Your website is the digital representation of your brand, so why settle for low-quality photography? Here’s why you need professional photographs on your site.

If you’re about to upload a picture of two people in business suits shaking hands to your blog or website, please, stop and back away from the drag and drop menu. We need to have a serious talk about professional photographs. Bad photography leads to a bad website. And bad web websites lead to disappointing sales and a website that just sits there.

Professional photographs can actually help your SEO score, your sales leads and your social reach.
Here’s how.

Boost Your Blog Traffic and Performance

It’s time to stop just throwing “any image” on your blog before hitting publish. Doing this will instantly sabotage your blog’s performance and value. Your image selection for your blog is just as important as your headline, lead or keywording.

Try to remember, a lot of the time, your blog is competing with everything else in a social newsfeed. You have just that split second to grab people’s attention as the flick of their finger pushes them flying through the feed.

To get someone to actually click your content, you need that strong headline and an image that captivates their attention.

This is why blogs with images perform so much better on social media. In fact, that’s why articles with at least one image once every 75-100 words received twice as many the social media shares as articles with less.

Professional photos can also help people retain more of the information you give them, which leads to your brand name and your value prop sticking around in their minds for a few days.

Consider that:

If you hear information, you’re likely going to remember only 10% of it 3 days laterIf the same information is matched with a relevant image you’re going to retain 65% of the information 3 days later, this gives the information you give a reader time to ripen and mature in their minds. This is crucial when trying to nurture sales leads. These efforts fall flat if they reader retains nothing.

Boost Your Landing Page Performance

The average person will view literally hundreds of web pages every day. So how do you stand above the rest, stick around in their memory, or even get them to make a buy? Simple, stop using boring stock photography.

Professional photographs truly stand out among the over-used stock images users will see in their day-to-day browsing. In fact, they’re likely to see the same images used twice on different web pages.

But a truly original and breathtaking image can stay with you, and stand out above all the other noise.

Consider the information retention stat we mentioned for users. It holds just as true on landing pages as it does blogs. People are far more likely to retain your information is you add a memorable image.

Studies have proven that people pay more attention to information-carrying images. And if the image is relevant, your visitors will spend more time looking at the images than reading the actual text.

Professional Photographs and CRO

Better and more interesting images will also actually help you earn more leads and your conversation rate optimization.

In fact, better images can even help you raise your conversion rates! Here are some tips to help you choose the right images:

Make an emotional connection: People don’t make rational decisions. They make emotional decisions and then rationalize them afterward. So go for the heartstrings.

Show empathy: Show your audience that you understand the paint-points that brought them to search for your product in the first place.

Focus on them: It’s not about you, it’s about them. So it’s better to choose images of people using your product or service, or use an image of the benefits (ie, show them happy, at peace, or satisfied).

And of course, if you’re in the foodservice industry, professionally shot “food porn” images always play well and get people salivating.

Increase Your Social Media Reach

You already knew that social media is an incredibly visually-driven form of media. But you may not realize how much. When you’re on Twitter, Tweets with images get roughly 150% more retweets than simply text-based tweets.

Meanwhile, when on Facebook if you add an image to a post, you’re going to see about 2.3X more engagement than a simple text-based post.

Then we have the image and video-based social sites like Instagram and Snapchat. Businesses see the volume of usage on both of these platforms and want a piece of it. Instagram is expected to reach an astonishing 1 billion users in 2018. Meanwhile, Snapchat added more users in one year than Twitter did in 4 years.

As massive as they are, the world of business is still struggling to figure out how to leverage Snapchat and Instagram. Part of the reason is that most of the users are young (or very young) Millennials, who have been raised on a digital diet.

But the lure for marketers to figure it out is certainly there. These two platforms hold tremendous potential for you to grow your brand exposure, and the wins certainly do exist:

80% of Users Follow a Business on Instagram55% of Snapchat users report that they follow one or more brands or businesses, but, with literally nothing but images, this puts a lot more pressure on your to share meaningful and impactful content with your audience.

This means you’re not just going to share images of your product or service all day, every day. That offers very little to the people scrolling on their phones. They will pass your images without a second thought. They will see it as an ad, basically.

6. Use Leading Lines Properly

Using lines is an effective way of leading the viewers to gaze to the subject of the photograph, particularly if it is in the background or within a busy environment. Earlier we discussed the example of a photo of a pier; its linear attributes would provide a useful guide toward a subject further back in the picture, such as the setting sun.

Look for leading lines in your own compositions; they are particularly useful for landscapes and in urban settings.

7. Adding Depth and Texture with Patterns

Many stock photos can only be licensed for a one time use. We all know that marketing requires frequent publishing and on many platforms. These include blogs, social media, website and other channels. The one time use licensing would mean that the image you used on your site is not the same one you use on your Facebook account.

Aside from that, when you want to publish a message about your brand, you might not find stock images that relate closely to the ones you previously used. This jumbles up your marketing message and makes it inconsistent. No one will believe you.

8. Background and Photography

A complementary background is crucial to a good photograph. Consider a portrait. If the background is busy and cluttered, it draws attention from the subject. Instead, a neutral background in a solid colour is best; this allows the subject to take prominence.

In other forms of photography, the background need not be as uniform. Use it to create depth and develop richness within the photograph. Always think of it as the scene-setter, and give it appropriate time and consideration.

Action

When thinking about action in photography, you needn’t imagine a fast car speeding by. Action can be more subtle, such as the gentle movement of a crowd, the silhouette of an acrobat, or a single droplet of water springing from a surface.

Capturing action brings a narrative to the photograph; it tells you a lot within a single frame. It’s not necessary for the viewer to see the entirety of a motorcycle race to know what’s happening; one shot of a bike emerging from a dusty start line does precisely that. It may take time to develop your technique, but it’s certainly worth persevering.

10. Storytelling

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s quite a responsibility! By utilizing the techniques described above, you will be able to nail the technical aspects of photography. However, there’s more to it than that.

To make a meaningful connection with the viewer, think about the story you’re trying to tell. Compose your photograph in such a way that the narrative is clear, or at least provides food for thought. Your picture is more than a flat image; it is a gateway to the world.

Professional Commercial Photography

I have the hands-on experience and know what is obtainable in the commercial photography industry and I will use this knowledge to provide exceptional photography services which will help you send clear and concise messages to your customers in the most cost-efficient manner, stamping your brand as one to do business with. If you’re looking for professional photography services for your product or business, don’t hesitate to contact me.