Images in web design follow basic principles everyone with a digital presence should know, as well as the specific needs of your handyman business’s website. In this guide, we’ll go through the psychology and practice of using images online, as well as the hard data around this exciting topic.
The human brain processes images in as little as 13 milliseconds. When it comes to handyman website design, your images need to speak for themselves, and that means spending a fair amount of effort on thinking up the right look. The good news here is that you have many tools—as well as the phone in your pocket!—at your disposal to provide whatever imagery you need for your site.
Choosing Your Images
65% of the population are visual learners, which means they’re more likely to scan and skim your website rather than carefully read it. Your images can, and should, tell the story of your business and what it can offer.
Just imagine: pictures of you and your team doing the work you love, the products you use, and before and after pictures to show your work. All of these will make an excellent play for your visitor’s attention and get the most valuable information across.
Keep It Above the Fold
Consider “the fold.” It’s an old newspaper term that has come back into style. It used to refer to the top half of the front page, and now in web design it means the first screen you see of a landing page or homepage before scrolling.
How important is the fold? A 2018 Neilsen Norman study found that 74% of all views occur in the top two screens—and 57% occur “above the fold” alone. As site design trends change, those numbers may vary, but it’s important to put your most impactful images above the fold to keep visitors engaged.
Image Size Is Important
Did you know that 50% of all American adults own a tablet? Pew Research also reports that 77% use a desktop or laptop. You want your handyman website to look your best no matter how your potential customer finds your site.
You’ll need to look for pictures that can change size depending on what technology your reader is using. This “responsive design” ensures that your website is readable on phones, laptops, and even tablets.
Finally, large images are more impactful for your visitors, but it’s a balancing act. That’s precious real estate up above the fold, and you want to make sure your images, headlines, service descriptions, and buttons pack the greatest punch possible.
The Psychology of Images
A picture is worth a thousand words—at least, as the saying goes. But in fact, the wrong picture can be worth significantly less. Web page readers ignore “non-information-carrying” photos and graphics altogether.
Images must deliver messages: Those product or project photos, even the pictures of yourself or your team, are key elements of the story you’re telling. That’s why they are vastly preferable to stock photos of random models: they help build a connection with your audience—and that relies on authenticity.
People don’t interact with content they perceive as “advertising.” Eye-tracking studies even show we often physically avoid looking at ads. By presenting a compelling image that tells a story instead, you’re offering them value at the same time they’re becoming familiar with your business.
Sourcing Your Images
Figuring out the commercial rights for photos you find online can seem next to impossible. You can always provide your own high-quality pictures, but if you’re not interested or just not confident in your photography skills, here are some of the best online sources for free images:
- Unsplash.com is the first site to offer free images and has curated quite a collection.
- Pexels.com draws equally from community contributions and curation of the best pictures from other services.
- Canva.com is a fantastic tool for creating graphics, videos and more—and a premium subscription will open up a world of images for you.
- Flickr.com users can make their photos available to remix and use commercially for free.
One helpful trick: search the same term on more than one of these sites. You’ll be surprised by how much variety you can find for even the most specific image ideas.
Working with your images
Internet users share 3.2 billion images every day, and images earn 3% of all Google search clicks and 27% of all online searches. By correctly uploading and classifying your imagery, you can help expand your reach through pictures rather than just words alone.
You may have heard of “search engine optimization,” or SEO: the process of making your site “indexable” so Google can find it easily—and serve your information to exactly the people that need your services.
But what does this have to do with images in web design? The trick is making sure certain details of your images contribute to your site’s SEO by learning and remembering best practices:
- First, give your image files names that are clear, exact, and helpful.
- Use the “alt text” feature to make your photos more accessible, as this will also contribute to your SEO if you label things precisely. (You can even get a little extra credit by adding captions to your pictures.)
- Keep file sizes as small as you can without risking quality—If your page loads take more than five seconds, the probability of “bounce,” or abandonment, by 90%. You want your page to load as quickly as possible, and compressing the images is a quick and easy way to do that.
Get Help with Your Handyman Website from the Pros
Images in web design are an important part of getting the most from your handyman website, but they’re not the whole story. Visit Handyman Marketing Pros for more guidance on making your website, and your marketing, everything it deserves to be. Schedule a strategy call with our team of marketing experts who specialize in the handyman niche and let us take a look at your current website!