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One for All, and All for One – Text, Images and Videos

Simply writing informative text may have been enough at the dawn of the Internet, but now users demand more encompassing content to enrich their reading experience. In this content, multiple media such as text, picture, video, music, dynamic graphs and models, and other components, must be seamlessly integrated with one another, giving unique information and helping the user learn faster. And to top it off, these must be search engine optimized so that the site benefits in the SERP rankings. There are several items needed in order to accomplish this.

The starting point is the text, and you can think of it as the skeleton of your webpage as it guides the reader through all the external media you use. There are two approaches to building the text: you can gather images, research data, and appropriate videos and write the text around these, or you can build your argument and then look for supporting evidence. Obviously, everything should be accurate, unique and informative, but it also must be formatted for better reading. Underline the important arguments, use paragraph headings, provide a “Contents” section at the beginning for faster browsing, and if you prefer, provide a downloadable PDF version of the whole document.

Images should be incorporated in the body of the document so that users do not have to scroll up and down continuously. Furthermore, pictures can be used to enforce ideas and help memorize concepts. It is best, then, to incorporate them into the text, perhaps as embedded images, or with drop down boxes.

Images can further be used to improve the SEO of the website1. Around 60% of the customers preferred text with pictures and found it more visually pleasing than text without images. When uploading a picture to your website, choose a personally taken image as these rank higher with Google. Furthermore, it will appear more in searches for similar images, and drive image traffic to your website. To optimize the image name and title tag, select the most appropriate keywords to describe it, minding phrases typical for your niche. The alt attribute can be utilized for better description, but be mindful that screen readers use it to describe images to visually impaired people.

Images frequently have copyright problems attached to them2, but you can use this to your own advantage. If you have a personal image, upload it under the Creative Commons License and allow it to be distributed along with a backlink to your website. This will increase your organic backlinks, drive more traffic to the webpage, and improve your standing in SERPs. Alternatively, there are multiple online libraries3 with free-license images you can use.

Videos are an additional viewpoint, which can enrich your argument or give a more thorough presentation of your product. Even more, videos allow for a lot of information to be conveyed in a limited time and are preferred by users4. Videos show another human being, which builds trust between the viewer and the presenter. It allows for special effects, subtitles and professional editing, and is best when showing how a skill or a move is performed. Concerning sales, videos help customers get a better feel of the product and its functions, dimensions, color and style.

Naturally, the video must be optimized both for better customer experience as well as SEO. As with images, the file name and tags must include hot and accurate keywords. Videos should also be coupled with transcripts, as these are indexed by search engines and users can go back to parts they have missed. Depending on your topic, place the video at the start or at the end of the text.

References:

  1. http://www.dragonblogger.com/images-seo/
  2. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
  3. http://www.lockergnome.com/news/2010/01/06/the-power-of-video-vs-text-based-content/

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