Does your audience prefer people in photos or no people? How can you best highlight what you’re selling? What are your competitors doing, and what can you do that is different and unique from them? Continue reading to learn how to make your images stand out on the web.
Making your images stand out on the web is tricky. There are more than a billion websites on the Internet, so that's a lot of static out in the cyber world you have to get past to be heard. Your website has to be spectacular in every way — right down to the photos you use and how you use them.
Finding quality images is no longer a side thought to the overall look and quality of your site. It is vital that your images look professional and are pertinent to the topic. Hiring a professional photographer is expensive, but stock photos are so ordinary.
Making Your Site’s Images Shine
Fortunately, making your images stand out simply requires some smart thinking. Anyone can just put up a stock photo, but with a few tweaks, you can turn that stock photo into a work of art. You can also find additional images to further enhance your website and your brand. Here are five ways to make your images better than the majority of websites out there:
1. Use Filters
When you purchase a stock image, there may be fifteen — or more — other websites using the same image as you are. However, you can make that image look a bit different and give it a unique twist by applying filters. You can use almost any image editing software to apply filters, including online ones like PicMonkey.
Simply download the stock photo and then add the filter. Even better, if you can use the same filter on all the photos on your site, you will create a uniform look to your site that is unique. After all, 75% of users judge the credibility of your website based on the overall aesthetic of your site's design. Keeping everything cohesive is just one portion that can impact this equation.
2. Add in Illustrations and Infographics
Don’t get bogged down in only using stock images. Add a mix of both illustrations and photos. This can include infographics that simply create visualizations of data, but adding infographics to your website can give you a big boost on social media.
The resolution of your images can make a big difference in the overall look of your website. The higher the resolution, the more detailed the image will be. However, you also have to balance that with how big the file is and how fast it will load on your website. You want to avoid a ridiculous load time, but you also want to avoid a fuzzy and pixilated image.
While you can fix a fuzzy image a bit with Photoshop, it will still not be detailed. As a rule of thumb: For the web, an image should not be less than 72 ppi (pixels per inch), and for printed materials, an image should not be less than 300 dpi (dots per inch).
4. Invest in a Camera
If you want truly unique images for your site, then you should invest in a camera. While hiring a professional photographer to take photos of your products or of images to go with blog posts might not be in your budget, you can easily learn to take quality photos on your own.
A good digital camera will cost you well under $1,000 and will allow you to set up shots and add interesting and unique material to your site that no one else on the Internet has but you. Take the time to figure out what features you need to take quality photos.
For example, do you need automated features because you have no idea how to figure out aperture? Do you need a lens that zooms to take shots of wildlife? Perhaps you just want to take photos of products and the lens that comes with the camera is perfectly acceptable.
You’ll also want to consider background. Do you need a lightbox to take photos of items like jewelry? Or, maybe you need a light filter to take soft portraits for a mommy blog. Before you invest in the camera, figure out what equipment you’ll need to go with it and ask questions about how much each piece of additional equipment costs and if it is readily available with the module you’re considering.
5. Add Text to Your Images
You’ve probably seen some of the better known blogs brand their images with text and their website address. This does a couple of things for your image. First, it makes it unique. You can take a simple object, such as a yellow daffodil, and give it additional meaning with a quote about spring.
If people like your quote or text, they are likely to share the image on social media. If you’ve added your website address on the image, then everyone who sees the image is a likely candidate who might visit your site.
You can also utilize images to get across important facts about your company and industry. Tweets that include an image get about 150% more retweets than tweets without an image. If you want a fact to be shared on Twitter, adding an image with text that shares your fact is a very effective method. You can even use the image on both your website and on social media to get the most bang for your time investment of creating the image.
These elements will all make your images stand out from the crowd. However, you should also think outside the box in the images you use. Take into consideration the preferences of your target audience.
Does your audience prefer people in photos or no people? How can you best highlight what you’re selling? What are your competitors doing, and what can you do that is different and unique from them?
Any little thing you can do that makes you stand out from the crowd is going to help visitors remember you. That alone can give you an edge over the competition.