How to Increase Reader Engagement with Images

This is a guest post by Steven Papas.

High bounce rate will get you frustrated as a blogger. Yours is more like a blog without traffic if you generate thousands of visitors a day that leave your blog the next second. When you must have gone through the design and customization of your blog to suit your taste, making money with depends, solely, on one factor, and its engagement stats.

  • How sticky is the blog?
  • How long do readers spend before closing your blog page for a more promising page somewhere else?
  • What determines this behavior and how can you turn the table around in your favor if it has been against you?

Unfortunately, finding answers to these questions sometime is a matter of running some experiment on your blog to discover and stabilize what works and get rid of those that don’t.


Photo Credit: Kristi Hines on Photostry

From experience however, I have come to discover that one of the most effective ways of increasing the stickiness of a blog is to use images. Yes, just every image won’t work, hence I will take time to show you how I do it myself.

Use Relevant Images

Before images can be effective on your blog, it needs to be relevant and blend with the niche and content of your blog post. Common sense will tell you that a dog training post don’t need a cat image and you need also, extra effort to ensure that the image you have chosen is not just there to occupy space but to explain and lay more emphasis on the post. Recently, I started doing bullet points with images instead of the normal fancy dots, but carefully choosing corresponding images that blends with the information presented at each point. This led to more readers spending up to 30 minutes and more at a visit. You can use Flickr to source creative commons but if you can’t find one that completely works with your blog post, create one or purchase a license for one.

Use Big Images

Thumbnails and medium sized images don’t work very well for me and I am yet to completely understand why. Readers tend to appreciate more and get glued by large enticing images. Hence if you can, use the highest possible sized image that can go with your blog layout and ensure that it is of high quality for perfect display and understanding.

Use Clickable Images

I have learnt that most site visitors will bring their mouse over an image, even when they can still see it clearly. And surprisingly, if they liked the image and perhaps the message it conveys, they are likely to click it when the mouse forms a tiny hand to show it’s a link. I use this linking pattern to link to other relevant pages on my blog or elsewhere where visitors will get access to relevant information on the topic. Additionally, though I optimize all the descriptive texts around all the images on the blog, but I ensure to use my keyword as the alt tag of the linking image to gain some love from the search engines. This has helped me in optimizing by software blog where I share tips on, and coupons of the tops digital product creation services like Mixbook and Pinnacle Studio.

Compress Your Images

If you are like me, you probably hate waiting minutes for a blog page to load, and if so, so are your visitors. Among other common tips to implement on your blog is to ensure that your blog loads as fast as possible. And this can’t be possible when you have images whose size runs in megabytes on a blog page. This is one of the factors that tend to skyrocket bounce rates as it wastes users time and irritates them. If you can, compress and keep all your images within a few bytes/kilobytes without sacrificing their quality.

People Love Humor

Don’t ever forget this. We all know that life isn’t fair to anybody, yet people rush to any place with promise of giving them extra minutes off such horrible, demanding personal and professional commitments. Yes, your blog posts are suppose to educative readers, but some humor ‘handles’ will not only make the content more interesting but caressingly persuade them to read ahead. How does this relate to the use of images? It is simple! While your images should be related to the content, make them appealing to the sense also, while they educate let them put a smile on the faces of viewers, while they attract and entice, let them be worthwhile.

An image can do more than decorate your blog. It is an ample item in increasing a blog’s stickiness and thus profitability. If you haven’t started using images, you may be losing more visitors than you think!

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  1. says

    Statistics tell us that on Facebook, for instance, posts with an image have vastly better engagement levels than simple text-based posts. While I dont have any such stats for blogs, I would imagine that pretty much the same would also ring true for them. Though it is important to find the right balance when it comes to text and images.

    PS. If you want to use images in posts, I recommend using slideshows within your posts.
    Jeff just posted WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal: The Best CMS

  2. says

    I have heard that the reader decides in the first few seconds if they want to stick on to the site or hit the back button. Hence it is vital that the webmaster makes the correct impressioin. As you say, a picture speaks a thousands words hence having a good large image will make a lot of difference for reader engagement.
    Shalu Sharma just posted Pangong Tso Lake

  3. says

    Well said Steven,
    There is a saying that goes…… An image speaks a thousand words. This is to say that using an image on your blog post can really convey more explanations to what you’re writing about. I’ve not been adding links to my image because i ones read a blog post that spoke against it, but i will give it a shot ones again to see what happens. ts all about testing though.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Theodore Nwangene just posted How to Create a Quality Info Product from PLR Contents

  4. says

    Images is clearly the way to go in this day of age.

    People just survive on images alone it seems. Just look at Facebook!

    I have a special plugin I use on the hover of an image.

    When someone hovers over an image, four social icons appear for the to share.

    I think this is one of the best ways to get the most out of your images.

    Thanks for the excellent article!
    Samuel just posted 7 Cool WordPress Plugins!

  5. says

    Definitely compress, shrink, or resize images. I hate slow loading pages and images too. Just the other day I was checking out an about us page that had a little 200 by 200 pixel image that was taking forever to load. After checking the image source it was really something like 2000 by 2000 ish pixel at 2MB+. I think a lot of this is because we tend to set our digital camera’s to a very high resolution setting and we forget, or maybe don’t realize that they aren’t exactly ideal for web sites and forget to optimize them before adding them to a web site.
    Ray just posted How to Use a Static WordPress Front Page and Blog Link

  6. says

    Images always play an important role in bringing the light to the content. It becomes one of the important factor that attracts the reader towards the post, and yes!

    Compressed images with high quality is everyone’s demand. People love quick loading images, and if you filled your reader screen with quickly loading images they will definitely take a look at it.
    Hamza Sheikh just posted What Is Important: Unique Content or Unique Writing Style?

  7. says

    Agree Steven,
    Images play a big role in readers engagement, it helps to keep stay on page which reduces bounce rate, we can itself imagine how we feel when we read a Blog without images, one more thing images decide how long they keep visitors engage.
    Thanks for sharing.