Did you know that our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text? What’s more, we need only half the amount of brain power to efficiently process the meaning of an image. It’s easy to see why choosing the right images for your website and content are absolutely crucial.

It’s also why the demand for professional stock images continues to grow, and why it will become a $4.46 billion market by 2021. And, because we are bombarded by so many images online, there’s been a sharp increase in the demand for images that are unique and relevant. Microstock sites like iStockphoto, and Dreamstime have driven down the price of quality images by breaking up the exclusive hold on the market by stock photo repositories such as Getty Images and Shutterstock.

Why that particular image?

You know the pressure if you’ve ever had the responsibility of finding the right images to represent your company or a piece of content for it. It sounds like an easy job, but then you’re reminded that the image doesn’t just stand by itself – it creates context for the words connected to it.

Scientific studies show that images help our brains prepare to be educated, and to gain perspective. Other studies have linked memory with dopamine to provide evidence that the release of this neurotransmitter increases when positive emotions are induced by images we see. This then has a direct impact on the formation of memories in the hippocampus.

You never get a second chance

First impressions may be even more important than we think. Science has begun to show us that our first impressions may be linked to previous comfortable experiences. A recent Stanford University study determined that we react to an image by determining the relationship it will have with similar past experiences.

Images that are too generic prevent us from finding a connection or reason to pursue engagement. On the other hand, if the image is too extreme, we may associate it with a past negative experience. We’ll move on in seconds. The image you select has to strike an emotional chord towards middle. Color helps find that middle ground.

Check out this infographic by Colourfast and HubSpot to understand the impact that color selection has on helping to shape our receptivity to content we find online. Remember that we process images 60,000 times faster than words, so you’ll make quick work of the infographic.

Images complete the process of communication for your online content, helping it gain acceptance and retention. Learn how we can help you with images and responsive website design.