If you want to establish a good connection with your audience by telling a good story, then good visuals are essential.
Visuals make people retain information longer than mere text. According to statistics, when people consume information, they can only keep 10 percent of the same information three days later.
But if the same information contains a relevant image, people can retain 65 percent of that information three days after consuming it.
Types of Visuals to Use in Content Marketing
Visuals refer to any asset aside from text. While the visual might contain text, it’s typically combined with some form of graphic, image, media, or another interactive component.
At times, the visual asset can be your content’s principal focus. For instance, you might publish an infographic on a page and only add a small piece of text as an introduction containing your most important keywords. You may also post a video to your Instagram or Facebook page.
The most popular visual assets include:
- Memes and GIFs
- Charts, graphs, and other images that help to highlight stats and data
- Images that highlight your copy’s key quotes
- Audio and videos (recorded, live, animated, and motion graphic)
- Header images on a blog
- Interactive elements, including maps, games, a quiz, calculator, and more
In general, visuals enhance your content quality, which both your audience and search engines will appreciate. So, how do visuals boost your SEO efforts?
1. Better UX
User experience is a vital part of SEO and is the cornerstone of most ranking factors.
User experience has to do with creating an atmosphere that will pique your users’ interests, address their needs and concerns, and, ultimately, convert them.
One way to improve your users’ experience is by including high-quality visuals, such as images, in your content. This works well, especially if you have a long piece of text.
People have short attention spans and may not always read your posts through the end. To keep them interested, you need to capture their attention fast. Other than writing a catchy title and captivating opening paragraph, consider adding visuals between your content.
By providing relevant and attractive images, readers will pause to look at the images and keep reading the content. Ultimately, they will read most of your content.
Here are top tips for selecting the best images to add to your content:
Your images should resonate with your target audience: If you target millennials, it makes sense to add images associated with your people. And of course, the image should be in line with your content topic.
- The photos should reflect your business: If you are a small business, for example, don’t post imagery that depicts you as a corporate giant.
Use authentic images: You can’t search images on Google to include in your content or steal other people’s copyrighted photos. The easiest way is to turn to stock imagery. Some sites, such as Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash, provide quality images for free while others, such as Shutterstock, offer them on subscription. You can also get images that are more natural from services, such as Shutterstock’s Offset.
- Use unique images: Posting the same photos as your competitors won’t be useful. You can create unique infographics using tools like Canva.
2. Video Content Reduces Bounce Rate and Increases Dwell Time
A high bounce rate can be bad news for a business. Bounce rate refers to a percentage of users who land on a website and leave without taking any action, such as filling out a form, clicking on a link, or purchasing something.
In business terms, a high bounce rate may mean you are losing prospects and opportunities for sales. According to RocketFuel, the average bounce rate lies between 41 and 51 percent.
Humans have an average attention span of eight seconds, which is even below that of goldfish (nine seconds). That’s why you need to grab your visitors’ attention as soon as they land on your website, and videos are a perfect tool to help you achieve that.
And this stat backs this up:
Just uploading a video on your site’s landing page can lower your bounce rate by approximately 34%.
But that doesn’t mean you can add random videos. Granted, no one can resist the urge to watch cat videos, but that may not be in line with your business goals (unless your business is about cats, of course).
What may work excellently is a business overview video that guides your visitors on what to do and how your service or product solves their pain points. Keep this video two minutes or less.
Also known as explainer or marketing videos, most companies use these overview videos on their homepage (and other pages) to give prospects a quick and fascinating summary of the business.
Adding an overview video to your website attracts your visitors’ attention, making them spend more time on your site, thus reducing the bounce rate.
Note that you don’t always have to create your own video to add to your pages. You can embed a video from YouTube that’s relevant to the content on your page, even if you don’t own the video.
3. Use Infographics
Infographics can turn boring content into an interesting piece. An infographic is visually interactive, has an attractive subject matter, and is supported by social channels.
This visual asset can inform your audience about your brand along with the services or products you offer. If used properly, an infographic can not only boost website traffic but also increase brand awareness.
To capture the attention of your audience:
Give the infographic a unique twist
Adding interesting and informative content in an ordinary chart or bar graph will draw your readers’ attention. Use unique shapes and diagrams to put your message across.
Don’t incorporate too much information
It’s best not to overwhelm your audience with excessive information at once, as they might lose interest. Extensive use of designs or images, along with too many background colors, can make your data difficult to grasp. An infographic should make data easily understandable, as people are interested in crisp, short, and easy-to-understand information.
An infographic is a compressed visual version of a lengthy blog post. So, you still need to include some text describing the infographic. The text can be before or after the image.
Either way, ensure the text explains most of the points covered in the infographic so people can get extra details if they want. Besides, add relevant keywords to your text.
Add sharing buttons
To get your message across a broader audience, you’ll want to include sharing buttons to make it easy for your audience to share the image with other users.
You can add Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest buttons to make sharing hassle-free. Also, ensure the buttons you add are simple.
Optimize the infographic for SEO
You want your image to appeal not only to site visitors but also to search engines. To optimize the images, start by adding an image alt tag. Alt text helps Google to establish what exactly the image is all about.
When adding the alt tag, be precise, and add the relevant keywords. Ensure the alt tags reflect the topic on the page as much as possible.
Additionally, use a short URL, start your post with an H1 and add a meta description. The meta description should describe the infographic content, contain a keyword, and a call-to-action.
Infographics can also generate backlinks for you. Here is what you should do to get backlinks from your infographic:
- Publish a press release with a link back to the infographic published on your website.
- Share the infographic on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Reddit
- Seek guest posting opportunities in your niche. If accepted, include a contextual link back to the infographic on your site.
- Reach out to any sources you may have used to create the infographic and request them to link to your final product.
4. Discoverability Through Image Search
If you are designing images as part of your content marketing plan, chances are other folks are sharing your graphics on their own sites, at times without giving you credit as the original owner or source.
It’s great for other people to publish your visuals because that’s an opportunity for you to get backlinks for your site, which is crucial for SEO. Backlinks play a significant role when it comes to ranking, as they symbolize a vote of confidence from one website to the other.
If anyone republishes your images and doesn’t credit you, you may want to contact them and request an acknowledgment of the original source by linking back to your website.
But how do you know who republished your images?
Use Google Images to perform a reverse image search. In other words, you are using an image rather than words to perform a search. The results will consist of images similar to yours.
Here’s the procedure:
- Go to images.google.com
- Click on upload image
- Click on browse
- Select the image from your device
It also works the other way around. If your images are properly tagged and visible in SERPs when users conduct a specific keyword search, this is another chance for you to show up and attract visitors to your site.
Visual assets are powerful, and if you use them properly, they can work hard for your business.
Are you already spending your energy, time, and money designing outstanding infographics, videos, GIFs, and other visuals?
Start implementing the above strategies to boost your SEO and maximize your ROI.