Website Imagery – More important than ever!
Web design has come a long way since 1991 when a man called Tim Berners-Lee created the first text-only pages of the World Wide Web. In those days, web pages were drab and boring as the technology and slow download speeds didn’t allow for anything else.
There is no such excuse in 2015. A majority of the world has access to high-speed broadband and with that, multimedia websites with video, images and sound are common place. Browsing the web has become a total sensory experience in many ways and text is taking a back seat. The imagery that we see on a website can often determines the success or failure of our interactions with that site. “A picture is worth a 1000 words” has never been a truer statement.
Why are images so powerful for a website?
- Hot spot analysis shows that images are the very first thing a visitor sees on a website. Text is a distant second!
- One solitary image can determine the emotion and tone of the website, even before the visitor reads a single word.
- Visitors like to click on image links more than simple text links. For example, a user will more likely click on a product image to make a purchase rather than the words underneath.
- Visitors like to share what they find on the web with their friends and it is much more likely that they will LIKE an image to share on Facebook or PIN onto Pinterest.
Using images has distinct benefit to a website:
- Site analysis has shown that images increase the average number of pages visited within a site, reducing bounce time and keep visitors longer.
- 60% of consumers are more willing to consider local businesses that include images on their websites.
- ALT tags (the labels that pop-up when you float your mouse over an image) help to improve the general SEO on your site. Google scans these each time it visits your website.
- Online store products with effective imagery have a much improved chance of product sale than those without.
Message: Don’t Skimp on the Imagery
It’s always evident when a business skimps on images for its website. Even if the text content is compelling and the “call to action” actually works, the whole site can be let down by poor quality imagery. Conveying an emotion is one of the most important parts of a business web design – you want the site visitor to “feel” something towards your brand. You may want to generate excitement through action shots, warmth through family images or compassion for emotional situations around the world.
Creating this emotion is the hardest part. Only well-framed and purposeful imagery has the strength to convey emotion which will affect nearly everything else on the page.
Now to get on my soapbox: Only a professional photographer (or at the very least an experienced amateur) has the experience to capture these images. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that a couple of shots taken on a smart phone will have the same effect. Shots taken by your employees often won’t meet the bill either.
If you have contracted a web designer to build your small business site, than you have made a serious dollar investment that will ultimately benefit your business. Don’t hamper that investment by reverting to using poor quality images on your site. Outlay a few extra dollars (do a little research, it’s often cheaper than you think) and hire a professional photographer to create the emotions that your site needs for its success.
Your site will be better for it!