From a SEO perspective, the text on your blog is most important. However, images for blogs are really important in getting your audience to read your post. A post with a nice photo or illustration will receive lots more attention on social media. In this post, I’ll explain the importance of photos and illustrations and give practical tips on how to find images for blogs on your own.
Choose images that fit your blog post
If you choose a photo or an illustration for your post, make sure that the image actually fits the topic of your blog. A picture should make people want to read your blog or explain something you’ve written about in your blog. Text and picture should be about the same topic; they should reinforce one another.
Tips on how to find images for blogs
You cannot just use any picture or photo you find on the internet. Illustrations have copyright (just like text, software or any other creation of someone) and should not be used without consent of the creator. No worries though, because there are plenty of databases containing pictures you can either buy or even use freely.
Take your own pictures
If you really want original pictures that fit your post, you should make your own photos. Taking your own photos ensures that you’ll show an original picture, one that can never be found on another blog. On top of that, this allows you to shoot a photo that truly fits the content of your post. If you’re blogging about your day-to-day life, taking your own pictures is definitely the way to go. That also goes for food blogs. For a company blog or a technical blog, or for Yoast.com for that matter, it’s much harder to take pictures that actually fit the content of the posts you’re writing.
Use photos from platforms
If the content of your blog is somewhat abstract, taking your own pictures just isn’t doable. You could then buy or download pictures from a platform. You could use many platforms to download free or paid images: Yayimages, shutterstock, librestock, unsplash. There are many more out there. Make sure your stock photo isn’t a photo that is used by everyone though.
Hire an illustrator
If you have specific ideas about what illustrations for your blog should look like, but you’re not able to create or buy them yourself, you could also work with a professional illustrator (as we do at Yoast). We would like to emphasize that you really need a budget for that, but that it could pay off. Working with a professional illustrator will get you original and on-topic content. Above that, if you work with the same illustrator for multiple blogs, you will also get some continuity between posts and within your blog. People will recognize your posts just by looking at the illustration.
If you see illustrations you like (e.g., on Facebook), make sure to check out who the artist is. Googling the name will probably lead you to their portfolio (if they did their SEO well!). Lots of illustrators and artists work freelance. You can also find collectives of artists offering their services on Facebook.
Photos and illustrations can make your blog post much more appealing. Especially when you share your post on social media, a nice image could increase the exposure enormously. Make sure to pick or create original images for blog posts, that make you stand out from all the others!
Read more: Optimizing images for SEO »