They say that a picture is worth a thousand words — and while things tend to work a little differently on the web, images are still important.
It’s true that online text is the meat of what web users interact with. In some ways, photos are just window dressing. But the quality of photos that you put on your website makes a big difference. Even in subliminal ways, readers tend to see these pictures and associate them with a certain level of quality, which influences your thought leadership impression. Pictures tell an important story about what you are trying to convey to your chosen audience and about the character of your business.
With that in mind, it really makes sense for companies to think about the ways that they use images. Your online image strategy shouldn’t be limited to trying to work on a shoestring budget. This has led to many companies into the weeds of online marketing, and really diminished the effect of their online campaigns.
Scraping By with Generic Images
Too many companies make an early decision not to invest in image selection for the web. Their rule is that they will only use free stock images, or ‘whatever is out there’ — too often, they put the burden on freelance independent contractors, interns or entry-level marketing people to source images, and simply request that they be free of licensing limitations.
What these companies inevitably end up with is either extremely poor quality generic stock photos, or pictures that actually do have licensing requirements attached. That’s because there really is no such thing as a large, free repository of high-quality images online. There’s a value attached to pictures – and the Internet has figured that out, even if many top-level business managers haven’t.
The Effects of Poor Image Strategy
One of the first things that companies will notice when they employ this losing strategy is that the images on their site will look bad. They’ll have excellent writing with lackluster pictures attached, which makes the whole page look shabby and honestly, boring.
They can also experience quite a bit of turnover. Writers and web designers will become frustrated with this unachievable task — the task of finding the perfect picture for free. They may drop projects due to the legal liability of trying to comb images from the web and crop them to utilize them on a site. Anyone without their own home studio and an endless cast of characters available for portrait taking is not going to have the ability to turn in excellent images without a budget.
The Solution — High-Quality Stock Images
There is an easy solution out there — again, it’s one that a lot of companies shy away from because they don’t understand the investment. But it is easy — and it is reasonably priced.
High-quality stock image companies are in business for a reason. They play a vital role in web design — arguably even more important than some of the other design component of a web site.
Simply put, companies need to sign up for a reputable stock image account. They get a real, valuable archive of pictures, and they get to stop worrying about how to get quality images on a site.
WebSubstance understands the trade-offs between budget and necessary investment. We will help counsel our clients on how much to invest in stock images, which images to choose and when this kind of investment is truly necessary. Let our professionals help to build you a website that works and doesn’t lack any of the fundamental features that will help you compete in your field and markets.