Quality photographs are a crucial component in website design. The role that photos play in the overall effectiveness of a website is sometimes underestimated – overshadowed by the need for compelling copy and effective SEO. 
While great copy is essential content for a successful website, the surrounding images and page layout play a decisive role in ensuring the copy is read. Images may sit unassumingly in the background, but they should be a primary concern when putting together a web page. 
However, despite the importance, images are often a last-minute addition for people creating their own websites, with little consideration given to their purpose. 
Photos are not solely decorative. When chosen well and placed correctly they actively enhance the performance of your pages, breaking up large sections of text and directing the eye to a particular section – enhancing SEO and transforming brand perception as they go. 
Understanding the potential benefits of photos in web design will highlight how best to utilise them to your advantage when building your site. 

Image quality 

Our brains process visual content much faster than text, and customers will make a snap judgement on your business the moment they click onto your home page. First impressions count, and the visual elements of your site are integral in making sure that those first impressions are positive. 
Low-quality images on your website can negatively affect customer perception of your business, and you may come across as unprofessional or lacking in care and effort. 
High-calibre imagery will promote your company as a trustworthy, reliable brand – and as customers become increasingly wary of the risks of online shopping, you don’t want the possibility of losing potential sales due to perceptions derived from lacklustre visual content. 

Stock photo websites 

If you are struggling to source professional images for your business, you can access thousands of quality photographs via stock photo websites. 
Stock photos make adding impactful images to your website easy. Sites such as Shutterstock and Unsplash offer an array of vibrant, high-quality photos to choose from, sourced from an international community of professional photographers. 
Whether you require picturesque landscapes, aerial views of a city or images of a commercial kitchen, you will find plenty of photos that fit your requirements on these sites. 

The cost of stock images 

Most stock image sites allow you to download images for free, and offer affordable subscriptions for those of us that require a large amount of stock photography each month. 
Dont forget: If you are an it'seeze customer, you'll have access to thousands of stock images right from our editor. 
The number of images you can download for free will vary depending on the service you use, but there are a plethora of stock-photo resources to choose from that will provide you with images specific to your business. 
Do remember that sometimes less is more – it is much more beneficial to use just a few high-quality images to draw eyes to specific sections, rather than plastering your website with photographs purely for decorative purposes, or to fill space. 
Also be sure to be as unique as possible and avoid using the same stock photos as your competitors. 

SEO optimised photos 

When your images are correctly optimised, they help strengthen your SEO strategy and improve your ranking in search engine results. 
Remember to add alt text to all the important images on your website. Alt-text is a description of what is contained in the image, which tells Google (and other search engines) what it’s looking at. 
Alt-text also improves your sites accessibility by aiding visually impaired visitors, informing them of exactly what is being displayed on screen. 
Always ensure that your image alt text is relevant to each photo, as this will increase the chances of your website appearing in relevant Google image search results. 

Photos on social media 

The power of social media in raising brand awareness and product visibility is immense. If you share images that feature on your website across the various social media platforms, your potential reach is increased dramatically. 
Image sharing apps such as Instagram are extremely popular, and sharing your business photos on these platforms provides the potential of reaching millions of active users. By posting engaging, high-quality photos on Instagram, you strengthen your brand perception and encourage users to learn more about your business. 
Be sure to post and share your images using a consistent colour scheme, as this will develop a brand identity and strengthen your online presence. 

Professional headshots 

Adding professional headshots of your employees to your website will promote brand authenticity and reinforce your reputation as a credible business. 
By introducing customers to your team through headshots and staff profiles on your site, you highlight the human element of your business and create a welcoming, approachable environment. So be sure to add a ‘meet the team’ page to your site. 
In addition to headshots, presenting candid behind-the-scenes photographs of your team in action will add a personal touch to your website and offer an insight into your company culture. 
When considering adding employee photographs to your website, it is important to remember that these images are a direct reflection of your brand’s public image. So be sure to only add high-quality, properly formatted headshots

The value of quality photographs 

Images play an important role in the creation of a professional website. Be sure to realise the full potential of your images and use them effectively. Don’t add them to your site purely to complement your copy. High quality, relevant photographs have the ability to really enhance your site and put you ahead of your competitors. 
If you don’t have a collection of photographs available to include in your website, a reliable web designer ensures that your website is populated with high-quality, impactful stock images. 
Here at it'seeze Stevenage, we create bespoke websites for businesses of all industries and types. We make sure that every site stands out from the crowd, using professional images and visually appealing layouts. 
If you are looking to get ahead online, our team of experts are more than happy to help you realise your online vision. Contact us today, and we can discuss your business’s website requirements. 

Need Help? 

At it'seeze Website Design, you're never alone. If you want help updating your website, let's arrange a website review. We can make content suggestions, provide training, and help make sure that your website never gets stagnant.  
Just contact us to get the ball rolling. 
Feedback or questions? You can comment below, or contact us directly. 
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