A picture is worth a thousand words. We have all heard that statement and can relate to it in one way or another. Web designers relate to this statement particularly well because imagery plays a huge role in an attractive, successful website.
There are tons of elements to take into consideration when matching imagery with content for your website and content. Take a look.
When choosing photos for your website you have to take the time to consider what message you are trying to convey. Images are designed to enhance your content, not replace it. The images you select add emotion and meaning to your written content. Your readers will see your image before they read your content and this visual is often their first impression of your website. This makes choosing a great image extremely important.
Consider what images are attractive to your ideal consumer or user. These are the images you want to utilize. If you’re not sure what kind of image that would be, ask yourself a few simple questions. Why is this person coming to my site? What are they looking to find? How can I meet the needs of consumers/users? By asking these types of questions you can narrow down the type of person you are looking to impress. And if you visit some competitor websites you can quickly get a better understanding of the types of images that would work best.
Images help promote your brand and build trust. Establishing trust with consumers/users is extremely important. As such, your image needs to be consistent with your message and appropriate for your target audience. If you’re trying to convey that your company is caring and customer-focused- choose photos that support that.
Building a Connection
We’ve established that appropriate images can build trust and help you develop a connection with your users/consumers. Keep that in mind when choosing imagery for your website. Images need to be consistent with the mission of the company and brand. An inconsistent image can result in a break of trust. For example, if your company is a travel agency with a photo of a cruise ship on the site, and you don’t sell cruise vacations, you’re going to have a problem. Consumers may feel misled. Always avoid that type of situation.
Stop and think about the feelings that are inspired by viewing an image. When you see a sweet little puppy you might feel warm, or a big smiling face can make you feel happy. When you see someone crying you feel sad and when you see someone in pain you may feel pained yourself. Never underestimate the feelings that images can evoke. These feelings are important and should always be embraced as a method to build a connection with your audience.
Don’t use poor quality pictures. Using low-quality images reflects poorly on the business. They look cheap and convey the message that you don’t care about the quality of your site which is in turn interpreted as a lack of interest in the consumer. Images should always be high quality, or they shouldn’t be used.
In addition to high quality images, you must be cautious about image size. Images that are too large will slow the page’s load time and images that are too small can be over looked. Evaluate the space you are looking to fill. Don’t crowd the space with too much image and not enough content, or vice versa. Be smart about image placement and use good judgment.
Don’t be boring! Take your time and find an image that truly represents the message you are trying to convey. If you find yourself in a competitive market, your creative photo selection can really help in putting you ahead of your competitors. Set yourself apart from the competitor and tell your audience what makes you unique.
If you’re posting images of products or services, be creative here too. Use multiple images with different angles and colors.
Look for images that demand attention and inspire you to keep looking. These are the photos that will capture the attention of your target audience and gain their interest in your content. Images that inspire a visitor to take action represent another creative method to set yourself apart from competitors.
Remember that people relate to people.
There is something to be said for putting a face with a product or service. Even if images are conceptual they can often have better results than simple product shots or arbitrary designs. For example, with many services or products you are selling “peace of mind” but ideally you are selling “peace of mind” for whatever ails the customer. You are solving a problem so showing a “happy customer” photo can help convey that point.
Website imagery is an extremely important component for online marketing. Images help us build trust and establish a connection with our audience. They inspire emotion and set the mood for the entire page. Human eyes are drawn to photos, as such website images are often a viewer’s first impression. Never underestimate the power of imagery. However, don’t ever expect imagery to replace content. Images are supplemental to great content. Excellent content combined with well thought out, high quality imagery is a recipe for success.