Websites are a dime a dozen. New websites pop up every second and create greater competition in the marketplace for every industry. For small businesses, having a professional website that reflects its mission and products and services is integral to its livelihood. While there are numerous website design best practices, one element that is often overlooked is the quality of images on a site.
Images conjure specific emotions and feelings that complement your website’s content. People process visuals 60,000 times faster than text and help someone decide whether to remain on your website or not.
“According to the Nielsen Group, the majority of users decide if they want to stay on your website within the first 10-20 seconds of viewing.”
Your content might be Grade A, but in ten seconds, the images do all the talking and inform a viewer’s decision to stay or go.
Consider these three suggestions when choosing your website images. They will transform your website and garner the traffic, conversions, and audience your small business wants.
Use high quality images
As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Your website images speak to your audience and communicate different messages than your content. High quality images allow viewers to make an educated decision about the value of your site. You spend hours poring over the content of your website, why wouldn’t you apply the same considerations to your images?
Professional photographs and images are the best option as the resolution and overall quality is best. High quality photographs not only show up well on your website, but they communicate an investment on your company’s part to a certain business standard. Photographs emphasize your products and services in a way that words cannot convey. They bring your offerings to life, but only if they’re of good quality. Your website visitors will notice the difference between average and professional images, and think more highly of your business because if your investment. Give them a reason to believe in your business with high quality images.
If hiring a professional photographer is out of the question, there are alternatives for purchasing stock photos. The quality is, again, top notch, but not specific to your business. A few reputable sources are Shutterstock, Getty Images, and Adobe Stock. These services are charge nominal fees for access to 1,000s of photos, vectors, and icons. If you want to skip a step and spare your budget, the Vistaprint Digital website builder has a built-in library with over 300,000 royalty-free images and icons.
If your heart is set on personalized images, you can reach out to a local photographer and barter your services. It’s another way to support a small business, while getting professional photos for your business.
Long Stems, a florist based outside of Philadelphia, has incredible, high quality images on its site. Whether it’s on the home page or in their galleries, the images are clearly professional grade and showcase their beautiful work.
image courtesy of Long Stems
The images offer the viewer a sense of the business as well as the level of professionalism that can be expected from the vendor. The images work in tandem with the text to portray the desired messages about the company. Many of their featured galleries include images from local photographers. This is an excellent example of cross-promoting Long Stems’s preferred vendors while giving them access to publish their professional images on the Long Stems site. It’s a win-win, and leaves the viewer with a distinct impression about the company.
Select images that relate to your small business
As excited as you may be to put a pretty picture on your website, check that it adds relevant value to your site. Your images should speak to your services and products, as well as your business industry. Feel free to add whatever flair or panache makes sense for your business. Your images help craft a holistic representation of your brand, so use them to convey what your content cannot.
Cherry Blossom Creative, a DC-based design studio, uses quality website imagery masterfully. Its blend of offerings and context-setting pictures balance the website and round out the plethora of services.
image courtesy of Cherry Blossom Creative
The viewer gets a true sense of the business, the people behind it, and the professionalism that accompanies working with the company. Again. the quality of images plays a big part in forming the viewer’s impression. It would be very different if the featured images were granular, different sizes or distorted in any way. The logical combination of images and text showcases the entire business incredibly well and adds to the chances of viewers going deeper into the website.
Double check your images are optimized for mobile
Nothing deters a viewer from a website than skewed images or slow load times. Guarantee your user experience by optimizing your images for desktops, smartphones and tables. You never know how customers will access your website, but ensuring your images pop up quickly and clearly across all devices sets your website up for success. If this sounds too technical, don’t worry! Our website builder automatically formats your site for any mobile device and takes the optimization step out of the equation for you.
Your small business website is your virtual calling card. Don’t let grainy images or irrelevant graphics deter your viewers from learning more about your business and becoming loyal customers. Try these three tips and see how your website traffic grows seemingly overnight!