Website - Images


David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy
23 June 1911
West Horsley, Surrey
21 July 1999(1999-07-21) (aged 88)
Chateau de Touffou, Bonnes, France
Images on your website is very important as the meaning of explanatory text can be clarified through the use of images. Best practice and appropriate use of images on your website will help to make your website more interesting to your website visitor.

If images are used correctly they will; make your website look professional, inviting and ensure that your website will attract and keep the attention of your visitors.

Using appropriate and interesting images on your website will prompt your website visitor to share them on their social media pages which in turn will bring more visitors to your website. The more visitors you receive the higher your website rank will be on popular search engines such as google and the better your website’s conversion rate will be.
24Web Design Studio will ensure that all images you supply for use on your website is optimized for web use and where needed we will do color, format and lighting correction. We will also advice you on “best practice principles”.
Our best practice is based on the principles of David Mackenzie Ogilvy, CBE, an advertising executive, widely hailed as
"The Father of Advertising"

In 1962, Time called him "the most sought-after wizard in today's advertising industry", and all his principles still hold true today.

Image Placement.

The natural sequence for reading involves a very specific order. First we look at the image, if there is one. Then we scan the headline and if that is interesting enough we will read the body text.
It is common practice to place an image at the top of the page to catch the visitor’s eye, but it is important to note that the image should be above the headline. It has been proven, in studies worldwide, that you could lose as much as 10% of your visitors if you place it below your headline.  Visitors see the image and completely miss the headline and all the body text.  So If you have a large audience, say 145,000 people, then putting your image below your headline could be costing you nearly fifteen thousand potential readers!
As Ogilvy sardonically said, that’s not to be sneezed at.

Captions get read more than body text.

Several studies have shown that captions under images are read on average 300% more than the text in the body of a page, so not using images, or not using them correctly, means missing out on an opportunity to engage a huge number of potential readers.
If an image is placed in the middle of a page's text it will draws the visitor's attention more than the text itself, to the point where the attention might even be drawn completely away, even more so if the wrong type of image is used.
It is therefore extremely important to have a caption under every image to press your main point home, and hopefully refocus the attention back to the page text.
Newspapers have long understood the value of captions for drawing readers in. Yet it seems that so many other website designers and website design companies have not incorporated this well-known fact into their design “tool kits”.
The choice of caption is important as it affords another chance to draw the user’s attention back into the text or even to direct attention to the call to action. Your caption should ideally have; your brand name, highlight the brand promise or underpin the core focus of the body text.

Don't break the left margin.

Our natural left-to-right reading in the western world always rely on the left margin being there as an anchor, to give us a metal bookmark of sorts to return our eyes to. If the margin is interrupted by an image or moved elsewhere it becomes exceptionally difficult to follow the text. If your visitors have to relocate the left margin before continue reading, then the natural eye path is interrupted, along with their train of thought and most likely their attention and engagement with the body text.

Choice of images.

If the images you choose are not clearly relevant and directly related to your value proposition, or to the core message of the page’s body text, then it will only help to confuse your visitors. At best, they’ll be pointless distractions. At worst, they’ll give the wrong impression and cause your visitors to feel tricked or disappointed.
As mentioned before, seemingly irrelevant images can be made exceptionally relevant by the simple use of a caption. If you can’t come up with a good caption for an image then it probably does not belong on the page.
The best images fall into two categories:
  • Images with story appeal
  • Images which demonstrate
A good image with story appeal is best used above your headline as it will evoke a strong sense of curiosity in your visitor.
Like the image on the brewshop’s home page;

The image above has some serious story appeal.
Many web design companies use images taken straight from some stock photography site, and have at best a tenuous connection to the content on the page. Not only do they have little story appeal, visitors will immediately suspect the story they’re telling is not the same as the story in the page text or at best they will make your visitor believe that the image is a misrepresentation of the actual value offering.
It is much better to use images of your actual value proposition. It’s hard to go wrong with these sorts of images; the only caveat is that they need to convey your value proposition or core page message with more force than text alone could.
Product photos, before-and-after shots, charts or graphs showing comparisons and so on all work best. The higher quality the better, load speed risk can be limited by using smaller, clickable images in the page text body that uses a “light box” for the original size images.

Avoid images that visitors dislike.

Images from the list below should be avoided at all cost, if possible, as they will only serve to distract your visitors with their visual dominance, without the benefit of peeking interest.
Very often these types of images will convey the impression that you are incompetent, thoughtless about your page content, or just unable to come up with anything of real quality or at worst convey the message that you are attempting to misrepresent your value offering.
  • Stock photographs that are obviously stock photographs. Just because a stock photo is attractive doesn’t mean it will be effective.
  • No image is better than a poor quality one that show something pixelated, over-compressed, badly resized, of a low resolution, or otherwise shoddy-looking.
  • Crowd shots. Try to use photos that have a single main subject, crowd shots tend to have no focal point for the visitors eyes.
  • Bigger than life-size images of faces, according to Ogilvy, will be avoided by your visitors because they seem slightly grotesque.
  • Images with historical subjects. Unless you’re catering to an audience of history enthusiasts, it’s a safe bet your visitors will find historical shots boring.

All images on your website pages must be essential.

It is crucial that you carefully consider the inclusion or exclusion of every image, fancy graphics, slide show and graphic element on your website as they will all contribute to your website load time.
Website load times are still the number one criterion for maximizing visitors. For example, a few months back Google discovered that a loading time increase from 0.4 seconds to 0.9 seconds decreased traffic by 20%.
So take a look at your latest graphically-endowed content. Is that extra “weight” really;
  • Demonstrating your value proposition forcibly, or
  • Teasing your reader into your page content with story appeal?
  • Positioned correctly and captioned enticingly?