Photos are the unsung heroes of web design. When a website gains a high number of views, its brilliant copy and SEO often steal the spotlight, with little credit given to the images that enhance their success.  
 
While effective copy is essential, the surrounding images and layout have a major role in ensuring it is read in the first place. 
Images may fade into the background, but they should be at the forefront of your mind when putting together a web page.  
 
Photos not only decorate but actively work to enhance the performance of your pages. They break up chunks of text and direct the eye to particular sections, all while enhancing SEO and drastically transforming how your business is perceived. 
 
Despite their importance, when people create their own websites, images are often a last-minute addition without a thought as to what they are actually there to do.  
 
Understanding their potential will reveal how you can use photos on your website to the advantage of your business. 
 

Quality 

The brain processes visuals faster than text, meaning customers will make a snap judgment of your business the moment they click onto your home page.  
 
A website can look unprofessional with low-quality images, putting you at risk of immediately losing potential clients who will leave your website just as soon as they land on it. 
 
Since customers are increasingly wary of the risks of shopping online, poor quality images will not help you to portray yourself as a trustworthy, reliable brand. 
 
If you are struggling to source professional images of your business, stock photos are another option. 
 
Stock photos have a reputation for appearing staged and unrealistic, but with the likes of Pexels and Unsplash there are now countless vibrant, high-quality photos from an international community of photographers at your fingertips, offering everything from landscapes to animals to quirky interior designs.  
 
These sites in particular will allow you to source images that are relevant to your business and the specific content of each of your web pages, all for free. 
 
Remember that sometimes less is more – it can be beneficial to include just a few high-quality images, so that eyes are drawn to the product instead of a cluster of graphics.  
 
Unique images are also essential: avoid using the same stock photos as your competitors. 
 

SEO 

If images are optimised correctly, photos can also help your website to rank higher in search engine results. 
 
A key thing to remember is to add alt text to all important images on your website. This is a description of what the image shows, and is there to help both search engines and visually impaired website visitors understand exactly what is being displayed on the page.  
 
By adding relevant alt text to each photo, you will increase the chances of your website appearing in Google’s image search results. 
 

Social media 

Your own images of your business that you feature on your website can also be used across all of your social media platforms.  
 
Apps such as Instagram have surged in popularity because of their emphasis on visuals, and posting intriguing, high-quality photos on Instagram will encourage people to find out more about your business.  
 
Using similar images on social media to your website, combined with a consistent colour scheme, will also strengthen your online presence as a professional, exciting local brand. 
 

Headshots 

You can create an approachable, friendly atmosphere around your business by introducing your team on your website.  
 
Professional headshots of each employee will help to reinforce your reputation as a credible business, whilst candid shots of your team at work can add a personal touch to your website and give an insight into company culture. 
 
Remember that these images will be a direct reflection of your brand’s public image, so for this reason any headshots must be high-quality, properly formatted images. 
 
Photos are not just there to complement your copy – they need to be appreciated for all they can do to enhance your website. 
 
Of course, it helps to have a professional website in the first place, and any reliable web designer will make sure your website is populated with high-quality, engaging stock images if you do not have your own photos to add. 
 
If you are looking for an expert web design company to help you get ahead online, our team are only too happy to help. We create brilliantly bespoke websites for businesses from every industry, and we make sure every site stands out with professional images and visually appealing layouts. Get in touch with us today to find out more. 
 
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