Images on your website do more than just painting a pretty picture. It is a fact that humans are visual creatures and what we see often resonate and integrate in our imagination. Research has found that the human brain can correctly identify images in as little as 100 milliseconds, making carefully-chosen images that reflect your product and values an important opportunity to quickly capture visitors’ attention – even before they’ve read a word of text. Because most are visual learners, images transcend language and words which allow for a greater understanding of whatever is being presented to you. According to science, our brains form first impressions within seconds hence only those imagery and design which created an impression to its viewers absolutely stand out. Aim for photos that depict positive emotions and, if it makes sense, contain people, two things that have been shown to boost conversion rates. In this article, we will be giving you the reasons why having the right imagery is non-negotiable for you to achieve success and growth in your business. Here are the reasons why:
- A professional, modern looking website can immediately build trust and guide visitors to take action. When it comes to web copy, people rarely read a piece of content word for word.
- Images stick with readers longer and are more likely to give you a greater return on your content investment. The design of a website is significant because it affects how quickly visitors can find what they are looking for. If navigating the website is difficult or frustrating, the visitor will leave and try on another site, resulting in a lost opportunity.
- Images help you show up in search engine results. The SEO benefits of using images are multifold. If you properly label images with search-friendly metadata and captions, you are creating more content for search engines to index. Your content will then show up within both web search results and images searches – that’s double the opportunity for discoverability.
- Websites with images gain more views. According to one study, online content with images gets 94 percent more views than pages without. Websites with images don’t just perform better in search rankings, they’re also more attention grabbing when they show up on search results pages. This means websites with properly labelled photos win more clicks.
- Website images improve social media. Studies have found that including at least one image on pages is associated with more shares on Facebook, while other research has found that social media posts that include images have higher engagement rates than text-only posts.
How to create the right imagery for your website
Now that we have learned the value of having the right imagery for your website, let us now move on to the things to consider in coming up with the right imagery for your website.
- Choose images strategically. It is imperative that in choosing images, it is not only the aesthetic factor we are putting consideration upon. Instead of adding images as filler, choose your website’s imagery in a strategic manner. For instance, if you are an e-commerce website selling products, then it is expected for you to come up with images advertising the products you are selling, otherwise visitors won’t be enticed in trying out your products.
- Use relevant and informative images. In contrast with purely decorative images, your images must be relevant and informative. Relevant in a sense that it complements your text and informative in a way that gives visitors a better understanding of how it works. Thus, charts, illustrations, infographics and the like are also encouraged as the more informative and easy to understand your images are, the more likely for successful lead conversions.
- Emphasise the context of the use of your images. Choosing photos specifically tailored towards the unique areas of your website helps to ensure you’re using design elements to their full potential. Some websites have placed friendly disclaimers explaining the context, rationale and extent behind the use of images across their website.
- Use high-quality images. This is also non-negotiable. As website owners, you must see to it that the images are not pixelated and as high quality as possible. Your brand reputation is on the line here and just as how website copy is important so are the images
- Optimise your images. Strategic placing and choosing of images are a must because larger images tend to load slower in your website. Hence, you should start compressing images and making sure what appears on the website are the best and most relevant ones which will best advertise your brand. This is important because websites that are taking forever too load can make you lose customers easily.
- Select authentic images. Avoid using stock photos or screen grabbed ones, instead focus with custom photography. This will highlight your brand as creative with a personal touch with it. Research has shown that websites using authentic images had high conversion rates compared to those who used unoriginal photos. Further, your website being the banner of your brand identity, it helps build trust among your visitors.