You’ve just written an awesome blog post or a new page for your website. It’s written in engaging first-person language, appealing to the need of the reader & readily handing them the solution to their problem. You’ve got the structure nailed, using headings appropriately. Next step… put just as much care into the selection & usage of the images.
Images Should Draw Emotion
Your content is drawing your potential clients in by connecting with their emotions, why shouldn’t your images? Your images should match, reinforce, or summarize your content, and help to deliver ideas more effectively. Done effectively, you take the customer from where they are (with their problem) to where you want them to be (thriving having conquered the problem because of your solution).
Being original doesn’t mean you can’t use stock photography. It does mean that you probably don’t want to use the same photo of someone holding up a box & smiling that everyone else is using… or standing on top of a mountain with arms flung out. To make a stock image your own, you can modify the stock image in some way. You can recolor, crop, add an overlay, etc.
Be consistent in the type of images you use. This helps build your brand recognition. As you think of the photo to use, be aware of the following things:
- Style – mixing illustrations, casual photos, corporate looking, etc. especially on the same page. This day in age, please… no MS Word Clipart!
- Color – what are the color tones of the images you use?
- Cropping – are some photos cropped close & others further out?
Watch the Eyes!
When you use photos of people on your page, pay attention to which direction their eyes are looking. As humans, we tend to allow our eyes to follow where someone else is looking — and this applies to photos!
For example, if their eyes are looking to the left — don’t put the picture on the left side of the page… they are looking off the page. Your readers’ eyes will track off the page instead of focusing on your content. Putting the picture on the right side has the eyes in the photo looking at your content on the left… directing your attention back to the content.
Use Quality Images
This one almost doesn’t need to be said, but for the fact that I see so many blurry photos on websites. IF you’re using your own photographs — take them as high quality as possible. Believe it or not, there is still a difference between your cell phone camera & a real one! If you must use a photo from your phone, make sure you’re starting with the absolute largest version possible. And, if it’s too small for what you need, reach out to someone with a good camera. You can always size a photo down to what you need… you can’t make it bigger.
Keep the use of the image in mind
Will it be the featured image of a blog post? Will you share the image on social media? How does it play on desktop vs mobile? Not paying attention to how your image is used can lead to most of your image being automatically cropped off, such as people with their heads cropped off (I see this a lot).
Looking for more great tips on improving your images? We recommend Before & After: How to Design Cool Stuff by John McWade (preview or purchase). It’s full of easy-to-follow tips, loads of examples, and covers several aspects of using images in the marketing of your business.