- Nina Sletten
Find the right images for your website
You images are a huge part of the design of your website, but what kind of images should you have and how do you find them?
A website communicates visually and images communicate much faster than words. An image can in just a few seconds provide a lot of information about your product, tell stories and evoke emotions. Having pictures that send out correct, relevant and positive messages is therefore incredibly important.
SO WHAT MAKES A GOOD PICTURE?
Think Brand Look at the pictures as part of your branding. Assess whether the images correctly reflect your company / product / brand and whether they will appeal to your audience. High quality It does not matter how amazing an image is if it is blurred or of poor quality, so it is essential that the image is of both good quality and resolution. At the same time, it is important that the image size is not too large. Too large images will slow down the pages, which in turn will affect your Google results. Make an impression Original images will make a bigger impression than images your customers have seen before so be careful not to use cliché stock images or images similar to the ones your competitors use. Use emotions Emotions are always part of our decision-making process, so think about what emotions the image evokes in your customers.
WHAT KIND OF PICTURES SHOULD YOU HAVE ON THE WEBSITE
Obviously, this does depend on what you are selling. If you are selling a product, you should have pictures of your product.If you sell a service that results in a product (interior, architect, bakery, craftsman, designer, etc.) then you should also have pictures of this. If you sell a service that does not result in a visual product (accounting, tech, marketing, health, etc.), you often have to think a little more creatively in relation to images. Pictures can reflect the benefits of using your service (if you are a physiotherapist maybe it is a picture of a person who is running) but can also illustrate a particular marketing campaign idea. Just be really careful to avoid the cliches (men shaking hands etc. ).
Product or lifestyle photos If you are selling a product, you will need product images, but there are different ways to display the product. A product image simply shows your product, while a lifestyle image shows your product in use. The advantage of lifestyle photos is that they can tell a story about the product and appeal to our dreams. They give us a picture of what our life with this product might look like. Often a combination of these two types of images works best. Lifestyle photos sell us the dream while the product photos give us the details.
WHERE TO FIND YOUR PERFECT PICTURES
You own photos If you have the budget for a professional photographer, this is by far the best option. A professionally taken image archive gives you an effective communication tool and makes all marketing in the future easier. It is also possible to take photos yourself with a good camera if you are willing to learn a little about photography. A little knowledge of Photoshop or another image editing program is essential if you plan to take the photos yourself. Stock images If you do not need photos of your own product and do not have a budget for a photographer, stock photos are a good alternative. There are many places you can purchase or find free images of different quality in different price ranges. Here are some of the ones I tend to use: IStock - A large selection in both photos and illustrations, at a relatively reasonable price. You can find images varying from great to a little on the' cheesy' side, so generally cater for most uses.
Getty images - With one of the world's largest image collections you can find images for any occasion and with a really good search function you can find most type of images here. The pictures are mostly of very good quality but come with a considerably higher price tag which varies with size and license agreement.
Creative market Not strictly a stock library site, but if you need some pretty lifestyle shots to add to your blog or social feed, then their photo bundles might just hit the spot.
Free stock photos
Both Pexels and Unsplashed are places where you can find free images of good quality for both personal and professional use. The selection is considerably more limited than those mentioned above, but both of these sites are incredibly useful when you need an image for a blog article, website or social post. There are also several other places to find free images, but Pexel and Unsplashed are currently the sites I think it is easiest to find free images of good quality.
One important note about stock images is to read the licence agreement properly, and especially pay attention if an image is marked as 'right managed' (which usually means a very specific licence agreement).
What about Google? Whatever you do, do not use images found on Google without permission. Virtually all images come with rights and are protected by copyright law, and using these can quickly become very expensive.