Improving content and your visitor’s readability by inserting images within your content is considered by some authors as a trashy and devaluing practice to published material on websites.
On the other hand, many online experts say that it enhances the reader’s visitation to your website and if done correctly can improve on both the content and the quality of the material.
Much like a textbook in school. While the quality of your content is very important both imagery and textual both have to be relevant to the website or the material it is inserted within, even videos and audio recordings most apply to this standard.
But I’m not talking about irrelevant images like nude still shots of Halle Berry from the movie “Monster Ball” or a centerfold spread showing some beefy hunk’s manhood from the latest issue of “Playgirl Magazine” here.
I’m talking images that will help your readers understand what it is you are writing about and in some cases illustrations showing them instead of relying on just what you have written to demonstrate or convey the message.
SHORT BUT INTERESTING HISTORY
We humans have used our eyes (sight) more than any of our other five senses to survive since the beginning of our species.
Hunters used to find the highest point of a landscape and perch on it to look for prey to hunt for supper. Now, before we get into this subject to deep I want to point out that while some people think that images clutter up blogs and deface the reputation of the author.
I, however, have a different opinion and think that it actually has the opposite result. Additionally, this opinion that I have on the topic was proven in many psychology based studies of school children and the general population during the 20th century.
Moreover, the percentage of visual learners are growing as technology advances into the digital era, could this be that we humans are evolving right in front of our eyes and we don’t even realize it. Or, are we simply converting back to our basic instincts?
Think about this, back in the beginning of the 19th century (1801 thru 1900), mail order catalogs were just being introduced in some of the major established cities like New York, Baltimore, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati, and Brooklyn (rounded up the most populated according to the 1840 United States Census).
For the first 60 to 100 years of these promotional catalogs, astonishingly they shifted to become more than 70 percent text and 30 percent drawn illustrations near the end of the century.
By the end of the 1890s those same mail order catalogs, with the help of the newly invented rolled photography film, slowly started shifting toward a more visual presentation of the items offered in them, instead of written text descriptions.
As photography kept developing, the catalogs percentage ratios of text over images were also shifting to more pictures than there was text over the years.
Nowadays, smack dab in the middle of the digital age, these same mail-order catalogs mostly have been replaced, with more and more items, now being presented online at merchant’s websites.
Equally important, is the fact they are constructed at roughly 90 percent photos and a mere 10 percent text.
Additionally, on some of the bigger retailer’s e-commerce web pages, it’s actually hard to find a realistic text written description of most of the items offered on their websites.
What most people don’t realize about imagery inserted in reading material it makes the content more appealing when the visitor first looks and the text and any pictures.
It can also give a quick assumption of what the text will be discussing (that’s why it’s important that your images are relevant to your material)
Finally, it breaks upon the text making the material easy to read and if done correctly a much more enjoyable experience overall for your readers.
WE, HUMANS, ARE VISUAL BEINGS
Let’s face we are naturally visual this is why Pinterest and Instagram skyrocketed in popularity so quickly once they hit mainstream media.
For the first six months, Pinterest was in existence its subscriber soared on a daily basis until almost 60% of internet users knew about it or had posted on it themselves.
More of the millennia generation internet enthusiasts grasped quickly unto Instagram as well. For those internet usurers born after the 1980s currently under the age of 40 (at the time of writing this article) more of them use Instagram or Pinterest rather than Facebook on a daily basis.
So Are we saying that everyone would rather look at pictures all day over actually reading an article on what the picture is showing, not exactly right?
Well, no not exactly, although the number of visual learners has been on a steady increase over the decades that doesn’t mean that the majority of us still enjoy some good well-written reading material.
And it is actually getting harder and harder to find quality reading material, what with most newspapers and magazine having decreased subscription as the internet becomes more and more popular.
These publications unfortunately for many authors and editors not willing to get with modern technology will continue to decline and will slowly be phased out of existence
I think they will without a doubt become extinct within the next 50 years or maybe even sooner only time will tell on that scenario.
Unfortunately, we all don’t have the time or the resources to go out and take pictures of everything we want to write about on our websites.
Equally important it would be hard to take a picture of the 3 Gorges Dam in China without actually going there. So how are we going to legally adapt to our visitor’s needs without getting into some serious legal problems of posting Copyrighted images and pictures?
If the images are relevant or enhance the comprehension ability of the message you are trying to convey to your reader, and if it is skillfully placed within the content it will, no doubt in my mind improve the understanding of the subject matter being read by your website visitor.
SEEING THE FUTURE
So we know the wave of the future is visual media, the more adaptable to this change we become will essentially increase the traffic to your website on a daily basis.
Equally import, by doing some easy arithmetic we know the more visitors, multiplies the potential money opportunities we can present to people thusly increasing our revenue possibilities from those websites.
Okay, images are what our visitors want, then images are what they will get (the customer’s always right – Right?). The internet offers endless opportunities to locate free images that we can incorporate into our material submitted to our websites for everyone to see and read.
Locating those images are not that difficult you can go to google images and search there, and there are a number of sites these days that offer free reuse images, sometimes finding that exact image that you want to use can be a bit of a challenge to locate.
When doing searches for images on the internet use caution to assure you are using an image the proper way or you could be contacted by the owner requesting you take it down. So above we have a typical image search on Google.
In the image below shows step one after the initial search has been done, click on the tool button circled in red with orange and black arrows pointing to it.
After clicking on the Tools button a pop-up menu will appear just under the inquiry box but above the results shown, in the image below you can see it outlined by the red rectangle and has the red and blue arrows pointing to it.
The final steps are pretty simple click on the “Usage Rights” button where the red and black arrows are pointing to in the image below.
Now you just have to click on the labeled for reuse where the green and orange arrow are pointing to in the image up above.
IT’S NOT AS HARD AS IT LOOKS
If you find yourself spending a lot of time looking through images and you just can’t find that perfect picture among what Google has to offer; there are plenty of images providing websites out there to choose from.
If by chance you can’t find that exact image you are looking for, well maybe you can find it in one of the listed sites in this table:Below is a list of website that offers free images for unlimited unrestricted reuse. Check the site to make sure this is still their policy. These links are provided as a courtesy I assume no responsibility to how the website operates. Use them at your own discretion.
However, every site on this list I have obtained at least one free image from, and have used those said images for commercial reuse with no ramifications at all!
Now some of these websites periodically change things up and charge for some photos, something else to watch for is they allow you to use the photo if you give proper credit or attribution to the creator.
“Image courtesy of photographic Jane”
“Image provided by Cameraman Joe”
“Image credit goes to Clyde Canon”
“A Special thanks goes out to Nikon Nancy for the images on this page”
Something of that nature, you get the idea right? Remember to check each site some are rather picky on how you pay attribution to their creators.
So again I caution everyone that is pulling images from the internet do it with due diligence. I can not say this enough, double check to make sure every photo you extract from a website assure it is free of any restrictions for reuse.
I hope to see you around the internet with your eyes glued to the text, and of course the images on my website.
Remember images help visitor engagement and if a strategically placed with the correct relevant images it will also enhance the message you are attempting to convey to your readers.
Hope everyone has a great time being creative with their written material as they insert visual images and/or videos too to help enhance what their visitors experience when they come to visit your website next time.
If you need help with something or have a question please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me privately at my email address, and I will be more than happy to address it, or if you would like to leave some relevant information as content that you feel may enhance this website/page, by all means feel free to leave those comments below as well.