My grandpa used to say to me, "Son, opinions are like armpits; everyone has, at least, one," an adage that is most certainly true when it comes to the topic of whether or not to have an image on a blog.
You can google it for yourself and you will find a plethora (that’s more than you can shake a stick at) of opinions on whether or not your blog should have an image.
In case you don't want to actually Google it and get lost in the sea of conflicting articles, I'll just go ahead and put the question to rest for you. Yes. You should have an image on your blog.
Unless you are Seth Godin and have earned the right to be pithy, precise and pictureless, then your blog has to have an image.
And why should you believe my opinion when there are so many others out there that will either have similar or differing opinions? Because I’m going to wow you with things like proven statistics, scientific studies, and evidence so compelling you won’t ever post a blog post again without an image attached to it.
6 MIND-BLOWING REASONS YOUR BLOG MUST HAVE AN IMAGE
Fact One: We Live In an Ever-Growing Visual Culture
Just take a look at the impact that social media has had on our desire for images. It has altered the way we live our lives. Most of us are never anywhere without a camera and over 300,000 pictures are uploaded to the internet every minute. That doesn't even include the ones we text and email!
- Pinterest, with its current 70 million users has grown at a staggering pace of 400% month over month growth since it’s inception in March 2010.Source: PriceGrabber
- Facebook radically altered the look of user profiles to allow for significantly larger photos in the newsfeed, as well as the addition of the real-estate grabbing cover photo. In addition, Facebook spent 1 billion dollars acquiring the visual culture giant Instagram, because the image-only app was cutting into the market share Facebook had. Source: Business Insider
- And speaking of Instagram, in just one year, Instagram grew from 1 million users to 15 million users, grabbing the lion’s share of picture-based social networks. Source: NY Times
With that kind of growth and money being thrown at making room for image-based networks, we simply cannot afford to ignore the fact that our culture is driven by visual connection.
Fact Two: If Your Brain Held a Contest, Images Would Win
Your brain is a picture eating machine. Of all the ways your brain receives information, (think back to elementary school and those lessons on the 5 senses) sight is the brain's number one source for input. In fact,
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Source: 3M Corporation
- Your brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does text. Considering the amount of competition online for your reader’s attention, this one speaks for itself. Source: Zabisco
Fact Three: SEO Loves Your Images Too
If you are like me at all, you have assumed (and rightly so) that SEO is all about the verbiage, where text is king, and keywords rule the world. So what does that have to do with images?
- Naming Your Images Matters
Your image has a filename, and that filename should not be a random series of numbers.jpg. Make sure that the image file name uses one or more of your keywords. Example Benefits-of-images-in-Blogs.jpgOnce you give it a name, set the title, alt and description text for the image as well. Your visitors won’t see these, but search engines will. And they love them.
Fact Four: People DO in Fact, Judge a Book By Its Cover
People measure the character, quality, and reliability of your company by the images you choose (or don't choose).
- When searching for a product or service online, consumers will choose one with an image over one without an image 60 to 1. SIXTY TO ONE. . . Source: mheducation.com
- When it comes to e-commerce, 67% of consumers say the quality of the image is very important in deciding whether or not to purchase. Source: mheducation.com
- Additionally, 63% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase a product based on an image instead of a product description Source: Infinity Technologies
- Your imagine will appear as a thumbnail in social media forums, search engines and even your own blog. Is it compelling enough to draw the reader’s attention and get them to click through? Does it convey what the blog will be about?
- 46.1% of people say a website's design is the number one way they determine the credibility of a company. Source: Standford Persuasive Lab
Fact Six: Images Increase Engagement
Want more people to interact with your brand, your blog, your social media platform? Use an image. It really is that simple.
- When Facebook’s timeline for brands launched, they saw a 65% increase in engagement in just one month. Source: Simply Measured
- Similarly, the engagement rate on Facebook for photo averages 37% where text only is 27% (this translates to be a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text) Source: Dan Zarrella
- And lastly, Facebook users see an advantage when it comes to the performance of photos over text, videos and links. Source: Dan Zarrella
To answer the question once and for all, “Should my blog have an image?” I say an emphatic, “Yes.” Yes, that is, if you want to see growth in your business, in traffic to your site or blog, and an increase in your social media engagement.