If your website has pictures or visuals of some kind – it lightens up the web copy and helps people to be attracted to the site, but pictures have their drawbacks too.
Where do you get them from?
If your visuals are helping you to get your message across, then not nasty stock photos! Look at the web copy and see what will help that message to hit home. Use a picture that works for its space. If you do use library pictures, make sure you have the necessary permissions and buy the ones you want outright. Better still invest in a decent photographer and get originals taken.
Where do you put them?
Ideally to the right of the web copy. If you put them to the left of the copy remember that the picture draws the eye down – so any text to the right of them may not be read.
Don’t allow them to push critical web copy down below the ‘fold’ (the bottom of the first visible screen). As this depends on the size of screen the viewer is using, then ensure that, even on a small screen the headline and first paragraph of copy can be seen. If the picture takes over the whole of the screen, some people may never scroll down and just won’t realise there is any web copy at all!
Pictures are powerful – but keep them in their place!