Four Things to Consider When Choosing Images for Your Website

When you visit a website, do you ever consider the choice of images on it and how they impact your overall impression of the site? Perhaps you can think of a website that includes beautiful and striking images that blend harmoniously with the color, text, and placement of content on the site. Chances are, this website strongly captures your attention and causes you to be drawn into the design and to experience a certain positive emotional reaction.

On the other hand, I’m sure you’ve had an experience where the images on a website did not attract your attention, but instead turned you away and caused you to react negatively. Whether it was images that were poor quality, did not fit with the theme or design of the site, or simply seemed haphazard and did not make sense, they did not strengthen your impression of the site or boost your trust. 

The simple truth is that the images that you choose to incorporate on your website are of tremendous value and have a powerful impact. They will either add to the effectiveness and credibility of your website and the overall goal that you are trying to accomplish or detract from it. Images and photos have always been a vital part of visual communication and people naturally gravitate towards them first. Thus it is crucial that the image selection for your site is taken seriously and that it aids the all-important first impression of visitors to your site.

Making the right selection of images should be part of the initial strategy when you are having your website designed. Images should boost the credibility and professionalism of your website, invoke certain emotions in your users, appeal to your target audience and be in line with their needs, and work together to further your content and message.

Here are four things you should consider when choosing images for your website:

1. Quality is all important.

I don’t believe there’s anything worse than visiting a website and seeing that its images are blurry and grainy. It’s an instant deal killer that immediately suggests that your business is unprofessional. Thus it is imperative that you always use high-quality photos on your website that are clear and have a high resolution. These kind of photos look impressive, display professionalism, and attract the eye of the user with their quality and visual appeal.

Since high-resolution photos can have very large file sizes, it is imperative that your images are sized correctly so that they load quickly on your site and don’t slow it down, creating a negative experience for users. The web designer that you work with should be able to tell you what size photos you need for your site and optimize them as needed for you so that they work well with the speed of your site while still appearing crisp and clear across all different screen sizes.

2. Strive for originality.

When you think about the images that attract your interest most on a website, what comes to mind? Standard stock photos that often look staged and present perfect-looking people and products or real photos that give you an inside glimpse into a company and the people behind it? It has been shown through various studies that website users are much less likely to pay attention to stock photos on a website than to candid photos of a business. People tend to know a stock photo when they see one, and in many cases they tend to look cheesy and give off a feeling of inauthenticity. This doesn’t mean that stock photos shouldn’t ever be used on your website, but only that relying on them for the majority and most prominent of your images could come across as uninteresting and unimaginative, offering no emotional impact to the viewer.

Candid images that are one-of-a-kind and original to your business are always a much better choice and more likely to appeal to website users. The more that visitors to your site feel like they “know” your business and the real people behind it, the more inclined they’ll be to purchase your product or service. It may be more of an investment, but hiring a professional photographer to take original photos of your business to showcase your team, products or services, and “behind-the-scenes” action will be well worth it and pay off greatly in contributing to the success and effectiveness of your website.

3. Evoke an emotional response.

Images have a profound way of affecting our emotions and causing us to feel a certain way. Emotions often play an important part in the purchasing process and influence people to make decisions. Thus you should strive to create an emotional response with the images that you choose for your website that cause users to react in a certain way and be encouraged to purchase your product or service. Intentionally give thought to which emotions you would like to evoke and favorable responses you would like to create with your users, and then choose images accordingly for your site that align with that and support the product and service offerings of your business.

4. Remember your brand and target audience.

No matter what your business is selling, or the purpose of your website, the images you pick have to be relevant to your brand and target audience. When choosing images for your website, it can be easy to just end up choosing photos that appeal to you and that you personally like. However, this will not work – just as your business is not for you, your website and the imagery on it is not for you either. Thus it is imperative that you when you go to choose images for your site, you keep your target audience in mind and the unique look and feel of your brand. Be strategic with your choice of images so that they are consistent with your brand and reinforce it, appeal to your target audience, and support the mission and goals of your business.  

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this image fit with my business and support its mission?
  • Does this image further my message, help the user to understand my content, and add value?
  • Would the people who make up my target audience be drawn to this image?
  • Is the style, color and overall look of this image consistent with the look and feel of my brand?

The right imagery on your website will truly bring everything together to create a cohesive and attractive site that makes a lasting impression. Hopefully this article will help you to choose the right kind of images for your website to ensure that it is pleasing to website visitors in a way that makes them want to stay on your site and come back for more.

If you are interested in a new website that will include stunning imagery and increase the effectiveness of your business, contact us today.

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