visual65-85% of people describe themselves as visual learners.  Facebook posts with images get 7 times more likes and 10 times more shares that those without.  Twitter now encourages tweets with images.  Psychological tests prove that when presented with an image and text, the image gets most of the attention, but the text also gets more attention than text without an image.

The almost instant (and growing) popularity of visual platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat is testament to how important visuals have become in the online “Social” world.   Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn encourage people add images to their Timelines, and to their ads.

The simple fact is that images sell.  Attention spans are getting shorter.  Images grab a viewer’s attention. When used correctly, they can encourage people to check out your website or blog, share the post with their friends, help them to understand a concept, or motivate them to click on an ad and purchase your product.   Images improve muscle memory, making not only the image, but the content that goes with it more memorable.

However, there is both an art and a science to adding images to websites and social media.  Images must make sense for the company AND for the platform being used.  Each platform has rules about the size and dimensions of images. When images are not sized correctly, they may eliminated from the post or, worse yet, be cropped or distorted, which can make a company look less than professional.  Images don’t have to be specific to the business and they don’t have to be serious, but they must be interesting and appropriate to post, as well as to the company culture.  (In other words, images that work for Victoria’s Secret may not work for the local Plumber.)

The SEO implications of images continue to increase.  When photos are prepared and tagged correctly, they may be returned on Internet searches and lead the viewer back to the website, blog or social site.

Finally, here are a few things to remember when adding images:

  • Pick an image that is appropriate and relevant to your content.
  • Pick the right file name for your image. (Descriptive file names will help Google index the image.)
  • Make sure the image dimensions are correct for the platform you are using.
  • When used in a blog or website add “alt” text, a title and a description to the image. Adding the image to the XML sitemap will also aid Google in indexing and displaying your images.