Photography for Website Design
QUESTION: When is it a good time to use photos in a website?
9 out of 10 clients have one thing standing in the way of completing an attractive, successful website. That one thing is PHOTOS. A photo is worth 1000 words and there is nowhere this is more true than in the digital world of web marketing. When you arrive onto a website containing long, drawn-out, dry text, what do you think the visitor’s 1st response is? In a study conducted by Harvard University, school of business & marketing, the power of imagery (photography) shapes the marketing message on a subliminal level, and forms a mental picture in the visitor’s mind. Consider these statistics:
Web Photography Statistics
Statistic: Over 70% of consumers say the product photo is very important when deciding if they are going to purchase, or move forward with a call to action.
Statistic: Articles with relevant images receive 90% more page views than those that do not.
Statistic: A press release containing photos will typically get 43% more traffic than a text-only press release.
Statistc: Posts that include images receive 650% higher engagement than text-only posts.
Statistic: 60% of web savvy shoppers interviewed report they prefer to contact a listing when it includes an image.
Wether your website is product-based, or weather you are a doctor, specialist, service provider, etc. Presenting your public image with high-quality, high resolution photography is the key to enhancing your website.
Why are website photos so important?
- Photography on a web page commands attention
- Important messages are conveyed with little or no words
- Psychologically, a photo will establish a non-verbal connection
- On the ‘Net these days, a good photo has the potential to go viral
- Brand credibility is built by providing images
- Photography has the ability to tap into emotions
- Photos inspire action
- For increasing engagement, photos get the job done
- Genuine photos build trust
- To increase sales and response, always present the best photos possible!
Stock Photos For My Website?
Many web clients prefer the ease and simplicity of using generic stock photos on their website. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this (it’s quite common actually), it is almost always better to use – wherever possible – custom, unique, and personalized photography. Often, it’s a matter of mixing both stock photos and custom photos, and finding proper balance and placement in your site layout.
Hiring a Website Photographer
There are many benefits to bringing a web photographer into your project. Photographers are usually freelance, so that means you do not have to bring them on board as part of your staff. Just pay their hourly [or session] rate, consider it a great tax deduction and a wise investment into your business! Your web photographer should be able to crop, enhance, and process the images they take.
File Sharing and Cloud Services
Depending upon your project/subject matter, there may be a series of images to upload to a photo gallery. Something like Dropbox, Google Drive, Flickr, Photobucket, and other services allow for the large volume of files and hi-res photo display. NEVER E-mail hi-resolution photos, please. Your recipient will thank you!
Film Photography and Scanners
Always look for a photographer with a degree of web knowledge. Film photography is OUT (it enjoyed a 100+ year run, not bad!) However it’s all digital photography now. NOTE: Some old school businesses from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, etc have albums full of old photo prints. A scanning service, and necessary time to process and edit the photo scans must be considered in these situations. Most web developers have access to all this equipment, plus the experience and knowledge.
Web Photography & Video
This article would not be complete without mention of the high-impact results of video. YouTube viewing and engagement has increased significantly each year, and will only be growing exponentially. Needless to say, many statistics prove video’s effectiveness in marketing as well, so consider using video in your web marketing, as well. Since the time, labor and cost to produce a video is a whole separate endeavor, we are leaving the subject to be covered in a separate article. For practical, fast [and in comparison, cost-effective] marketing results, photography is still king, and the best option for powerful, inspiring, motivational content!