How to pick the right images for your website
Web visitors are becoming more savvy and design conscious, so it’s important to stand out from the crowd - we’ve together put a few tips to help you do just that.
Your images must strike the right feeling and tone that matches your unique brand identity. While there are always exceptions to these rules, cartoony 3D images are probably not right for a professional law or financial firm, just as sombre black and white images may not be appropriate for a child care centre.
Consistency is also important, a series of images that seem like they were shot on the same day and under the same lighting conditions will go a long way to bring a cohesive feeling to your website.
It may also be useful to include images that feature people from your target audience. A youthful teenage brand may want to steer clear of active adults, while an aspirational product aimed at purchasers in a later stage of life would steer clear of younger teenage models. Visitors want to see themselves reflected in the smiling faces on your website.
Do you ever get that feeling you’ve seen this picture before? Maybe you recognise that model from a Zumba poster you saw 5 minutes ago? Without being able to exactly put their finger on it, people know a stock photo when they see it.
This is not to say that you should never use stock photos. They are a valuable and affordable resource to bring colour and depth to your website. The important thing is to use a discerning eye. Make a shortlist of images you’d like to use, and then just sit on them for a couple of days and do some research to make sure they are not already being used by other local businesses, or even worse - your competitors!
Steer clear of old and tired clichés, like an overly posed model on a white background, or even a 3D rendered blob man character.
Search a little deeper until you find the perfect and unexpected image. Better yet, if budget permits why not hire a professional photographer to come with the perfect one of a kind imagery to suit your business.
Low resolution (pixelated) or grainy images can instantly be a deal breaker for some visitors. Ensure the images you select for your website are of a high quality and clearly show your products or services.
On the flip side, with megapixels on our smartphones ever increasing and device connectivity easier than ever, it’s tempting to dump a lot of images straight from your smartphone directly onto your website. Large megapixel images take up a lot of space and will add extra load time to your website and can even negatively affect your Google search engine ranking.
Optimising your images for online is a fine balance between lowering the file size and download speed, while also retaining all the fantastic details from the original image.
Above all it is important to respect image copyright and only use images on your website that you have permission to use. These are images that; you have purchased, paid the original photographer for, have consent from the models pictured, or are images you have created yourself. Google is a powerful tool, but not all images you discover online are up for grabs.
When choosing images for your website, think deeper than how nice the image looks. How will it look in the context of your website, how is going to help you achieve your overall goals and fit in with your sales strategy?
Need a little expert help selecting the right images? Have a chat to our design team today on 1300 134 415.
Tim’s love of design and social media combine joyfully at Mity, helping businesses get engaged with their social media following, and make them look good while doing it.
Along with a love of good design, Tim loves travelling the world and even lived in Canada for a year.