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It’s no debate that humans are typically visual creatures. After all, we’ve all heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” While that might not be literally true, it’s very clear that people are drawn to pictures as the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. 

With that being said, it’s imperative to capture your audience’s attention from the moment they visit your business’ website. A single image can stir up a wide array of emotions, draw a customer in, and even drive them to take action, but how do you go about choosing the perfect pictures for your website? 

Let our experts help you out as we list five ways to find photos that will help set your brand’s website in the right direction. 

Avoid using cliché photos.

We all know those pictures of employees high-fiving each other, shots of inspirational words on road signs, or even word clouds. Let’s be real – while there’s nothing wrong with trying to highlight your positive workplace environment or showcase your brand’s principles, it’s not fun and games all the time. Cliché imagery can seem outdated and even spammy, so refrain from uploading anything to your website that might look a bit corny, inauthentic, or unrealistic.

Choose high-quality images.

Use high-quality images, meaning those with large pixels and a high resolution. While the size of your photos varies depending on where you want them placed on your website, the optimal file size for site images is 200 KB and no more than 500 KB. Full-screen background images should be between 1500 to 2500 pixels wide, and the max width of other images is 800 pixels. 

When choosing the perfect pictures for your website, keep in mind how your website is going to look for desktop, mobile, and tablet users. Review the site after uploading your photos to check to see if they look blurred, pixelated, or distorted: a telltale sign that your image is too small. 

On the other hand, an image that is too large will take longer to load. PNGs are typically larger than JPGs, so it’s a safe bet to mostly upload JPGs across your site unless you need the absolute highest quality resolution for something like a company logo. In this case, a free compression tool like Optimazilla comes in handy to keep file size down.

Let the image do the talking.

Humans are drawn quicker to visuals than they are to text. Hook in your audience with engaging and exciting photos that are relevant to your brand. While it’s recommended for your website to have at least 300 words in regular posts and 1,000 in blog posts for ranking and SEO purposes, users typically read about only 28% of words on a webpage during an average visit. With that being said, the most effective way of conveying your brand’s message is to find powerful and impactful images that complement your copy.

Use real people in your photos.

Photos that feature actual team members and even customers bring authenticity to your site, much more than stock photography, especially because the same photo you’re using could be used on any number of other websites.

If you have the resources, hire a photographer (or grab a camera yourself) to take pictures of real people engaging with your products. For example, if you have a clothing line, have a staff member model the clothing or find a brand advocate (someone who loves your products) to use as the model. Your audience will be more receptive to a photo with a person wearing that featured sweatshirt instead of an image of the sweatshirt on a blank background. 

Optimize images for SEO.

Whether you have an online store, blog, or e-commerce website you’re trying to find the perfect photos for, it’s worth your time to optimize every image you use. Ensure that your photos are easily indexed by search engines like Google by correctly naming the image file. Instead of uploading the file using its original name, for example, “AdobeStock1.jpg” or “ScreenShot2022-03-01.jpg,” rename them in descriptive terms. Using the example of our sweatshirt above, rename the image to read: “Comfortable-Gray-Sweatshirt-V-Neck-Cut.jpg.”

Also, keep in mind the importance of alt-text, which should be the most precise description possible of an image’s purpose. While helpful in case an image doesn’t load, alt-text is a must for website users with certain disabilities and to help with ADA compliance. Additionally, if using a graphic with legible text, the alt-text must contain that graphic’s exact text. On WordPress, you can also add in image descriptions, a similar function for your image attachment page (a URL of which one is created for every asset you upload) that allows you to state additional details about your content.

Choosing the perfect pictures for your website isn’t easy.

The team of website experts at Clearbridge Branding Agency can help you build out a new website or build up your current website with creative that converts your customers. Ready for a website that wows? Contact us here or by calling 856.327.4141.