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Featured Images: How to Optimise Your Hero Images for Maximum Effect

July 7, 2021 - Fifteen

Featured images are often the first thing users see when scouring social media or your blog page for articles, guides, and the like. This image is usually the largest, sits in the hero section of your piece, and usually doubles as the image thumbnail when it is shared on social media. With this in mind, it’s easy to see how picking a featured image isn’t simply a matter of picking the first image in a gallery but rather finding the picture that says a thousand words. Here’s how to make sure that picture says the right words. 

High-Quality Featured Images are Key

First and foremost, images on websites and particularly large images like a featured image need to be high quality. Low res images pixelate and look unprofessional and can cost you vital clicks as users shy away from a link that looks less professional or safe. 

If you can, use your own imagery. If you provide a service ask customers if you can take photos of the site or use images of your own branded equipment to show off what you can do. Failing that, work with your design team or invest in a site like Shutterstock to find high-quality images that fit your content.

Stick to a Standard Size

Next, is image resolution. When scrolling through a blog page, featured images that are of different sizes take away from the professionalism of your site with odd-shaped thumbnails. This lack of uniformity shows a lack of care so make sure you ask your developers or designers what size featured images should be and work from there. Write the dimensions down and keep them handy so whenever you post a blog you can find and size an image to fit your style.

Find Your Style and Stick to It

Speaking of style, every brand has its own flavour. Some use real-life images to show off their services. Others use vectors or cartoons to promote abstract ideas. Consider how you want your brand to be seen. Cartoons are friendly but can seem less serious. Photos of construction equipment or earthworks are informative but not exactly exciting.

Consider the tone of your website and brand. Who are your clients? What do they expect of you? How would you like to be portrayed? Consider this relationship when deciding on an image style and stick with the theme throughout. Doing this ensures a cohesive style that your users will recognise and trust no matter where they interact with your brand.

Use Relevant Imagery

Finally, make sure you use images relevant to the piece. There’s nothing more confusing than a blog about X with a random image of Y. If you’re writing about baking, use a photo of cakes. You can even go more abstract with kitchen equipment or someone enjoying a slice of cake. Whatever, you do stick to the theme of the piece. 

Trust the Experts

If you don’t have the time or expertise to create your own content then trust the experts to do it. At Fifteen we are past masters in creating and optimising content to capture users’ attention and drive conversions. Contact us now to find out more about content marketing and SEO and we’ll get your images turning heads in no time.

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