Readers these days are busy and want to consume information as quickly as possible. So, more often than not, you’ll find them reading on their mobile devices while they’re on the move.
How do you engage such busy readers? The most effective way of hooking readers to your story is to include relevant visual elements. Readers will ignore all the words without batting an eyelid when they see an image or graph explaining the facts you are looking to share on your blog. Yes, that’s the power of images.
Here’s how you should use visual elements in your blogs to hook your readers.
Only use relevant images
True, an image does grab attention, but you should ensure that it’s relevant to your content. While you may post the image of beautiful scenery while writing about how important visual communication is, it won’t have the desired impact. The image will surely grab attention for a while, but when it comes to conveying the message of your blog or retaining reader attention, it fails.
When you use any images, ensure that they bring value to your text:
- They further underline the message you seek to share
- They are cleaned up or resized with photo editing software so that they appear uncluttered and clean
- They declare which source the copyright belongs to if the images aren’t original
It’s an excellent technique to post an image at the beginning to draw the attention of a busy reader to the introductory paragraph they skip often.
Optimize for Google
For Google, among various considerations, the loading speed of a page has become an important factor in ranking sites. Again, readers read blogs that load fast. Optimize the visuals on your blog to ensure fast loading.
To do so, use tools like Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Designer before uploading images. Better still, use a WordPress plugin like Imagify that’ll allow automatic optimization of all the images simultaneously with no drawbacks on quality.
To check your website loading speed with Google, use a tool like PageSpeed Insights and click “Analyze.” You may also use other tools for testing speed like Pingdom or GTmetrix and focus on total load time instead of the scores.
For quantitative data, use graphs and charts
Read this paragraph:
“A survey carried out by Edison Research shows that 35% among 3,755 respondents consider the economy to be the most important national issue. Racial inequality is considered to be the most important issue by 20%, and 17% consider the Covid-19 pandemic to be the most important issue facing Americans.”
It probably took a while to grasp everything, right? Presenting statistics in the form of a visual image, like a graph or a chart, will not only grab reader attention. Readers will understand what has been told much more effectively.
However, not all charts are the same. Some of them might be poorly made and look rather clunky. Consider the following example of a chart:
Yes, it does deliver the message, but can we increase the readability of this chart? Yes, we can. For such an example, a horizontal graph will work much better:
Graphs and charts do a great job of simplifying complicated data. You’ve only got to ensure that the chart or graph you use is relevant to the data you want to share. The diagrams you can use are the following:
- Bar charts: to make comparisons
- Pyramid charts: to present data hierarchy
- Pie charts: to show data composition and how each part forms the whole data
- Line graphs: to compare data and show if there’s any correlation or pattern in a range of data
Some sources for images
To avoid copyright issues, there are certain sites you can download images from for free. The common examples include such sources as Pexels and Pixabay that offer visual elements under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0). However, there are more, less well-known resources that blog writers might skip. Free Vector offers a variety of beautiful images completely free of charge.
Depending on where you are, you might not always have these options available. Certain services might be blocked or have other guidelines that prevent you from downloading visual components. If you ever stumble upon these hurdles, you can quickly overcome them. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an app that allows you to change your IP address. By connecting to another country, you might be able to bypass geo-restrictions.
As writers, we can never have too many resources – tools like this help you reach more information, including available visual components.
No matter how well written, a series of paragraphs in a blog will find no takers. It’s therefore important that you fill your blog with relevant images at regular intervals.
Images like graphs and charts make it a lot easier for readers to digest complicated data that might otherwise seem too bland. Ensure that your blog loads quickly to retain reader attention. Add images from the sources mentioned above to engage your readers. It works!
Guest author: Caroline Jones is an enthusiastic writer, gamer, and foodie, interested in helping people and becoming a veteran in all things technical. Cybersecurity is her passion, and the fight for digital privacy is one of her favourite subjects to dig deeper on a regular basis.