The reason why photos on blogs should link to something other than themselves 

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

Every month (and most days) I look at my blog’s metrics to find trends. What’s working? What’s not working? Where are people coming from? What are they reading. And so on. 

And this month’s trend clearly is this: People do indeed click on photos. I would assume they expect to be taken somewhere. Somewhere other than a larger version of that same image they just clicked on. 

I’ve done it myself: I’m reading something on a blog or website and click on images – not even knowing where I expect to be taken. But I still click. 

In July 2016, 45 percent of all recorded outbound clicks were on images that didn’t send readers anywhere other than larger versions of themselves. I thought that maybe they intended to view them larger because they were hard to view on their device. I did check that and – dare I call them this – the top performing ones were all easily viewable at their uploaded size.

Here’s a look at all clicks: 

Those links are all images. 

Why does this happen in the first place? 

I blog on WordPress here and when you upload photos, that’s the default function. You upload a photo and it links to itself unless you change it. 

And I haven’t changed it for the most part. I often blog on the mobile app and simply just cut that step. Though it’s not that hard really. Click on the image and click EDIT. 

Once in edit mode on mobile, delete the URL that was auto filled or enter a relevant one. 

On desktop, there’s a drop down that allows you to change the “link to” function or turn it off. 


Since people do click on images, my recommendation would be to either not link to anywhere or add a relevant link that also makes sense and offers more value to the reader.