Why your website photos are just as important as your design

Why your website photos are just as important as your design

We are visual beings, and as the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Using images throughout your site helps sell products, increase engagement, and create a brand identity. They can be as, if not more, important than text on a webpage. Here, I will be discussing a few high-level points as to why website photos are so critical to your design.

Social media plays an ever-increasing role in our day-to-day lives. Sites like Facebook thrive off visual content, whether that be the latest viral cat video or funny meme. Shareability of a site is vital to its long-term success and having images on your site makes it that bit more attractive to share. For instance, you can use Facebook OpenGraph to set which image to show when sharing on social media. This can be especially useful if you want users to see a preview of the page, or you plan to promote a special offer.

Infographics are another form of image that can get across a lot of information in an aesthetically pleasing format. Images like these can rank high in search engines, as well as promote pages to the coveted first page of search results. There is a great importance on applying metadata to your images if you want them to boost your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO) effectively too. Alt tags, for instance, help search engine spiders understand what the image is conveying, while title tags can provide hover-over text.

If you are to create your own imagery for your website, I plead that you have suitable equipment for taking such photos. Ensure that only the crispest images are uploaded to your website, and utilise tools like WordPress to aid with compression, sizing, and storage of such media. Stock photos can help to create a website also, but you must be careful which ones you select – you do not want the site to come across as fake or generic. Also, don’t simply use photos you find on a Google Image Search, as they may be copyright protected.

Images can help with the flow of a website, and insightful heatmap tools can help you see this. In tools like Hotjar, you can monitor where users are looking on your site, which is as simple as viewing heatmaps. You can see which images are receiving the most clicks and their paths through the site. Continual improvement of the site with such tools will result in higher conversions over time.

In closing, the right balance must be struck for images versus other aspects of design, like server load, speed of the website, SEO and user experience to name but a few. There are many points to consider before adding images to a webpage. You don’t want to overload your users, but the importance of images cannot be understated.

Speak to Engage Web if you would like more advice on using images on your site. We have a package that includes the addition of a sourced image for every blog we publish.

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