It’s no secret that images are important when it comes to your website. In fact, the right images can sometimes mean sink or swim for a website. As a user, there is nothing more unappealing than visiting a site with grainy, cliche, stretched photos. Though the photos may not speak to the company accurately in such a case, they are still a reflection of the company since they are on the site.
So when it comes to choosing photos, how can you be sure to make the most of the images on your site? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Personalize whenever possible. Sure, stock photos can serve an image. But as a business, you want people to know who they are interacting with and what your company stands for. Whenever possible, it’s best to have photos that communicate this on your site. Yes, that probably means biting the bullet and hiring a professional to come take photos for you. But trust me, it’s worth it for the end result.
2. Keep your brand at the forefront. You want your photos to communicate what your company is about. Photos can be taken in different styles — some are light and airy, while others are dark and moody. Think about what best fits your brand visually and make sure to communicate that with your website designer. And, if you are having someone take photos for you, be sure to have that same conversation. The last thing you want is to pay for photos that don’t directly reflect your brand.
3. Quality matters. iPhones are great for lots of things, but website photos are not one of them. Photos taken on a phone are only so clear and lose quality as they get larger. Photos taken by a professional on a real camera have the ability to display at the size needed on a computer screen and still appear crisp. The overall quality of the image will also appear better, as professionals know how to edit and shoot photos to highlight the best qualities of a space or person.
4. Make sure you have the rights to the images. Unfortunately, you can’t just do a quick Google search and save any photos you like. Most photos are not meant for reuse and you can potentially get into legal trouble by simply saving and using photos you found via a web search. If you’re on a budget and looking for free or cheap photos you can use, visit sites like Pexels, Unsplash and 123RF.
5. When planning photos, think about the pages on your website. Going through these pages in your head and thinking about the types of images that best align with each page can help you outline what images you need to collect. For example, if you have an “About the Team” page, you’re probably going to want to make sure to have a team photo or two to include on that page. You want the photos on each page to be relevant and integrate seamlessly with the page.
In the end, photos drive much of a visitor’s experience on your website. If you’re taking the time to invest in your site and the user experience, it’s likely worth investing in images as well.