After researching 7 different popular blog post types here’s the conclusion – an average blog post contains one image per 230 words.
However, it’s important to note that this ratio is not the same across all blog post types.
Continue reading to learn more about the image/text ratio for each of the 7 blog post types I researched.
Let’s jump in!
I took a look at random list type articles that rank in the top 3 positions on Google and the average text to image ratio was one image per every 133 words.
A general rule of thumb is you want one image per entry.
So, if you’re writing a top 10 list, including 10 images is perfectly fine.
I should point out that not every list article obeyed this guideline.
A couple of articles only had a single image in the whole article.
Key Takeaway: Including one image per entry is a safe bet when it comes to list articles.
2. How-To Guides
Taking a look at random hot-to guides on all kinds of topics that rank in the top 3 of Google for their respective keywords, I’ve counted one image for every 179 words.
How-to guides seem to have more words per image than lists but they still do have a substantial number of them on average.
Which is no wonder.
When you’re teaching someone how to do something, visuals are a very powerful aid.
Key Takeaway: It’s OK to use as many images as necessary when you’re writing a how-to guide. Images are there for more than just the aesthetics in these types of posts. They should serve the general purpose of the article, which is to educate.
Checklists have a lot fewer images than lists or how-to guides.
One image per 898 words to be more specific.
But focusing on the ratio when it comes to checklists would lead us astray.
Simply observing many of the top checklists on Google will tell you that they’re on average shorter articles and contain usually only a single image on top.
From that, you can conclude that people are looking for brief and to-the-point articles when they’re looking for a checklist.
Key Takeaway: It’s usually fine to only have a single image on top of your checklist article. Images are usually not what adds value to checklists – the actual checklist of important things to look for does!
4. Case Studies
On average, I found that case studies seem to include one image for every 307 words.
While this kind of ratio is not super image-heavy there still are a considerable number of images in case studies.
And that makes sense.
When creating a case study, you’ll probably want to back up your claims with screenshots, charts, graphs, etc.
Key Takeaway: It’s perfectly fine to include a hefty number of images in your case study articles. Relevant images will provide a lot of value to the reader.
5. Long-Form Informational Posts
The benchmark for long-form informational words I looked at for the purpose of this article was at least 3,000 words or more.
Some even reached 7,000+ words.
Needless to say, all were considerable reads that went deep into their topics, providing a lot of information to the reader.
On average, long for informational posts seem to have one image for every 240 words.
It makes sense to include a lot of images in long-form content because you want to break the monotony of endless walls of text.
Key Takeaway: Having an image for every 200-250 words in your long-form informational posts will make your content feel more accessible and keep your audience engaged.
6. Statistics Posts
Statistics posts I researched have on average have one image per every 216 words.
Statistics posts are fun, especially if you take the time to back up your stats with visual representations like charts or graphs.
Judging by that image to text ratio, many content creators do just that.
However, keep in mind that readers aren’t really there for the imagery when they search for stats on various topics.
Images are there just to spruce up the content and make it easier to consume.
I’ve also seen plenty of statistics pages with no images at all which means they’re not a requirement.
Key Takeaways: Think of images as supporting vocals to the main act that are numbers and data in statistics posts. They’re there to elevate the post visually while not drawing too much attention to themselves. Use images as much as you like in these kinds of posts. Keep in mind that things like charts and graphs count as images too.
I’m going to separate reviews into two categories:
- Single product reviews
- Round-up reviews
The reason why is because review posts that include many different products like “Best X for Y” are usually straightforward when it comes to the number of images.
In 9/10 cases, there is exactly the same number of images as there are products in the review.
It’s a simple formula that works.
Single product reviews are a bit different for obvious reasons.
That’s why we’re going to examine both.
Single Product Reviews
As we’ve already established, single product reviews are a lot less formulaic than round-up reviews and that’s why the images/text ratio is much more meaningful.
Single product reviews typically include one image per 262 words.
Key Takeaway: Images in single product reviews are a lot more than just supporting content. They often showcase features of the product that would otherwise be too hard to describe. One thing to note here is that taking your own photos in single product reviews adds a lot of credibility to the review because it shows that the reviewer actually owns the product and has tried it for themselves.
Round-up Product Reviews
Round-up product reviews follow a very simple formula.
There’s a list of similar and competing products that the reviewer compares and declares the overall winner, the best budget option, the best option for a given use case, etc.
The use of images is just as simple as the article formula – you typically use one image per product.
Round-up reviews I included in this research had one image per 237 words.
Key Takeaways: By using one image per product in round-up reviews you’ll pretty much do what everyone else on the internet is doing. Images are purely supporting content here because they add a lot of substance. They simply show the product mentioned in the review.
Your articles aren’t going to magically rank #1 on Google if you follow these image/test ratio guidelines.
However, it’s nice to know what works with both the audience and Google’s algorithm.
In the end, it’s much more important to pay attention to the quality of the images in your articles and to take original photos whenever you can.
That will add infinitely more value to your blog posts than simply stacking them with mediocre imagery.