Graphics and Images Can Help Your Website Make a Good Impression
Many Internet marketers are very smart when it comes to choosing good products to sell. They can predict what items will be popular and make shrewd business decisions that allow them to turn a nice profit. Those same people can sometimes struggle when it comes to developing a website that can allow them to maximize their business potential, however. A well-designed site can draw people in, encourage them to browse, and help them make the decision to purchase something. On the other hand, a poorly designed web presence can cause folks to click away almost immediately. And the element of design that often does the most to create a first impression (either good or bad) is the use of graphics and images.
There is nothing more boring to look at on a web site than a page filled with nothing but text, so it's obvious that graphics are important. They can add visual interest and create a spark. But they also should do something to help your visitors get the most out of your site. Images that are only there because they are "cool looking" do nothing to improve your bottom line. Here are some pointers for using images and graphics in the most effective way.
Â· Be sure the images you choose help your reader identify the purpose of your site. Since graphics will attract the eye of your web visitors when they first land on your page, those graphics should help the user understand right away what they might find there. Abstract and "arty" pictures might be pretty, but if they don't help to define the content of your site immediately, they are not useful.
Â· Place images (including logos and titles) near the top of the page. You want to bring customers into your site, so use a picture that makes them interested in the rest of the content that is there. Leave enough white space around your image so that it doesn't have to "fight" for a viewer's attention, and never crowd too many pictures together.
Â· Use the smallest file size possible for your image. Customers with slow Internet connections still have valuable money to spend, and you don't want to discourage them from doing that because they have to wait forever for an image to load. Look at your illustration in several different file sizes. Try using fewer colors or making it smaller. Choose the version that can still adequately convey your message while allowing the fastest download time.
Â· Choose colorful images that harmonize with the rest of your page. Since your masthead or title graphic and your company logo will probably fit into a color scheme, try to make the rest of your images complement that theme. A combination that is pleasing to the eye will encourage users to spend more time browsing, and that has to be beneficial to your business. (Read more about Choosing a Color Scheme elsewhere on this website.)
Â· Include elements like navigation buttons and bullet points in your overall design. Be sure that small graphical items like these complement your theme. They can give your pages that finished look that lets your visitors know you are a true professional. (There is more about Site Navigation here.)
Â· Carry the same design ideas throughout all the pages of your site. Many effective websites use images to help their visitors figure out what page of the site they are on. A graphic can quickly convey the function of a particular page and thus make it more user-friendly. If you are selling different products on each page, be sure the pictures at the top illustrate the category of items that can be found below it.
In short, whenever you decide to add an image or graphic to your page, ask yourself this, "Does this picture help my visitor learn something important or encourage him to stick around?" If the answer is no, then you shouldn't include the image.
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