Images play a very important role in our lives. They link us to our past and help us to capture and celebrate life. Images help where words often fail to describe and express feelings and emotions. They have been an essential component of how humans observe, communicate, celebrate, and remember since the first cave paintings at Lascaux.

In advertising, especially online, photography or images add interest to a story. They can visually explain a product and connect and engage the reader in a way words alone could never do. Of course, convincing copy is a must and an image that reinforces strong copy and connects it conceptional is what makes the emotional appeal and sale.

David Ogilvy, one of the most well-known persons in advertising, once wrote: “You have only 30 seconds (in a TV commercial). If you grab attention in the first frame with a visual surprise, you stand a better chance of holding the viewer. People screen out a lot of commercials because they open with something dull …” The same holds true today, both in print and on the web. You have about three seconds to get the attention of most readers.

Any images that are used in advertising a product or service should go hand-in-hand with your copy. Images and your graphics must match your message. Use your best images and back them up with snappy headlines and concise simple text. If your ad or website is loaded from top to bottom with too much of everything, your ad is likely to go unread. If your audience isn’t hooked immediately, it’s off to the next page.

Readers are drawn to white space and are turned off by small print especially on the internet. Multiple images are usually better than just one because showing readers a couple of options and styles will help them picture your product or service as just right for them.

Never forget that your marketing materials and website represent your advertising image. You are judged by the professionalism of your advertisements, print and web, long before you ever meet and communicate face to face with a prospective client.