You’ve set aside the time and crafted a well-written blog post with SEO in mind. You’ve uploaded it to your website and are ready to click publish. Stop! Until you’ve taken the time to add a picture or image, your not ready to go live. Find out why images matter for your blog post.
Don’t Forget the Images!
If you’ve been researching how to write the perfect law blog, you may feel like there is already a lot to think about:
- Length and readers’ attention span
- Legal ethics and advertising
- And of course, a correct statement of the law
But even after you have all the words together on the page, there is still one more step to consider before clicking publish: images.
Using the right pictures, infographics, and imagery is essential to getting your message heard. Images increase your click rate on social media and improve your SEO score. By choosing high-quality images with your law firm’s brand in mind, you can also help set the tone for your post before your readers even get past the title.
A Case Study in the Need for a Good Picture
Frequent readers to this blog know that my law partner and I run a coworking space called the PatchWork Collective in Ferndale, Michigan. One important part of marketing at a coworking space is by hosting community events, workshops, and presentations.
As part of our presentation series, my law partner reached out to Dr. Michael L. Schwartz of Positive Concepts, Inc. and invited him to give a talk on Emotional Intelligence. Details were set up, the topic was ironed out, and when all was said and done, we had a beautiful, if lengthy, description ready to go out to our email list.
Still, there was something missing: a catchy picture. As I went to post the event on our social media, I wanted something to catch people’s eye as they scrolled past.
Luckily, creative people love to play with the idea of intelligence and creativity. It didn’t take me long to find a wonderful, license-free picture that captured the spirit of the event. Best of all, the picture even looks a little bit like our speaker. And so, the event image was born:
Now we have an icon that we can use in all of our marketing for the event that provides a consistent feel, connects with the content, and gives a glimpse of what guests can expect when they show up on March 11.
Finding the Right Image for Your Law Blog
That same kind of creative thinking can take your law blog posts to the next level. There are many license-free photo websites out there where photographers and graphic designers put their work on display. You can browse these images for something that inspires you, or search for specific images that relate to your topic.
But how do you pick the right image for your law blog article? Here are some thoughts to consider:
- Is there a key illustration in your blog post that you want to feature? (Sometimes pictures that seem unrelated to the topic, but that tie in to the content in a less direct way can get more clicks)
- Is the tone of your website professional or friendly? (Friendly sites can get away with funny pictures more easily than professional websites)
- What do you want your reader to feel when they are reading your post? (Are you offering relief from pain and annoyance? Inspiring a new line of thought? Warning against a danger?)
- Does your website have a color palette that you want to take advantage of? (monochrome, black-and-white, cool colors)
All of these questions can help you hone in on the right picture for your law blog. It might be an angry pit bull for a post about what to do after a dog bite injury, or a smiley face for a post on ways to keep smiling through your divorce. It could be a somber black-and-white image of a business man at work for your article on the nuances of contract formation, or a rainbow-colored party scene for a post on your law firm’s sponsorship of an upcoming LGBT Pride event.
Let your topic, tone, and feel of the rest of the website guide you so you can pick the perfect images for your blog post.
What to Do With Your Pictures Once You Pick Them
You’ve selected a few ideal images for your blog post and uploaded them into the media files on your website. Now what? Here are some tips and tricks to help make the biggest SEO impact with your pictures.
Pick Your Best Shot for Your Featured Image
If your blog is on WordPress or another similar website platform, you can select a “featured image” for your post. This is the picture that social media outlets will put up when people link to your blog post. Pick your best picture — the one that best represents the blog post as a whole or has a special interest for your audience — and make that your featured image.
Spread Images Throughout Your Post
Your blog platform may give you the option to create a gallery of a number of images that appear all together in one part of your post. Avoid that. Unless you are writing a blog post about commercial real estate or have a host of pictures from a firm event, skip the gallery and spread your pictures out throughout your post. You can choose an image that highlights the content immediately above it. This helps break up the text and provide visual interest.
Write Alt Text that Includes Important Keywords
After you upload your picture, go into the settings and write a short, one-sentence alternative text that includes important keywords for your post. The “alt-text” is what shows up if a picture fails to load. It is also what search engines use to learn what your picture is about. If you’re not sure what language to use, go with your title or the heading of the section you are featuring. Load it up with keywords. Google will thank you.
There is no one secret to writing a viral blog post. But one thing is certain, your post will go much further if you use compelling images to catch and hold readers’ attention. Before you click send, make sure you’ve got a picture to make them want to read 1,000 words.
Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist in Ferndale, Michigan. She writes blogs and web pages for lawyers and small businesses. If you need help making the most of your law firm’s blog posts, contact Legal Linguist to schedule a meeting.