Yes, pictures make a huge difference. They are worth more than 1,000 words in my book. Here are 3 simple ways to improve your website graphics for better searchability and social share shares.
Please note that this article may include affiliate links.
Pictures help you in 4 ways:
1) Help illustrate your point(s)
2) Make your article more readable and inviting (breaks up your writing, guides you)
3) Helps your article (and/or pictures be found) online
4) Leads to more social shares…and, good pictures will entice more users to click on your social updates
So here are 3 simple tips to help you with all of these.
1. Be sure to include BOTH a horizontal header image + 1 vertical image.
- Horizontal Image will welcome reader and engage them. It will also serve as the main image that gets shared on most social media (e.g. FB, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn. Bonus: If you have a wordpress site (or other site that you own/have control over), be sure to select this image as the “featured image.” Then, it will automatically show when you or anyone else shares your article. (BTW, I’m not sure if that has been fixed yet on ActiveRain, but I’m sure at some point it will.).
Here’s how to do it on wordpress. This is on the right side (you may need to scroll down). Go to the featured image section and just click “set featured image” and then find your graphic. On the right, you can see the final outcome.
- Vertical Image is super important if you care about Pinterest. (see below on why you should care). This is important regardless of whether you use pinterest or don’t (as others can share your images).
Bonus Tip: Why should you care about Pinterest? Because it can be one of the biggest and easiest ways to get free traffic to your site. Back in Sept/Oct, I was getting 1,800 clicks/month to my site from Pinterest. This was more than all the clicks from all my other social media combined x 6. I’ve been studying and growing (beg in Nov) and now, I’m up to 6,900 visits/month…and plan to grow it much more. Read more about how to do this in this article I wrote on my new marketing site: 8 Insider tips on how to grow your traffic from Pinterest.
So, I do the horizontal image at the beginning of the article and generally do a vertical image towards the end of the post on the right side. (but you can put it anywhere). You can see how I did it this article on 2017 Hardwood Flooring Trends. In fact, I cared about this so much for this article, that I created 3 vertical images!
2. Make your 2 hero images awesome. Include words to lead the reader in.
I use Canva.com. It’s free (although there are some options to buy some of the pictures for $1 each). But, I’ve generally either used their free images or my own.
Add in words about the title of your post. Make your headline enticing so others want to click.
Make your visuals attractive. Use lighter colors.
On Canva, they have some free templates you can use (and you can change colors/images/font/size, etc. You can do fading, too).
I’m getting better at this…way better than I was a few months ago. I still have a ways to go and I’m gradually converting/adding better images on some of my top articles.
Also, on Canva, they have preset sizes for social media, so you can select the ideal size for Facebook or Pinterest. It’s pretty easy to use.
Bonus Tip: Create your own “branded” style. So, you can include your brand name, site name, use similar formats or colors so your visuals become more recognizable. Also, once you have your ideal template, you can reuse it for future images to save time (and create consistency).
3. Use Alt tags with key words for your images.
These words sound confusing, but the process is simple. Basically, google can’t read/interpret images (at least not yet), so the alt tags just describe what the image is.
So, in the “alt tag” section, you describe what the image is. Just include words that describe the graphic and hopefully tie in with your key words. Sometimes, it’s called “alt text” or some other similar item. This option comes up when you are adding in the visual. (Or, if you added it already, just go back and edit it.
Bonus Tips: If you use multiple pictures, vary your key words with synonyms/word variations and word order. (e.g. swap simple for easy or hardwood floors vs hardwood flooring or wood flooring, etc.).
Also, when you save your image, use descriptive words (rather than IMG 123456). Use word variations on title and alt tags.
I hope these tips are helpful.
Other useful articles for images and websites:
- 8 Insider tips to generate more traffic from pinterest
- How to create your own wordpress site for close to free
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3 Easy Ways to Improve Images for Searchability and Readability