Using Graphics on Your Business Website

So you’re building the perfect website for your business.  You have great content, your catalog is in order, and you even got your Shopping Cart and Checkout applications running smoothly.  But how does your website look?  Is it appealing to your site visitors?  When people go to a website, they want more than just words on their screen.  They want a bit of “eye candy.”  It’s been shown that websites that have appropriate and interesting graphics and pictures are more effective than those that don’t take advantage of their use.

It’s true that some sites that are “ugly” and have no graphics can still make money.  They are able to do that based solely on compelling content, good branding, and good products.  But more often than not they are the exception, not the rule.  A lot of website surfers like to see pictures of products, or a picture that helps describe what the content is about.  However, don’t go overboard in using them.  One or two well-placed pictures or graphics is more effective than splattering them all over the page.  Too much eye candy distracts the visitor away from the content and the products you are selling.

Some places to get photos to use on your site include (but aren’t limited to) the following:

  • Use your own.  You can take photos of your products or use scenic photos that you have taken to make your point.
  • Public Domain.  Public domain pictures are free to use.  But you will not always find what you are looking for.
  • Flikr.  Yahoo’s Flikr Creative Commons has a wide variety of photos.  But you have to be careful of allowable uses.
  • iStockPhoto.  This service isn’t free, but is really inexpensive for the quality of the photos available.

There are many other sites where you can find good quality pictures and graphics to add to your website.  If you have a favorite one, please share it here.