The importance of images on your website can not be stressed enough. Content is of course essential to give readers a clear understanding of what your website is about, and what you can offer them, but the right images can draw readers in and want to read what you have to say. Colourful, good quality images can be what keep visitors on your page, and the right images will make your site look professional.
What are the right images?
First of all, the images must be appropriate for your site and be associated with the content contained therein. There is no point putting a cute picture of your dog above a paragraph about how to pack for your holiday – you want to draw your readers in, not confuse them.
Can I use images I find on the internet?
Yes, and no. You can’t just see an image you would love to use on your site and download it, as you could be breaking all sorts of copyright laws. However, you can source images from sites that are free from copyright, or require a credit with the photographer’s details. Copyright rules can vary from site to site, and from person to person with some photographer’s happy to allow websites to use their images as they wish free of charge and with others stating that an image can’t be edited and a fee must be paid. High quality images can be found on sites such as Shutterstock, which charges an annual fee for access to thousands of easy to search images. There are also free stock photo sites, so research the best options for your business.
Can I use my own images?
Of course! Originality works fantastically well on websites. As stock photos can look generic, visitors to your site will appreciate the authenticity of a personal image. Yet you must be careful that the images you select are of optimum quality and are edited correctly. Images that you take on your digital camera or cell can look very different when uploaded onto a site. Editing them to the correct pixel quality will ensure they still look impressive when uploaded onto your site. Editing software such as Lightroom, and Photoshop can help perfect the cropping and sizing of your images.
Use images your audience can relate to
If your website is aimed at younger people, use images featuring younger people. If your site is regarding pets, use images of people holding/stroking their pets to evoke an emotional response your readers can relate to. For good examples of image use, visit a site like Virtualphotographystudio.com that regularly updates its articles incorporating stylish, appropriate images.
Keep it consistent
Ensure you use the same type of images throughout the site. Similar colours, brightness, and style will allow your audience to associate the one theme with your site. It can be jarring to scroll through pages that have no cohesivity and if a person doesn’t feel comfortable viewing your site, they won’t stay on it long.
Selecting the right images can be a fun, yet laborious process, and even it takes a little longer than expected to get them right, you will enjoy the finished results on your website.