What are the best images to use on your website?

March 11th, 2015

Richard Gill

Some images can do your website more harm than good. The wrong images will distract your readers from content that you really want them to read and give the impression that you are unprofessional or unable to show quality pictures that reflect your business services or products.

Here are five examples of what you should avoid:

  • Stock photographs that are clearly stock photographs. Your customers will realise that the stereotype images of stock photos are not your people or products and will start to wonder if there is any substance behind your business.
  • Poor quality images. It’s better not to show an image than to use a poor quality image. Examples include, low-resolution images that are blurry, badly resized images that distort the subject matter, pixelated images or any that out of focus, badly exposed or poorly composed.
  • Crowd shots. Unless your hosting a festival, these are usually boring as viewers prefer to focus on one main subject.
  • Larger than life size images of faces. These can seem slightly grotesque and readers avoid them.
  • Historical subjects. Most viewers will immediately switch off and associate these with being boring so unless you have a large audience of history enthusiasts they are best avoided.

So what should you be using? There are two key image types to engage with visitors to your website:

  1. Images that have story appeal
  2. Images which demonstrate

Images that have story appeal will evoke a sense of curiosity in the viewer and encourage them to read more and find out what’s going on. Used above your main headline on a web page this is a good technique to ensure visitors to your website read what you have to say. As an example the picture below was used in an article about an outdoor art exhibition in the Lake district


WW2 bunker

2500 silver baubles mirror  the landscape

Images that demonstrate do what it says on the tin! These should reinforce your value proposition or main theme of the associated copy. Before and after shots, product photos, graphics or illustrations showing comparisons or flow charts are good examples. The higher quality the better, then if it has to be resized to suit the page layout it will still look good. This example is a product shot for a company producing canvas prints from your pets paw.

Obi with a Print from Pawcraft

Obi with a Print from Pawcraft

Lastly don’t forget to write an engaging caption to go with your image, this should help entice your readers to stay on the page and get your message.

If you need help in creating some appealing images for your website, give us a call on 07557 780336.

Based on a blog by D Bnonn Tennant reviewing research by Ogilvy