This sounds like a weird heading I know, but it's true. I'm not sure how or why it works, but just having images in your posts improves traffic. For me, posts with images get around 4x more views than those without. Personally, I think it is because the image captures people's attention and piques their interest. I could be wrong, but whatever the reason, it works!
For me, apart from making your posts visually appealing, one of the main ways to bring traffic in through images is via social media.
Twitter is, in my opinion, the best social network to promote your blog posts. However, Twitter is busy, and it's fast. Your tweets need to grab people's attention. How do you ensure people see your tweet within the 100s of other tweets going out every minute? That's where your images come in! When you write out your promo tweet, add an image from the post. The image will stand out far more than just text, ensuring it is seen by more people. Pair this with a catchy post title, and you'll find more and more people are clicking through to your posts.
For Instagram, every update is a photo or graphic. There are no text only updates on here, so if you don't use images, you won't be able to successfully post your updates! Be aware that all the pictures are a standard size and are all square - this doesn't mean all your blog post images have to be square. Just be aware that you need some detail in a basic square shape that will work as a stand alone image.
Pinterest fascinates me. It's like everything you could imagine wanting to see in one place, and I think it is still massively under-rated as a promotional tool for bloggers. You can pin any shape image, but portrait ones work best, especially for mobile browsers. The beauty of Pinterest is, unlike the other sites, your window of opportunity to be seen isn't limited to two minutes as it flies past! Pinterest works almost like a search engine - people look for things they want to pin, and when they find them, they generally click through to have a read. I have found a few great bloggers this way!
1. Use good, clear images that aren't blurry.
2. Use images that are large enough for the details to be clear, but not so large they become pixelated.
3. Try to use at least one portrait style image so people will pin it (add a Pin it widget to your side bar, the easier it is to share your material, the more people will do it). I often do this by making a portrait collage of the smaller images I've used and adding the post title.
4. Utilise the alt text. Remember, this text is displayed with your image on Pinterest. Use your post title rather than IMG1234!
5. Have fun! Play around with photo editing software to design and create great images. I use Pic Monkey, it's free and easy to use.
Have you got any top tips for using images to increase your traffic? Share them in the comments :)