A picture tells a thousand words, but a great picture can also secure a thousand customers.
The images and pictures on your website are some of the most important conversion tools you have. This is primarily because people are visual learners. Pictures and graphics help people imagine and understand more easily than just words, which means the right images can help make a casual browser into a new customer.
According to search engine optimization experts, approximately 60 percent of online consumers are more likely to reach out to a business if they have images in search results.
However, this can be more difficult than you think. You can't just slap on any photos and graphics on your website and expect them to be instantly amazed.
But never fear, here are 5 best practices when putting up pictures and images on your website.
- Do a Little Touching Up
Do not put raw, unprocessed photographs on your website. As pretty and amazing they might seem even from an initial viewing, you need to edit and touch up any pictures that end up on your pages. Without editing, blemishes can mar your model's photos, small details can make your site humorous instead of appealing and your pictures may not have the same visual impact as your competitor's.
Employ professional photo retouching if you don't have the skills yourself. Even a little editing can go a long way in making your pictures look more presentable. Remove errant shadows, smooth out textures and scour the photos to make sure your
- Avoid Stock Photos
It can be tempting to just head on over to a free stock photo website and start searching for pictures instead of taking the time to make them yourself, but its worth it. Stock photos tend to be very impersonal, especially pictures that have people in them. What's more, these pictures rarely have the same vibe or feel you want for your site. Online users can also easily tell if your photos are lifted from stock sites, and this can be taken as a sign of amateurism. If you want audiences to take your site seriously and have images that you are in complete control of, skip the stock photo sites and take your own pictures.
- Optimize Load Speed
Your site should have high quality images, but the problem with loading these huge files unto your page is that they slow down your site's load speed. If your page's images are too large, it can take seconds for the entire page to load properly, and you will start to lose customers. You can optimize your site's images by ensuring your image files are using formats that can support thigh qualities without taking up too much data.
For example, JPG files are standard, but they can eat up a lot of data when they get too large. GIFs are relatively low data but consequently have low image resolution as well. Consult with photographers and other experts as to which file formats will work best with your current goals.
- Manage the Metadata
Some website owners think that their pictures end with just the image on the screen, but there's so much more going on with them. Every picture on your site has what's called a metadata, a set of information that tells software such as search engines what your image contains. You have to optimize this information properly if you want your pictures to appear more frequently on Google and similar platforms.
First, instead of leaving photos with file names comprised of jumbled letters and numbers, give them proper names that describe what's on them. Second, try to insert popular keywords you're trying to rank for in the metadata. Finally, metadata sometimes includes alt-text, a short description used by search engines to identify and relay the contents of a picture. Fill this up carefully and succinctly to allow these programs to find your pictures more effectively.
- Structure Sites Around Them
Your photographs take a lot of hard work and you shouldn't let it go to waste. Make photographs the center piece of your website and deploy them around your pages strategically.
For example, the top portion of your home page should be reserved for your main image, a photo that not only captures a visitor's attention but also represents your entire brand.
Pictures should be the focal point of each page, following the flow of the eye and down the page. By building your site around your images, you can maximize their impact and appeal, ensuring audiences get to experience them fully.
They say a picture says a thousand words, but they can also represent thousands of dollars of business. Unless you want to miss out on all this revenue, you would do well to remember to manage your website's pictures more effectively.