Selecting the right images for your website is one of the most important parts whenever it comes to building and managing your website. Images allow you to carry your story in a more interesting way and deliver the right business message to your visitors. As each website is unique it requires different images that strengthen your content and marketing strategy, yet the methodology for discovery of those images has common patterns.
Although this sounds rather simple it can be really tough to choose the right images for your website. There are multiple factors you should be taking into account to enhance your website and avoid the damage that can be caused by choosing the wrong images.
Within the next chapters, you will learn how to choose images for your website in order to strengthen your content marketing strategy. The steps within this article are prioritized in the way allowing you to use them as a guideline and refer to this article whenever you are working on your website content. As a bonus in order to keep things simple – you can download a free checklist template which you can use whenever you need to decide upon choosing the right images for your website.
Determine the marketing purpose and keywords
Whenever you are working on your content there is a marketing goal you want to achieve. Use your marketing goals to write down a short brief or summary of your website page or article. The brief should include main goals and description on how your content communicate them across your page or article.
With your brief ready think of the main objectives, you wish to target and define list keywords that associate with the message you want to deliver. Although there is no limit on how many keywords you should have, try to keep your list in between 7 to 10 unique keywords which are more than enough.
When working on the list of keywords focus on your content as it is important to associate your images with it. Keeping your images aligned with the content will help your visitors to discover the story behind your content way easier.
If you ever struggle with finding right keywords don’t hesitate to use tools like Google Keyword Planner to quickly discover great keywords around your topic of interest or make research on the market leaders.
Now with the brief ready and keywords listed, it is time to get yourself into choosing appropriate images.
Discover right images
There are two ways on how to approach the selection of your images. In an ideal world, you are likely to organize a photo session by providing your brief with keywords to a professional photographer who then ensures that your message is delivered properly. But as we know, this is an expensive and time-consuming process that is not applicable to all types of businesses.
The second way is to follow the path of discovering the right images through stock image websites. There are plenty of stock images to choose from and the competition is high so you will likely to have an option to find the right images for a reasonable price. Moreover, there are lots of great resources and articles listing free stock image websites in case you are low on your marketing budget.
The important thing to remember whenever you are working with stock image websites is to avoid cliche at all costs. Look for at least fairly unique images and the mood they offer in order to keep your website content interesting and engaging for your visitors.
Whatever option you choose it is time to get into image stock libraries and select up to 10 different images which are well associated with the keywords you have listed earlier. Don’t aim to discover universal images that will cover all of your keywords as you will likely fail. Instead look for the images which cover at least 3 of your keywords and ensure that they are of high quality. During this process, you can reveal keywords which you are not able to cover, don’t worry about it either – focus on those keywords and images which you already have.
Choose high-quality images
We are all looking for high-quality products and services, this is why your content should be of the highest quality as well. Make sure that the images you have chosen are good enough for your website. Within your list, you will have a few images that will really stand out from the visual perspective. The ones that are well balanced and literally talks to you.
Determining if your images are of high quality is not a tough task, yet it is sometimes helpful to compare them with other images used by popular brands and your market leaders. Look at successful startups, award winning websites and well-established companies to see if your images would fit into their websites in terms of quality.
A good example of high-quality images is a Nikon website which is building their marketing around images and the stories they uncover.
By following this quality assurance process you will likely reduce a list of your images for at least twice. Now with around 3 to 5 images in your backpack, you are able to proceed with the next step to ensure that they are the perfect fit within your website design.
A perfect fit for your website
There are few images left and it is time to overview them on how they incorporate within your website from the design perspective. What does it mean? You have a website that follows certain guidelines in terms of design by using colors, typography and layouts that defines the character of your website. Having images that support these guidelines is an important part of keeping your website consistent. You want your images to enhance your user experience and not to simply combine different pieces of content which conflicts between one another.
To check how your chosen images incorporate into your website you can use different swift techniques, like a modification of actual screenshots in a graphic editor or creating a quick prototype by using a website builder or prototyping tools. Whenever method you choose at the end you will have one image that is a perfect fit for your website page or article.
Now with your perfect image chosen there are just a few simple manipulations left to perform.
Image sizes, editing and filters
It is about time to take care of small details that have a huge impact on your website concept, design and even SEO.
Remember that loading is one of the key factors for your website ranking in Google search results and image size is the major point of influence. Make sure to optimize your image size by align of dimensions to the ones you are likely to use within your website layout. There are plenty of online and offline tools to handle it.
In addition, you can look into such options like cropping your image in order to ensure there are no parts which don’t have value for your goals. Make sure that all your image is focused on the main keywords and the message you want to deliver.
With right dimensions in place, it is a good idea to optimize the file size of your images by using such tools like Kraken.io or an inbuilt functionality within graphic editors. With a good file size optimization, you are likely to reduce your file size by even 70% which is a huge difference when it comes to loading.
Now with your image almost ready, it is a good idea to add Instagram style image filters. By doing so for all of your images you will ensure that they are following the same design style and helps your website design being consistent from page to page. Ready to use image filters is a good alternative to complex manipulations within such tools like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom unless you are a pro.
Another common practice for using image filters is to create a specific mood for your website. A good example of applying image filters is Spotify as they aim to use image filters across different website projects, like Year in Review and Taste Rewind.
By the end of the manipulations, you will have the right image to upload into your website and place it within the page or article you wish to enhance. And in case you are willing to add several images within one section don’t hesitate to repeat these steps or even choose several images within one iteration to save your time on content management.
Free image checklist template
Now that you have learned on how to choose images for your website it is time to get your hands on it. And in order to make it easier for you to start, we have prepared a simple checklist which will quickly guide you through the most important aspects. With this checklist on your desk, you will be able to completely change the way how you approach your website images and ensure that there is nothing missed.
The checklist template is created in a way that allows you to rate each individual image in compliance with all criteria including keywords, license, quality, etc.
With all the data filled in and calculations made you will be able to determine which of the image fits best by taking into account overall ranking and individual criteria. It is important to check individual criteria in order to determine and exclude images with weak individual statistics. By doing so you will be able to choose the right images which are equally covering all points within your checklist.
If you have any questions regarding image checklist or wish to share your experience with use – feel free to write down your comment below.