boost blog traffic

How to Boost Your Blog Traffic Using These 5 Image Optimisation Tools. Make Your Content Look Awesome!

It’s no secret that adding relevant images to your content will enhance UX and help boost your blog traffic. But it takes more than uploading a few stock images to grab your readers’ attention.  Before we get into discussing the awesome tools that will help you create beautiful images, let’s firstly look at some important stats that will further increase your blog traffic.

 

In other words you should insert a relevant image into your article after every 75-100 words of text.

 

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Now that we’ve established the importance of having images in blogs, let’s look at some of the best tools available to create awesome looking, optimised graphics.

 

1. Canva

 

Canva is one of the most popular graphics tools out there, and for good reason.  First of all there’s the price tag: free. Of course, there are options for purchasing additional visual elements but most of the time you’ll just use the free stuff.  In a few minutes you can produce an awesome looking graphic that looks like it was designed by a Photoshop pro.

 

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To create your image you’ll start by choosing one of the thousands of free templates, and then customise it however you want. Change the font, adjust the colours, even upload your own image until you are content with your masterpiece.  Now you can complement your content with great looking visuals that will be sure to boost your blog traffic.

 

2. Infogr.am

 

Infogram is the ultimate tool for adding visually stuning infographics to your data driven blog posts.  You can upload data from multiple sources then choose from 35 different charts and over 500 maps.

 

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It goes beyond the usual boring pie charts and bar charts – you can choose animated gif charts, word clouds or interactive charts. Your audience can explore the data by switching between data sets and watch the chart animate before their eyes.

Gifs will make your data driven posts more effective, exciting and easier to share on social media. Creating your infographic couldn’t be simpler – choose from one of the 20 ready-made designs and then customise using the light-weight editor.

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The most impressive feature? Connecting to live sources of data, so your infographics are updated in real time.   The free plan won’t get you this particular feature but you can still make the awesome looking charts and maps.

 

3. Pixlr

 

If Canva doesn’t quite fulfil your creative needs then Pixlr is for you.  It’s a web-based image editing tool that’s pretty much like a basic version of Photohop. Some of the features include brushes and tools (crop, fill, blur, smudge) layers, adjustments, filters, borders, fonts, shapes, and much more. All giving you a whopping 2 million different combinations of effects. All done from your browser, no need to download any software (unless you want the handy Chrome extension) and best of all … it’s free!

 

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Pick from thousands of fonts, borders and image add-ons to transform your once-bland image into awesome eye-catching visual content.

 

You can upload your images from your hard drive, via a URL or even from your social media libraries. If the editor is a bit too technical for you then you can try Pixlr Express which let you make nifty one-touch edits to your images, including filters, borders, overlays and collages.

 

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What if you want to use an image from the web or even an entire screen capture? There’s even a tool for that.  The ‘Grabber’ extension for Firefox or Chrome lets you right click on any website image and load it into pixlr for editing, or you can do a full or partial screen capture of the page.

 

If you want to get really artsy then you can give Pixlr O-Matic a whirl.  It’s like Instagram on steroids. Endless amounts of filters, overlays and effects such as lense flare, burnt edges or scratches will result in something interesting but perhaps a bit of overkill for your blog content.

 

4. Pablo by Buffer

 

Pablo is like a lean, clean, super-easy version of Canva, and in many ways better. The 600k free images are generally superior to the gigantic Canva library which seems weighed down with endless amounts of ‘junk’ images and icons. The image creating/editing process is quick and straightforward – perfect when you’re pushed for time to finish your latest blog post.

 

 

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Start by choosing a predetermined image size according to the social media channel you’re using. Next, either search for a free image or upload your own and then add some text, choose your font, maybe add one of the effect filters … and whamo, you’re done.

 

Although it’s limited in terms of editing, there are some cool features such as the shuffle image function – great for when you’ve got creative block.  Or the inspirational quotes feature: scroll through hundreds of quotes from the likes of Mark Twain or Winston Churchill .

 

Once you’re done you can use Buffer to share your image on your social networks, and even schedule it for an optimised time.  However, if you just want to download the image and use it in your next WordPress post then you don’t even have to log in to Pablo to use it … I know, awesome!

 

I know what you’re probably thinking: “they all sound great but which one of these image editors should I use?”.  Well, I actually use all of them because they all have great features.  Canva is great for inspiration and layouts, pixlr is ideal for more advanced editing and Pablo is great as a source of high quality images.  Fun fact: the main picture for this post was created using both Canva and Pixlr.

 

5. WP Smush

 

Lets suppose you’ve created your exquisitely eye-catching image that will surely boost your blog traffic, but alas, it takes 10 seconds to load, like something from the 90’s dial-up internet era.  How tragic, it turns out that image will not be increasing your blog traffic after all.  Fear not though, there is plugin to fix this issue: WP Smush.

 

 

Increase Blog Traffic

 

WP Smush is a wonder tool! Those super clever folks over at WPMU Dev always build the best plugins and WP Smush is definitely one of them. Storing large images on your server can significantly slow down your page load time. There are two issues that you need to be aware of when uploading images to your website.

Firstly, you should always upload images to your site at the correct size. If you upload an image that is too large then the browser has to optimise the image size before it renders and this increases page load time. Second, images that are optimised for size can still be compressed without losing quality by using lossless compression. WP Smush does this for you!

 

Install and activate the plugin, head over to the media tab and select WP Smush. You can then run a test to see how many images can be smushed! The free version allows you to smush 50 images at a time. The pro version allows you to smush all images in one go and even has an option to increase smushing from 2x to 4x as well as smushing images outside of the media/uploads file.

 

Conclusion

 

Now that you’ve got the low-down on the best image editors/optimisers out there, it’s your turn to go ahead and create some magic! I recommend starting out with Pablo, he’s the most user friendly of the bunch. Dull and uninspiring blog images will be a thing of the past, replaced with enticing, compelling images that will sure help to boost your blog traffic.

 

We hope you found this article useful.  Please share via the buttons below and sign up to our newsletter to get more WordPress tools, tips and tricks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Scarman
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