One kindergarten lesson applies to marketing our blogs and encouraging readership: books worth reading always have pretty pictures or illustrations in them. The same is true of blog posts. Using images in your blog posts reinforces your main ideas, gives the reader a compelling reason to slow down and have a looksee and gives you another way to optimize your site.
In kindergarten we learned that:
Optimizing for the Reader
The images you use in your blog posts should be kinder-wise. To optimize for the reader, images should:
Break-up the text: Scattering a couple of images for the eye to rest on, above the fold, immediately says “it will take minimal effort to read this post because it has pretty pictures in it.”
Reinforce the words: Images should capture the topic, illustrate meaning or reinforce your post’s main point.
Invoke a feeling: Make the reader chuckle, pause in silent reflection, frown or delightfully look forward to your next post. Light a spark of surprise, tickle their intrigue. Give your reader a compelling reason to slow down and read.
Optimizing Images for Search Engines
What your kindergarten teacher didn’t teach you was how to optimize both your image and your post with metadata, specifically alt tags.
To render quickly images need to be optimized for the web. Better stated they need to be resized to about 72 dpi. Digital cameras produce an image file size of 1600x1600dpi.
In the absence of a PhotoShop icon on your desktop, there is image software available that is free and easy to use. Faststone Photo Resizer is one readily available!
The most compelling reason to include pretty pictures in your blog post is found in the following syllogism found in Kinder-logic: Symbollic logic for your website by Svenn Diagramme:
All fully optimized pages contain pictures.
Some kindergartners are too busy to read pages without pretty pictures.
All fully optimized pages have pictures for busy kindergartners.