Looking to boost clicks, time on site and engagement with web content? It's as simple as adding featured images and inline pictures on a company blog.

The term “content marketing” doesn’t just refer to writing – it also encompasses pictures, videos, interactive graphics and any other resource that communicates information to web users. So it stands to reason brands should be focusing on high-value content forms even if they aren’t writing. New research from Hoosh Technology and ISDIA finds investing in custom pictures can pay huge dividends.

According to the data, 63 percent of users who make Google image searches and click on pictures ultimately visit the website where the picture originated. And it isn’t just the first images they see that capture their attention. While only 17 percent of users scroll down the Google SERP page, 35 percent of users scroll past the first set of images and click on results further down.

Is a picture worth a thousand clicks?

Images, like videos, are some of the stickiest content types. Not only do they draw clicks – they arrest people’s attention and keep them on the page longer. That’s why they’re such an integral part of contemporary web marketing: They bring in traffic and keep it there.

In fact, pictures played a major role in the marketing results we saw with one client in the staffing industry. The company’s site had decent traffic and engagement numbers, but we felt the results could be improved. The first order of business was to add pictures. We started producing content that included both featured images and visual calls to action that would grab attention, lead to clicks and increase the perceived value of the written content they accompanied.

Within a month, we were seeing a 28 percent increase in time on site for the blog. The images were having a dual effect:

 Headlines and blog posts were more clickable because they were accompanied by pictures
 The people who did ultimately click were more interested in the content the brand posted

Images are something of a content marketing must-have these days, as users become accustomed to better  web content. Something as simple as featured photos and inline images can help brands show up more frequently in SERPs, garner more clicks and get qualified leads to their sites.

To learn more about how visual elements affect web behavior and conversion rates, check out our ebook: 
A Marketer’s Guide to UX.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.