As the old saying goes, a picture can say a thousand words. Using images is one of the most effective ways to enhance your content. I’m sure many of you have sat in a presentation with slide after slide of bullets and text. Compare that experience to the last presentation you attended where the presenter only spoke to slides with high resolution images and large titles. Different experience right?
The same goes for web content. The use of images has been proven to increase the amount of times your visitors stay on your site. It makes the content more engaging and supports your ability to tell your story more effectively.
But before you start going and downloading every image you can find and plastering it all over your website, here are three short things to remember when selecting and placing your images:
1. Take note of the file size of the image. In the world of web design, images, no matter what file size, can be squeezed into whatever defined area you have on your website. The image will look perfectly fine, but the amount of data your visitors are downloading to see the image might be unnecessary and may slow down your sites ability to load quickly for your visitors (a huge faux pas in the world of web design). In general, if you’re posting an image and embedding it within an article, I would recommend a file size no larger than 100 Kb.
2. New Pictures. New Life. New Business. I’ve seen a lot of examples of users using images that are visibly dated. I’ve noticed this to be a particularly common practice as it pertains to personal portraits. Without getting into too much detail as to why I think this happens, there are aesthetic-related downsides to using older images (i.e. younger images). As you know, technology has rapidly evolved over the years. This evolution hasn’t excluded digital photography and so it actually becomes quite easy to tell whether an old image is being used. The use of brighter imagery, that is clean, clear, modern and crisp, has the added benefit of bringing your website to life. It also reflects well against your brand and gives you a higher chance of visitor engagement.
3. Quality over Quantity. I started this post with a familiar quote “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Using a small number of high resolution images that provoke emotion or grabs the attention of your visitor is a best practice in web design and, in general, audience engagement. It provides a more direct message that is not diluted by noise and entices the visitor to read your content and look for more content that provokes the same entertainment value.
Have any questions about this post? Or perhaps I could have been more detailed in one specific subject area. Either way, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment!