Your website is one of the most critical online assets of your business. It acts as real estate on the web and provides your customers with a place to come and interact with your brand.
The design of your website plays a crucial role in keeping your website visitors engaged. Besides, it is a vital SEO metric too.
Good website design consists of various elements, one of them being images. The images you use on your website can help you connect and communicate with your audience. But if used in the wrong way, they can send out the wrong message and ruin your brand reputation. Fortunately, using the right images for your website is easier than you think. Let’s take a look at six actionable steps to use website images that enhance the message of your brand.
1. Images should be relevant
Images are meant to enhance the message and value a page on your website provides. If you sell shoes but use pictures of cars and bikes on your website, your visitors will get confused. Don’t force images, and use them only if they provide a visual aid for the content on a page. But images make a website more lively and fun, so you can be experimental. If you are a digital marketing company, you can use pictures ranging from success charts to happy customers. But don’t show something that does not resonate with your brand.
If you are creating a tutorial or guide, you might need to annotate an image to explain each point. In such cases, make sure the images are highly relevant, detailed, and informative.
2. Use original images (or stock photos)
Stock images are fine, and most small businesses use them. But the images you use have a significant impact on your audience. Original images make your site more authentic, which increases your brand personality.
If you can’t use original images, stock photos do just fine. When using images in blog posts, stock photos can be a great pick. But for photos that show your business, products, or staff, make sure to use original images.
Avoid using other website’s images. Most beginner website owners tend to do this. They search a topic on Google, download a picture, and use it on their site. This practice can affect your authenticity, and Google can penalize your site for plagiarism. If you want to use an image from some other site, give proper credits to the owner.
3. Think about cropping and rescaling
More than 50% of internet users are on mobile. When you select a photo to put on your website, make sure it shows up correctly on different screen sizes. For example, a full-size image may look fine on a desktop or laptop but not on a mobile phone or tablet. Some photos may be too large to show on small screen sizes. You’ll need to crop your photos to ensure they look good on various devices.
In addition to cropping, also consider rescaling your images. Make sure your images look clear and sharp. Distorted, blurry photos can make your website look novice and unprofessional. But, using high-resolution images might slow down to page load speed of your site. So, rescale your images to find an ideal resolution that is clear and does not take time to load.
Tip: 72 dots per inches (DPI) is the typical resolution for desktops and computer screens.
4. Use multiple images for products
If you are selling products on your site, images can have a significant impact on your customers’ buying decisions. When posting a product listing on your website, be sure to include multiple photos of one product.
Different photos help customers get a better idea of what they can expect from the product. Take images of a product from different angles, distances, and perspectives to show as much detail as possible.
This helps your consumers understand the ins and outs of your product and make quick buying decisions.
5. Integrate icons
Using icons on your site is an excellent way to break up text and provide a more engaging experience to your visitors. If a page on your site has large clutters of text, you can use icons to reduce the amount of reading material on your website.
Some icons have symbolic meanings and can help people navigate through your site without coming across a lot of text. For instance, instead of writing “Home Page” or “Home,” you can simply include a home icon. The same goes for “Search” and “Shopping Cart” tabs.
Using icons can increase the white space on your website and make it look cleaner. However, don’t go overboard with icons, especially if you feel they could confuse your audience.
6. Optimize your images
As discussed before, large image files can take up a lot of space on your site and decrease the page load speed. If your website takes a lot of time to load, your visitors will flee away to your competitors.
Besides, page load speed is a critical SEO factor. If your site takes longer to load, you may have trouble ranking on the first page of SERPs. To avoid this, you’ll need to optimize your images. If an image is too heavy, compress it so that it loads quicker. Make sure all the photos on your site are compressed to ensure a healthy load speed.
Bonus tip: Don’t use images only
Visual branding is on the rise, and if you use images only, your visitors will get bored. You want to use various types of visual content on your website to provide a diverse and engaging experience to your visitors.
Here are a few types of visuals you can use on your website:
1) Data-driven visuals
9) SlideShare presentation
Instead of picking one or two and going overboard with them, make your site a mix of different visual content.
For example, data-driven visuals, illustrations, and infographics are great to explain a point to your audience. Infographics also help you increase awareness of your brand.
Quotes can be a great tool to make your content more powerful and reliable. For example, if you are selling self-development books/courses, you’ll need to prove the importance of self-development to your audience. Adding a quote like this can help you sound more reliable and trustworthy.
Gifographics, GIFs, and memes can be used to add humor to your site. If you are explaining a topic that is light or humorous, GIFs or memes can enhance the effectiveness of your content.
Videos are powerful. In fact, landing pages with a video can increase conversion rates by up to 70%. But, including a lot of videos on your site can slow it down. So, make sure to find the right balance.
Lastly, flipbooks can be great if you want to circulate brand brochures to your website visitors in a digital format. All types of visual content have different uses and purposes, and using them strategically can help you improve user experience and acquire loyal customers.
Visuals are essential not only for your website but for your brand in general. The proper use of images can make your site more engaging, authentic, and appealing to your audience. However, using images for the sake of using them can lead to negative results. The photos on your site should be relevant to your content and resonate with your visitor’s requirements. Using irrelevant images can create confusion and affect your brand’s image. On product pages, use various images to provide more details about your products.
When using images, don’t forget to crop, rescale, and optimize your images to make sure your website loads fast on all devices.
And lastly, don’t stick to just images. Use various types of visual content, like infographics, videos, GIFs, and more, to make your website more compelling.