How to use images more effectively on your website

You’ve heard all about the need to have photographs on your website, right?  But having knockout photographs is only half the story.  When you pair these photos with a real strategy, that’s when the magic happens.  It’s no secret that using photographs well on a website is great for your brand as well as your SEO.  Thinking through where and how you’re going to use these images to help up-level your business is the game changer.  But you just don’t know how to make them work?  I hear you!  Today, I’m going to walk you through how you can knock it out the park by making better use of images online.

Are we human (or are we dancer)?

You know me well enough by now to know there’ll be a Killers reference in here somewhere, I thought it best to get it out the way early!

In business we all have something called the KNOW, LIKE and TRUST factor.  Our buying decisions are based on how much we know, like and trust a brand.  It’s time to show the HUMAN side of your business.  A personal brand is exactly that, personal, which means YOU have to be in there!

So many businesses plump for the easy option of plastering saccharine stock images everywhere (happy families, Colgate smiles, beaches at sunset, you know the photos I mean!).  But having authentic images that are completely unique to you and tell your story, showing your clients who you are, who you work with and what it is that you do, creates a personal connection, makes you look more credible and is by far the best way to build that trust with your ideal client.  They’re more likely to invest in you, and in turn, more likely to invest in your business.

A picture really is worth a thousand words.

The brain processes visual information such as photos and videos 60,000 times faster than it does text!  Mind blown?  Yeah, me too.  So you need to be able to communicate effectively with your audience through your imagery.

Using photographs to demonstrate exactly what it is that you do, be it a product or service, is so effective and can save you tying yourself up in knots about how best to explain your product or service in all its minute detail.  It’s also proven that information that is accompanied by images has a far better retention rate as the picture quite literally stays in your mind and the information tags along with it.  You can’t ‘unsee’ something, remember?

Worse than goldfish!

Recent studies have shown that the average attention span has fallen to eight seconds, down from 12 in the year 2000.  That’s right folks, we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish!  We communicate with emojis and there are people out there suffering from phantom phone vibrations, it’s the real deal.

So how can you keep people engaged with your content before they’ve hit the ‘back’ button, or reached for their smartphone instead?  Say hello to yet more images, my friends!  Break up the monotony of paragraphs of text on your website with relevant photographs to make your content more readable and enjoyable and ultimately keep users on your site for longer, making them more likely to reach the end of your article and maybe even invest with you.

Look into my eyes, not around the eyes…

Another great way to use images is to guide the visitor’s eyes to what you’d like them to see, whether it’s a main message, headlines or a sign-up box.  Use photographs of someone or something pointing, looking or leading to the important wording or the link to click.  Our eyes naturally fall on others’ eyes, so by doing this you’ll create a path for your visitor’s eyes to follow.  Think Hansel and Gretel, only with metaphorical breadcrumbs.

“My mother told me never to trust men with beards”. – Baldrick, Blackadder Goes Forth

My final top tip for how to use images online better, is in conjunction with testimonials.  By including a company logo or photograph of the person (with permission) who’s written the testimonial for you, this adds weight and credibility to the words on the page giving your prospective client much more confidence in you and your service.  Build that trust, people!

And in case that’s not enough, I’ve put together a handy checklist
to make sure your images are tip top before you post them online:

1. Is this photograph helpful?  Does it show off your product or service in the best possible light?

2. Does this image relate to your brand?  Does it speak to your target audience?  Is it on message and aligned with your values?

3. How will this photograph make visitors to your website feel?  What emotion or message is it expressing?

4. Are your images the right size?  Think Goldilocks - not too big that they take too long to load, and not too small that they’re pixelated and poor quality, we need them just right.

5. Have you renamed your picture to something helpful to search engines?  ‘IMG00568’ doesn’t tell us much, but something like ‘acrobatic-seagull-London-Eye’ is much more helpful.  Always use hyphens or spaces, never underscores.

If you’d like to talk more about how great photographs can help up-level your business, tell your stories and connect you with your dream clients, book a friendly chat with me here, and let’s dream up a plan!  I’d love to hear from you!

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