There are a lot of parts to a successful blog.
- Layout and design
- Keyword selection
- Tags and category selection
- On-Page SEO
I’ve bolded “Image(s)” and “CTA(s)” above because I want to focus on them here. They are both highly important, and often overlooked. If you’re going to get the most value out of your blog, you need engaging imagery and effective CTAs (call-to-action).
What is engaging imagery?
Everyone talks about how important it is to produce great content, and I agree. Great content is printed, shared and talked about. But great content without quality images can go to waste. According to a Hubspot survey, content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without relevant images. The use of engaging photos in tweets and other social posts also has been shown to increase engagement.
The reason for this is obvious: our eyes are drawn to images. For example, the images in these recent tweets grabbed my attention and brought me to their websites to read the content:
Most brands know the importance of images. Some pay for stock images. More recently, many have turned to sites like Unspash and Pexels that provide bloggers with excellent high-quality free images. The problem is, with so many blog posts using images from sites like these, the images are starting to all look alike. In other words, they aren’t engaging.
The images that bloggers use have improved from clip-art to high-quality photos thanks to sites like Unsplash and Pexels but most imagery fails to tell a story that is relevant to the content it’s being used to promote.
So what should you do? It might cost you a few extra dollars, but for major blog posts I recommend that you create unique images that visually tell the blog’s story and key message (like the HealthIQ and NYT images above). Anyone with Photoshop skills can create images that stand apart from the sea of stock images.
What are good CTAs?
Great content without a properly placed, good CTA means you’re missing out on converting the people who come to your website into sales leads. The words “properly placed” are important. For if your CTAs interfere with your content, the people that you worked so hard to bring to your site will quickly leave your site.
This Hubspot blog provides examples of some great calls-to-action. And I think Jessica Miller-Merrell’s Blogging4Jobs blog does a great job with CTA placements.
And if you do include a CTA within the blog post, make sure to clearly distinguish it from the blog content like this:
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You might also enjoy our post How Frequently Should You Tweet About Your New Blog Post? The answer might surprise you.