Ensure Your Images Suit your Purpose
The use or imagery adds information along with interest and should convey to the site visitor an overall feeling that they are in the right place for what they are seeking to achieve. You have no doubt spent a considerable amount of effort, time and perhaps money to attract people to your page so make sure the images don’t offend, distract, bore or convey a general ‘fish-out-of-water’ feeling (as with the doctor outside a graveyard used as this blog’s picture). Expressing an idea or the way forward to your conversion goal via images is far more effective than by just using text. People don’t want to read paragraphs of information. Make it easy for people to continue on your site.
Top 5 Rules for effective use of images on your site
- Images should fit the purpose, organisation, and style of the page. They should enhance the design, structure, or informative content of the web page without distracting attention.
- Make sure you have optimised the images to cut their file size. Excessive “page weight” caused by poor image use can result in slow load times for pages. Also make sure that you have enough white space on your page. Too much graphical content is very tiring on the eye.
- Images should aid in guiding the page visitor’s’ focus to the important content on the page. Using visually strong graphic elements on a page is useful in directing visitor’s attention and providing structure for the page but be careful to distract with brightly coloured animated GIFs or image sliders.
- At all costs avoid images that may cause offence to any person on things like race, religion, disability. Something that you may think is funny may not appeal to everyone. Humour is extremely difficult to get right so leave that to the professionals especially if your site is a business.
- Don’t use a picture to convey text. This avoids a myriad of potential problems including file size, resizing issues, non-search-ability etc. While on the subject of text make sure you include a description of the image using the Alternative Text tag for accessibility reasons (and to meet best practice standards).
Challenge – take a look at your site and look at the images you are presenting. Are you on track with the 5 guidelines?
If you would like a free independent review of your site please let me know and I’d be happy to help out with suggestions on how to improve the effectiveness of your images.