4 reasons why you should pair online content with images

Journalists, Google and SEO all favor images, so why aren’t you using more of them?

An image is indeed worth a thousand words.

Good images in your blog posts, articles and press releases can affect how they are viewed and picked up, who re-publishes them, search ranking, and how your blog is rated. Here’s more proof:


SEO

Although search engines can’t read visual material, having an image with a blog post, article or news release signals that you are enhancing the content. If you add metadata—tags that Google can read—and optimize the tags for search, it goes a long way to improving your SEO.

Google News

Eye tracking studies have shown that news items in Google News search with an image get seen first. (Search Engine Strategies, New York City, 2011)

Journalists

Recent research revealed that 87 percent of journalists say that a good image with a news release increases your chance of pick up. (PwR New Media)

Rating

One of the criteria for ranking a blog in “Best of” lists is the visual element.

Resources:

So where are the best places to get good images? Original images that show the content visually are always best. Google loves fresh, original content.

You can use images tagged as Creative Commons on Flickr. Just be sure to give the right attribution for the license of the photos or illustrations you use. You may struggle to find a relevant image though.

Or source of interesting and creative images is Fotolia.

Fotolia is a social image marketplace where you can buy and sell images: photos videos and illustrations. It’s open to everyone, not just high-priced professional photographers. There is an array of creative, interesting stuff to use and the cost is more reasonable than other image sites or agencies.

The site offered me a free trial and I’ve been using Fotolia for my blog images for about 10 days now and “I’m lovin’ it!”

Sally Falkow is a social media coach and blogs at The Proactive Report where this article originally ran. You can follow her on Twitter @sallyfalkow.

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