Photos are processed 60,000 times faster than words. Did you catch that? That means we compelled by what we see and great website photos convert sales and close leads.
As soon as your website loads, a great photo will grab a visitor’s attention and communicate what your business does, the products you sell, and the services you offer. A bad photo tells your visitor that your website is not important to your business or worse, leaves them wondering what you do.
Of course, you need more than one great website photo to keep visitors engaged and get them to stay on your website.
So you might be asking, where will all these gorgeous photos come from? The good news is you have options. Over the next 7 blog posts, we are going to talk in-depth about how to create or find these photos. We are going to discuss how to shoot your own website photos, the importance of using the correct file type and image size, hiring a local photographer, finding stock photos, taking pictures on your phone, and shooting your own product photos.
In this post, we are going to show you what makes great website photos.
Make sure your images are relevant
Our brains are hardwired to remember stories. That is why it is easy for you to remember different plots from your favorite movies or that funny story your friend told you last week.
So use images on your website to convey the story of your brand. You need to show who you are and great website photos will connect those images to the surrounding text.
Great images stop the scroll and get the attention of your website visitor, you can then use a caption or surrounding text to narrate the story of your business in their minds.
Original images make great website photos
Original images have a bigger impact on website visitors and provide a sense of authenticity that people can relate to.
This does not mean you can not use stock photos. Stock photos are great for enhancing your website but they will never be able to provide an emotional connection to your website visitor.
This is crucial when it comes to photos of your people. Your website visitor wants to see who works at your business and see if they can relate to your people. When a website visitor can relate to someone in your business, they know they will enjoy working with or supporting your business.
Graphics aren’t just photos
It is not just photos that people process 60,000 times faster, people can process infographics and icons just as quickly.
Infographics are a great visual way to display data quickly that would otherwise get lost in a paragraph.
We love icons because they are small but powerful. Thanks to Google, we all know that when we see a magnifying glass on a website that it is a search bar. If we see a shopping cart, we know that is where we click to buy the product(s) we want/need. Icons provide a great visual to quickly explain something on your website.
Think about how your photo will scale and crop
When you select a photo for your website, you need to think about how it is going to scale and crop. This is very important for any photos that are in your header or prominently displayed at the top of your website.
Your website is going to automatically scale and crop photos depending on the screen size your visitor is using. So you will want to pay attention to the photo you are using in different sections.
You will want to be mindful of the dimensions needed for your photo. For instance, if your website calls for a 500 x 500 px photo but you only have a 50 x 50 px photo then your photo will appear pixelated. The average header image is around 1600 x 1050 px.
If you are on a Mac and need to crop an image here is a tutorial walking you through resizing a photo using Preview.
If you would like an online editor, you can use ResizeImage.net or Kraken.io.
In our next blog post, we are going to discuss the difference in file types and the importance of image file size, and how they relate to your SEO.