How many images should a blog post have?

How many images should a blog post have?

A picture tells a thousand words… But how many pictures do you need in a thousand-word article?

In today’s world of social media marketing, images mean attention. Good luck getting attention on your LinkedIn profile without a clear profile picture! It’s for this reason that almost any successful blog post is accompanied by one or more eye-catching images that relate to the content.

But how do you know how many images you should use in a blog post, which ones you should choose, or where to find them? Take a little peek at our guide to choosing images for your blog if you’d like to find out how.

How many images should you include?

The short but unhelpful answer is: as many as you need. One image is all you need to satisfy search algorithms. If you’d like more, one image per 350 words is a good rule of thumb. This helps you break up the text and improve readability. Don’t go overboard with the images, though — if people have to scroll past several large images to get to the information they want, then they won’t stick around to read your blog.

The amount of images you use also depends on the content of your blog. For example, a ‘how to’ blog post can benefit from step-by-step screenshots to illustrate your method. Screenshots, especially annotated ones, are much more helpful than text instructions, which will make them clearer for the reader. In that case, you’ll need as many images as it takes to clearly explain your method.

Why is it important to include images in your blog posts?

Perhaps you’re not convinced, or you’re just curious. Why use images in the first place? Well, images are appealing to both humans and machines.

On the part of humans, images are there to catch a reader’s attention. Aside from the headline, the hero image will be the first thing they see on a blog post. On top of that, images help us retain memories — they’re encoded more concretely than text, which is more abstract to us. This makes them much easier for the brain to understand, which is why they’re even more beneficial for instructions.

Images also break up the text. Have you ever become distracted when reading a long block of writing? The harder it is to read, the more likely it is that the reader (and prospective customer) will just choose to move on. Time is short, and people often don’t want to slog through a dense wall of text.

Algorithms like images, too. They use them to help decide which results are more relevant to a search term. The secret? Clarity. The search engine needs to understand what the image depicts and how it relates to the content of the article. And if you want the search engine to understand, you’re going to need to optimise your images.

Person searching Google on a tablet

How to optimise your images

1. Relevant filename

The file name should contain relevant keywords describing the image so that the search engine can “see” what the image depicts.

2. Alt text

An ‘alt text’ or ‘alt tag’ is a short description added to the metadata of an image. In situations where the image isn’t available such as when using a screen reader, the alt text will be used instead. The description should accurately describe the image so that the search engine can make sense of it. Alt texts are also helpful in making your blog posts more accessible to those with visual impairments.

3. Keep load times down

It might be tempting to use as many images as possible, but images are usually the slowest loading part of a website. If your website takes a long time to load, it increases the chance of people closing the tab rather than waiting around.

You can help keep load times down by compressing your image so the file size is smaller — just take care that the quality isn’t compromised.

The best places to get blog images

In some industries, it’s best to have your own pictures to publish on your blog, especially if you want to have your products or logo depicted. Additionally, a “how to” blog post benefits greatly from your own photos or screenshots to illustrate the instructions. But for many industries, royalty-free images are a good solution.

There are lots of websites out there that offer royalty-free photos, including Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels, and more. These websites host a huge amount of images related to a variety of subjects, and you can often narrow down your search with criteria such as size and orientation. Their photos are licensed for commercial use — you can’t edit them, but you can use them on your blog.

Laptop with Pexels on the screen - a great site for finding royalty-free blog images

Need any help with your blog?

Engaging articles with eye-catching images bring traffic to your blog and help grow your brand. If you’re looking to create quality blog content, Zipcopi makes it all easy. Our premium plan nets you up to three royalty-free images that one of our wonderful writers will carefully pick out to suit the copy, leaving you to focus on doing what you do best — running your business.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at hello@zipcopi.com, or find us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.