Why Your Website’s Imagery Needs The Professional Touch
Every website is judged on its professionalism in an instant and that includes data assets like profile pictures of staff, the imagery you choose to represent your business and the graphics on your pages. Scrimp on budget for imagery and your website may look amateurish to visitors.
Standing out from competitors requires investment in imagery
Studies demonstrate that a whopping 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Imagery affects navigation, perception of the page and quality (standards) of the business.
A lot of SMEs choose to save money on their imagery by doing it themselves on the cheap. Pictures of staff from old holiday snaps, office pictures taken with phone cameras and random images clearly plucked from free or ‘cost effective’ picture libraries.
It’s worth knowing visitors to your site will quickly make a judgement and distinction between the home-run, small, ‘have-a-go’ business website and the serious professionals.
Bad Logo Is A ‘No-go’
Let’s start with logos. A logo is the first impression of your business. You can buy logos for as little as a few pounds on some websites. Popular sites like fiverr or Vista Print now offer cheap logo services but they can present issues. For instance, in business circles it’s getting easier to spot some of the popular logo template types and their popularity screams of the dire need many Start-Ups have to save pennies from the outset. With designers offering cheap services for one-off designs there is also a problem that you have to be happy with their first and only version – whereas choosing a logo may need a few choices and options explored. An initial saving and compromise could cost a business more in the long run. A logo has to be unique to do its job, it’s the difference in mind-set from being a service to being THE service – and buying customers want reassurance from brands. With a logo you have to consider its adaption to social media formats, the ways you can or can’t change it – such as colour etc. At Varn we are currently going through early stages of a re-branding process which takes a long time and a lot of thought and options. It’s not a process taken lightly. A professional designer will take your brief and present back several options.
Profile pictures for staff – on business linked social media too if possible – should be taken by a professional photographer and the same style should be uniform for all the staff. The standard which many companies opt for is the head and shoulders. This is part of the branding – showing there is process in presentation. It inspires confidence in your business instantly. If you choose a silly picture of someone then guess what – you present your business as silly. People don’t want to spend money on jokers – fun is OK – but don’t make the mistake of cheapening your business service, skewing your message to those who you want to buy from you. Pictures of staff in parties, fancy dress, drunk and worse have all been known to be office jokes on business website profiles but on the internet the individuals who work in your business are your brand – that’s now the reality. Princeton psychologists Janine and Alexander Todorov reveal that it takes less than a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face and that impression does not alter the longer you look. As a side – make sure you label the pictures of staff accurately too with full name and business title, business name – for good SEO.
Sell With Pictures
If you run an e-commerce site it’s sometimes better to de-clutter the website and focus on incredible product shots – take the lead from Apple http://www.apple.com/uk/.
For business related social media, images are hugely important. A survey by ROI Research found 44 per cent of respondents were more likely to engage with brands on their social media if they posted pictures.
For pictures that demonstrate what you do or are, many businesses rely on image libraries like istock or getty images. Whilst they present a great wealth of professional imagery, care is still needed with online library images. A lot of businesses opt for the same kind of imagery – which is a random group of business people smiling for instance or shaking hands. These types of images have become so common that their impact could be said to be negligible. Look for great images that you have not seen before but represent your message.
For further advice on images and website building please contact the team at Varn.