How to Select Successful Graphics for Your Website

by John A. Peck

The internet is a visual medium. There’s no disputing that. Sites that attract us we tend to linger on. Even the minimalist Drudge Report has a flashing siren light image for flash news! What constitutes ‘successful’ graphics, and how do you tell?

Successful Graphics 

When I use this term, I’m mean a graphic that has a significant place in the look of the post, page or sidebar. Headers and site design are another topic. By successful I mean some specific things, and here they are.

Related to Content

A successful graphic is related to the content, and it is appropriate. That seems obvious enough. The real problem is that isn’t what makes a graphic successful, but it the foundation of it. The question is how related does it need to be? Stretch your boundaries of perception a bit, avoid inappropriate images or ones that will cause your readers to withdraw, and be a little creative. 


A successful graphic is unexpected. Not always a surprise, but surprisingly interesting to look at. Not a generic or over used image, a successful graphic surprises. It’s different in an unanticipated way. I know, this isn’t super helpful, but when you come across these images, you know them when you see them. They stand out because they draw us in.


A successful graphic, when seen along side other graphics on the site is different. Different is good. Differences in color, composition, balance, texture, sharpness/focus all add the look of a rich and intelligent tapestry to the website as a whole. It’s not simply about a good graphic from image provider sites. Those have a multitude of graphics of generic people doing generic things together in generic locations. Occasionally, they work, but by and large, when your reader sees one, he forgets it and does not associate the image with what he’s reading.


Notice I didn’t write ‘attractive’ – that goes without saying. I mean, it should attract a reader to read. And that is the thing. Since the internet is a visual medium, the real ‘success’ behind a graphic is the association with the information on your site in the eyes of your viewer. THEY ASSOCIATE GOOD IMAGES WITH YOUR SITE. And the more of these memorable, unusual but appropriate, colorful graphics you have, the more likely your reader will return. I’ve done this a long time, and spent a great deal of time making sure that important posts had worthy graphic images to accompany them. It always paid off in more traffic, more readers, more links, and more subscriptions to my sites. 


Look at the following gallery of images. These are all images which I have used myself on different articles, posts,  and pages on different sites. They are different from each other in color, texture, composition, and focus. As a result, they are visually interesting together! This is how your website should look when a viewer sees your posts. They should be different from each other, but unexpectedly interesting enough to make them want to read what’s attached! Take the time to click on them and see the full image. 

When you master the art of selecting successful graphics for your site, you will see a subtle but consistent increase over time in your traffic, and much longer views for each visitor.

Need help with this? Contact Me.

I can manage your graphics and choose outstanding images to highlight and promote the ideas you want your viewers to remember.

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