When building your business online, you probably know that a website is incredibly important. Of course you need the right domain name, design, and writing for your website, but one of the most important factors in a successful website is often overlooked or under stressed: photos.
Our brains are hardwired to quickly absorb visual information. That’s why it’s so important to use images to make a great impression on your customers. While a modern, updated website is crucial to offering your visitors a great experience, you can use photos to ensure that you look professional, capable, and appealing. The best website can be hugely diminished by poor photos, while a great use of photos can boost your conversion rate. In fact, 92.6% of online shoppers say that visuals are the most important factor that affects their decision.
In addition to more effectively grabbing a visitor’s attention in those crucial first few seconds of viewing a website, visual cues are effective at conveying an emotion or feeling. Customers are also likely to judge the quality of your work or product based on its visual representation alone. For e-commerce websites, 67% of customers say that the quality of a product’s image is “very important” in choosing to purchase a product.
While every business can benefit from impressive visualizations, presenting great pictures can be hugely beneficial to certain companies in particular. Many industries offer services or products that are highly visual, from physical goods to services with impressive improvements or visually appealing results.
Industries that could benefit most from great photos include:
- Home improvement, such as windows, glass, and countertops
- Fashion items such as clothing and jewelry
- Gardening and Landscaping
- Real Estate
Whether your website includes a prominent banner, an image gallery of your work, or photos to accompany your products, ensuring that your website offers a great visual experience is crucial to reaching your customers and increasing your sales.
Investing in the services of a professional photographer is often a smart move for your business, particularly for e-commerce websites. An item’s image is the single most effective selling point, so it’s worth it to get great quality pictures. Most photographers charge an hourly rate, so be sure to have everything ready to go if you hire one. The images on your website will be representing what you offer, so this is an important area to make an excellent impression. With advanced equipment and experience in retouching photos, a professional will know how to help you wow your customers.
Ways to Make Your Photos Pop
Although a photographer is a worthwhile investment, sometimes you may find yourself taking your own photos on the job. From interior remodeling to custom work, taking updated pictures of your projects can yield a big benefit to your business and provide beneficial content to add to your blog or image gallery.
When taking your own photos, there are some basic steps that you can take to make your pictures better.
- Clean up the area, removing tools, rags, dirt, and distractions.
- Look at your competitors’ websites to find examples that look great and learn from them
- Take before and after shots from the same location or angle, if possible.
- Avoid using small images or stretching them too much, as they can look pixelated
- Draw attention to your products by using good framing and emphasis. If you’re unsure how to do this, you can read up on eye-tracking studies and how to direct your viewer’s eyes.
- Including humans in your images yields higher conversion rates for products.
If you’re using an e-commerce website, selling your products with images is key. PracticalEcommerce provides a great guide on 10 Ways to Improve your Product Photos, from using clean backgrounds to showing your product in use. Even a seemingly small change in your photos can make a huge difference in your sales numbers. Visual representation is important to build trust with customers who can’t visit you and hold your product before buying it, so don’t be afraid to use lots of images of each item! Providing multiple views and multiple images of a product has been shown to increase sales by 58%.
Your images are your chance to highlight the great work that you do, so capture it looking its best. If you’re unsure of how to add images to your website without skewing their proportions or quality, contact your website design company for tips and help.
Check Your Copyright
Before you run off to pull awesome photos from the internet, be warned that many images are copyrighted and can land you in serious legal trouble for using them without permission. If you take the photo yourself then you can use it freely, but otherwise you need to be sure that it’s not owned by someone. Many websites, such as depositphotos, provide high quality images for a small fee, and these can be a great resource. While you may be tempted to take your chances with the law, a few bucks is a small price for peace of mind and great images for your site.
Harness Your Potential for Visual Appeal
Don’t underestimate the power of great images. The best written content or products in the world won’t get your website anywhere without great visuals to appeal to your audience. By making sure that your giving customers the best impression, you can give your business a real advantage and see real benefits for your sales.