Ronak Kothari is the founder of RONKOT, a full-service digital marketing agency.
The aesthetic value of adding visuals to your website or blog is undeniably high, but its uses are not limited just to this. Well-designed and curated visuals within content can be important in defining the customer experience and their willingness to read the entire piece of content. The visual identity that you define within your content can affect your branding significantly as it is one of the primary elements that are memorable for the reader.
Humans are 65% more likely to remember a piece of content after three days when paired with an image. It is just the way our brain works, not just the digital media. Having good visuals to support your textual content will make your users aware of your brand personality which they will always associate with your brand.
Types of Visuals
Visuals can be presented in multiple shapes and formats, based on what would be apt for your content. Here are 6 types of visuals that can enhance the user experience on your blog and improve your ranking:
If your blog is informative and instructional, finding the right images to go with it can be difficult. Moreover, such blogs can easily become wordy if they are not supported with relevant images. For instance, if your blog is about guiding people on how to post an Instagram story, screenshots can be a great way to visually demonstrate the process. You can even annotate the screenshots to pinpoint specific sections and elements within the image.
Screenshots can supplement tutorials and how-to blogs easily and can add more visual appeal which can help customers navigate your content more smoothly. Here is an example of a screenshot uploaded by CNET for a how-to blog on ways to take screenshots on Windows 10:
Adding an infographic within the content is another great way to enhance the visual appeal of your blog. Infographics are powerful because they can represent even complex statistics in an easily understandable way. Moreover, if your blog is loaded with interesting statistics, infographics can be a great way of collating all the data and representing it in a nutshell.
Infographics can be very persuasive and impactful when you choose the right colors, content, and alignment for them. What’s more, they can be shared on social media to generate interest and bring more traffic to your blog post. Unlike content, they can be shared at multiple places and can thus create backlinks for your blog, thus boosting your SEO rankings.
The process of creating infographics is simple, especially with free online infographic makers that are readily available. Even government agencies now use infographics to present important data. Here is an example of an infographic shared by the Government of Canada:
Source: Statistics Canada
Companies spend a lot of money to ensure that they have high-quality images for their products. It is one of the ideal ways to guide your reader through a blog that is all about the utility or performance of a product. This is not only applicable to the products that you can touch and feel, but also to SaaS or PaaS products that mostly get marketed online.
Like infographics, properly SEO integrated product images can be very beneficial in fetching backlinks to your website. Moreover, it affects the overall UX of your blog, as the readers would be able to associate the content you have written directly with the product. This visualization can help the customers make faster buying decisions. The shift from traditional modes of buying to digital modes requires companies to give the customers a better idea of the scale.
Here is an example of Frank Body, integrating product images within their blogs to exemplify how their products can their customers’ problems in a very personalized way:
Source: Frank Body
With the uprising of the meme culture, came the advent of using GIFs to express yourself. GIFs can be a great way to grab your reader’s attention as soon as they land on your blog. They can draw the readers in, encourage them to keep reading, and more importantly, make their experience a lot more enjoyable.
Since GIFs are relatable and funny, reader engagement is also likely to increase and improve your SEO rankings. However, it is easy to go overboard with them. Make sure that you integrate GIFs only where you think they will improve the reading experience contextually. But the emotional appeal of communicating with the reader through GIFs is surely undeniable.
Remember: Do not load your blog with too many GIFs as it can potentially increase the load time of your blog and sometimes, hamper the reading experience. You should also ensure that you are meeting the web accessibility standards by verifying that the Alt-texts for the GIFs are properly defined to offer an inclusive reading experience. It will not only ensure accessibility but also improve your SEO rankings, by making it easier for Google to crawl your blog.
They say videos are replacing textual content in every possible way. A survey conducted by HubSpot suggests that more than 86% of marketers used videos as a tool in 2020. These marketers reported that it was an invaluable tool and generated better ROIs on their marketing efforts. Videos can help you form a structured narrative and can be a creative way to enhance the UX, much like infographics.
For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, Uber wanted to communicate that they were taking measures to ensure safe rides. The company posted a blog reporting all the measures they were taking and how-to videos to go with it. This goes a long way in ensuring the credibility of the information provided in the blog.
VSEO is a whole new branch of SEO that stemmed from the increasing usage of videos in marketing. Videos, when marketed right can also lead to an increase in traffic, sales, and conversions awarding you with better visibility.
Memes and GIFs are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they can be very different. Memes can be in the form of images and or short video clips, and like GIFs are a great way to express emotions within blogs. Memes are funny and usually use pop culture references to make light of a situation.
Before you start finding a meme to add, you should know that memes are not suitable for every blog. They are effective only when your blog is primarily targeting a younger audience, who communicate through memes. For instance, Buzzfeed which has a predominantly young reader base incorporates memes in almost all blogs, to keep the readers engaged and to create a fun reading experience.
Remember: If your blog takes a formal tone and memes do not go with it, don’t worry! Many top brands leverage their social media channels to keep that connection intact.
Regardless of what your blog is all about, data visualization tools such as images and videos can be a great addition to them. You can choose a visual type that best justifies your blog content and keeps it interesting while increasing your SEO rankings and traffic. Data Visualization tools can help you keep the readers engaged, and more importantly, to retain information from your blog for a longer period of time, thus improving your user experience.