Are your web pages flat and boring? Is no one clicking your links to dive deeper into your website or purchase your products and services? In this blog post, you’ll learn how images influence your visitor’s perceptions and feelings about your brand. And how your images encourage a visitor to take action or flee from your site.
Images are critical to delivering your message and getting people to take an action
Our brains process images much faster than words because humans are mostly visual.
Ever wondered why emojis are so popular and why you search and search for the exact right one? An emoji can tell people what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling quicker than you can type all the words that encompass your emotion. And we understand an emoji quicker than we can read all the words used to describe your feeling.
The human brain can process an image in as little as 13 milliseconds. That’s about 1/10th of the time it takes you to blink.
On a page, you’ll see an image before you start to read, even when you’re just glancing at the page.
Which did your brain process quickest? The pic of the apple or the word apple?
How to choose images that boost conversions
From the images, visitors get a feeling from your page before they read it. Images send a subtle message. Are you sending a negative or positive message? If your picture makes someone feel good, happy, wanted, they’ll be more likely to connect with you and your product.
By displaying images that align with your message and evoke the feeling you want the visitor to have, the story can be told without the visitor ever reading a word. The correct image, that communicates the message you want to convey, will lead the visitor to the action you want them to take and make all the difference.
Sam Usher goes into more depth in his brilliant TedTalk, “Neuromarketing: Knowing Why You Buy.”
Choose images your customers relate to
If your audience can identify with the images on your website, they’re more likely to have good feelings about your brand and employees. In addition, relatable images will help your visitors quickly understand your message.
Relatable images may include photos of your customers (secure a photo release before you use customer images) or staff.
Ask yourself these questions when you’re searching for images:
- Does the image make the text more understandable?
- Will the image be a distraction, or will it further my message?
- Does the picture mirror the goals and desires of my customers?
- Will this image add value to the website?
These questions will help you choose pictures your customer and potential customers will relate to.
Add the human factor to your images
It’s no surprise that pictures of people are more relatable and trusted than websites with product images. And having pictures of people showing their faces is shown to humanize the website and positively impact purchase rates.
But use caution when using stock images of people. Don’t use images that are staged, overly posed, or tacky. You’ll lose the benefit of using the images you just added to your site. Hubspot has a great blog post of some terrible images. Check them out here, 13 Hilarious Examples of Truly Awful Stock Photography.
Use high-quality images
There’s nothing worse than an image that’s blurry and pixelated. It makes a website look unprofessional and gives a bad impression. The solution for this is to use larger, high-quality images. But that doesn’t mean you should upload a photo directly from your phone or camera.
Pictures from your camera are HUGE. Coming straight from your camera, they can be 3000x4000px. That’s way too large for a website. The largest size pics that should be placed on a website should be 1920px wide. And if you’re viewing a website on your phone, the screen is 300px wide, so that image straight from the camera is overkill.
Most web images have a resolution of 72dpi (dots per inch). However, images from your camera have a resolution of 300dpi, that’s print quality. But most computer screens are not high definition, so 300dpi is not needed.
Also, large images will slow down your website as they will take a long time to load. Use an image optimizing program or website like https://TinyPNG.com to compress the image and make it look as good as possible.
All camera images should be sized down and compressed.
For WordPress, there are also on-site image optimizing plugins. For example, Imsanity is an excellent plugin for optimizing images. But don’t rely on image optimizing plugins alone; plugins can only do so much.
Use your own photos
Use pictures of your business you’ve taken yourself, or use a professional photographer. That way, you’ll have complete control of what visitors see on your website. By using real-life photos of your facilities and employees, website visitors will get an immediate connection with your business. If you’re a service-based business having pics of your employees can reassure older customers that your employees are legitimate and they’re not being scammed.
Consider every detail of your website; your images are a large part of your website and converting visitors into customers. Using alt text with your images will make your image accessible to screen readers and Google. Keep these tips in mind when you’re adding images to your website.