So you’ve decided to take the plunge and get your business online with a brand new website, or perhaps you’ve decided to give your current website a new lease of life with a new spruced up design.
Other than a well thought out and carefully planned design, what else do you need to consider? One of the most – if not the most important factor here – is not to let poor images and photography bring down the value of your beautifully designed new site.
A well designed website that looks professional immediately evokes credibility and therefore trust from its viewers. Without even realising, when it comes to browsing the web, appearance is everything. And particularly with an eCommerce site, your website is in essence your shop window.
I know just from my own shopping experience that I rely hugely on images to sell me a product. For example, think to when you use eBay – if someone has taken the time to use a selection of images for a product, especially clear and close up images, I feel as though I trust this product enough to buy/ bid on it.
An item however, with perhaps just one image that does not show enough detail of the product, or worse still – no image at all – then I’m highly likely to press that ‘back to results’ button and carry on browsing.
Just ask yourself, would you book a holiday online without seeing a few pictures of the stunning beaches and luxury hotel room? Highly unlikely. What about if the images are small and blurred? Probably not.
It is not only with an eCommerce site that you need to carefully consider your imagery however. It is undeniable that internet users in general are becoming lazier when it comes to consuming web content. Although having written content on your site is certainly important, it is the imagery that will embed a first impression into your users mind compelling them to make a decision almost immediately as to whether they wish to continue on their journey within your site or not.
The written content then aids to back up what they see, (should they choose to read it)! What this means in short, is that a one hundred word description to inform your viewers of a product or topic is not going to have a fraction of the impact that an image will have to visually transcend that information. A visual impression will embed itself into the user’s long term memory creating associations between that image and the object it is portraying.
Moreover, images of ‘real’ people will give your business a more ‘human’ feel. I am sure we’ve all seen the popular stock images of the men in suits shaking hands, but does this really portray a true reflection of who you are? Although these suit some businesses very well, they don’t speak for everyone. Does the user know what your business does by seeing these images or are they misleading?
If you’re able to have professional shots taken of your team members, employees, clients etc then this can really give your audience an insight into who they are dealing with and creates an almost virtual introduction thus building a relationship between you and the customer. If you are unable to use shots of ‘real’ people then try and use competitive stock images, and of course make sure they are relevant to your website’s look and feel.
With the ever increasing popularity of smartphones and built in cameras everyone can now be an amateur photographer. This sort of imagery is great for social media updates, a Facebook or Instagram post perhaps, but they are most definitely not capable as acting as your website’s homepage hero image.
You want to generate a wow factor when a user visits your site, this simply won’t happen if an image is either not relevant or poor quality. A poor quality image could spell out a poor quality service or product even if this is not the case!
You want to make sure that the person you have commissioned to take photographs knows exactly what your objectives are. Ideally, having the photographer involved from the beginning of the design/redesign is best as they will be able to work with your designers to discuss layout, look and feel and potential image styles.
Ensure your photographer has a clear and concise brief, understands your audience and exactly what both you and your audience expect to achieve from the website. At Rooster Creative Marketing we have worked with several of our clients from the very beginning of the project to ensure our designers and photography teams work together to produce engaging imagery that compliments the design.
We have provided professional photography services from our studio based in Winchester as well as photo shoots in outdoor surroundings for clients such as Last Shoe, Royal Swiss Apartments and many more.
Walhampton School is a perfect example of how their website has been brought to life with beautiful photography that shows off the grounds and facilities of the school.
The saying, ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ unfortunately, does not apply to websites! Keep your cover looking smart and professional, and visually engaging by investing in some good quality, professional images.
Here at Rooster Marketing we have a team of professional photographers in house at our Winchester office who will be able to work with you and provide the highest level of photography service for you. Our photographers will work closely with your site’s designers to ensure the right images are used for your design. Please do get in touch if you would like any further information.