Images are a crucial component of any website. Since the early days of the internet, images have been used to create interest, evoke emotions, and showcase products or services in an effort to build a brand and drive sales.
For modern marketing efforts, images are still a very important part of the overall design of the website, as well as individual pages. Using them effectively will make a difference in whether a visitor stays to absorb more information and gain the right impression or decides to look elsewhere for what they need.
Learn more about choosing and creating effective images, so you can make sure visitors will enjoy the website.
Why Are Images So Effective?
High-quality images and proper utilization is a crucial part of a website’s success. That’s because they can do so much to improve the visitor’s experience.
They also help improve dwell time as they give the visitor something interesting to look at and can provide more information in an easily digestible format. This is valuable when showcasing a product’s features or illustrating concepts that might be difficult or cumbersome to describe in text.
Many companies will use the images for content-building as well as marketing efforts. Images can completely change the way a website looks and can be used for branding.
They can also be used to help optimize the website and make their offerings more sharable and recognizable on social networking sites, particularly those that have a more visual focus. This builds brand recognition and draws in more traffic.
Tips For Selecting The Right Images
The key to using images to boost the website is to find the right images and implement them effectively. It’s important to consider where the image will be located as well as the intent of the image.
Images can be used on the website or shared on other sites to encourage more visitors. On other sites, it’s best to pick out images that are eye-catching so they gain notice amongst the competition.
Images that truly showcase the business, reinforce the brand, or portray what customers can expect when they decide to make a purchase.
On the website, images might be used to showcase products, illustrate certain concepts, or evoke specific emotions. All of this can help encourage visitors along their path to becoming customers.
With these images, clarity and quality is a requirement. Images can be photos or graphics, but high-resolution quality needs to be apparent to ensure visitors come away with a professional and trustworthy impression of the business.
If the intent is to showcase products, the photos should be clear and showcase the most attractive features, so the customer can view the details of the product. If the intent is to evoke a specific emotion, the image should include photos or graphics to mirror the mood or feelings you want to boost in the viewer.
Is A DIY Approach A Good Idea?
One of the ways to obtain images for use in marketing is by creating them. Business owners have the option of taking their own photos or using their own software to create graphics.
This can help save quite a bit of money on marketing images, and they will fully own the rights to use them wherever and however they like. Even with this method, it is important to consider the quality of the equipment as well as skill level when opting for the DIY approach.
Business owners willing to take the time to learn more about photography or graphic design can create an image that’s going to look stunning, get the intent across to visitors, and help boost the overall look of the website.
With the DIY approach, it may be necessary to purchase equipment like a quality digital camera or scanner. Smartphones can be used for taking photos, but they need to have a quality camera to ensure clarity and quality.
For both photos and graphic designs, editing software is needed to refine images to make them unique and catered to the brand. Photo editing software and apps have become more widely available and user-friendly for non-professionals or hobby users.
These resources can be used to great effect, but it is important to learn tools and techniques that yield high-quality results.
Are Stock Photos As Good As Original Images?
Another option is to use stock photos. Stock photos are an easy way to acquire photos that portray a variety of subjects, topics, and emotions.
When used to portray specific products, services, or give a false impression of what’s actually being offered, there may be some risk. Stock photos can be readily apparent to customers, and that can be a problem if they create a sense of insincerity or to expect a cookie-cutter experience when dealing with the provider.
Using stock images at the forefront of branded marketing material can be risky and lead to brand confusion if the same photo is used on another website or provider of similar products and services.
When stock photos are used, business owners can choose free or paid images. Free images can help the business owner save a significant amount of money, but since they are free, selection and quality may be limited.
Purchasing a license to a photo or subscribing to a service can open many more options in terms of selection and quality. Since these are paid options, this will reduce the likelihood that the image is used elsewhere.
Stock photos can also be useful for quick access to photos of actors and models, which are useful for portraying emotion-evoking situations and expressions.
Is It Best To Hire A Professional?
Another option is for the business owner to work with a professional photographer, editor, or graphic designer. When working with a professional, it is possible to get high-quality original images.
The cost will be higher compared to DIY images or stock photos, but the benefits will often outweigh the cost.
A professional photographer can take amazing images of products or services and provide companies with what they need to showcase these items on the website. A professional editor or designer can create original images that can be used on the website or in other marketing content.
Business owners who want to take a more DIY approach because they enjoy photos or graphic design can still work with a professional to get the high-quality image they need. The business owner might take photos of their products, for instance, but have the professional edit the photos to enhance the end result.
This can help reduce the cost of professional quality images while still preserving quality to create the right impression online.
Where And How To Place Images On The Website
Acquiring marketing images is only the first step. The next consideration is where and how they’ll be placed on the website and elsewhere. When the images are ready, it’s a good idea to consider the following.
- The Layout – Where are the images going to be located? Are they going to be at the top of the website, spread throughout the website, or in certain positions? When figuring out the layout, consider the size and resolution of the images, whether they will link to other pages, and where they need to be on the page to capture the visitor’s attention.
- Quality – Quality is a crucial component for images, so it’s best to consider the quality before deciding where to place the image. Choose high-quality images for the landing pages and the main page of the website. If there are any that aren’t as clear, they might be able to be used for thumbnails, smaller banner ads, and in other types of content that do not require high-resolution images.
- The Clarity – Make sure the clearest photos are the first ones the visitor sees. If there are a few different photos of a product, for instance, the clearest one that shows the whole product should be used first. Then, choose photos that show off certain aspects of the product, including individual features or different variations.
- Photos Vs. Graphics – Photos and graphics should be used on the page, but their location can vary. A graphic that includes branding or the company logo may appear at the top of the page, so the visitor knows what the website is for. Photos of products or services may appear in the center of the top portion of the page, as this is where visitors will look first, and the photos can help capture their attention.
With images being a crucial part of a website and in other types of branded content, it’s important to pick out the best options. As a business owner, you do have the option of a DIY approach, stock photos, or using professional services.
It is best, however, to opt for professional services or a combined DIY and professional approach to ensure the photos are the highest quality. The impact the images can have on the website will make this well worth the cost.