Let's start with this oldie, but goodie:
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Why is it still on the list of the most used phrases? Probably, because it's so true.
When it comes down to blogging, a great picture will become the anchor that will catch your eyes before anything else does. Sometimes, it's the only thing that catches your eyes and makes you click on that link to see what the post is all about.
I like funny pictures.
I never look for images that “fit” the post; I look for images that make the reader think: “Love the picture; wonder what the post it about“.
For instance, this's exactly what I thought when I saw this post on Facebook from Attraction Marketing Online blog.
When I saw the image, I had to see the post.
Sooooo… Forget the boring. Go with the funny, exciting, unusual. Tie it to your story and you have a perfect magnet.
Where to find great images
There are a few places I personally favor. None of them are easy; all require a bit of digging around.
However, the end result is always worth the effort.
So here are some of my favorite places to dig:
1. Picsearch.com and Pixsy.com
The way I do is by picking a couple of words that best describe the post and adding words like “funny” or “joke” at the end.
I start there and see where it takes me.
Mostly pictures of pets with funny taglines. Always gives me a chuckle.
A little bit of everything.
Cool comics you can use freely on your site.
Self-explanatory: funny signs.
These resources will keep you busy for a while.
Please note: there are certain rules about republishing images on your blog. Some of them you can add to your posts all you want; some of them will require permission and/or link.
How to properly add an image to your post
I talk about this almost every time I do a Blog Audit Friday: make sure your images have ALT tags.
Whether it sounds too basic for you or not, that's not the question. The REAL question is do you DO IT on your blog. If not, you need to read this.
Ideally, here are the 3 main things you need to pay attention to, plus 2 options, when uploading an image to your blog:
1. Image Name
Before you even upload your image, make sure it's named properly and relevantly. That means that you shouldn't name your image based on what it is about, but rather based on what your post it about.
I added this image to my Link Building: What's Naughty, What's Nice? post.
I didn't name it “half-dressed woman”, although that's pretty much what the image is of.
Rather, I named it “link-building”, since that's what my post is about.
2. Image Title
After you upload your image, it's time to add some relevant information about it.
Why is this important?
Because the search engines won't see the pretty image you are adding, rather a string of code that tells the search engines that this is an image and this is what the image is all about.
Who adds that string of code? You do.
Thus, this is a great opportunity to enhance your post SEO by adding some relevant keywords to the title and alternative description of the image.
Let's take a look at what it looks like in action:
As you can see, my title is keyword loaded.
3. Add Alternative Text
That's what is also referred to as an ALT tag (“alt” stands for alternative).
It acts like a description of the image and is another great way to add some keywords.
Note I didn't say “stuff it with keywords”. Keyword stuffing hasn't worked in ages and it can have a negative effect on your SEO.
Your description shouldn't be the same as your title, although it can definitely use the same keywords. I (almost) always like to add words like “image”, “graph”, “picture”, etc. to my ALT tag to make sure it's different from my title.
4. Image Caption
That one is strictly for your readers.
That's where it's good to tie your image to your post if the relation is not too clear.
You can also show off your wit here by adding a joke or sarcasm – both work equally well.
5. Link URL
I almost always leave this one blank.
Since search engine spiders follow each link they find on a given page, what's the point of sending them to the one that dead-ends?
Also, I'd rather not send any possible link juice to my images.
There are 2 exceptions I make to the no-link rule: when I want my readers to be able to enlarge an image and when I want to link it to an external resource.
Why You Need to Limit Images
Images are great to have, but they have one great flaw – they significantly slow down your blog.
Two solutions here:
1. Add fewer images
I usually stick to one image per post unless I need to add more to give readers a visual explanation of the text.
2. Use WP Smush.it Plugin
It will automatically reduce your image files, thus improving your blog performance. Look it up in the WP plugin directory.
- forget the boring
- 1 cool image per post
- mind your title and ALT tag
- use a plugin to reduce size