Content marketing is not just about words. Images are as much a part of your content as the text – so being picture perfect has never been more important.
Reel readers in
No matter how fantastic an article is, big chunks of text will always put people off and may even repel them from a piece of writing altogether. This is where images swoop down and save the day. A picture speaks a thousand words, so the saying goes – but images are also a thousand more times attractive than huge blocks of text, which is why content marketers need to take advantage.
If a page looks too busy, demanding or strenuous on the eyes, a visitor may not even start reading and will flee to the safety of the browser to find a similar page that is less ‘cluttered’ and easier to scan. And that’s just it – most people don’t start off reading something in-depth; they scan a page to see whether it is worth reading before taking the plunge.
Using images in your content marketing articles
Images are your bait: using them in sensible areas of your articles, such as under sub-headings, will help your readers scan the page and encourage them to read the entire article. Even if they don’t read it straightaway, they might bookmark it and come back later.
You can also set a featured image, which means it shows up alongside the headline and a teaser on your dedicated blog or news page. Often it is the image that prompts people to click on an article, so if this tool is available on your CMS, use it!
Keep them reading
Hopefully once readers have taken the bait, they will continue to read because of the quality of the writing and how engaging the subject matter is. The key is to keep them reading until the end, thus keeping them on your page for as long as possible. Search engines reward sites that keep users onsite for longer and it also means customers are engaging with your brand better.
Another way to do this is to disperse relevant images evenly throughout a piece. Don’t feel as though you are limited to one. Equally, don’t feel that images have to be kept small – sometimes the larger the better!
Get Google to bite
Remember that while your content and SEO is mainly focused on your readers and potential customer base, search engines shouldn’t be too far from your mind. Google loves a bit of unique, high quality content – but it’ll also bite if it sees an image it likes.
Some sites gain a considerable amount of their Google traffic through Google Images rather than the main web search. If you want to rank well in Images, make sure your image files are aptly named i.e. content_marketing_image_importance rather than Pic32blog, and that similar keywords appear on the same page as the image.