Images matter. Whether you’re sharing on social media, designing your product pages, or creating blog posts. In today’s increasingly on-the-go society, images grab attention and hold it. They can intrigue, draw people in, and make your content more memorable. From an SEO perspective, they can also help your posts rank better in search engines as well.

It’s not enough to simply write up an article and share it online; for maximum impact, you’re going to want to ensure that you’ve included images in that post as well.

As Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Orbit Media puts it:

“A blog post without an image is like a postcard without a stamp.” 

It’s not going to go very far!

In business, images make a big difference when it comes to selling your brand to your audience. A number of studies have indicated that people purchase more frequently based on the images or design of website pages. In e-commerce especially, images matter. In some cases, even more than the product descriptions.

The easiest example is to consider your food ordering apps: are you more likely to purchase a chimichanga that just has a description or one that shows you what you’re about to eat? The right images should go along with your content and help to show your visitors what you’re trying to say. 

See: Ten stats that PROVE images work.

With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at a few reasons you’ll want to think about using images in each and every one of your posts and see some best practices for using them effectively.

Why Use Images In Your Posts?

Aside from the fact that they look nice, here are some reasons you’ll want to use images in your posts. Let’s take a look:

They Can Grab Attention and Help Your Posts to Get More Views

Marketing expert Jeff Bullas states that posts with images get 94% more total views than those without. Using images can capture your audience’s attention, drawing them in and making them want to read on. 

They Can Break Up the Text

Next, images are a great way to break up a long block of text. When hit with a wall of text, your online readers are far more likely to just skim through. But images help to catch their attention and can help to keep them moving on down the page.

They Can Help to Illustrate a Point

Images can help you to show your audience what you’re trying to say. This is one reason why images like screencaps and flow charts can be so effective. It shows in an instant what you’re trying to explain, helping to make your points clear.

They Can Direct Attention

Another good tip is to insert your images in a way where the person or animal within the image is looking at your CTA. This naturally draws the eye of your audience to the call to action and encourages them to click on it. It really works!

They Can Help You to Rank Better in Search

Images can also give you an opportunity to improve your SEO. By optimizing your images, you’ll have a better chance of ranking better in searches. Additionally, images can help to keep visitors on your page longer, further boosting your SEO.

They’re More Memorable

Using images can help your message to stick with your visitors for longer. 

Take a look at this chart from Orbitmedia on image retention with images versus without images after 72 hours:

(Source: Orbitmedia)

The majority of people remembered the content with an image after 72 hours, but only 10% remembered the content without an image.

Where to Find Images?

A few of the most popular free image sites include the following:

Free Image Sites

  • Pexels A good free image site.
  • Pixabay Pixabay allows you to search for photos, illustrations, or vector images.
  • Unsplash – Unsplash is a good, free site with lots of high-quality images.
  • Canva Featuring a built-in image editing tool, Canva also offers a range of free image options for you to choose from. 

Stock Image Sites (Pay-For)

If you’d like a more professional look to your images and a built-in interface that allows you to edit in your browser, then look no further than Shutterstock. Other pay-for options include Getty Images and Adobe Stock

Note: Just remember that not all stock images are created equally. Some have a definitively stock image feel to them –the giant white smiles of and people in suits shaking hands and climbing corporate ladders. For best results, make sure the stock images that you feel genuine and match your content. 

Your Own Images

Finally, don’t forget to use your own images as well. Photos that you’ve taken on your phone can be a great way to help potential customers connect with your brand. People want to see you and your team, and they want to see inside images of your business. Including these in your posts and sharing them on social media can be a great way to add an instant credibility boost to your company and helps people get to know you as well.

Using Eye-Catching Images in E-Commerce

Whether you license business images from image banks, use free photo libraries, or commission your own photography or graphics, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the most out of your images. Here are a few tips for using images as an e-commerce store.

Balance Words With Pictures

Viewers and customers want a simple, clear message as quickly as possible. They’d rather view messages in small bites. That means balancing images with words carefully on every page layout. The correct balance for online content is about one image for every 300 words.

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Showcase Your Products

For e-commerce stores, blog posts can be a great opportunity to feature images of your products in action. 

(Source: REI)

Hiking gear website REI featured this image in one of their articles. It’s helpful, relevant, and appears to showcase some of their gear at the same time.

(Source: Larq)

Likewise, Larq, a company that’s created self-cleaning bottles, features some great imagery in their posts as well.

Use Pictures of People

Research shows that customers like pictures of people. Images of people have been shown to be one of the most engaging forms of web content. In one study, users spent 10% more time looking at pictures of people on a page than they did reading the content associated with the pictures.

Use Infographics

Infographics are another visual you’ll want to start using in your blog posts. Since infographics allow readers to take in a great deal of content more quickly than plain text, they can be an especially great way to convey complex information. Some business practices or processes such as delivery, or after-care, sales guarantees, or complex product descriptions really benefit from being visualized and open to customer examination. The other benefit of infographics is that they’re the most widely shared image, so this expands your company’s reach.

Add Words to Images

Programs like Canva allow you to take an image and add words or create attractive infographics and social media posts. This can make a well-known –copyright-free or stock photo – into an image customized for your business. Or you can get your designers to create unique messages that combine words and images with impact. Canva also gives you access to a large variety of photos, videos, and vectors as well.

Tips for Formatting Images

Next up, you’ll want to ensure that you’re formatting those images correctly. This is important for your SEO and for helping to keep your visitors engaged and on your site. Here are some things to keep in mind when getting your images ready for the web.

Image Size

Keep those image files a reasonable size. Plenty of studies show that if your images load too slowly, your visitors will click away. Customers simply move on. According to one study by Akamai, two seconds is the new threshold of acceptability for e-commerce web page response times.

So what’s an optimal file size? That depends! A 15MB (megabyte) image is huge, where a 12KB (kilobyte) image is much more reasonable. If your file size is big, it means that your image dimensions are too large or the resolution is too high. Generally, a good size for a blog article is around 795×300 pixels.

For the best image sizes for social media platforms, see the infographic below:

Choose the Right File Type

The type of image file that you use can impact the load time as well. There are three main image options: GIF, PNG, and JPG. The best one for you will depend on what you’re looking for. JPG is very common and uses small file sizes, but it’s not the highest quality. PNG, on the other hand, offers a higher resolution but it also has a larger file size. GIF doesn’t support as many colors as PNG and JPG but it’s a good choice for some basic images. Take a look at this chart from Hostgator explaining the difference –at a glance.

(Source: Hostgator)

Use Responsive Images

Another way to boost your SEO is to use responsive images. This means that your image will be automatically resized for the device that your visitor is using. It’s an ideal way to optimize for visitors on mobile devices. If you’re using WordPress, this is already done for you if you use the “srcset” attribute.

Ensure Consistency

Images look best when they’re consistent. They should be consistent with your website’s look and feel. Try to make sure they’re consistent in style and size and match the rest of your website. Some brands have a set of filters or specific font that they use to ensure brand consistency.

Image Placement 

Always place your images near relevant text. In most cases, it makes sense to have the more important image at the top of the article.

Consider Lazy Loading

Lazy loading is a technique that helps to boost your website loading speed. It works by having your website wait to load the images that are lower on the page. This allows visitors to dive right in and start reading the top section of the content, without having to wait until everything loads to start. It can be a great option if you’re doing long-form content that has a lot of video or images. If you use WordPress, you can do this with a plugin.  


Finally, don’t forget to optimize your images for SEO. Your image name should be relevant and SEO-optimized, and the description should also make sense. Learn more about optimizing your images. See Google’s guidelines for optimizing your images as well.

As you can see, images matter. So make sure you’re using them in your content. By taking the time to ensure that your images are engaging and relevant to your brand, you’ll be able to create eye-catching posts that capture your audience’s attention and draw your readers in.

Images are important –and video is as well. Not sure how to get started? See Tips for Finding Video Topics.

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