Using images on your website: what you need to know

Best practices for using photos and graphics in web design

Let’s update the old cliché. If a photo is worth a thousand words, then a digital photo, on your website, is worth a thousand clicks.

This is because using images in website design is one of the easiest things you can do to make your website more popular, both with users and search engines.

There are many reasons to use images on your website. Images and graphics can:

– Improve your SEO,

– Help brand your company, and

– Create more user engagement.

Ultimately, a more attractive website performs better.

Of course, images will only work if you use them correctly, and we’ll cover best practices below. But first, let’s explore why you want to use photos and graphics in the first place.

Why use images in website design

Start paying attention when you surf the Internet. You will hardly ever see a website that doesn’t use images in some way. And if you happen upon one, it’s probably an old one, and you probably won’t be forced to spend much time there.

No self-respecting web designer will publish written content without including images and graphics to break up the text.

A long, scrolling page of typed words without breaks is unflatteringly called a “wall of text,” and no one likes to read them.

But we don’t just add images to websites because they look pretty (although they are). The effective use of images on a website can dramatically improve its performance.

Here are three main reasons to use images in website design:

1. Website images can improve your SEO
If you want a lot of good, quality traffic to your website, you have two options:

1) You can spend thousands of dollars on ads, or

2) you can do good SEO. And including rich images is a key part of good SEO.

Search engine optimization, or ‘SEO’, is the practice of optimizing your website for search engines.

You want to make it as easy as possible for Google (and other search engines) to understand what your website is about, so they can show it to relevant users. The better your site is optimized for search engines, the more likely it is to appear at the top of search results, and the more likely it is to be found by eager customers.

Remember that Google is just a robot. It scans your site, looking for certain metrics like tags, headlines, and written content to understand what your business is all about. When you scan your site, you also look at images, so good, optimized images can help your overall SEO.

Case in point: Content with images gets 94% more views than content without. So if you want more traffic, you should use more photos on your website.

Of course, this only works if you use relevant images and follow best practices, which we’ll cover later.

2. Images can help brand your business
The right images can bring your brand to life in a way that text simply can’t. Neuroscientists have discovered that we can identify images seen as quickly as 13 milliseconds. That is much faster than the blink of an eye. When you use attractive images on your website, a visitor will immediately start to understand your brand.

If you haven’t spent time building your brand, check out my tips on how to create a unique brand identity.

And if you’ve spent time building your brand, put it to use! You don’t want your logo to be hidden on business cards. Get people to connect with you instantly, wherever they find you.

For example, by using a compelling image of a powerful businesswoman at the top of their website, Douma Leadership immediately establishes its brand in the female leadership niche.

Remember that graphics are also images that you can use, which offer a great way to subtly incorporate your brand elements and colors into your web design. You should be adding all kinds of visual content to your site, helping people connect with your brand right away.

Also remember that any image you use on your website can also be used on social media. The best images for web content will generally perform very well across multiple platforms as well.

None of this means that good written content isn’t as important on your website. It simply means that good images have an immediate and lasting impact, which brings us to the final reason to use them in your web design.

3. Images keep users engaged
People are visual creatures. We love to look at beautiful and interesting things. This is especially true for the 65% of the population who are visual learners.

For example, by adding images, our Magic Home Staging client makes it much more likely that users will continue reading your list of design ideas.

Adding the right photos to your site is one of the easiest things you can do to captivate your audience. In fact, at least 38% of users will simply stop interacting with a site when it has an unappealing design.

On the other hand, a BuzzSumo study found that articles that used an image once every 75-100 words received twice as many social media shares as articles with fewer images.

Combine this with the fact that people are busy and tend to scan websites. Breaking up text into shorter paragraphs and interspersing it with interesting photos and infographics can help make your website more accessible and user-friendly.

Ultimately, images make your site more captivating and visually appealing, which means users are more likely to spend time on your website and remember it.

As a final note, Google takes note of how long people engage with a website and rewards engaging content. So when you use images to keep people on your website longer, you’ll also be improving your SEO.


READ: How to keep people on your website longer

It’s a simple equation: the more time people spend on your website, the more likely they are to convert into leads or sales.

So…do your website visitors like what they see when they arrive at your site or do they leave after a few seconds?

Do they choose to buy something from you or abandon their cart before making a purchase?

Statistics show that an average web user spends only a few seconds on a website before deciding whether to stay or go. That means you don’t have much time to make a good first impression.

Read more on our website.


How to use photos on your website

Your website will only reap the benefits of images if you use them correctly. Here are some of the best practices to keep in mind when using photos and graphics in web design:

? Keep your photos relevant. They must match the text they are illustrating. And use captions when adding photos to blog posts.

? Keep the image file size small. Slow load times can negatively affect your SEO and user engagement. Images take longer to download than text, so too many large images can slow down your site (especially on mobile devices). This means that you need to compress your images, which you can do in Adobe Photoshop or with online image compressors.

? Properly tag your images with search engine optimized keywords and phrases. The file name and tags of your images should be done with SEO in mind.

? Don’t go overboard with the graphics. The cheesy and poorly done graphics can look like advertisements, which people tend to skim through.

? Use images with real people as much as possibleas they can help users feel more connected to your site.

? Encourage users to share photos. on their own social platforms.

? Use only your own images or images you have purchased and has the right to use. Give attribution when necessary.

As much as possible, it’s best to use your own photos that you’ve taken professionally.

However, depending on your budget, this may not always be possible. In this case, you will need to resort to stock photos, but use them wisely. Try to choose photos that are not too staged or unrealistic.

For paid stock images, we like to use You can also find a wide variety of free photos on Unsplash that are free to use, with no attribution or permissions, for all commercial and non-commercial purposes.

When used correctly, photos are one of the best ways to enhance your website. But if used incorrectly, they easily clutter your design and slow down your site. This is especially true if you are not familiar with proper web design best practices.

My team helps small businesses get online with website design, along with branding, SEO, and digital marketing. And we’re experts at finding the right images.

Chat with us today to get started on professional branding that showcases your next business to get the leads and sales you want.

For the success of your business,


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