Choosing the correct imagery for your website, and why it’s important.
At a time where we’re being more visually stimulated than ever, it’s important for us to recognise how companies use imagery on their websites, and why picking the right images for your brand is so important. Good photos aren’t there just to make your website look nice. Ultimately, they aid in driving more visitors to your site, which can help with meeting sales targets, and promoting shares and posts on social media. With the abundance of affordable stock images available for use, brands have the ability to cherry pick relevant photos on any topic imaginable, or they can create something using their own custom images, creating something unique and suitable for their website.
Visual Content and SEO
One of the main reasons why using the correct imagery for your site is so crucial is because websites with pictures perform exponentially better in search rankings than sites that have less pictures or none at all. By properly labelling images with metadata and captions that are search engine friendly, it allows for the search engine to evaluate the tags and decided whether or not they are relevant to show. In addition, by using photos on your site, you will end up on both the main search and the images search, so essentially, you’re getting double the opportunity for clicks and traffic to your site. As a result of this, you can expect a higher traffic of visitors to your site – in fact it is reported that 60% of consumers are more likely to engage with businesses that use images in local search results. In addition to images on your site, photos that appear as a thumbnail on search results also result in more clicks, as consumers are able to get an insight into products and experiences, from food recipes to boat trips in Northumberland, without looking through the actual website. As a rule of thumb, search engines like Google recognise pages that people like visiting, therefore we can assume that more human traffic should equal a higher ranked page.
Social Media as a tool
Another benefit of using good images for your brand is that you are then able to use them on your social media. In the past few years, we have seen a shift in social media content, with content becoming based around visuals rather than text posts. We can see this when we look at platforms like Facebook, which although is still the most popular social network, is slowly losing rankings, while Tik Tok with just visual content, is expected to continue climbing the social media hierarchy, becoming the 3rd most used platform in the UK by 2023.
By using images that are good and high quality, it can help make your content more far-reaching and accessible for people who use social media regularly (on average we use social media for almost 2 ½ hours every day). You are able to broaden the reach you want by targeting and adapting your website content for social media, focusing on captivating imagery to really catch the eye of a prospective buyer, or client. Not only this, but in theory by expanding reach, you will improve engagement, therefore choosing images to go on your social media that immediately showcase your brand is so important. In addition, the popularity of short video content like Instagram Reels, allows for another way to reach potential consumers in a more interactive and captivating way. By using social media in this way, you create a link between people that might not usually go looking for the products that you provide, and your brand, especially when using your own photos rather than generic stock images.
The images and other visual content that you choose to showcase your brand can really bring what you’re selling (or providing) to life. Humans are visual beings, so, images allow for a show-and-tell type aspect, letting us see first, and find out more after. We can also see how beneficial images are in telling a story, whether that’s the story of your brand or products, or whether it’s behind the scenes. By creating a cohesive collection of images that all relate to each other in some way, it’s easier for us to work out a brand’s identity and ethos. For example, if your brand is providing day trips, it makes sense to show the consumer pictures of the things you’d experience, like if you’re sailing to Holy Island and seeing wildlife that you wouldn’t normally encounter, it would make sense to have photos of the Island, and the animals that you would expect to see. Obviously having text is also important, but we like to think that text or captions work together with visuals to create something that is well-considered and easy digest.
What’s the take away?
Overall, we can’t deny the importance of choosing the right images for your brand. For websites, visual content can help to solidify your brand identity, and to enhance the aesthetic and functional aspects of the site. As an extension of this, having engaging social media image posts can entice consumers and viewers of your content into finding out more about your brand, and can help encourage clicks and commerce. It goes without saying that spending time curating the right images for your brand is a necessity in the modern age.