This is Block 81's archive of past articles. Once in a while we may add more, but it's rare.
Block 81 is a design studio producing beautifully crafted websites and brands for independent businesses and startups.
July 20, 2016
What does the image above say to you? Your blog hero image is about more than a pretty picture and it pays to think about what your images are saying to your readers.
Believe it or not, the image you use for your blog posts could be even more important than the post itself. It plays a large role in convincing readers to look below the image to find out what you have to say.
Before you add one more image to your next blog post, find out what yours are saying and make sure it’s saying the right thousand words.
"The image you use for your blog posts could be even more important than the post itself"
Not sure what a blog hero image is? It’s the large image that appears above the fold or above your post. It may appear above or below your headline. One study found the image works better for your site if it’s placed above the headline, but test the placement yourself to see which leads to higher views.
The entire purpose of the image is to entice readers to check out the blog post itself. The problem is many images are just there for eye candy and don’t serve any real purpose. Don’t waste any valuable space at the start of your post. Let your image actually be worth a thousand words. As something to think on, posts with relevant images receive 94% more page views.
Take a look at the blog hero image above. The average man turning into a superhero immediately tells readers the following post has something to do with something average becoming super. Here, we’re talking about turning your average blog post into a super post by using the right image.
Your image needs to express the purpose of your post. A picture of a cute kitten would’ve been adorable, but does it say anything about this post? No. Use your image to reinforce your headline. It doesn’t have to be exact, but it should relate in some obvious way.
Does your blog post encourage readers to take a specific action? For instance, if the post is about killing annoying weeds for a better looking lawn, you might be trying to sell a weed killer or weed removal tool. Your blog hero image might be of someone using your product or looking frustrated while pulling weeds by hand.
Another powerful tool to compliment your CTA is to have an image of a person looking towards what you want a reader to do. If you want readers to download an app, having an image of a person gazing at their phone while using the app, could encourage more downloads of your app. Studies show people naturally follow the gaze of others.
Appeal To Emotions
From the color of the image to the expression of any individuals, your image should appeal to the readers’ emotions. The image we’ve used expresses confidence, success and making a major change. All of these make you feel more confident in reading the post and help you to see that after reading this, you could make a major change on your own site.
Different types of images appeal to different emotions and result in varying actions. Happier images encourage sharing while sad images encourage people to give or empathize. Appeal to emotions to encourage the proper responses from your readers.
Most importantly, your blog hero image needs to showcase not just your post’s personality, but your brand’s personality. If you’re a site focused on family values, a sensual photo of two people in bed isn’t going to work with your brand’s reputation. When someone sees the image and headline shared, they should instantly know what type of personality the post will have.
Our image above reminds you of Superman. He was not only professional, but friendly and helpful, just like our brand. Keeping a consistent personality helps with branding throughout your blog posts.
Your blog hero image isn’t just about a fun visual. The right image serves as a hero to your post - encouraging more views and possibly more conversions. At the very least, it’ll help reduce your bounce rate and draw more people to read more than just a headline.