You are probably no stranger to the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Although it is somewhat overused, the meaning behind it hasn’t diminished at all. This is because even with modern design, images can be more significant than anything else.
To start with images make the rest of your content more enticing. This isn’t just hearsay, the facts are actually in. It was estimated that content with strong visual elements was likely to get up to 94 percent more views! This alone should show you that images and graphics are an important part of your overall web design.
Of course, it isn’t enough simply place pictures and graphics around the site and hope that it will draw in a crowd. No, you need to be able to know how to use them effectively so they can have maximum impact. Here are the top things to keep in mind.
Choose Stock Photography Carefully
There is an uptick in using stock photography and this is something you need to be careful with. On the one hand, stock images do have their use. It involves very little effort on your part and in many instances, there are plenty of pictures available for free.
However, if you aren’t careful, websites providing these images can be a bit of a slippery slope. For one thing, not all stock photographs are created equal. So, while some are beautifully captured, others can be rather sloppy – avoid the latter.
Also, make sure that the images that you do select aren’t widely used. If you have seen one before, don’t use it on your website. The idea here is to stand out and using a common picture is certainly not going to help you do that.
If you are going to rely on stock images, make sure that they are well shot and that they have some sort of emotion behind them. In many cases, the ones that require payment are often of a much higher quality as well as relevancy. Therefore, it will be worth it to pay for these images.
Opt for Originals
However, it is originals that will really help you to get that gold. See, the main advantage of original photographs is that they are relevant to your content. Therefore, they will fit in seamlessly with text, infographs, and more.
For one thing, this will help to pull your web design together and make it look more authentic. You can get models or backgrounds that are related to your business idea. You can also stage them in a way that gets the right kind of feeling across. Not to mention, you can make sure that it is the only image of its kind on the internet.
Let’s imagine that you don’t want to go through the cost of setting up a photo shoot. Well, there are still other options for you, especially if you have a vintage theme to your website. Under these circumstances, you may want to go through a collection of your own photographs – you may just stumble upon something of interest.
Now, if these pictures are old, worn out or dusty, you can still use them. There are services on sites like instarestoration.com that can fix up all of these blemishes for you. They will then look as good as new in no time at all.
Use Background Pictures for an Immediate Impact
From the moment someone enters your website, they should be able to get an immediate sense of what it is all about. The easiest way to do this is by selecting an appropriate background image. You can use one or more to create the perfect atmosphere.
For instance, are you selling beachwear? Then people in swimsuits on the sand is the perfect way to set the tone. It gets people in the right mood and primes them on what to expect from the rest of your site. Since these images are larger, it is important for them to boast excellent resolution and to be vibrant.
Also, for this purpose, it is best to stick with original images rather than stock ones. This is especially important if you are selling merchandise. The only products on your site should be your own to avoid any confusion or legal action.
Placement is Key
Another thing to be mindful of is where you should place the image. Believe it or not, the positioning can often determine whether or not a particular picture will have a positive impact on the content or not. This is why it is always best to place larger images at the very top of your text.
When a picture is lovely and relevant, it encourages the visitor to see what the text is all about. Therefore, making sure that it is the first thing someone sees can ensure that they are more willing to glance at the rest of the page or read the article.
Of course, if you have a long body of text, images can be used in other areas too. They can be quite handy for breaking up walls of text and making a particular piece a lot easier to read. Images are also a good way to draw the eye to related content such as similar items or articles.
Images Shouldn’t Interfere With Speed
Now, while high resolution, beautiful images are important, they should not hinder your web design in any way. To be more specific, these pictures should never slow down your website. This is because loading speed can often be a major factor in determining whether a visitor will move on before entering your site.
So, make sure to do a test run beforehand. If you find that the page is slow to load, see what changes can be made. If there are too many images, it can help to lessen the number. This is particularly true if you only have minimal written content on a page.
These are the top tips to keep in mind when you are using images to improve your web design. As long as you stick to these, you should be able to create a truly breathtaking result.
Chris Mcdonald has been the lead news writer at complete connection. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides. Chris is also an author of tech blog Area19delegate. He likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.