Images are part of the content. For some people images are the content alone.
If text can deliver the complete information to the reader, images can trigger their imagination. So, it is important to select proper image for your blog post or else it can spoil the entire flavor of the blog post.
Selecting the images is not the end of the game. If your textual blog post is less than 20KB and your image weighs 500KB size in it, the page load time will automatically be increased smoothly under the mat thereby shooing away your readers without serving them the intended.
Selection is first step in the three-step process. Optimization is the second step in it. Optimization include resizing the image, creating or modifying the image as per the color and flavor of the blog post.
Do not relax when you are done with selection and optimization. The real skill needed is now i.e., where to add it? Selection and optimization of images is just gathering up and making up of things ready, like as in your favorite cookery programme on TV. Adding them in the right place will bring the beauty to the post and engage the readers for longer times.
Let dig out deep aspects in selecting the images, optimizing them and adding them in the right place of the blog post.
Selecting images for your blog post
Selecting images depicts your imagination and creative skills. No matter if you are selecting a ‘Labeled for reuse and modification’ image from Google images or creating a new one using canva.com, your mood at that time reflects in the selection of images.
Turn off your external moods – Do not let the your external moods affect the quality of your selection. Write down the text in the blog post completely first and later go for image selection. If you could not concentrate on selection task, just read out the full blog post once or twice to get the idea of what kind of images to add.
Select visually appealing images – Adding images of lower sizes is not the only constraint to follow, selecting the right one that when shared on social media should represent the information your blog post link contains.
Find some humor filled images along with information – If you ever had seen the memes on social media, you would have got an idea by now. Images that spill humor will attract the attention of viewers. Make some adorable humor filled images that matches the content of your blog post. These kind of images not only bring a lot of traffic but also amplifies the interest of the readers if placed in the right place on the page.
>> Scroll down to see the discussion about the positioning of the image.
Better create new images than selecting the pre-existed ones – New is always unique. Search engines and human readers like new and fresh content. If you want your blog post stand out among the rest, make sure you have every piece of it unique.
Consistent unique updates posted on your blog ranks it quicker and higher
Optimizing the images
As we talked about it before, selecting the images is just first part of the three-step process. Though you choose the very appealing images insulated against your external moods and disturbances, people won’t wait to see them unless they load faster along with the textual content.
The average patience rate of an average internet user waiting for a webpage to load is 5 seconds at minimum and 10 seconds at maximum. If you can’t make the images load before 4-7 seconds, they’re gone.
So, to make the images load quicker, to make them look perfectly fit into your blog post layout and to make them search engine friendly, you need to optimize them in every possible way.
Scale the image(s) – Scaling the images means cropping them to fit in your blog post layout. In other words, the width and height of the image should fit your blog post layout well. For example cropping down the image up to 640x420 is okay but, pushing the height of the image regardless of the width, say 640x500 or plus takes a lot of page space vertically and pushes the content down.
In one simple sentence,
Do not create oversized or undersized images (*size=in terms of scaling here)
Resize the images – A quality image weighs more than a Megabyte (MB) sometimes. Don’t you dare to post such larges images in your blog posts which increases the page load time of your article page. Instead, compress them using online tools like TinyPng, Image Optimizer, Optimizilla or any other software that you would prefer.
It is always recommended to maintain the size of the image under 100KB. If you are using more than one image in your blog post, better make it under 50KB without losing the quality
If you could observe, go to official websites of smartphone manufacturers and check the size of the images that they have used there, on their landing pages. If they can do it, we can do it too.
Give ‘title’ and ‘alt’ tag and never forget it – Title is what defines the whole content. What if you don’t put a title for your article and have written a top quality content? Will it be readable? Will anyone even take a look at it?
Images are the part of the content too. They need ‘title’ and ‘alt’ tags to be specified. ‘Title’ tag helps the image get indexed by the search engines easily. It appears on the image when mouse is hovered on to it. Whereas, ‘alt’ tag helps the user let know of what the image was if it won’t load for any reasons.
If it helps the user, it means it is optimized well for search engines too.
These are the basic steps of optimization. If you can do anything to make them load faster and give more information with the ‘title’ and ‘alt’ tags (without violating the search engine or web spam policies), you can apply them and test out the results. Because optimization is for humans not for search engines.
Adding images in your blog post
Hope you got an idea about selecting and optimizing the images for your blog post by now. So, you have your images optimized ready with you now but where to add them in a blog post?
There comes the the question again!
If selecting and optimizing the images is one side of the coin, adding them in the right place takes the other side. The positioning of image(s) should not disturb the structure and quality of the post(s).
Where to add the images in a blog post?
It can’t be anywhere at random. It depends on the type of the blog post you are writing and size of the image that you are planning to insert.
One position of the image in a blog post may/may not be the same for the next one also. As I said, it depends.
Tutorial blog posts – If you are writing tutorial blog posts that involve the steps of demonstration. Then, it is always good to use the screenshots or whatever the images you’d like to add according to the steps and insert them step-wise.
Adding images to the tutorial blog posts is easy though.
Review blog posts – If you are reviewing a gadget, a software or any potato in your blog post, it is better to include a big picture in the starting (just like NDTV Gadgets and Android Authority) itself and do the text later. Let’s see how adding big picture works for gadgets.
The visitor comes to page (by seeing that screenshot shared on social media or from search engine results page by seeing the title) to see the appearance of the gadget even before the specifications. Adding big picture before the text i.e., right under title of the blog post will compromise him to stay on the page to read the rest of the text.
Images engage visitors for more time than text.
You can give a short introduction of the gadget and add the big picture (just like I do while reviewing gadgets).
Informative blog posts – It is always better to include the textual content first and add images in the middle of the post. This will give their reading imagination a shape and a ‘picture’ when they come to the middle of the post.
If you have ever read the news in MSN News app in Windows 8, you would realize this strategy being applied in their articles by many news apps.
Personal stories – The blogging was all started to fulfill this purpose only in the beginning. If you are writing personal stories in your blog post and want add some moments hat you have captured, add them in the middle synching with the situation that you are telling. Do not add up all the images at a place. This will dominate the textual content and make your visitors directly skip on to the images over text.
Take an example of this blog post layout,
In this tutorial, we’ve learnt,
- How to select the images for the blog posts without being influenced by external moods.
- How to scale, resize and SEO optimize the selected images and,
- Where to add the images depending on the type of the blog post we are writing.
Add the images with respect to the layout of your blog and type of blog post you are posting. Step into the shoes of your visitors and see which positions in your layout are visually dominating and engaging the most. If you could sync the text and image content of the blog post perfectly, you could increase the visitor page engagement time easily which pushes you website to higher ranks automatically.
If you think I’ve missed anything in the post that is necessarily be discussed about, please comment below. We’ll discuss!