Updated: Jul 30, 2020
You know that you should have pictures on your website, but why are they so important?
Well, website images are an important part of your overall website design and content, and there are several reasons why images should be at the top of your priority list as you design and build out your site.
For starters, have you ever landed on a website and been met with a giant wall of text that looks like the below? We all have, and if you’re like most of us, you went ahead and clicked that back button before you even read two sentences.
As technology continues to develop, more and more people around the world are using imagery to learn, remember, and showcase information. People want to gather and learn information quickly and efficiently—images can do just that.
Why are images important for a website? For two reasons:
First, they are a way for search engines like Google to interpret and understand the content on your site which will help increase your SEO.
Second, it helps people who visit your site to understand your content, capture their attention, and make a deeper connection.
To elaborate on these reasons even more, it’s all about the user experience. Images are important for a website because their role is to capture the attention of the user. A picture can convey complex ideas in a matter of seconds. For example, if you’re a hotel owner and you include an image of one of your hotel rooms, the user can immediately view for themselves the amenities available to them without the need to read through wordy descriptions.
When it comes to pleasing Google and upping your chances of getting a first-page ranking, Google looks at the time that users spend on a website as a search ranking factor. People tend to spend more time on websites that provide an awesome user experience and captivating images. Provided that the images you use on your site match the text, it will rank better in the image search area of Google.
When it comes to understanding the use of images on your website, it’s important that you know how to use them correctly. Here are some dos and don’ts:
1. DO Break Up Your Text With Images
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, people are immediately turned off by large blocks of text with no imagery. Today, people are skimming website pages more than they’re taking the time to read and analyze every word.
It’s important to add images to break up the text but also to give a quick context for those who are skimming the page. As the saying goes, a photo paints a thousand words. By using imagery on your website, you can help the reader understand what the page is about without having to read every word.
2. DO Optimize Your Images
We wrote a whole blog post on how to optimize your images for SEO, but it includes compressing the files, putting your keywords in the image name, filling out the alt-text, and more. Optimizing your images means that your site will load faster, and you can boost your SEO efforts.
3. DON’T Go Overboard With Stock Images
First, always make sure you’re usually royalty-free images, not just stealing images from anywhere off the web or from your competition—there’s a good chance you’ll receive a request to take them down. That said, there are plenty of places to find royalty-free stock images that you can use on your site but use them sparingly.
If possible, use stock photos for general topics or background scenes only and use professional, original photos as much as possible in your website content.
4. DON’T Overwhelm
Your website should be easy for users to navigate or else they won’t stick around! Don’t crowd your pages with images that take away from the aesthetic and design of your page.
A great way to ensure you’re not doing too much with your images is to keep your page layouts simple and with the user experience in mind. It’s a good idea to put images in the same place on each page, creating a cohesive experience for the user.
5. DO Add Personality
Don’t be afraid to get personal with your imagery. People don’t want to see the same boring stock photos on your website that they saw on the last person’s site. Invest in a photographer to capture images of you or your employees. Or, hire a graphic designer to create custom images that enhance the user experience and add value to your website.
Remember, people want to do business with brands that they trust. A great way to show trust and authority in your niche is to take the time to ensure that your images are high-quality and representative of your brand and style.
If you’re asking, ‘why are images important for a website?’ we’ve hopefully answered that question for you here.
Images on your website are useful because they can trigger emotions in your visitors, they’re easy to understand, and they can transmit information faster than text can. Be sure to incorporate images into your website design to both increase your user experience and give you SEO efforts a boost!