead of stock-sourced photos, you are the source. Authenticity and original content adds value to your blogs and builds authority and trust.
3. More effective communication
Everyone learns differently. Some people are visual learners and need help by seeing the concepts being discussed. Understanding people learn different ways allows you to plan content that reaches a broader audience.
For example, some people will skip right over headers and look at the images, while others will focus on the headings and written content as they read. Having content on your blog that grabs the attention of all learning types lets you reach a broader audience.
Here are some examples of how visual content can help:
- Use infographics to explain data and trends
- Use video content to demonstrate a process
- Use screenshots and gifs to illustrate concepts
4. More organic traffic to your site
Visuals on your blog also enhance SEO. It creates more opportunities for search engines, like Google, to crawl your site and rank it higher on result pages. Organic traffic is ideal because it doesn’t cost you anything besides, of course, the time you’re putting into writing the blog.
Image Alt Text
Search Engines don’t crawl the text on an image. That is why you should always include image alt text when adding visuals to your blog, otherwise, you lose the opportunity to help crawlers understand what that content is. When you do a Google image search, Google uses the alt image text of photos, so if you do not have them, your images won’t rank on its results page.
More Efficient Content Repurposing
Visuals also allow you to increase organic traffic to your site through repurposed content. You can easily repurpose images for posts on visually-focused platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn, and you can repurpose videos on Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. Beyond repurposing on your own social media channels, visuals also help increase sharing of your content from others.
5. Increase conversions and ROI
If your blog exists to sell a product or service, then adding visuals to your blog can increase your conversions or Return On Investment (ROI). For brands with products, a blog with photos and videos showcases the products and inspires future purchases.
Even if you don’t sell a product, blogs can convert subscribers to an email list through a newsletter sign-up or for different downloads (i.e. e-books, whitepapers). In this case, visuals help grab the reader’s attention and convert them to your subscriber lists.
Thinking Outside the Visual Box
Visual content can help enhance your blog by communicating more effectively while building trust and authority. When done well, they can also help increase website conversions and drive more traffic to your blog.
Getting and keeping people’s attention is becoming harder over time. Visuals provide another tool for bloggers to use to keep their audience engaged and readers coming back for more.