Each of your web pages should be carefully crafted to not only paint a digital picture of your business, but also help push visitors down a marketing funnel. Along with content, headlines, calls-to-action (CTA), and buttons, website images are also a big part of what makes websites successful.
Website images are especially important because most people (65% actually) are visual learners, and without a visual aid to support your website’s message and goals, your efforts could fall flat.
It’s one thing to add just any old image to your website, but what takes it to the next level is selecting images that boost conversions. Meaning, visual web elements that actually drive potential customers to doing business with you. Here are some tips to help you choose the most impactful images for your website.
Select Images that Evoke Emotion
People tend to make decisions based on emotions, no matter if they’re positive or negative. Think about how your visitors typically “feel” when they’re looking for your services or product, but also be mindful of the emotions you’re trying to evoke. It’s a tricky balance, but it’s not impossible.
For example, if your business serves auto dealerships, you probably don’t want to show people couples eating dinner at home. You probably want images of salespeople serving happy customers at a dealership. You should select website images that align with your audience and support the things you’re saying on your web pages.
When in doubt, choose images that are relatable to your audience and support the emotions you’re trying to evoke.
Avoid “Overly-Stocky” Stock Images
We’re not opposed to using stock images on your website to support your messaging, but we strongly suggest avoiding selecting cliche, “obvious” stock images.
There is no clear definition of an “overly-stocky” image, but you know it when you see it. They look extremely staged, tacky, and far from genuine. When people see these images on websites, they often feel a disconnect from that business and will not take the next step with them. That’s because they don’t feel genuine or realistic to your audience.
HubSpot has some great (yet terrible) examples of what we’re talking about.
This kind of imagery worked in the 90s, but like many things, the standard for stock images has shifted. Luckily, there are great stock image websites out there that offer free, modern stock images that you can use to connect with your audience. Some of our favorites are:
Choose Relevant Images for Your Audience, Not Your Business
Like the content on your website, the images need to be tailored toward your audience, not your business. When people see images that they can relate to, they will be able to understand your message better.
Where possible, try to imagine your ideal audience and find photos you feel best represent them. Sometimes, that might mean securing actual photos of your clients or customers—with the appropriate permissions, of course.
When selecting images, ask yourself:
- Will these images help the user understand the content?
- Will these images further my message or be a distraction?
- Does this photo touch on my customers’ goals/desires?
- Does this image add value, or do I just like it?
By asking these questions, they will help you choose photos that are relevant to your audience, not you.
Always Use High-Quality Images
If there is one thing you take away from this post, it’s this: always use high-quality images on your website.
We mean selecting images that are large enough to be displayed on the web without losing their quality. Make sure the file size of these images are considered, or you could run into an array of issues. Pixelation is not your friend.
Large images could impact your site’s load speed, and a website that is slow to load will run into numerous issues, ranging from SEO to user disengagement.
Remember, dots per inch (DP) or pixels per inch (PPI) does not matter in terms of photo sizing. All the matters for the web are pixels. In short, make sure your high-quality images are optimized for the web.
Use Original Photos When Possible
Even with all of the free stock image websites and other amazing resources out there for images, sometimes it’s difficult to find the perfect images for your website. That’s why we’d say that original images are the best to add to your website.
By working with a professional photographer to take photos of your offices, team, products, and other “snap-worthy” details, you have total control over what your visitors see on your website. It will also be the starting point for building a relationship with your website visitors, as they will be able to see real-life photos of your business.
It’s certainly an investment to work with a photographer, but we’d argue that it’s worth it! These images can be used far past your website and become valuable assets for your organization.
Every element of your website needs to be considered when trying to convert visitors into customers, and your website’s images play a big role in this. Become more intentional with your site’s images with these tips in mind.