What constitutes an effective website is a combination of design that allows people to easily and quickly find what they want. Colours, layout and tone of voice suitable for and engaging with the target audience and very importantly the quality and style of imagery.
OUR BRAIN CAN PROCESS IMAGES FASTER THAN TEXT.
There is lots of research to back this argument up, but it is also something that most of us are very aware of in our daily life whether we’re driving past billboards or shopping in the local supermarket.
High quality, professional images can help your audience understand your product or service better, much quicker and more efficiently than lots of words. People want to experience websites, they want to be taken on a visual story telling journey and this should be top priority when designing a website. Ultimately this is how you can connect with your audience.
Quality images can make people want to act. It is human nature to associate the quality of an image with the quality of the product shown in the image. In other words high consistency and image quality speaks a lot about the quality of the product or brand.
EXAMPLES OF WEBSITES WITH HIGH QUALITY IMAGES
Bang & Olufsen is a good example of an e-commerce site with clean, crisp images consistent with the concept of the brand. The images are simplistic, high quality and you see the main product image as well as a close up image available on a roll over allowing for an in-depth look at a product.
If you’re selling an experience like a holiday, imagery has a huge impact in the decision making. In effect you’re selling a dream, so it is important that your audience can visualise themselves in the accommodation, feel how refreshing it would be to jump in that pool or how warm and soft the sand would be between your toes mixed with appetising images of the food and drink available.
Sovereign Luxury Travel has a great mixture of large full width screen resort images all tapping into different senses tying in with nature, the resort and rooms, the facilities, local food and treasured holiday moments. Looking through the site, it is easy to navigate and each destination is well represented with quality images consistent in style.
The message is clear, you feel you know what you’re buying into.
IMAGES ARE KEY FOR SEO
If images are named with a short, accurate, keyword-infused description of the subject they represent, Google and other search engine crawlers are alerted to the subject matter of the image and it can help you get found online. Adding Alt Tags to the images means that even if a browser can’t open the image the Alt Tag description will show up and describe the content of the image file. Alt Tags are text alternative to images and can help your website achieve better rankings in the search engines if keywords are associated with images.
For many websites it is relevant to add Share Buttons to the images. This can help strengthen brand awareness and drive traffic to your social media platforms and therefore increase your following.
QUALITY VERSUS QUANTITY
As a rule of thumb we would always suggest to have a few high quality images rather than a lot of bad quality images - remember that your website is in fact your shop window and the better it is dressed the more likely it is that people come through your door.
“Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak” (Berger, Ways of Seeing, 1972).