Content is King, but visuals are Queen. Are you using the power of visual content enough?
Content is a constantly changing landscape. Whether it's in the blogosphere, social media platforms, or websites, different types of content continue to grow and evolve over time. Over the years, one type of content continues to dominate the playing field–visual content.
Although text-only blog posts had their time in the spotlight and videos are currently making waves online, visual content continues to become a popular favorite for many, and there are several reasons why.
Visual content is highly effective because 90% of the information our brains process is visual. In short, it catches people's attention, has the ability to pack a punch of information, and is easier to process. Since it's such a crowd-pleaser, many content marketers use it to help boost traffic, optimize their site, and eventually enhance their SEO. It's no wonder that visual content has become an essential weapon for fellow digital marketers and content marketers alike.
In this article, we're going to dissect visual content and how you can use it to boost your site's SEO and keep your content marketing in tip-top shape in the long run.
Types of Visual Content
Visual content isn't limited to just simple pictures. There are so many different types of visual content out there. Here are a few popular ones that are often used in content marketing. Today, You can find a vast world of visual content on the web, social media platforms, and many more.
Infographics are excellent pieces of visual content. Frequently, they are used to deliver complicated information in a way that's easier to understand, digest, and process. You might have seen them floating around the web, and they are relatively easy to recognize due to their unique characteristics.
Infographics are defined as “a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data.” They're great for conveying statistics, data, and charts. So, if you have a lot of information, data, and statistics, turning them into infographics might be something you can do.
The downside of an infographic is its complexity. Thankfully you can always hire an infographic agency or use various online tools such as Canva or Venngage, just to name a few options.
Explainer videos are basically short videos that are usually used for sales or marketing purposes. It usually highlights a product or service effectively and efficiently. Many businesses have explainer videos on their websites or social media platforms.
Explainer videos do a great job of conveying lots of information compactly and efficiently. Explainers work well, especially if a company has a lot of information about its products or services and would like to educate its target audience without much hassle.
Explainer video by Organimi
Images in articles
Images aren't just there to look pretty. They have a lot of purposes, such as creating a pause in text. You can also use images to break up chunks of text and help readers process loads of information better. They can also help retain the reader's attention and keep them engaged. Lastly, you can also help explain complicated information or emphasize a certain point with charts or diagrams.
Text-heavy articles can be exhausting to read and, not to mention, incredibly dull. You've probably experienced fatigue from reading endless paragraphs and blocks of text. Reading long texts can be made easier and even more enjoyable with images.
Benefits of Visual Content
Visual content carries a lot of benefits. Depending on the complexity of the imagery, they can be time-consuming to produce, but they're pretty easy to consume. Images help deliver information easier and ensure that the reader can process the information more easily. Here are a few other benefits of visual content.
The use of visual content helps you and your business rank higher on search engine results pages. When users search, they are presented with a list of results that match their query. The ranking of each result is determined by a search engine's algorithm, which takes into account a variety of factors.
The reality is that search engines like Google really factor in page design and user experience when it comes to ranking websites. So, don't expect search engines to love the plain design and endless blocks of text. If you'd like to boost your SEO, try utilizing visual content on your website.
Visual content also does a great job at building brand awareness. According to a study, people can recall around 65% of visual information three days later, whereas they can only remember 10% of written information. This proves that people will more likely remember a brand if they see it.
Creating informative and visually appealing content will help you increase brand awareness and exposure. You can do this by creating infographics, images, and videos that are shareable and informative. You can also use social media to promote your content and help it reach a larger audience.
Balances Out Your Content
Do you have a lot of written content on your site? Getting visuals here and there can help break up those long walls of text, making them much easier to digest. Although your content might be excellent, no one wants to read long paragraphs. So, by adding some imagery such as infographics, images, or even explainer videos, you'll be able to balance your content out and make them much more engaging.
Using images in your content can also help you explain complex concepts or processes. For example, if you're writing a post on how to make a perfect coffee, adding some visuals can help get your point across.
Challenges of Visual Content
Now that you've gotten an idea of how valuable visual content can be, we will break down a few downsides. Just like anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to using visuals in your content marketing strategy.
Takes More Time and Effort to Produce
Crafting high-quality visuals usually take time, and you can't rush this process. This is absolute, especially if you're starting from scratch. It can take hours to create one piece of visual content. If you're not happy with the results, you might need to do it again. This can be extremely frustrating if you're on a tight deadline.
Requires More Costs
Unless you're a graphic designer or have some skill in design, you might need to use new tools or even hire someone to help you create visuals. This can also be time-consuming and costly. If you decide to design your images yourselves, you might need to invest in a few tools and courses. All in all, you will need to invest in good design to produce quality visual content.
Not as Flexible as Written Content
Visual content isn't as flexible as written content because they're a bit of a hassle to change. For example, if you want to change a paragraph, you could easily edit it, whereas, for visual content, you would have to go back and make changes to the design. This can be time-consuming, and it's not as easy as editing text.
How Can Visual Content Boost Your SEO?
Obviously, visual content adds more value than just plain text. People are visual creatures, and we tend to process images much faster than text. But did you know that there's a direct correlation between visual content and SEO?
When people see an image relevant to the topic they're reading about, they're more likely to engage with the content. And engagement is a key ranking factor for SEO.
If people spend more time on your website, it signals to Google that your content is valuable and worth ranking higher. So if you want people to stick around, adding visual content is a great way to do it.
Boosts Conversion Rates
Visual content is also great for conversion rates. 67% of consumers say that quality images are “very important” when deciding to purchase online.
And it makes sense. After all, if you're selling a product, you want people to be able to see what they're buying. Good quality product images can make a difference in whether or not someone decides to buy from you.
Including visuals in your content can also help explain complex concepts and make them more digestible for your audience. And when people understand what they're reading, they're more likely to convert.
Humans are hardwired to pay attention to things that are visually stimulating. Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than they do text. So if you want to hold people's attention, using visuals in your content is a great way to do it.
And once again, the longer people stay on your website, the better it is for your SEO. Google tracks how long people spend on a site before heading back to the search results. So if people are spending more time on your site, it'll signal to Google that your content is worth ranking.
5 Ways to Integrate Visual Content Into Your SEO Strategy
Integrating visual content into your SEO strategy can be highly beneficial for your business because it can help you to better connect with your target audience, improve your click-through rates, and boost your overall search engine rankings.
Here are five ways you can get started:
1. Build Links with Infographics
One way to integrate visual content into your SEO strategy is by building links with infographics. You can create informative and shareable infographics and submit them to infographic directories. You can also post them on your website or blog and include a link back to your site.
You can also reach out to blogs or websites by offering them content in order to link back to your infographic. Infographics have been integral parts of backlink building. Blogs love them because they make posts more visually appealing, and they can be used to drive traffic back to your site.
2. Raise Brand Awareness With Branded Visual Content
Another way to integrate visual content into your SEO strategy is by raising brand awareness with branded visual content. This can be done by creating visuals that feature your brand name, logo, or other branding elements.
Starbucks is well known for its iconic siren. On their Instagram, it's rare not to see the iconic logo. By including the Starbucks logo on every post, they're building awareness of their brand and encouraging users to share their favorite drinks on social media.
You can use these visuals on social media platforms, email marketing campaigns, or your website or blog. This is an excellent way to get your brand name out there and improve brand recognition. In turn, this can result in more website traffic and higher search engine rankings. Since the visuals would be branded, you'll be getting recognition for your company when people share them.
3. Boost Engagement With Viral Imagery
You can also boost engagement with viral imagery. This can be done by creating shareable visuals and likely to go viral. You can then submit these visuals to online directories or post them on your website or blog.
For example, this infographic by ColumnFive went viral because of its unique concept of using food as ingredients for a well-balanced blog, just like how you would plan a nutritious meal. As a result, people found it fun to learn about blogging and understood the concept very well.
When people see these visuals, they'll be more likely to engage with your brand. This engagement can take the form of comments, likes, shares, or even website visits. All of these activities can help to improve your search engine ranking.
4. Educate Your Audience With Data Visualization
Another way to integrate visual content into your SEO strategy is by educating your audience with data visualization. You can do this by creating visuals that explain complex data sets or concepts. You can then submit these visuals to online directories or post them on your website or blog.
Data visualization is excellent for conveying complex information, numbers, and statistics in an easy-to-understand manner. When people can understand your data, they are more likely to engage with your brand. Other than that, search engines also prefer content that is easy to understand. As a result, your rankings are likely to improve.
5. Retain attention with engaging videos and graphics
Source: Natural World Facts
Finally, you can retain attention with engaging videos and graphics. You can do this by creating visuals that are interesting and visually appealing. You can then submit these visuals to online directories or post them on your website or blog.
An excellent example would be Natural World Facts' Deep Sea Hub. They created a variety of documentaries on Youtube and utilized vivid images on their website to retain users and make the process of learning about deep-sea creatures a little more interesting.
Videos and graphics are excellent for keeping people's attention. People are more likely to remember information presented in a video than information presented in the text. If your visuals are engaging, people will be more likely to watch or view them. Not to mention, videos and graphics are also great for boosting your click-through rate.
Visual content has an array of benefits and some drawbacks, but it has proven to boost SEO and increase engagement for websites and businesses. In fact, it is becoming more and more critical for companies to use some form of visuals in their marketing in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Creating visuals is just the first half of boosting SEO. The next step you would need to take is to make sure that the visual content is properly distributed and gets enough love. Here's what you need to do to ensure that you're publishing your visual content the right way.
Share it on Different Platforms
One of the most crucial things you can do to ensure that as many people see your visual content as possible is to share it on different platforms. This gives your content a greater reach and ensures that more people will see it.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are the best platforms to share visual content. These sites have large user bases and are perfect for sharing visuals. Another great platform for visual content is Instagram. This site is ideal for sharing images and videos.
Repurpose it in Different Formats
Another great way to get more mileage out of your visual content is to repurpose it in different formats. For example, if you have a blog post with a lot of great visuals, you can create an infographic from it. Or, if you have a video, you can create an animated GIF from it.
This is a great way to get more use out of your visual content and ensure that as many people see it.
Include a CTA
When sharing visual content, it's essential to include a call to action (CTA). This link or button encourages people to take a specific action, such as subscribing to your newsletter or following you on social media.
A CTA is a great way to increase engagement with your visual content and ensure that people do something with it.
Visual content is a great way to boost SEO and increase engagement. It adds value to your content, helps readers digest information better, and makes everything look good. However, it's important to remember that visual content is just one puzzle piece. To truly see the benefits of visual content, you need to make sure that you're sharing it on the right platforms and that you're including a CTA.
About the Author
Ebnu Sudarso is the Co-founder of Milkwhale, an internationally acknowledged infographic production agency. Graphic design and writing have always been a passion. Over the years at Milkwhale, the company has created and published numerous infographics and great visuals.