People like to see photos with people in them, right?
Not necessarily, it turns out.
We all know that, these days, photos are crucial to drawing attention to your web content.
Snappy headlines, short sentences and paragraphs, skimmable elements like bullet points and subheadings and strategic use of boldface will all help make your pages and posts more readable.
But photos can make the difference between someone reading your content and just passing it by.
And sometimes it might surprise you what makes a photo appealing. And what makes a photo un-appealing.
For example, a couple years ago, photos of urban decay in the city of Detroit went viral online. These photos featured abandoned buildings and empty streets to create an eerie atmosphere that pulled viewers in.
Then, another set of Detroit photos came out. They had people in them. But this time, the shots didn’t go viral.
Why were the people shots less, not more, popular than the shots without people? Images of people may have aroused feelings of guilt in the viewer, diluting the pure pleasure of gaping at an urban apocalypse.
The lesson for using photos online is that you should consider them very carefully. Think about your audience and purpose. If you want to solicit donations for a charity, for example, then showing shots of people may create just the feeling you want to get your viewers to pull out their credit cards.
But if you want to sell a product or service, sometimes a beautiful object by itself can do more than a shot with a person.
Of course, it’s not that simple.
Learn more about choosing the right photo for the job and learn too where you can find high quality photos online that you can use for free, check out this article (it comes with a 15-minute podcast) from Copyblogger, “How to Choose Arresting Images for Your Blog Posts (and Why You Should).”
— Erik Curren, Curren Media Group