Here at Tara Punter PR we often work with web design experts Black Nova Designs to help create new websites for rural and equestrian businesses. The team at Black Nova take care of the design, hosting and technical side and we write the copy, subheading and headings. We also work with graphic designers to provide clients with a perfect logo and colour scheme to catch the eye of website visitors. It’s the perfect combination of expertise to ensure a website has what it takes to generate leads. But there’s one other element which is crucial to the success of a website.. Images.
The first thing to catch your eye…
Sometimes, a new website doesn’t look quite how its owner imagined. They’ve spent time looking at other websites, but theirs doesn’t look as professional as they hoped. That’s because the first thing to catch your eye when you land on a website is the images. Branding and colours will come a close second and then you might read the words on the page. The human brain processes images more quickly than the written word – and images and colours are accessible to all languages.
Why great images really matter
We’re spending more time and money online, especially since the Covid-19 outbreak. The stats for Christmas shopping 2020 are’t out yet but we bet a lot more than ever before has been done on the internet. So imagine you’ve seen a gorgeous fedora hat tagged on your friend’s Instagram page. You find out who the business is who makes them and you find their profile, then their website. But imagine finding that the images of the hats on their website are fuzzy, unclear or not there at all. Do you think you would buy from them?
However, if you see good quality images of the hat which caught your eye and all their other products, chances are you’re popping one in your basket. You might well become their customer… That’s the power of good images on websites.
Five handy image tips from Black Nova Designs
So, what does it mean to have ‘great images’? Danielle at Black Nova Designs has spent many an hour liaising with clients about their images and websites. That’s why we asked for her five tips to help you get your website images right. Plus, investing good images will boost your marketing efforts too… Take it away, Danielle:
1. Invest in clear, crisp and relevant images.
“It’s important that your images are pin sharp and relate directly to the product or service that they are advertising. Using an unrelated image will confuse the user and potentially dissuade them from reading further. Make sure images on the site reflect what you do or sell. A professional photographer will be able to take care of the ‘clear and crisp’ element for you. That means you’re all set for an end result which works perfectly.”
2. Size (and format) matters…
“Get them sent to you in a ready for web size and format. We recommend file sizes under 1MB in size so that once they are uploaded, the web page will load at the quickest refresh rate while maintaining the quality of the image. This quick load time will help stop a website visitor getting bored and clicking away to a competitor. We’ve all been there, waiting for a website to load; getting cross and bored as 30 seconds feels like a lifetime! The size of the image is imperative, so ensure all your images are compressed and ready for web use.”
3. Don’t use stock images!
“We would always suggest that bespoke images rather than stock images are used to help Google’s algorithms rank the site accordingly. This helps with your SEO – that’s search engine optimisation and relates to how easy (or not) it is for people to see you in search results. Having your own images taken means you can make them unique and relevant to your individual brand. Investing time, effort and a little money here will pay dividends.”
4. Use relevant names for images
“Remember to name the image with something relevant. A name such as “image 1” will not be ranked or located by a person searching for a specific search term. Using our fedora hat as an example, if you name the image ‘The Sarah Fedora’ it’s more likely to come up in search results when someone has spotted you on social and are on the hunt for your website.”
5. Reap the benefits for marketing too
“Investing in professional images will give your other marketing efforts a boost too. All social media relies heavily on imagery but none more so than Instagram and Pinterest. On all networks a high-quality image or video will boost the engagement from followers. Then there are the myriad other marketing channels to consider. If you decide to place an advert online or in a magazine the chances are, you’ll need strong images. The same goes for any PR activity you engage in – high res, relevant images are a must have. Leaflets and brochures rely on imagery as much as a website does, so you can use them there too. You will get a return on your investment.”
Avoid disappointment by investing in professional images
Aside from all the points above, it’s just very disappointing for us when a lovely customer doesn’t have good images for their website and won’t invest in them. They often have high expectations for their new website and form an idea in their minds… Together with Danielle, we can only nudge and cajole a certain amount. But without strong photography, we know the final website won’t give a professional immediate impression.
Happily, there are lots of fantastic photographers out there who specialise in portraits, landscapes, animals, products and many other types of images. Here at Tara Punter PR we are lucky to have an excellent working relationship with the fabulous Jasmine Punter (yes, she’s Tara’s sister too!). She’s an absolute whizz at seeing the best features of a person or product and bringing them to the fore in gorgeous images.
Take a look at the latest websites from Black Nova Designs here and if this Christmas you decide it’s finally time for a new website, you know who to call come January! Danielle and the team will be only too happy to help (and they’re very, very good at what they do!).