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A picture is worth a thousand words

By: Shah Raju

Posted on 27 January, 2019

A picture is worth a thousand words

I’ve just read this. Yes, even to this day visual content tends to generate much more engagement than text-based content. And so, I’ve decided to give you pointers on how to do better visuals and I’ve decided to use words to paint that picture.

Rights aren’t free

Not all images on the web are fair game, so before using any image ask yourself one question: are you allowed to use it? Violating image copyrights can cost a cattle truck load of money.

There are free stock photo services that allow images to be downloaded, free for use for no charge. And even Getty is giving out stock photos for free – just read the fine print though. Bear in mind though “free” doesn’t equate to the best or the most varied selection option. Consider purchasing a subscription to a stock photo service, there’s plenty to be found, and if a monthly or annual subscription isn’t a commitment you’re ready to make then I’m told there are services out there that offer a pay-per-use models.

What’s the point?

Usually the first thing someone sees in social and email promotions are the headline and the featured image. Do you want higher CTR? If you’ve answered in the affirmative then make sure your image has at least some relevancy to the headline, if the connection between the two isn’t clear then hire another Picture Editor.

Is it compelling?

It’s not good enough to have an image that is just relevant to the headline, it should be compelling too. It should be eye-catching, interesting, appealing – get the picture?

The first image is usually what gets pulled when your content is shared on Facebook, LinkedIn or Whatsapp and to boost those pageviews you need to give the receiver something to click on. Your post’s Hero image is the first impression you make so take your time and choose wisely or risk losing valuable clickthroughs.

Don’t break your resolutions

If images you’ve selected aren’t hi-res then it doesn’t matter how remarkable the image is. If it’s pixelated, no one will see it.

There’s a fine line to tread though if you images resolution is way too high. A high hi-res image will mean your image files will take longer to render and slow down the overall page load time. 40% of people will abandon a webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, according to Akamai. Try keeping your image sizes to under 100KB and you too will have beautiful visuals like these on your website.

Size matters

The widespread usage of smartphones, tablets and such means the days of thinking only of desktop are long gone. Make sure images you select are optimised for all the screen sizes your content will feature on. If you do decide to use text overlay then pay close attention to what that’ll look like on a mobile screen. If you chose to feature a screenshot as your main image, what will that look like on a smaller screen?

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Image via Shutterstock.