People love it when what they read and hear gets substantiated by a visual feed. If you create brilliant content but fail to substantiate it with good images, chances are you’ll never be recognized. However, you cannot put any image that you chance upon, just for the sake of having one. Consider the following tips before you choose an image for your website or blog the next time.
1) Be relevant:
The only purpose of having an image is not to make your website look beautiful. Color, imagery and the general emotion exhibited by a photograph can potentially affect your customer’s impression of your company. Pay attention to every little detail like background, body language and expression of the people in the image to be sure whether it’s in line with your website’s purpose.
For example, if I wanted to have an image of a cup of tea to market an exotic brand of tea leaves I would choose the first image over the second. The reason is simple. The first image actually focuses on the cup of tea whereas the second image focuses more on the aesthetic setting, having the cup of tea as a prop.
2) Avoid clutter:
The next thing you should consider while selecting an image is to determine whether it enhances and adds any value to your content. If your image is just adding to clutter on your website, it’s not worth having. Ask yourself these questions before adding a new image to your website.
- Does the image say anything about your product or service
- Does the image distract the attention of the visitor for the main focus of the page
3) Greater resolution = Better image
What might look great as your desktop wallpaper, might get pixelated on your website. So choose good images with a high resolution. Always. There is nothing more annoying than a blurry or pix elated image. It reflects poorly on your effort.
Images with high resolution tend to be fairly large. Tweak the sizes according to your need while restoring the quality.
This image shows Christmas decorations. Notice how the great image quality has brought out the difference of texture and color of the balls. The soft focus on the distant lights brings our attention to the snow and imparts a wonderfully festive feeling to the entire picture.
4) Give to get credit:
I’m talking about copyright here. If you decide to use an image that someone has already used, it’s your duty to trace it back to its original source and give due credit. Companies get sued for such mistakes and you don’t want to land up in this kind of a situation. The ideal practice is to use images that you have bought from reputed sites like Shutterstock and Getty Images.
5) Stand out:
Stock images have really made our lives a lot easier. There is an image available to convey every mood, tone, concept and idea. Choose the one you like best and you’re good to go. But what if your competitor likes that image too? That is no way of being unique. Chew upon these four ideas to avoid being frustrated.
- Buy complete rights for an image if you are going to use it for a space as important as your website’s homepage.
- Strictly avoid images that have been downloaded a numerous times before. Good stock image websites put up the number of downloads below images that are most used.
- Get a designer to customize the stock photo for you. This can take up a lot of time and money though.
- Select images that are fairly pricy. Not many people would opt for highly priced photos and this might help you to be quite unique.
6) Images that express
Using images that exhibit real human emotions are a great way to connect with your customers. It goes without saying that the feelings expressed should sit well with your service or product. For example the image below can be used for a coffee shop website.
The background suits the concept and the picture in general has a very happy disposition contributed by the three friends enjoying their cup of coffee.
This image is also suitable as it features people who are similar to its target audience. Cafes and delis are most frequented by students, young adults and working individuals whose ages range from 16 – 35.
7) Images that are product based:
The following image will work wonders for a website that internationally ships handpicked herbs from the place of their origin. Why does it work?
- Because it matches the idea perfectly and
- Because it depicts assorted herbs and spices- exactly what the products are.
8) Image optimization tools:
It’s frustrating to view a page when the content loads fast but the pictures take forever. If the entire page does not open up with the content and image in sync, your will slip away in that time to try another website. Therefore optimizing an image is essential as it can affect your website’s page rank on popular search engines. Image optimization tools such as Image Optimizer, Optimizilla and Tiny PNG are broadly available online.
So if you want your audience to appreciate your brilliant content, treat their eyes first. It’ll set you on the road of success.