Images can make your blog much more interesting to readers. When used correctly, they can even help your blog rank better in the search engines. Yet there are several points to consider when using images in your blog posts.
You want to make sure you use pictures that you have the legal right to use. You should also learn how to optimize any images you use to get the maximum benefit from them. The following tips will help you get the most out of the images you use on your blog.
Why Use Images in Your Blog Posts?
Some bloggers may wonder why they should use images at all. If your blog is on a topic that does not require pictures to explain it, you may never have even thought of doing this. Yet the internet is becoming more and more oriented towards both images and videos.
Jasmine concludes that images make your blog posts more appealing and accessible. People prefer to look at a page with some nice graphics rather than at paragraph after paragraph of text. Even if an image is not necessary to make your point, it can still be worthwhile to put one in.
Another reason is that it gives you another way to optimize your blog posts with the search engines. While at this time, Google and other search engines do not rank sites based on images per se, they do look at things like the description in the alt text. This is the primary way you optimize your images for the search engines, and it allows you to use anchor text and keywords with all your images.
Where to Get Images
There are all types of images on the internet, so you have many choices when looking for ones to use. You may also want to use your own photographs. If you are a graphic artist or web designer, you may be skilled at creating your own images.
If you are taking images from the internet, the first thing you have to be careful about is copyright issues. You ca not simply take any image you like and use it on your blog. This can get you into legal trouble, or at the very least unpleasant emails from the person or company that owns the image.
Fortunately, you can find many sources of images online that you are allowed to use. Some of these images are free, while others you have to buy. Here are a few sites where you can look:
- iStockPhoto -This site has many high quality images, but they do charge you.
- Flickr -This is one of the biggest photo sites on the internet. Many images here are restricted, but they also have a large creative commons section where you can search and use the images.
- Stock.Xchng -Here you can find thousands of stock free photos. In some cases you are required to notify the owner if you use them, but they are all free.
That is just a small sampling of the sites where you can find stock free or creative commons images. You are much better off using a site like that rather than pulling an image off of Google Images or a random website, which could get you into trouble.
Choosing the Right Images
When you search for images, you should pick ones that are relevant to your site's main topic. This goes hand in hand with SEO. It will not do you any good to optimize your images if they are not relevant to your main keywords.
For example, if your blog is about web hosting, it makes sense to choose images related to web hosting, servers and domain names. You can then put keywords related to this niche in your images. Putting unrelated images in your blog post will not harm you (at least if you do not make a habit of it), but it will not help your blog for SEO purposes. You can see this very clearly in a high profile web hosting website, such as 100WebHosting.com. All their images are unique and very much related to their posts’ topics.
As long as you are going to be using images, you should also choose ones that will be eye-catching to your audience. This can help you keep your visitors on your site longer. If they scroll down the page and see interesting images, they will be more inclined to explore your blog.
Tips For Optimizing Your Images
Once you have chosen an image, you should do everything you can to make it as search engine friendly as possible. There are a few ways to do this.
- File Name -You should choose a file name that contains some relevant keywords.
- Image Title -This is another place where you get a chance to use keywords. You do this on your blog before you insert the image into your post.
- Alt Tag -This is the descriptive area where you can use keywords that the search engines can read. This is simply a brief description of the image, so it will be quite natural to use relevant keywords.
We have looked at a few good reasons to use images in your blog posts. You do not necessarily have to use an image with every single blog post, but it is good to use them when it is appropriate.
The main points to keep in mind are:
- Use relevant and interesting images
- Make sure you have the right to use them
- Optimize all your images
This can make your blog more attractive to both readers and search engines. As the internet gets more oriented towards visuals, it is a good idea to keep up with this trend and use images in a smart way.