Internet-Services Strong Images for High Impact Websites

Your website is your Storefront, your Showroom, your Reception, it is the first place where your prospective client is going to be introduced to you. These first impressions of your business, your product & service and ultimately their first impression of you and this counts more than you imagine. You absolutely need to make sure it’s saying everything that you want it to. 


The Facts

The average person reads 225 words per minute, but they say a single picture can say a thousand words. Then factor in that typically a person spends an average of just 45 seconds on a website, that’s 169 words. What do you want to say in that 45 seconds? Can you get it into 169 words? The human brain actually takes just 13 milliseconds to see an image. 13 Milliseconds is about 0.00021666667 of a minute. Which equates to a fair few thousand words in your 45 seconds. I don’t suppose this stands up to minute scrutiny, but it clearly demonstrates the irrefutable brain science of the power of the right imagery. 

Images Connect Emotionally 

Popularity of social media platforms is edging towards those that provide a more visual space. Engagement on social media is now primarily visually driven, so it’s fair to say that applies to most internet users. In slightly over 13 milliseconds we’ll have already scanned the page, processed the images and are now deciding whether to further engage with the content. Your images are your foot in the door, they are the shop window that will make people decide whether to go into the store. But more than that, we connect emotionally with images and they will remain in our long term memory way longer than text. Coming back to our 45 second window of opportunity, we therefore must make a more lasting impression.

“Your images are your foot in the door” 


Who Is Your Client? 

As a Photographer I am sure that you are going to expect to hear me say that you are going to need high end photographs, re-touched to within an inch of their life to sell your product on a magical pedestal. Yes I am! If that’s the client you want. 

To know what images to use on your website, the most important thing to know is “who is your Client”? Simon and his team at Toucan Internet LLP will have already done a lot of work with you around your target audience. Now you have an important decision to make; a decision that will have a significant impact on the ultimate effectiveness and ROI of the website. You can use existing images that you have, you can use stock images, or you can use a photographer to create a catalogue of images specially shot and processed for your business guided by your brand and visual identity. 

Types of Images 

Once you have a rough site plan together you will need to consider the images you’ll likely need. Here I think there are four scenarios to think about. 

You will need your Hero Banner as an introduction to the whole and then sub parts of the website. These need to pack an immediate punch to get impact; these are looking to grab your users’ attention, demonstrate subject relevance and funnel visitors to further content, thus putting them on the journey you intend through your website. 

Title Photos will then be used at the start of a blog post. These need to be more storytelling to flow directly into the copy. It’s good to have the content and images planned out so that there is always fresh content and imagery available for the website. 


Depending on your products, you’ll want either direct or indirect images of these. This can be through the direct image of Product Photos if your product is something physical or they may be Demonstration Photos of the service you offer, with a set of Outcome Images of what is achieved. Depending on the product you’ll be looking to use at least one of these. From our experience it’s best to use a combination, since it creates a narrative, and sets out why you and your product is something special and apart from the rest. 

Business Portfolio images will look at your company, your site, your team and your locale if it’s important to your narrative. What’s best for these? Physically you need to look your best so have a clean and a tidy, even a slight repaint if needs be. As for your portrait images, plan these in before lunch, or have a change of clothes, just in case! And we always recommend a good night sleep beforehand!  

The Technical Part 

How fast your images load and what’s happening in the background is hugely important for your SEO and getting you website traction with visitors. You need to make sure that your image is optimised for loading time, whilst maintaining quality. You also need to ensure that the metadata is telling the search engines what they need to know, so they can decide if the images are suitable for a particular search result. 

Images need to be of a good initial quality so that they can be used without becoming distorted. If an image is cropped, this needs to be done effectively so that the user still gets the intended visual message. Then we just want to make sure the images are nicely in balance so that they look good on any screen, no blown highlights or too many shadows.  


You and your web developer will have already done the groundwork on a look and feel of the site. A photographer should aim to tap into that and help you develop the style and consider the look of the images to match the look and feel of the website. Someone who works closely with the web development team creates a unique opportunity to have a site that is seamless and well integrated with its content. 

Your photographer will work with you and the developer to create a comprehensive shot list, and with a clear brief, can produce content that delivers a consistent look across the website; one that flows and really becomes a pleasure with which to interact. The photographer will capture the product photos to make sure that the subject pops, and makes your product stands out above the crowd. They will spend time with you to consider the storytelling images, and capture things as they unfold, to give a catalogue of images that will support you in other media too including social media and blogs. They will consider the hero banners and how best to make an impact and create an image that jumps out at you.  

It is also a matter of time. I for instance would be quite happy to spend an hour obsessing to get the right angle to show off the product. Getting the frame right so that an image can be cropped down nicely into a Hero Banner, or that the negative space works well for where the copy is going to appear. As part of the post production, I’ll be happy to crop those images and remove those stray bits of grass in the concrete. 

7. Set up goals in GA

In the admin section of GA, you can set goals to define important user events, such as registration, log in, add to basket and order confirmation. This allows GA to automatically calculate conversion rates for each goal/event and it even allows you to create funnels using page paths. This will allow you to monitor your conversion rate and see where users are dropping out of your sales funnel.  

However, goals in GA don’t work retrospectively and so the sooner you set them up the better. You can then begin monitoring your conversion rates and if you see a sudden drop in a conversion rate you will know where to investigate where there may be a problem with your website.  

What do you want to say in 45 Seconds? 

I’m being dramatic above! You don’t have to say it all in 45 Seconds. You do however have just seconds to convince a user to click further into the site.

We have become very much a visual society 

Copy will be a key part of this, however in the world of social media and advertising boards, we have become very much a visual society. There are options for your website imaginary, but a professional photographer can deliver eye popping images unique to you. And in the crowded world of the web, having something different and even unique is key to getting people into your virtual store, showroom or reception.  

Make the first impression count. 

Thank you for reading this Key to High Converting Websites, I hope you found it useful. John Turner is an expert associate of Toucan Internet LLP.

In 2012 John’s hobby and passion became his business as a full time Freelance Photographer covering creatively directed commercial shoots, events and weddings. 


With a background in Retail Management, Supply Chain and Logistics, he has a wonderful understanding of the business world and works with exceptional customer service and communication.