Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Want Traffic? You Need Images

While checking out Google Voice I landed on their blog and was intrigued by the Dynamic View theme, so I'm trying it here on Mizz Information. See those tabs across the top of the blog now--"Classic" "Flipcard" "Magazine" etc? You can click on those to view this blog in those formats. Granted, it doesn't look very great because I seldom use images--something which, if I am serious about optimizing traffic, I need to start doing more because images are the new sharing vehicle--just look at how much traffic Pinterest is driving.

I'm conflicted about this because, while I am a visual person, I'm not great at pairing images with blog posts. Or, I guess I should say, it's not something I used to spend any time on because frankly, I didn't care that much. I still don't know if I do, but I do know that while it used to matter some, now I suspect it's going to start mattering a lot more.

So take this post, for instance--obviously, I should include an image in it. Why? Because I have just witnessed how crappy this blog looks in this new format because of the lack of images in posts. So I should start including images in each post from here on out, if for no other reason than to make the blog look decent in these new formats. My challenge with this is, how literal do you need to be with images? Do you just include an image that you like and that you think is visually appealing, or do you try to match the image with the content? I'm solving this one by experimenting with embedding a Pinterest image in a post--way to kill two birds with one stone, right? ; )

(Update: after realizing that the Dynamic Views theme doesn't work for people trying to read this blog on an iPad I switched back to the boring old theme. Who designs a blog theme that throws an error message when accessed from an iPad in 2012? Blogger, that's who.)

1 comment:

Maddie Grant said...

Great question! You have probably noticed I include a picture in every post over on SocialFishing. It's actually something I do very carefully and proactively - it gives the whole blog a certain personality, and it unifies the blog even though we have several different people blogging. In our upcoming redesign (live any day now) the images will be even more important as we'll be surfacing more and more content - kind of like a newspaper front page. No image, the eye is not drawn to it.

Anyway I also have an art history background so this happens to be something I'm obsessive about (and I think pretty good at) - everyone will be different, but to specifically answer your question - I try as much as possible to NEVER be literal. (And oh dear god, never use stock photography.) I unse FickrCC - I search for a keyword that's sort of related, but then I keep thinking of more until I find an image that's sort of metaphorically related to the post. Feel free to dig around the blog for millions of examples :)