photographer selecting images for website

Choosing best website images

In Marketing News by Pete Hogg

How to choose the best images for your website

Here we look at why using quality images on your website is important. Sometimes the images you think look great, are not what your potential customers think to look right, let us look at how to choose the best website images for your site and why.

However, first, the words of a wise man

” A picture says a thousand words.”'Printers Ink', Dec 8th, 1921.

Some believe that the use of the phrase started in an article in the advertising trade journal ‘Printers Ink’ Reference here

The quote is still valid today, and in use by website designers and marketers around the world.

Seeing your website images through the eyes of your customer

Put yourself in the client’s shoes, when you want to find an item to buy or need a service to use, do you hop on your phone and start searching? Looking for quick answers to solve your problem, or find that product you want.

As a new customer you have never seen or heard of your business before, all you want to know is, does this company have what I want, do they look trustworthy, and how much is this going to cost.

First impressions count, the new customer lands on your website and boom, what do they see?

  • Do they see a smart, clean, professional business?
  • A company they want to employ or carry out a purchase?

Just take a look through a fresh pair of eyes at your website to answer these questions.

Website images that make cringe-worthy content

Now, not to single out any particular industry, but over the years I have found that builders websites seem to throw up bad examples regularly. Take a look and see what you think.

bad example of builders building website image bricks and mud
good website image taken from builders website of clean modern home

Based on the two images, if you were the customer which builder would you pick?

The examples above are taken from actual builders websites.

Choosing website images to make the right impression

The photos you use on your site and in your marketing create a significant impact on how customers view your business. I would recommend that you do not just go with the easiest or cheapest options, as this will influence at the expense of your overall website, marketing or branding efforts.

High-quality professional images on your business’s website and in all your content and marketing, give people the impression of a high-quality professional business,

“They are an indicator of quality.”

Choosing images that are relevant to your website and marketing message.

Before you add your photos and images to your site, profiles, social media or even setting up a photo shoot, it is a good idea to plan and decide on what types of photos you need. Choosing the style and presentation you want, and what they will add to your website or marketing.

Photos can be incredibly powerful in creating visual interest and adding a face to your company.  Your marketing strategy and brands style will help you decide on the photos that are likely to have an actual influence and set a precedence for your business.

Keeping your message clear in every little detail

Sometimes it is the subtle things that keep the consistent theme throughout your website, by this I mean background images, and these images are still very relevant to how you present your business online. Sure they are in the background and be faded or even blurred with text over the top of them, But subtle they still carry a message.

By giving a message, what I mean by this is, if you bake cakes and place a beautiful image of the best cake you made and set it as a background image, then you add your customer testimonials over the top from some of your happy customers.

Sure you bake cakes that’s why someone is viewing your website looking to buy a cake, Would it be better to show a happy customer smiling holding one of your delicious baked cakes in the image. The point is the testimonial is from a person, not a piece of cake.

Hiring a professional photographer & look fantastic

Smartphones and digital cameras have made it easy and convenient for you to photograph and capture your images right there and then, without the hassle of arranging to set up another day or time with customers to take your pictures.

There are so many factors that also give you reasons to shoot an image right there and then in that particular moment, be it location, weather, access to premises or even open event days such as concerts.

Digital photography tips for beginners will help set you on the right path for taking great photos.

However, access to a camera does not make everyone a professional photographer. Customers can tell the difference between photos taken by yourself and scrubbed up with apps on your phone or an amateur attempt to make a poor image look good.
If you want better photos that look professional and stunning like a professional photographer takes them, my advice is to hire one.

Using a graphic designer for your imagery

Let us not forget about graphic designers and the visually stunning work that they do. The skilled designers that use graphics software like Photoshop, Adobe Ai and Infinity Designer, produce some fantastic images for you to use in your visual communication.

You can find out more about how much it costs to hire a freelance designer at Upwork

Using stock photography on your site

Stock photography has its place, and use in product listings or generic scenes such as business meetings or a landscape image of Italy.

However, nowadays people are more in tune with original photos and want to see original pictures of what you have to offer. If you choose to use stock photography places like Shutter stock are popular choices and worth checking out.

YouTube video on choosing images for your website

Now you have picked your images whats next?

Now you have chosen which images to use on your site, let’s talk about image file size and image compression. Digital images look crisp and crystal clear, but they are also using many resources from your website like bandwidth and storage space on your hosting account.

The cost of using up these resources will result in a slow loading site. There are a few things you can do to help your site load fast,

  • Use the correct size image for the web page
  • Use png or jpeg images
  • Compress the image
  • Use a CDN

Here is an excellent guide to follow from wphero explaining all about image sizes for WordPress sites.
You can read the post at

What is image compression?

Image compression is best done by your local website designer if you are a little unsure how to do it. The Tiny image compressor is a free tool that is easy to use. You only drop the file containing your image into the Tiny software and then download the compressed version.

What is a CDN?

CDN stands for content delivery network, it is a service that holds a copy of your website and content including images, and has servers in many different locations around the world. Whenever somebody clicks on your site, it loads a copy of your content nearest to them, meaning no time delay and your site loads fast.

Many CDN providers charge various rates to find out more CloudFlare or Maxcdn are just two.

The cost’s of image creation

As with anything in business, it all comes at an extra cost, first the website then the pictures and sometimes paying extra for copywriting as well.

On the other hand, it is a digital investment in your business, and in any investment, you want a return on your money, in this case, more business and sales increasing your profit margin.

Let me know your thoughts on website image selection in the comments section below

Pete Hogg
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Pete Hogg

Freelance SEO Consultant at Red Kite SEO
I like helping small businesses reach their full potential online by connecting them to customers and generating sales.

I was introduced to websites and SEO in 2007 while running my own local business. Having a website enabled me at that time to display my business and give customers a digital brochure of what my company provides and who we are.

As a business owner, I generated repeat business but you are always looking for reliable sales inquiries, and knowing that spending money on adverts, that the marketing must deliver 'ROI' value for money.

That is when SEO sparked an interest in me to learn how to get found on Google by customers searching online.

Fast forward to the present, and I now specialise in local SEO and website design aimed at small businesses.
Pete Hogg
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