How many times have you visited a brand’s website, only to ‘x’ your way out of there in the blink of an eye? The odds are, it was the website’s graphics that was the culprit.
Visitors to your website will make split-second decisions. They’ll either be lured in by attractive graphics, or turned away by dull, stock-photo imagery.
Research shows that in the internet age, our attention span is so bad that even a goldfish could beat us. What does this mean? A bad impression of your website because of mediocre graphics can mean you’ve lost a customer – potentially forever.
Why Your Audience Loves High-Quality Graphics
Graphics are a dynamic way to capture your audience’s attention. They work instantly. This factor alone can give graphics a lot more power over text on a website.
Ever wondered why high-profile blogs and websites such as The New Yorker hire graphic designers and illustrators to come up with creative, captivating graphics for their articles? That’s because they know it instantly elevates a piece of written work.
Simply put, visitors unconsciously tend to interpret high-quality graphics as a stand-in for a high-quality business. In other words, high-quality graphics provide a way to communicate to your audience that you represent and provide high-quality work that is worthy of their attention.
Think of Website Graphics as a Content Marketing Tool
A website graphic is ultimately visual content. It merges different visual elements (such as text, numbers, and photos) together in a visually pleasing and artistically competent way.
Graphics should never be used just for the sake of using it. The creation of graphics needs to stand by certain design principles such as balance, alignment and negative space in order to be visually effective and capture your audience’s psyche. The last thing you want is to have your website be a slapdash collection of graphics that don’t work well together.
Think of your graphics as content. Content marketing is all about using content to engage with a specific audience, whether that is to persuade, inform, or entertain. In the same way, each graphic that you use should offer some kind of content marketing value. So before you use a particular image or ask your graphic designer to make an infographic, think about what message it’s going to tell about your brand, and how it’s going to achieve that.
Top Web Graphic Principles Every Website Owner Needs to Know
Every website owner can benefit from the following web graphic principles:
Original content triumphs stock photography. It can be tempting to rely on stock images because of their ease of use and ready availability. However, stock images can often be spotted by viewers from a mile away and there’s no better way to translate to your audience that you are just ‘average’. This is not to say that stock images cannot be used if done tastefully and picked or transformed by an expert graphic designer.
Use icons and graphics to parse text into more readable chunks. It’s a well-known fact that too much text can lead to higher bounce rates. One way to mitigate this is to use icons or graphics to break up large amounts of text. So a landing page where you showcase the features of your product or service is better accompanied by flattering icons, and if you’ve got a long story to tell in the ‘About us’ page, use some compelling photography to maintain your viewers’ attention.
SEO-optimize your web graphics to widen your audience. Image SEO-optimization is a simple but often forgotten way to ensure your graphics get captured by Google Images, leading to more visitors.
Pick the right format for your graphics. The three main web formats for images are: .jpg, .gif, and .png. Each has specific uses as well as advantages and disadvantages. The format .jpg is best suited for photographs, .gif for simple images such as icons and animations, and .png is great for still images and transparency.
Use graphics to make your calls-to-action stand out. Attractive, colorful buttons can be a powerful way to engage your visitors’ attention to follow through with next steps and calls-to-action.
How To Buy Or Create High-Quality Graphics For Your Website
Hiring a graphic designer with experience in web graphics is a great option if you’re looking for high-quality, original visual content. While more expensive than other options, it can be one of the best ways to make your website look visually captivating.
Images or photos can also be bought through subscription sites like Shutterstock either individually or in a package. There are also popular sites that now offer high-quality, royalty-free images for free, such as Unsplash or Pixabay.
If you don’t have a big budget, you could consider designing and creating web graphics by yourself using a software such as Adobe’s Photoshop or an online graphics creation tool such as Canva or PicMonkey. However, unless you have web and graphic design knowledge or experience yourself, we only recommend this as a last resort as it is unlikely you’ll get the results that you’re looking for.
Want to learn more about web graphics? Need an expert to make the best web graphics for your website? Contact us at LightHouse Graphics today and our team of top designers will be thrilled to assist you with creating eye-popping website graphics that will keep visitors on your site.