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How to Use Images Effectively

Images are a fantastic tool to enhance your website. The right image can send a powerful message and entice your users to read on, or to take the decision to make a purchase. Conversely, get it wrong and it can detract from the image you wish to portray of your company or distract users away from the text. Here are some key things to think about when using images on your site.

Understand copyright
Before you even start to choose images make sure you understand copyright; never use an image without permission. There are plenty of online image libraries available and they will provide you with details of copyright. There are lots of images that are available royalty-free, but be careful when using stock photos, as users can often spot these and may also see them on other sites.

Choose your image carefully
Make sure that your image displays a message and will connect with your target audience. What you say via an image is as important as the text on the page, so make sure it is in line with your chosen message. Don’t use fillers, images should be used with a purpose, not to fill space on a page. Try and avoid tired and clichéd images that your customers will have seen before. If possible display the human side of the company, try use staff images on the contact or company pages.

Use images to sell products
92.6% of online shoppers say visuals are the top influential factor affecting a purchase decision1 – getting it right can make the difference between achieving or losing a sale. Offer multiple views of a product and make sure customers can view a large version of the image, or zoom in. Provide images of a product in situ, so if you’re selling a lawnmower, show someone cutting the grass with it. Offering more than one product view and angle leads to 58% more sales1.

Help search engines to find you
Search engines pick up image names as they crawl through your site and search for key words within your image title. Make sure you always name your images and attach alt tags, this will improve your search engine rankings. The alt tag will be displayed if there are any problems with loading the image, a name such as BlueJumper will be much more meaningful to search engines and users than a series of random numbers and letters.

Make sure all images are optimised
It’s essential that your images load quickly; we all know that website visitors don’t hang around for long if they don’t quickly see what they are looking for. Whilst it’s important to have high quality and large images, you should make sure that you use an appropriate image size and format that allows the page to load quickly.

Good web designers and programmers should be well versed in the most effective ways to use images on your site, so make sure you discuss this when you are approaching a company about a new build or redesign.

If you’d like to speak to one of our highly experienced team about how we can make images work for you, contact us.

1Cox Blue – www.coxblue.com - Consumer Psychology and The E commerce Checkout – Stats Behind The Clicks 

 

6 August 2014
Blog Author
Oliver Pluckrose
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