We have always been a society that values pictures, images, and photography, and it’s been this way for millennia. Our visual nature is deeply ingrained in the human psyche. That’s why it should come as no surprise that we’ve gone into hyper drive when it comes to our love of visual cues. When everyone — practically — has a mobile device 24/7, and social media is running rampant with uploaded images, it’s a surefire sign that we’re all in favor of more, not fewer, photos.

When considering your web design, it’s crucial to remember and accept our visual culture leanings. But that doesn’t mean you should just slap a few pictures on the site and call it a day. Your photos, drawings, graphics, and other images have to be relevant to be powerful, consequently evoking emotions and spurring users to take calls-to-action.

The Power of Instant Attachment

There’s another reason photos are desirable: They build instant interaction and emotional attachment between viewers and your company. People make many decisions based on their emotions, rather than logic. If you can woo them with images that motivate them, you’ll be rewarded.

Of course, there’s an issue: You can’t use just any photos to build a successful website. Your photos should have the following traits:

  • They Should Be Original. The days of stock footage are waning. While it’s possible to use stock photography once in a while, you need to be very careful. Remember that your competitor may end up choosing the exact same photo as you!
  • They Should Include People When Possible. Although not all the photos on your site, such as ecommerce-related photos, should include people, make sure some do. Humans like to see other humans, especially if they look similar in gender, ethnicity, culture, etc. It’s just a part of who we are.
  • They Should Have Energy and Personality. Who wants a boring picture of your team sitting around, looking bored and listening to a lecture? Spice up all your professionally-created photos of your team, customers, vendors, volunteers, etc., by adding personality.
  • They Should Sometimes Be Spontaneous. Although it’s recommended you use professional photos as your main photography source, there’s nothing wrong with adding candid selfies or other shots, especially for blog posts, articles, and social media. A spontaneous photo can provide unexpected, but highly welcome, fun and social sharing.
  • They Should Often Include Text. Not every photo needs a caption, but some might benefit. Plus, it gives you the chance to add a little search engine optimization (SEO) through keyword insertion.

Does this mean you’ll have to work a little harder to determine which photos belong in your website design? Yes. But it’s totally worth the time and energy because it can transform a good website to a great website.

Other Tips for Incorporating Photos Into Your Website

Now, it’s time to talk about other tips for including photos on your website. Not all your photos will be of people. Some will be of products. Others will simply be used as background material or for historical company significance.

If you’re not sure where or how to add photos to spruce up your site, try these ideas:

  • Make Visual “How-To” Photo Blocks. Do you have content that describes how to use your products? Add a visual element by creating “how-to” photos. They can illustrate the text, as well as break it up for easier reading and skimming.
  • Show “Before” and “After” Shots. Are you developing a website for an industry that performs a service? Having “before” and “after” shots, or photos of that nature, can be great for providing an enticing reason to choose the company.
  • Highlight Benefits Over Competition. A photo or series of photos can also highlight an organization’s positive attributes. This helps readers remember the benefits later.
  • Show a Product’s Little Details. Why not add a close-up shot of details on a product? With professional photography and captioning, you can get into the nitty-gritty aspects of items.
  • Use the Photos to Educate. You should always take opportunities to educate website visitors, and photos can be part of that education. Think about how they can create better-informed website users, and then add them into the mix.

Above all else, make sure you always choose photos to be a part of your website design. Without them, your site is likely to be forgettable, bland, and text-heavy.

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