What makes a good website? Is it the quality of content you're putting out? The colors and design you choose to incorporate? The ease of access visitors find when they visit it?
In reality, it's a combination of all of these elements, plus one more: your pictures.
The first thing most people are going to notice when they visit your website are your pictures, because, like the old adage goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words." But you don't want those words to be negative ones because of low quality pics and unrelated images.
Here are some tips for adding great pictures to your brand new website!
The quality of your images can make or break your website, so you always need to make sure you're using high quality images. People tend to be turned off by images that are grainy, out of focus, small, and hard to view. Higher quality images are often seen as more professional, and they let visitors know that your company is high quality as well.
But keep in mind, higher quality images also mean longer loading times for computers on slow connections. For Atwill Media's website, we recommend using pictures that are less than 32 MB large. Their size must also be at least 190 x 150 pixels.
What's the point of using pics if they're completely unrelated to what your company is about? That's why keeping your pictures relevant to your brand is so important.
If you're trying to sell homemade soap and essential oils on your website, you're definitely not going to be showing off cute pictures of kittens and puppies (as much as those pictures might bring smiles to peoples' faces).
Make sure your pictures do the talking for your brand, and keep them relevant to your product.
In this day and age, people have no problem finding the products they need. We can thank the endless expanse of the Internet for that privilege. Because of this, it's more important than ever to make your brand, and your website, stand out.
A big part of this is making sure your pictures are unique. In a saturated niche, the website with the most unique, eye-catching, and relevant pictures will stand out above the rest.
Making your pics unique can consist of multiple variables, including experimenting with taking product pictures at different angles, adding text over images, using filters in a tactful manner, and keeping in mind the rule of thirds.
The rule of thirds is basically a way of dividing your photo up into nine equal parts -- two horizontal lines, and two vertical lines -- to create a grid. The best pictures are the ones that focus main parts of a photo on the intersections of these lines, or on the lines themselves.
Happy people love seeing other happy people in pictures. So, when you're deciding how to take pictures of your products for your site, consider incorporating real people into the photos.
These people could be holding your product, testing out your product, looking at your product, or anything else that lets others see your brand is relatable.
These days, more and more consumers are searching for companies with great stories. Relatable stories. So, get some happy faces into your pictures. You're more likely to attract, and keep, customers this way.
Just don't overuse stock photos. Eventually, people are going to get worn out seeing the same ecstatic office worker in a suit and tie, staring at a blank computer screen, pop up all over the Internet.
Contributor Caleb Hennington is a 23-year-old writer, who manages the Atwill Media and FGmarket blogs. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
When not writing, Caleb enjoys camping, running, collecting comic books, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.