The Right Way To Use Images in Your Blog Posts
Think about this for a second...
I'm sure you already know that writing a blog post without using one or several images is a bad practice, right?
We all know that "A picture is worth a thousand words", and if you don't use images in your blog posts, most of your readers will assume that your posts aren't valuable...
But it's even worst to add images that many of your potential readers will not see!
How is that?
Simple, because if your posts take more than two seconds to load, your visitors will click the back button and leave your site before they even have a chance to see your beautiful images. It's no joke.
Time is precious (and flying fast) this days.
If you are still reading this, I guess you are wondering if you are doing it right (I mean like the pros)?
This is what you are going to find out...
Before you upload any image to your blog, there are 3 MAIN steps:
Then, you can upload your image!
Before we dive in, let's see...
Why you should use images in your blog posts?
Because your images will break up long pieces of texts into small sized bits, and hence, your posts will be more appealing, your visitors will enjoy reading them, be more engaged, and they may even share them on social media.
Readers will spend more time on your posts and pages, and will have no other choice than scrolling. This is good because it will reduce your bounce rates.
And when you optimize your images like I show you below, you will boost your SEO, get more shares, more traffic and more sales.
You see... it's true [and sad] that most people are lazy nowadays. They just want to "see" what you are talking about, so give them what they want: images!
Please note that I'm not talking about using unrelated free stock photos on your posts, but images that relate to your topic. In fact, I suggest you create them yourself.
Essential Steps Before Including Images To Your Blog Posts
1. Rename your images
Right after you've created your image in Canva (super cool piece of software), PicMonkey, Adobe, Gimp (all these are free) or any other software, the first thing you need to do is to rename your image.
Okay, okay, I understand that for some blog topics, creating your images maybe overkill, so if your blog is not about foods, fashion, craft, knitting, handmade crochet, etc. you may just need to head over to Pixabay or Flickr and download a few images from there. They have billions of photos just waiting for you.
If your post is about learning the french language over Skype, just call your image: learn-french-skype.png, or learn-french-skype.png.JPG (we'll see the difference between these two formats below)
The next step is to...
2. Resize your images:
There are several rules that you don't want to break:
- Your image's maximum size is limited by the content block's width of you page or post, so always resize it accordingly. If your main post width is 680 pixel wide, you should never upload an image wider than that.
- The bigger the picture the more space it consumes, so before resizing your image, you should know what you want to do with that image. For instance, if you create a tutorial with screenshots, your image will probably be bigger than a simple image.
- Don't resize the image in the WordPress’s image editor.
If you do any of the above, your posts will take longer to load and you may lose potential visitors, subscribers and sales.
Let's dive in:
First, open the folder with the image you want to upload to your blog on your desktop
Step 1: Resize the image
Note: If you created your own image, you already choose the right size, so no need to do it again, except if it's wider than the content block's width of you post.
- Time: 30s to 1mn
Resizing your image with Befunky is quick easy. Just follow the step bellow:
1. Go Here: https://www.befunky.com/create/
2. Click Open
3. Select: Computer
4. Choose the image you want to resize from your computer
5. On the left: Click resize
6. Once you chose width and Height, click: Apply
7. At the top: click: Save > Computer
8. Under Filename: Name the image (give a short name with keywords)
9. Choose the format (JPG or PNG)
What's the difference between JPEG and PNG?
Should you save your image in .JPEG or .PNG to?
The answer is: if If your image is a Photo, use JPEG, and if your image is a graphic (or screenshot), use PNG.
Do you see the screenshot on this page? I used PNG. However if you have a crochet blog like my daughter, you will probably mostly use JPEG for your beautiful photography.
That's it. Simple.
10. Choose the Quality Size (I suggest 80)
This will further reduce the size of your image.
11. Click Save
12. The image will be automatically Downloaded to your computer
13. Add it in your image folder (stay organized!)
Once you are done, it's time to...
3. COMPRESS (the resized image) with lossy compression
- Estimated time: 15s (You can drag and drop several images in bulk).
Compressing your image with lossy compression is super important. This step will decrease the size of your images, and will dramatically increase your page load and traffic.
To compress the resized image with Kraken (it's one of the best free compression tools on the net), do this:
1. Open: https://kraken.io/web-interface
2. Drag and drop your image at the bottom of the page
3. The image is instantly compressed, just click on the link to download it to your computer.
As you can see on the picture above, my original image was 119.71kb. The compressed image is only 88.20kb.
When you have a lot of images on your page, it will significantly help your page to load faster.
The next step is to upload the image to WordPress...
4. Add Your Optimized Image to Your Blog
Drag and drop or select your optimized image from your computer, and add it to your blog post.
Title: Give a title to your image. It's the text people see when they move their mouse on your image.
Caption: It's the text right beneath the image. Some of your readers will not read your blog post, but they will see the images and read the captions.
ALT tag: This is a small text description of your image. This will help you get better rankings in the search engines. Google spider can't read image, and for this reason, you need to use alt text for their spider. Make sure to use a Keyword as your Alt text.
Link To: Here, you can add any link of your choice, and if your reader clicks on the image, he will be redirected to the link destination. You can link to anything, another post, or page, or another website, your products, or an affiliate link...
Thank you for reading, and if you need anything, just let me know in the comment section.