As you know at Wagada we love content and believe that it is key to creating a fabulous website that your customers will want to visit, buy from and share with their friends. However sometimes large amounts of text on a screen can be off-putting and daunting to website users, so it can be a really good idea to break up the text with images. Humans are very visually lead and research has shown that adding images to web copy and social media posts makes people more likely to read them. Images appeal to our subconscious minds and really bring the words on the screen to life.
However it’s not simply a case of adding a few images into your post that you like the look of. In fact getting your pictures right can be a vital part of encouraging interaction and engagement. Pictures help you to create your company identity and tell your customers the story of your brand. It can be worth putting as much time and effort into your pictures as you put into the writing itself. So when you begin to visualise a web page or a blog post always think about the images that you are going to use to complement the subject that you are writing about.
We’ve come up with some great ideas about the different types of images that you can use online, and we’ll discuss how they can help you to engage your users.
Telling a story to your customers is a key theme in 21st-century marketing and images can really help you to define what you offer to your target market. Online users no longer want static images of items for sale with a plain background behind them – that’s a sure-fire way to turn them off your product! Instead use storyboard images to give your product vitality and to help potential buyers to understand how the products will add value to their lifestyle.
To create an effective storyboard image think about how your product or service will fit into your customer’s lives. How will they use it and how will it benefit them in their day to day life? You should also consider what aspirations they may have and think about why they are buying your product. For example if you sell furniture you could picture it in a show home setting – fully accessorised. You could show people relaxing and having a coffee on their sofa, or a dinner party in full swing at the dining table. By using images in this way you can move from selling simply a product to selling a way of life to your customers.
Pairing words with images can be powerful and compelling. To achieve this effectively you need to keep it simple and think of one or two words or a short slogan that embodies what you are trying to tell your customer. Then you need to find an image that will bring these words to life. A good example could be a gym or personal fitness trainer who wants to show clients how they can help them reach their fitness goals. By overlaying the words “reach your goals” onto an image of a runner crossing the finish line of a race you can show your customers as well as tell them what your brand is all about.
In many circumstances you may have a lot of data that you want to convey to your potential customers, but paragraphs of dry data on your website may turn customers off and lead to high bounce rates from your site. We know that many people are time poor and when they visit a website they want to get the information that they need as quickly as possible. Therefore a great way to show off this data quickly and effectively is to create good quality stand out charts and graphs that highlight the key facts that they need to know. Bar charts or pie charts in bold primary colours really grab the eye and are a quick and powerful way of getting your key points over to your clients.
With the rise of social media and sharing sites such as Pinterest we have seen a new sort of image – an infographic. This is an image designed to show information or facts in a way that is engaging and appealing. Infographics add interest to the data that you are trying to share and are a quick way to get your message across. They are often designed so that the most important facts are given the most prominence which means that even a quick glance gives clients the information that they need. Then once they are interested they can take a closer look to find out more. These images work brilliantly on Twitter and Facebook as people will often share them with their social network. Whilst it can be worth investing in a designer to create some infographics for your business there are also a number of websites and apps which allow you to design your own.
Of course when you add images to your website you also need to make sure that you have optimised them effectively for the search engines. As Google can’t understand images (yet!) you have to add in ‘alt text’ tags with keywords that tell the search engines what the pictures are showing. It can also help to give your image a descriptive filename before you upload in onto your website as this also helps the search engines to understand more about what the image contains.
Google is also very keen on websites being usable for its clients and pictures that take ages to download may cause frustration and lead to a higher bounce rate from your site. So ensure that file sizes for the images you choose are not too big and that they load quickly and easily with no disruption to website users.
As you can see images can be really vital in both building your brand and creating an engaging website that your customers will want to visit and share with their friends and contacts. Use imagery to tell a story to your customers and mix pictures and words to help convey the benefits of your product and service. Images can also help the search engines find you so make sure that you optimise all of your website images too!