“The art of photography is all about directing the attention of the viewer.”
– Steven Pinker
We all know the cliche phrase “A picture is worth 1000 words,” but what does that mean when it comes to content of your website? Do the photos you choose to display on your site (or lack thereof) really make a difference in the user experience or affect your conversion rate?
In today’s fast paced world, you generally only have a second or two to capture your audience’s attention and make them want to stay on your site. No matter how creative and well-written your content is, text alone can seem impersonal and is generally not enough to entice your audience to stay on your page. Professional photography is a great way to not only engage your audience, but to also showcase your brand and company’s personality.
At Webspec, we love using photography to represent who we are as a team.
Did you know adding images to your site can improve your conversion rate? A case study created by Visual Website Optimizer found that conversion rate increased over 40% when using a relevant and professional photo on a site in place of a graphic. While graphics (when used correctly) can also be influential, photographs are easily relatable for your audience. That emotional connection gives your users the reassurance that you are someone they can trust, even before they walk in your door.
Not every photo is going to give your audience that reassurance though. While stock photography can be an easy way to add imagery to your site if you don’t have the time and resources, people will notice the difference. Stock photos are often very generic and impersonal and were not taken with your company’s brand or audience in mind. In fact, some stock photos are so generic that your competitors or someone in a completely different industry may be using the same photo. Stock photos will not give off the same trustworthiness that your audience would find in a photo of your team working together. When your audience walks in and sees the same smiling faces they saw on your website, the familiarity will instantly make them more comfortable with you and your business.
Hiring a professional photographer to take photos not only gives an inside look at who you are as a company, but also gives you a way to visually communicate your brand. As you plan for your shoot, it is important to talk to your photographer about who your audience is, what your brand promise is and what values you want to convey through the photos. Photography should not be viewed as simply decoration on a page, but instead as another way to communicate to your audience. Smart Insights makes the point best …
“Professionals understand the market and should be able to easily communicate your brand – they do it every day, you may know your business but they know design … Taking the time and effort to invest in your brand demonstrates that you are taking your business seriously and conveys that message to others, making them more likely to act accordingly.”
Often companies make excuses, claiming , “There isn’t anything visual that we can show of our company” or “I don’t want people to see how small our office/company is.” The truth is that there are many different ways that you can use photography to feature your company’s values and personality. There isn’t a generic solution that will work for every company and every marketing plan, but rather photography is something that should be customized to show clients your strengths and approachability.
Instead of focusing on what you don’t want the photography to show, focus on figuring out what type of photography fits your needs the best. Do you want to introduce your team to your potential clients through staff headshots or candid photos of your team working together? Would photos of your products or locations illustrate the quality of your work? How can you display your brand through some new photography for your website and marketing materials?
Has your company used photography to engage your audience? Take look at your company’s website and think about what types of photos you could be using to promote your brand!