Blogging is somewhat personal. Sometimes we try to educate our readers, sometimes we entertain them, but most of the time both. We’re all storytellers. The internet used to be text-only medium in its infancy but the digital technology today allows us to create and share visual content easily. Our love for images has grown over the years. People are now more interested in seeing information rather than reading about it. Images are becoming the internet’s new language. So today’s Asian bloggers challenge: is image now more important than text?
The sea of information on the worldwide web is vast, so to keep from drowning, people scan things more quickly. Internet users experience content overload causing them to have shorter attention span. The average person’s attention span is eight seconds used to be 12 in year 2000. Studies show that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Images are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than plain text. Visual content reaches the brain faster than textual information. It takes the brain longer to process text information, while visual information only took 0.25 seconds. One look at the image and we instantly know what it is trying to tell us. This explains why we often re-read text several times and we realize we have no idea of what we’ve read.
Our natural ability to process visual information faster drives us to choose content with images over plain text articles. Content with compelling images get 94% more views than textual content. Images have the ability to communicate complex messages very quickly compared to text. This is particularly useful to capture the reader’s short attention span. ACM Group in Sydney uses images to capture more attention from web users because they provide information at a glance. Images also spark feelings, the right image can bring out joy, compassion, disgust or hate. Images are vital to drive traffic, engage viewers instantly and leave longer impression.
Images are everywhere. Social networking sites have moved to image-centric layouts. Facebook post with photos get more than 150% of likes on average than post with plain text. Many apps are focusing on images from Instagram to Pinterest to Snapchat and Vine. Engagement per follower is 58 times higher on Instagram than on Facebook. The popularity of photo sharing sites illustrate that visual content is more successful in social media because visual content is more enjoyable to browse than plain text content and easy to share.
Visual content is very important in getting the attention of 21st century web users. Images are effective to easily reach our readers. Use images in the correct places to get readers attention. However, if there is no text your message may be lost or interpreted differently. It is important for bloggers to write attractive strong text because the message can’t simply be conveyed through an image alone. The text helps to engage the reader and let them understand what you are trying to say.
The internet is primarily a text-driven medium. Text plays a central role in SEO since it’s the only data that the search engines understand perfectly. Using keywords can enhance the attention of the reader. People have less time for reading. Headlines are important, 8 out of 10 people read the headline but only 2 out of 10 will read the complete text. People are drawn to the headline, but a good text will keep the readers interested. Blog needs a proper balance between images and text. They must complement each other to attract and convince the reader on your message.