Seeing is Believing – Why Images Are Crucial to Online Success

Published: Monday, February 27th, 2017

Every day from the moment we wake we are bombarded by images delivered to us online, on TV, in newspapers, billboards or magazines. Just as well that nature provided us with the brain power to absorb it all. Research shows that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of the information transmitted to our brains is visual.

Images have an immediate emotional impact on us and can affect our decision-making process whether we’re aware of it or not, so investing in quality images for your website is crucial. It not only creates a sense of trust for first time visitors, it can also impact on sales as we shall see but first, what are the key web design factors to bear in mind when choosing images for your website?

Relevancy and expectation

Try to keep page-relevancy in mind when choosing images; focus on what the user expects to find. For example, your website homepage deserves a powerful and relevant image that reflects the spirit of your brand while the team page requires clear professional head shots of your staff as you would expect. By the same token, when you land on a contact page you naturally expect to find basic info like telephone numbers and email addresses, so placing product images on the contact page isn’t really a priority for that page.

Authentic images versus stock photography

In good web design, authentic images beat stock photos every time. Showing your staff in action adds an extra personal touch which packs a much greater visual punch and tends to increase our sense of trust in your services. If you do decide not to go with your own original images make sure that you have the correct permissions from the image owner to use theirs instead. Social Media Examiner covered image copyright in more detail and is worth your while reading.

Do images effect sales?

The answer is absolutely yes. One online art seller increased its sales by 95% just by adding photos of the real artists on their website. Featuring human faces on your web pages creates a powerful connection between the visitor and the service and that’s exactly what you want to achieve – a connection. With the potential to increase sales by this much, it’s worth putting in the extra effort to get your images right!

Image size and the impact on SEO

What image size works best will depend entirely on what you hope to achieve with a page. On a homepage for example, a large takeover image with minimal text can work really well. Other businesses may prefer smaller images combined with effective homepage copy outlining company services. There is no right or wrong here but you do need to keep in mind that large images generally take longer to load, so putting large images all over your website could slow it down and that can have a negative effect on SEO. Talk to your web designer about this.

Quality matters to visitors

Without photos, your website is lifeless but do you know what’s worse than having no images? Having poor quality ones; the impact of low quality photos on visitors is immediate and negative. Consumers need to be confident that you are a professional service before contacting you and high resolution images will help to build that confidence. So, get your products photographed by a professional and the same goes for images of your staff or your business premises. If you want the sales, you must project quality and professionalism.

Mobile-friendly images and sales

Approximately 70% of Irish people now own mobile devices, so if you want people to view your products easily on smartphones then make sure your website can display them. Having a mobile-friendly website that will adjust and display your images correctly is crucial for businesses these days. No point in having top quality photos done if they can’t be displayed properly for the lucrative mobile audience.

Key takeaways

Make no mistake, images affect your website visitors’ behaviour and that ultimately affects sales. The human brain has an incredible ability to process visual data within seconds and what we see affects our decision-making process. So, if you want to make a deeper emotional connection with your audience, then invest in unique high-quality professional images that reflect your brand values, and make sure your images are relevant to each page on your website.

Contact us

If you’re looking for expert advice about choosing the right images for your website, then call Digitaledge today on 091 704830 or email us. We’re a web design agency based in Galway City but serving small and medium sized businesses all over Ireland.