The way you use digital images on your website and in your online marketing significantly influences the user experience.
Although you may believe they’re “just pictures,” the photographs and digital images you use convey a powerful message about your business. Your prospects and customers respond to imagery instantly, and often, subconsciously. The decision to stay and explore your site — or move on to a competitor’s site — is often based simply on your website design, images, fonts and layout.
You can improve your company’s consumer appeal and conversion rate by improving the effective use of digital images on your website and in your other internet marketing efforts.
Why Digital Image Choice Matters
An effective SEO strategy will land your site higher in the search engine results and put you in front of the potential customers who need your products or services the most. Once they find you, however, you have to follow through to land the sale.
When prospects land on your website, they form a near-instantaneous perception of your business, based on what they see. In fact, the research shows that visitors form their impression of your site in only 50 milliseconds, which is about one-tenth the duration of a human eye blink.
In other words, you have no time to waste. Your site’s home page (or any landing pages you may use to direct traffic) has to hit the right notes instantly, or you will lose that sale.
The Changing Customer Perception of Digital Images
Today’s internet users are driven by visual content. Marketing research demonstrates just how critical website digital images are for keeping visitors engaged. However, what your prospects need to visually attract their attention has changed significantly over the past several years.
Each year, digital image giant Shutterstock releases a comprehensive trends report, detailing how internet users are affected by images today. The photographs that resonate now are different from the ones your prospects preferred even a year or two ago.
This year, for instance, internet users have doubled their frequency in searching on nostalgic images. They aren’t looking for any specific period in history. Instead, they’re looking for images that represent a simpler, happier time in their lives.
You can capitalize on this trend by examining your customer profile to determine the best time frame for your site. If your target customers are Baby Boomers, that time was likely the 1950s. For a millennial or Gen Xer, it was likely the “Oregon Trail” days of the first video games.
The Importance of Good Digital Images
As the data clearly shows, your site visitors judge your business based on your site’s appearance. Although their subject matter preferences may change, their demand for engaging, high-quality images does not.
Another dominant digital image trend is the desire for authenticity. In other words, cheesy, staged images may not send the right message for every business. But do not confuse authentic with amateur or unprofessional photos.
If your prospects want authenticity in their digital images, use professional photos or stock images that have that feel — not photos you took with your iPhone at the last company potluck.
Your main website images are not the place to cut the marketing budget. You can find affordable stock images that will work. If you insist on using images of your staff or facility, hire a professional photographer for the job.
Location Matters for Digital Image Use
Your main website and landing pages require purposefully chosen, professional images to create the right user experience. However, your prospects and customers may appreciate seeing more personalized photos in other locations.
Social media posts are ideal for using candid shots of your team at work. Your customers might also appreciate seeing shots from trade shows, charity events and company functions.
Image galleries that document your work are effective for showing off your company’s products or services. Prospects love image galleries — when they’re done right — and this tool will help keep site visitors engaged. As a bonus, image galleries give us a powerful SEO tool to help improve your site’s search engine rankings.
You can create a website page to introduce your team, including individual employee profiles and photographs. You can choose photo styles ranging from traditional to fun and funky, depending on your business model. Law offices and CPAs should probably stick with a more conservative approach to employee photos. Tech companies and those that cater to a younger demographic have more freedom to have fun.
Whether you chose a reserved or campy style for your photos, they still need to be high-resolution, professional digital images.
When it comes time to select photos, videos, graphics and other visual artifacts for your online marketing, you’ll achieve the maximum results by trusting an expert. Be Locally SEO provides professional web design and optimization services for our clients. We understand the power of photos in internet marketing, particularly as an approach to SEO optimization.
Contact Be Locally today to learn more about improving your website traffic and conversions with digital images.