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The power of photos and blogs

More images, particularly ones that tell a story, and a quality blog could attract more people to your website, says Barry Ashmore.

WE’RE now in the second quarter of 2022 so it might be a good time to have a quick look at one of your most important marketing assets, your website.

Whether you have a few pages or an all singing-dancing production with bells and whistles, it’s still a good idea to occasionally check if there are any improvements you could make. Here are a couple of suggestions that can be implemented by you or your website developer.

More images = more engagement
It’s accepted that webpages, even the most technical, benefit from the addition of quality images and there is evidence that web copy which contains an image for every 100 words will be shared twice as often as pages containing fewer images.

Although sharing isn’t the main objective for a web page, this is a good indication that using more images does increase the level of engagement, or in other words, confirms that the visitor will read it more thoroughly.

However, this doesn’t suggest you should simply jump in and add any image for the sake of it. Instead, you should consider how images can help explain and enhance your message at key points through the article.

And positioning an image at intervals of 100 words means it’ll most likely be in view wherever the reader is when scrolling down a page.

As well as making the images relevant, try to keep them lively, as a sales page for a product is not a technical data sheet. If you cannot find an image, don’t be put off from using a technical diagram or drawing, as adding multiple images to the page will make your website much easier for Google to find.

If you think about your wording in visual terms then there are quite a few different options for illustrating your text which will make the page clearer, more memorable, and shareable.

Yes, in addition to short and punchy paragraphs, headings and sub-headings, bullet points, internal and external web links, it’s images that grab people’s attention and pull them in.

Here’s a quick summary of some of the visually eye-catching options you have:

  • Include visuals in each article
  • Use charts and graphs where you have them
  • People in images work very well
  • Use images with headlines and quotes
  • Feature infographics to explain product functionality and benefits
  • Add illustrations and diagrams
  • Don’t be afraid to use royalty-free stock photographs

Loading an image only takes a few minutes and is something you can do yourself if you have a content managed website, or your web designer can be briefed to do the work. It will certainly be worth the effort.

Benefit from a blog
Does your website have a blog? Small business websites that have a news page or blog do have added search value, as at the very least, a blog gives you the ability to upload new content quickly and easily. Also, the regular addition of text and images benefits a site’s search engine visibility greatly, as a frequently updated website is a healthy website.

Conversely, if you have a news or blog page that’s long out-of-date, this will also have a detrimental effect, as visitors will take one look at the date it was posted and quickly decide your lack of interest here could carry through into business areas. Remember, no news is better than old news.

As anyone who’s got a good website blog knows, the benefit of a blog is it is one great way to draw in visitors directly from the search engines. More often than not they will find you through a Google search. And quite often, it’s the blog that is most likely to have the most frequently updated and recent information.

Your blog can used to post background articles, case studies, announcements, answers to frequently asked questions, or even better, all of these. Shorter items can be bunched together on a single page with a common theme, for instance, FAQs or brief product, news, video links, or exhibition summaries.

The key thing is to ensure the content of the blog is substantial and contains enough images to enable it to be found in searches by people who don’t already know you or your products.
With search engines in mind, Yoast, is an easy-to-use system that is packaged with WordPress websites and gives the user clear instructions about the number of words required to make the content search-friendly, exactly how many headers and sub-headers you need, and how to structure what’s known as the ‘meta text’ that helps you get found.

Meta text generally includes a page heading and a short passage of text that Google reads when matching the search terms entered by users looking for answers, to the websites that are most likely to solve their problems.

Make sure you keep those entries coming, as the more that are published, the more chance you have of being matched in searches. Also, please remember that if people have found your blog page first, don’t forget to set prominent internal site links so they can easily find their way to your home page, or other important pages.

Inspiration for free
If you struggle to come up with ideas for traffic-generating website articles, there are ways you can use online tools to identify subject matter. Some of the sources are excellent.

Answer The Public is one such website that enables you to instantly see what is relevant to a particular market sector, even for niche product terms.

If you go to this website you can type in the product you want to write about, wait a few moments and then scroll down the different presentations. I did a quick search on ‘flooring’ and 80 different web links came up on a ‘what, how, where, when’ wheel. Each of these link to relevant online content that you can select and use as inspiration for your own articles.

Not all of these will be relevant, but if you used just 12 as a basis for different articles, then you’ll be able to publish at least one new blog post every month. If you would like to find out more about how you can set up and manage your blog, need help with your website content management, or would like assistance with any other aspect of your marketing, then as ever, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.
01773 712116

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