What makes the difference between a website that people like and one with a high bounce rate? If you want visitors to stay on your website once they land on it, it should look nice. Even just a single well-chosen image can make all the difference in the world since humans are, first and foremost, animals who use their vision to experience the world.
Since visuals have an incredible communication potential, you need to follow some basic rules to choose the right images for your site.
1. Image Quality
Striking the right balance between loading time and image quality is extremely important.Pages that take too much time to load will kill your rankings and cause a lot of people to simply leave the site. On the other hand, nobody is going to like images that are blurred or pixelated.
2. Image format
There’s a huge difference between the various image format. Knowing what image format to choose for images on a website is really important since you need to find the perfect balance between image quality (see point 1) and loading time. Usually it all comes down to choosing JPG vs PNG images, with the former being faster since images are smaller, and the latter being better when you need a transparent logo or a pixel-perfect screenshot.
3. Go for action
Images must be actionable and focused on persuading your visitors on doing something. Anything that describes an action is better than static imagery, especially if it’s coupled with the right call to action. Think about Burger King’s food pictures – you really want to buy and eat one of them after you see a picture!
4. Choose unique pictures
Stock photos do their job well enough. However, chances are that people who visited other sites already saw them elsewhere, making your site look bland and dull. Whenever you can, use your own images – even pictures you took with your smartphone will do the job if the quality is high enough. They will make your site look more genuine and easier to remember, and will differentiate your brand from its competitors.
5. Blend images and text
Your images should become a streamlined part of your content rather than a separate instance. Think of them like furniture inside a beautiful room. Blending pictures with text will help you highlight the content you want your users to focus on, such as call to actions, brand messages, and all the important stuff.
6. Humanize your pics
Whenever you can, try choose people over static objects as the subject of your images. People tend to naturally identify themselves with other humans, providing you with a unique opportunity to drive their emotion and bring value to your content. Following tip n. 3, a human eating a burger is even more effective than a delicious food picture if you want to stimulate their appetite!
Whenever you think about a website that caught your attention, chances are that the first thing you will remember is the imagery itself. Enticing pics are, hands down, one of the key components of any successful site.