You have probably come across the well-known phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” There are a number of variants but this is probably the simplest and most direct in terms of its meaning. It is why it’s so important, when you’re building a website or upgrading one you already have, that your selection and use of images is highly creative.
What do people look for in a website?
There are many aspects to a website that browsers look for – these include the information it gives, the design, its functionality and interactivity. But one of the main features people are looking for is the imagery you use and how you use it. Visuals are a powerful way of communicating and always have been, but you should not be casual about your image choice or its quality.
The Internet has been around long enough for users tohave a mature understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Pack your site with dense text, and even if you drop in a couple of images the chances are the user will rapidly head elsewhere. Of course, you need to get your product or service information across, but mix your design up with images, infographics, text and videos, where appropriate. Internet users have a low boredom threshold so you need to grab their attention quickly.
A few stats
A lot of research has been done on visual content marketing, so you should find these statistics a useful pointer as to the importance of using creative imagery:
- Using colored visuals increases the willingness of people to read a segment of content by 80 percent.
- If you pair a relevant image with information people hear, 65 percent of them retain the information three days later, as opposed to 10 percent when there is no image.
- For 46 percent of marketers, photography is critical to the strategies they have for marketing and storytelling.
- Content with the right images gets 94 percent more views than that without relevant images.
You can find a range of other statistics with some simple searches and you’ll see, even from the above, what a significant difference the right images can make to a site.
Some design tips
- Image quality: Web users are very discerning when it comes to how things look on a site, so always try to go with high-resolution images that are large and pixel-perfect. Poor quality images detract from the professional impression you want to give.
- Callto action: You want to persuade a visitor to your site to do something rather than just look and then navigate away. Even if it’s just to get them to click through to go on a mailing list, make sure your images are strong enough to encourage them to go further.
- Sourcing images: Unless you’re a professional or very good photographer, you won’t necessarily have immediate access to the images you want. This is where you can use a company,such as Megapixl, that provides stock photos. You’ll always have a very wide range of pictures to choose from in any number of different categories and it’s a straightforward way of quickly getting what you want for your site.
- Find your USP: A unique selling point can be tricky to engineer if you’re in a crowded niche market, so developing crisp, clear information coupled with imaginative images, which can include simple, illustrative graphics as well, may just give you the edge against your competitors.
- Replace text with images: You have to have some text and you need to make sure it’s a good, easy read, but using images in context, especially for a landing page, is more likely to get a response through clever use of those visuals.
- Don’t overwhelm text with images: You need to get a balance between images that are powerful enough to interest, amaze or amuse, and couple them with quality, relevant text that’s easy to read and digest. If you’re the designer, take time to juxtapose visuals and text to get the best impression. If you’re not, try to work closely with the designer to achieve exactly what you want.
Good web design requires hard work to think through the concepts for the site, and broad imagination to get the ideal design at the end of the process. As it’s your window on the world, you want to make it as attractive as possible, and this should inspire you to get your images right.