We’re wired to look at pictures. For some reason we all love to look at pictures of cats and cute babies more than others. But we love pictures! It’s part of our human nature. When it comes to websites, pictures are important. How important are they? Because the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text, we find ourselves subconsciously looking at the pictures on the page. It’s where our eyes naturally go when we’re scrolling down a page. That’s why we tend to scan a website more than we do read it.
The fop fold (the part of the web page you see before you start scrolling) should be a beautiful picture that resonates with the viewer. It should convey the message of what you sell. If possible, it should be a transformational picture where you show how happy, content and pleased someone is after they’ve bought your good or service. They have a problem. You sell the solution. Show them the happy side of using your product.
For example, if you sell close organizers, show a nicely organized closet that would appeal to anyone with a messy, cluttered closet. And bonus points if you can show someone in the picture. We love to see pictures of people as we tend to relate to them. “Look how happy SHE is with her organized closet. I’ll bet that’s how I would feel as well if I had one of those.”
There are a few good options of where you can get great photos:
- Hire a professional. Not the cheapest, but it could very well be worth the price to have awesome, professional images to represent your brand and showcase your goods or service. They may also have better equipment than you and typically have the skillset that you may lack.
- Use stock photos. There are paid sites … but with a little digging I find that sites like www.pexels.com, www.pixabay.com and my favorite – www.unsplash.com tend to have some amazing, high quality pictures.
- Take your own photos. Today’s smartphones take great pictures!
What I don’t recommend is taking pictures straight off the Internet. There’s copyright laws at play that you want to avoid. Often times they’re pretty low quality too, especially for a main image on your site.
When picking out pictures, don’t forget to find (or take) some that are both horizontal (landscape) and vertical (portrait) so you have options when working with both desktop and mobile versions of your website.
Change them out on occasion too. Keep things fresh for those that keep coming back to your site.
It’s been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Make sure the pictures on your website are awesome and represent your business well.