According to Social Media Strategist, Sally Falkow an image is indeed worth a thousand words.
Good images in your blog posts, articles and releases can affect how they are viewed, how they are picked-up, who re-publishes them, search ranking, and how your blog is rated.
Although search engines can’t read visual material, having an image with a blog post, article or news release does signal that you are enhancing the content. If you add meta data – tags that Google can read – and optimize the tags for search, it goes a long way to improving your SEO.
Eye tracking studies have shown that news items in Google News search with an image get seen first. (SES NYC 2011)
Recent research revealed that 79% of journalists say that a good image with a news release increases your chance of pick-up. (PwR New Media)
One of the criteria for ranking a blog in “Best of ” lists is the visual element.
So where are the best places to get good images? Original images that show the content visually are always best. Google loves fresh, original content.
You can use images tagged as Creative Commons on Flickr. Just be sure to give the right attribution for the license of the photos or illustrations you use. You may struggle to find a relevant image though.
Or find a good source of interesting and creative images, like Fotolia.
Fotolia is a social image marketplace where you can buy and sell images: photos videos, and illustrations. It’s open to everyone, not just high-priced professional photographers. So there is an array of creative, interesting stuff to use and the cost is much more reasonable than other image sites or agencies.