As humans, our brains are wired to see images first and read text later – and as a company, you only have seconds to set the tone for your brand. If visitors are unsure as to whether or not they are in the right place, they can easily browse away from your site with the click of a mouse. Visual communication is key to making certain that your customers know that you have what they’re looking for.
A website is often someone’s first exposure to your brand, which is why so much thought is put into the user experience when developing a web presence. Functionality and sitemaps are hashed out until everyone is sick of looking at them. Content is written, edited, and re-written. So it’s easy to be exhausted by the time you get to the images!
How many times have you been in a meeting where a colleague says, “And then we’ll put some sort of image of something here?” Given the importance of effective visual communication, why are images often treated as an afterthought?
It’s easy to blame technology. Digital photography has become much more accessible now that nearly everyone is carrying a smartphone in their pockets. You might think that the photo that someone took of you at the last office party would make a great headshot, or that your headshot is only an iPhone photo shoot away.
The reality is that a cell phone camera can’t replace the value of professional photography. Remember, the images on your website set the tone for your brand before a single word is read. If you plan and budget for photography and imaging, it will become a part of your entire process and not just something you rush through to fill white space on a web page. Quality photos of your facility show a true representation of what your company is capable. Poorly lit and pixelated images can make even the newest facilities look dingy and dated. The high-resolution images provided by a professional photographer can be used not just for your website, but for printed materials too.
Are you still on the fence? Consider this: A professional headshot can be used across all online media. Consistent photos of you and your staff = consistent branding not just on the company website but on social channels as well. It’s also important to remember that images will be reused whether you’re aware of it or not, so it’s best to put out an approved, professional image. Again, it’s all about curating your brand.
It doesn’t matter how much time you’ve put into your sitemap, your user experience, your content, or any other aspect of your website; if the images are of poor quality, they lower the tone of your entire online brand presence. Budget time and money for photos in the same way that you would budget for any other branding material.