The UX’s will claim that a picture says more than 1.000 words. SEO experts will say that a good landing page needs at least 1.000 words. But the truth is that all of this really belongs together as a united front.
You don’t separate the potatoes from the gravy, and even though you would probably separate pears and apples, a pie with both of them in it can actually be quite phenomenal.
In short, photo and text is not a black-and-white situation. In this blog post, I will look at how they make each other better – both in terms of SEO, but also user experience.
Are you ready? Get comfortable and take a look at what we’ll be covering:
- The ways photos support your content
- Dividing content into smaller parts
- Increasing interaction
- Time on site
Yin and Yang – how photos substantiate copywriting
Very few people would be mind blown when the value of good content is explained to them. It’s a constant topic within all marketing podcasts, blogs, and articles Even Google has been out explaining this – so there is really no surprise in this any longer. You NEED to have your content in order if you want to rank higher and seduce your visitors.
That being said, content is a wide term, which doesn’t only cover text but also photos and videos. For that reason, all elements have to support each other and work together, where podcasts’ graphics designs make a great example.
Textual content is hyper-relevant when it comes to indexing and ranking in search engines. After all, it is no joke when SEO experts tell us to write at least 1.000 words. This also applies to technically complicated topics, which can end up in intricate sentences and explanations that make the readers feel like Bambi on ice.
When it starts getting tricky like this, you need to help the reader out. Perhaps with a visual explanation:
- A photo/video showing the product or service
- An explanation with lines crisscrossing
- A FactBox
- Something completely else
There are plenty of ways to do this.
Illustrate your points and divide the text
The many words on landing pages are written for search engines, but most importantly they are written for the visitor. And phew, +1000 words is quite a mouthful to get through. Especially if you hit your head on a big block of text.
This is where photos are eminent in making the user experience a whole lot better. They can be used to divide the text or illustrate statements more clearly, to keep the reader motivated and up to date. Have a look at this blog post about content marketing, where illustrations are crucial elements.
Increased interaction – catch attention with a photo
Interaction. Wow, do we want that! No matter if it’s our photos on Instagram or updates on LinkedIn, but of course also when the talk falls on copywriting. Shares, likes, comments – it doesn’t get any better when your content suddenly learns to walk by itself. However, this won’t just happen out of nowhere…
Is there any way of interacting with a wall of text? You are probably shaking your head.
You don’t have to trust my words blindly. But check out some of your friend’s LinkedIn (the ones that are performing well). They will probably have a nice division of their text and photos, whether it is in the shape of an emoji or they may be using a video to support their text.
But why? Well, because the interaction increases.
Let’s rewind to the part where I talk about copywriting – how do photos help interaction here?
Obviously, you need a great heading to draw attention. But when that’s done, you also need a great photo to ensure interaction, which eventually makes your CTA successful.
If people chose to share your post, blog, etc. on social media with a link, the cover picture will be connected to the article, which of course needs to be interesting in order to catch people’s interest.
However, the cover image can rarely lift your copy to a desired level of interaction on its own. You also need more throughout the whole text. It can be graphs, statistics, fact boxes, or anything else that is able to stand alone. The picture has its own life and comes with an explanation. It invites people to share the specific picture with text as an attached comment in order to elaborate.
That way, the images can have an independent existence where they are also used in other people’s blogs for any other kind of post. It might result in something as nice as earned links – we like that, especially from an SEO perspective.
Source: Campaign Monitor
Do you understand the points made in the photos above?
You most definitely do. But can it stand alone, and is it groundbreaking enough to achieve shares? Hmm, I think yes. Some industries will find this incredibly exciting, and visual sketching requires neither a PhD nor a marketing education to understand the meaning.
Increased time on site – search engines love it!
Better search engine rankings. More of that, please!
But how can the interaction between copywriting and images contribute to this particular situation? Please keep reading, as we begin the last chapter of this text.
It’s important that you have access to relevant images. If you don’t, you must start customizing them yourself. An irrelevant image probably damages more than 1,000 words ever will, but the right one can really give your rankings a kick – and meanwhile set you heading for the top.
In this blog post, there are some interesting reflections on this particular matter, from where I will use some of the key images below.
This is about an article where the images are not quite relevant – what do you do? You might try to put in a relevant photo, which results in increased dwell time in this case:
An increase in visit time of nearly 50% by just selecting the right image to substantiate the content. That’s not quite bad. Of course, this is a wonderful example – you can still be more than happy if you just increase it by a few percentages – it can be of immense importance in the end.
Dwell time and the importance of SEO?
Moving on with the same case where it is obvious that there’s an increase in traffic. This may be due to several things, and it’s not told how much effort is put into link building, optimizing text, and the + 200 other parameters Google looks at.
That being said, the increased visit time has certainly had an impact. In fact, Google really wants to show the best to its faithful visitors. And when the search engine suddenly discovers that people are spending longer on a page, it quickly assumes that it must be because something is found relevant to the keyword from which the visitor enters. And well – this leads to better placement.
However, if you have a page where people jump in and out, you will experience the opposite effect. So all your content must be relevant and edible. This applies to images, video, text, and more.
A good copy and great photos are most definitely a case where 2+2 equals 5. Therefore, you need to work on building them up as a complement to each other instead of viewing them as two separate elements.
In harmony, this can lead to better rankings in search engines, more conversions, increase in the level of interaction and readability of your copy.
I hope this post is useful, or at least clears up any confusion about the whole UX and SEO “either-or”. It’s really a family, that needs to learn to work together.
About the author
Tim Knorborg Jensen is the CMO at TEXTA ApS.
Tim’s tasks involve marketing for TEXTA, as well as working side by side with customers to optimize their content through content marketing.