A business's website is often the first impression a potential customer might get of what you are and what you have to offer.
You want to demonstrate your level of professionalism, your superior service and your unique brand.
Your site should give them a feel of who you are - you want them to walk away being impressed and informed.
(Not sure of your brand, read our take on what you need to understand about digital branding
to get started).
Images are a key component to drawing visual appeal and interest to your website. They capture attention and can get your message across in a sophisticated way, allowing people to digest the information without having to spend time reading. The right imagery can keep someone interested in your site long enough to really understand your business and lead to a higher conversion rate.
But getting it right is essential.
So we have highlighted some common problems we often come across and have put together a few quick solutions to help you overcome them.
Problem #1: Images are loading too slowly
If large, un-optimized images are being used in your website content this can drastically increase the load time of the pages which can cause major frustrations for your users and can ultimately lead to the loss of potential customers.
Solution: resize and optimise for performance
Resize your image dimensions to match where they are being used, there is no point in using a full sized photo if only a thumbnail is needed.
Change the quality; Image editors will normally provide the option of setting a quality option (between 0 and 100) when saving your images, the trick here is to find the right point that will provide a smaller file size whilst still ensuring that your images aren’t grainy and blurry (75% is a good starting point).
Save as the right file type; as a general rule of thumb JPEG should be user photos and complex logos, PNG for transparent images, vectors, basic logos and block colours with GIFs being used for animated graphics and email imagery.
Problem #2: My images are too busy and distracting
We all know how it feels to see a billboard, sign or homepage that has too much going on. Our eyes don't know where to look and we struggle to decipher what the key message is.
Solution: Crop for subject focus
The crop tool is your friend. Cropping an image (photos in particular) can help clearly identify the subject of the image by removing any unwanted or distracting background elements, this is especially important for e-commerce product photography.
Before you can crop though you need to start with a high resolution image otherwise the end cropped result can turn out blurry and grainy if used at larger sizes.
Pro tip: Correct photo composition
also opens up a world of benefits for your imagery.
Problem #3 - My images look dull and uninteresting.
So you’ve sourced some images for your website but you think they are a little dull and could use that little extra something. Good news, with a few basic tweaks you can get the most out of your images:
Solution: Retouch for visual appeal.
The basics that you should focus on are:
: although it’s tempting to use auto-adjustments they may not achieve the best results so try and play around with making manual adjustments first as this will give you a good handle on how they affect the imagery.
Problem #4 - My email images don’t show up in Gmail! Solution: Rename for stability.
This is a very common problem that we come across. We receive draft emails from clients with complaints that the images aren’t appearing. 99% of the the time this is due to the images within the email content (or the folders that they have been uploaded into) contain spaces in their names.
Solution: Rename for stability.
Ensure that when creating folders, uploading photos and adding to content that both the folders and photo file names contain NO SPACES. If you follow this simple rule: Happy days!
Problem #5 - I don’t know how to resize or edit my photos.
This can sometimes be the fiddly part, that takes some trial and error, and can be frustrating if it's not working the way you need it to.
Solution: PIXLR to the Rescue!
Let me introduce you to PIXLR
. It is a FREE cloud based image editor which is packed with features, it is simple to use and has plenty of tutorials
to help get you started. If you live in Google Apps (like me) PIXLR also integrates with Gmail and Google Drive
Why these things matter
It might sound complicated, or like something not worth your energy but using the correct images and ensuring they are of the best quality will generate more traffic to your site and lower your bounce rate.
Engaging content is the key to increasing conversions, so you might want to think about a visual strategy, to ensure your brand is consistent.
If want more information about ways to engage your audience, you could read our tips to producing better content.