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Pictures or Text: What Makes A Blog Work Better?

While there is likely no one right answer, many bloggers and SEOs have argued at length over what kind of blog achieves more success. Some claim that image-rich blogs accrue better Page Ranks while others say that text-heavy blogs do better because of their keywords, instructional content, and ease of hosting. First we have to differentiate what we mean by success. There are three major rubrics: site views, SEO, and usability. Taking into consideration these rubrics, let’s weigh some of the opinions and compare the relative merits of image-based blogs versus text-based ones.

Online Marketing

Image-based media is becoming more popular

This is true. The rise of Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr testify to this. But at the same time WordPress, which caters far more to text-based blogs, is the most popular CMS in the world. So you can’t just say ‘text is dying.’ The most effective blogs merge images and text.

Text anchor links are better for SEO

Time and time again, search engines remind us that text works better than images in generating approval with search engines and optimizing your blog. While images can still be infused with alt tags, they don’t benefit from the same weight given to search engine-friendly anchor text.

Subjectively, images and words are equally effective at conveying ideas

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In fact, they say that so often that it’s cliched and meaningless. The reality is, both images and words can accomplish the same task. Images can often do it quicker and with less effort, but they can also lead to confusing messages, unintended insinuations, and miscommunications.

Blogging Research Wordle

Image blogs can make it easier to stand out from other blogs

However, poorly used images can compromise usability if the images obscure site navigation, menus, and links. Similarly, the overuse of text in bland, jumbled ways can be just as confusing. In the end, the strength of both text and images are subject to a good site design that is aesthetically pleasing and functionally robust.

It depends on your market

This is obvious, and renders this entire discussion almost senseless. Ultimately, the use of text or images will depend on who your readership is. For advertising purposes they say that text works better for business, science, politics, and finances while images work better for gaming, sports, entertainment, and fashion.

The text blog versus image blog debate often seems strange because it’s so obvious that both sides function better when operating harmoniously with the other. While you may be able to say that text is better for SEO and images are better for entertainment, ultimately they are part and parcel of a well-balanced, user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing blog.

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