Let’s face it. Most of us are visual. We like to look at images. They can be pretty or ugly, make you feel happy or sad, and even tell a story all on their own, with no words. Pictures are wonderful!
Adding an image to your blog post or website can make that article you wrote for your blog amazing or not so amazing. The right image added to your products and services page can help your website visitors to understand the message you are trying to convey, or it can leave them confused and lost.
There are a few things to consider while searching for images and when it’s time to add them to your website; the 4 R’s of images and I’m going to share them with you today.
You can’t just grab images from whoever you want. It can get you in big trouble. I see people time and time again taking images from Google and adding them to their website. When I tell people they need to consider the copyright of those images, I have often been told that if it’s on Google, they can use it. I even had one person say, “well, then why is it on Google if I can’t use it?” The images on Google are not a free for all and should not be used unless you have the right or permission of the owner to use them. It’s that plain and that simple.
There are several image sites available, both no cost and paid, which have stock images. There are quite popular. You are able to use the image on your website or in your newsletter. These stock image databases are filled with images on any topic or subject.
Whether you have paid for these images or not, you still need to be careful. Unfortunately, there have been instances where people have used a stock image purchased or no cost from a site and it turns out, the person claiming to own the image did not.
It’s a good practice if you are going to use stock photo images, keep a spreadsheet to keep track of the image, just in case. You cannot access the one I created and that use I’m my own business. If you use stock images, make sure you read the fine print. Do you have to link back to the stock image site? What can you do with the image and what can you NOT do with the image? Do you have to add a photo credit? Does the image fall under Creative Commons if you are using an image from a no-cost site?
If you aren’t familiar with Creative Commons, it helps and protects Photographers who are kind enough to allow us to use their image but keep companies from selling it. It doesn’t take the place of a copyright, it works alongside their copyright. You can learn more about Creative Commons license by going to the Creative Commons website. Creative Commons isn’t a free for all either. There are also various types of licenses available so again, make sure you read the fine print!
What can you do? To be 100% safe, it’s best to take images yourself with your own camera. By taking the images yourself, you know there will be no issues with someone coming to you later saying you stole their image.
Any image you use should also be relevant to the content at hand. In other words, you don’t want to have an image that is not related to the message you are trying to convey. Not only do you need to think about the content the image is going to be around, but you also need to consider your brand.
If you are a website that provides a service or product for children, all of your images will need to be kid and family friendly. There are certain types of images you are not going to see on a site like this. Once you’ve determined the images that are in alignment with your brand, it’s time to find an image that is relevant to the content on the page.
Having images on your website that are sized improperly is not the best way to show off the amazing content you have to share. Images that are too small, too big, stretched, pixelated, or skewed, interrupt the user experience on a website. If your image is too big, should be adjusted to the proper size. Very large images also increase page load time, which affects SEO. As you can see, improperly sized images is a no-win for everyone!
How do you resize images?
To resize your images, you will need an image editor. I use Photoshop, but you don’t need anything this robust just to make your image look great. There are several no-cost options available.
The above tools will have your images looking fabulous in no time.
Bye bye, crappy images!
Images are heavy and because of this, they can weigh your site down. You don’t want someone sitting around waiting for your page to load because that amazing image you chose is too heavy, do you? Of course not!
So what’s a gal to do? Reduce the weight of your image by compressing it! By compression an image, you are reducing the digital file size, but not sacrificing the quality of the image.
There are free tools to help you with this such as, TinyJPG.
As you can see, there is more to adding images to your website than making sure it’s pretty!
The 4 R’s of website images may seem like just another thing on you list that you need to get done, but it makes a big difference to your website visitors and how your website works.