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Using Photo & Video on Your Website (the Right Way)

By Eliana Lowry | Content Coordinator
taking photos for a website

You claim to be an innovative, interesting, forward-thinking company that is dedicated to solving your customers’ problems. That’s great! Do the visuals on your website and social media reflect that? A recent study by Blue Corona shows that 70-80% of people research a company online before visiting, let alone making a purchase. Think of your website as your new storefront.

If your website is now the storefront to your business, then the visuals on your site act as the big, bright, shiny sign on the front of your door inviting customers to come inside. If you have a lackluster or outdated presence, your potential customers may walk right past your business and into your competitor’s. High-quality photos and videos on your website serve a greater purpose than just making a page look pretty. Visuals can also help grow your brand’s image, retain your audience’s attention, and enhance your user experience and visibility in search results. Professional photography and videography can be an expensive investment, but here’s why it’s worth it.

What High-Quality Visuals Can Do for Your Business

Photos and videos offer a variety of benefits that plain text cannot, and depriving your business of visual content can block your chance at finding new customers and, ultimately affecting your conversion potential. Whether your focus is consistent branding, connecting better with customers, or optimizing your website, visuals that are well thought out can add value and make an impact on customers who are getting their first look into your brand online.

video editing before and after

Helps Users Retain Information

Humans are visual creatures. We learn and retain information better if we’re actively engaged, which is where video and images come into play. According to Forbes, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to a 10% retention rate when reading text alone. People don’t want to expend more brain calories reading through a thousand words when they can watch a concise, engaging video that gets the same message across in 60 seconds. Unlike text, photos and videos don’t tell your users about your company, product, or service—it shows them.

Enhance Your Brand Identity and Online Presence

Visuals are a great way to show off who you are and what you’re all about. Are you a quirky, colorful, creative company? Or maybe a professional, polished, experienced company? Just like your website has a voice, make sure it also has personality. You’ve worked to develop a brand identity, voice, and message that reflects the beliefs and goals of your company, and your visuals should accomplish the same thing. If you don’t impress potential customers with your online presence, you can’t expect them to convert into an actual customer. This is just another way to catch the attention of future customers by showing off your product/service, employees, or whatever else makes your company unique. You can accomplish this with stock photography, sure, but it’s also important to note that custom video and photography is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition and add a personalized element to showcasing your services or products. Not all companies are willing or able to invest their time, money, and creativity to showcase who they are and what they do with media pieces. In addition, having a library of photo and video content helps make your brand identity cohesive across your website, social media, and physical pieces such as brochures and packets.

professional before and after pictures digital marketing blog

Add a Friendly Face to Your Business, Product, or Service

People tend to trust and want to buy from people they know (or think they know). Adding custom photography and video to your website gives customers the chance to feel like they are connecting with real people and real products or services, helping your website feel more friendly and personable.

Drive Website Traffic and Increases Dwell Time

Constantly adding new content to your website and social media can bring an uptick in search engine rankings, and entice people to want to learn more about you. Adding content on social media platforms can introduce your business to new audiences of people that may have not been able to find your website before. Including interesting visuals on your social channels will encourage sharing, which produces a larger amount of backlinks, something that makes your site more authoritative and credible in the eyes of Google.

Another one of Google’s search ranking algorithms is dwell time, which is how long a user stays on your website. A video does a great job of not only getting your user’s attention, but keeping it for an extended period of time, increasing your dwell time, and potentially, your search engine ranking.

Best Practices For Using Photo & Video On Your Website

Hopefully, you’re convinced that your website needs some top-notch visual content. Now that you’re on board, let’s go over the best steps to take when getting started. Prior to uploading, make sure that what you are creating will help you reach your goals. By preparing beforehand, shooting and editing it properly, and using best practices to attract your users, your visual content is bound to stand out from the rest.

webspec design video and photography options

Put Some Thought Into Your Content Before You Upload

Getting a person to click on your video is only half of the battle. Even if you do everything you can to make it look professional and optimize it for web, if it doesn’t get your message across to consumers and lead to engagement and conversions, then it isn’t serving a purpose. Take the time before shooting to reflect on your goals and why you think a video or photo shoot would be advantageous for your business. What are you trying to achieve with your visuals? Entertainment, education, providing a solution to a common problem? How do you want your brand to come off to potential customers? Who is your target audience? Does your video include a call to action that will alert users to do something once the video is done? Getting your ideas organized can help you map out what your main focuses need to be throughout the process.

Keep an Eye on Your Video Length

According to the 2017 Video in Business Benchmark Report by VidYard, the average portion of viewers remaining by the end of a video is just 35%. Reducing videos to less than 90 seconds can see an improved average retention rate of 53%. The length of your video is crucial to its success with your customer base and the optimization of your site. Videos with a longer length can slow down your website speed causing buffering which will push your viewers away. Certain content can warrant longer videos, but for the most part, a good rule is to keep your videos under two minutes if you want your users to watch it from start to finish.

Consider File Size

Videos and images can hold a lot of data, and posting them to your website without checking the file size can slow down your site speed immensely. Use tools such as Tiny PNG or Photoshop if you have access to it, to compress your images as much as possible without sacrificing the quality. Something else to consider when adding a video to your site is to make sure you use a third party hosting site such as YouTube or Vimeo. This allows you to have an HD video stored somewhere else, so your site speed is not affected. Once it is uploaded, you can easily use an embed code to put the video on any page of your site, with the ability to adjust sizing and placement as needed. An added bonus to this is that putting it on YouTube or Vimeo allows potential customers to have yet another channel to discover your video besides just on your website.

Optimize, Optimize, Optimize

Unique titles, meta descriptions, and alternative text can all help with search engine optimization by providing search engine crawlers detailed keywords and information which allows it to index your content more accurately. Transcribing your video can also help give crawlers an idea of what the video is about, giving you a boost for incorporating content to complement your video work. Optimization also helps your website be more ADA compliant. Alternative text descriptions on each of your images and videos can aid in overall web accessibility. People who are visually impaired will still be able to visit your site and know what the pictures are supposed to show, or what is happening during your video.

Photo and Video Services by Webspec Design

We’ve been able to offer clients photography and videography to help enhance their brand image and attract traffic to their site. Whether you need to create a video, get some refreshed photos of your team and office building, or need to update your website or social media presence, Webspec Design is excited to provide you with a service that will fit your needs.

Eliana Lowry

Eliana is an Iowa native who spent four years as a transplant in Texas to attain a B.S. in Digital Media and a minor in Advertisement from the University of Houston. As a content coordinator, Eliana uses her skills in writing, advertisement, and videography to help businesses create unique ways to speak to their customers online. Away from the office, she can be found watching a concert or movie, playing her piano (which survived the 1,000-mile road trip from Houston), or sifting her way through Des Moines thrift stores to find more 80s dad sweaters to add to her growing collection.