Every internet marketing strategy should include varied content. While written content is often the most dominant type of content to be featured on a website, images are a close second.
Images can do a lot to improve the written content of a website, to help showcase products or services, and to help maintain and boost visitor interest.
Business owners who are designing a new website or upgrading their current website should consider the role of images in their internet marketing strategies. Then there is the process of identifying the perfect images for their website.
How Does Using Images Improve Content?
Nearly any website, regardless of the topic or targeted market, can be improved with the right images. Properly selected and incorporated images can accomplish a lot, including illustrating concepts that might be difficult or inefficient to explain in text.
A plumbing company, for instance, might have photos that show the problems homeowners commonly have with their plumbing, signs of plumbing issues, or how the issues are fixed. A retail store might have photos that showcase some of their best or most popular items.
These can be used to get customers interested in their offerings and drive conversion.
Images can also help evoke emotions in customers, which can be used to further engagement. Images that show an image that prompts an emotional response or stirs feelings, positive or negative, can encourage a customer to call immediately for service.
For the plumbing example, an image might show how a leak can lead to out of control mold. This can encourage visitors to the website to call for a plumber immediately before their issue gets to be that bad.
Images can be used to create a sense of urgency that prompts them to make a call, a purchase, or engage in other ways.
Images can also help create the right impression of a business. Low-quality or stock images might give off the wrong impression, as customers may think that the website is a reflection of the quality they’ll receive if they contact the business.
On the other hand, high-quality, images combined with high-quality content, will appear more polished and impressive to customers.
The Value Of Investing In Images
The question many business owners have when they want to start adding images to their website is whether they can stick with stock photos or if they should look into original images for the website. In most cases, it’s better to avoid stock photos for a marketing campaign and to use original photos instead.
These photos are far more valuable in terms of internet marketing as they provide the ability to showcase the specific products or services that are being promoted.
Photos are an investment, like other types of internet marketing content, and they’re usually well worth the cost for business owners to purchase original photos or to have photos taken of their products or services. As mentioned, stock photos can be apparent to customers and can give off the wrong impression.
Original photos, however, can truly showcase everything the business offers and can show them in the right light to encourage visitors to learn more or to make a purchase.
How To Use Images For SEO Purposes
Photos on the page can do a lot on their own, once the visitor is on the website. Getting the visitor to the website is often done using SEO, or search engine optimization, techniques.
These techniques are used to make the website rank higher for specific keywords, which means it’s more likely potential customers will find it when they’re searching for something the business offers. While most business owners will think of written content because it’s easy to add in keywords, images can also be used to optimize a website.
When the image is added to the website, it’s possible to add key phrases to the file name, caption, or other parts of the image. While web crawlers for many search engines can’t see the image the way we do, they can see the file name as well as any descriptive content that links to the image.
This allows the web crawlers to determine what the image is about. That information is then used to help determine the rankings for the page as well as the image itself.
Strategically done, including keywords in the file name and in the text on the same page the image will impact the website’s ranking.
Impact Of Images On Social Networks And Other Media-Sharing Websites
Another way to use images for a website is to post them on social networks and other media-sharing websites. Today, these websites are highly popular and a great way for almost anyone to connect. This includes connecting businesses with their customers.
Businesses can post on social media websites to get more visitors interested in their offerings and to help boost the optimization for the website.
Because of its popularity, social media can be powerful for marketing but it’s also easy to get lost in the shuffle. Images are one method for creating a more distinctive impression.
That’s because images capture the viewer’s attention and lead them into more meaningful engagement. Posts with images go further and attract more eyes, which helps to boost both SEO and brand familiarity.
It can also help get more people to visit the website, just like word of mouth can help get people to visit a store.
Website rankings are determined by how informative the search engines think a website will be for the visitors. If a website includes high-quality content of all types, it’s going to rank higher than others.
When images are posted and shared on social networks and other media-sharing websites, it helps create links back to the website. This signals to search engines that a website is reputable and useful to web users.
The more the website sends these signals with a regular flow of high-quality, useful content, the higher it will rank. By using images on social network sites and linking back to the website, it can help the business rank higher for a variety of keywords, bringing tons of new visitors to the website.
How To Acquire High-Quality Images
Today, high-quality images are not optional but integral to marketing success. Customers will likely get the wrong impression if the images on the website are low-quality.
Additionally, low-quality images can obscure or confuse a visitor if the intent is to illustrate a concept or show a product. When a business owner needs new images for their website, they do have a variety of options for acquiring them.
- Stock Photo Sites – Stock photo sites allow business owners to purchase the license to all types of photos or as part of a subscription package. Some providers will also offer royalty-free photos to use, but the selection is far more limited and quality may be lacking. Whether free or paid, stock photos are widely available and somewhat generic. While stock photos generally aren’t recommended for branding or for creating a unique impression, they can be useful for some purposes, especially when certain emotions must be portrayed through models and actors. Whenever stock photos are to be used, they should always be high-quality.
- Professional Photographers – If a business owner requires images of their products or services for the website, working with a professional photographer is a good idea. Look for someone experienced in product photos, as they’ll know how to create the right effect to showcase the product so all its features are properly highlighted and it gains more attention from visitors. This can be costly but is often the best solution for businesses that want high-quality, original photos of their offerings.
- Professional Designers – Not all images are photos. For graphics that will be put on the website, it’s possible to work with a designer to create a custom image. These designers have experience and are able to create graphics and images that can be custom catered to brand requirements. Such services can be costly, but the one-of-a-kind, professionally-created images can yield a lot of value for creating the right impression.
- DIY Approach – Business owners can also try to create the images on their own. There are tips and tricks available online to create better photos or designs. It’s also possible to use apps and software to edit the photos for a more professional look. The downside is it does take some time to build the skills to accomplish this. But modern photo apps, the accessibility of high-quality digital cameras, and the availability of photo editing software, all make the DIY suitable for many types of businesses.
Images can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a website. They will affect visitor impressions and even the rankings for the website. It’s best to pick out high-quality images that will showcase the products or services and portray the brand in a reputable, professional manner.
If you’re ready to create new images for your website, talk to a professional today about your options. They can help you figure out the right images to use, help you make sure they’re optimized, and help you get the high-quality images you need to impress your visitors.