When it comes to appealing to your Online audience and standing out from your competition, having a great Website aesthetic is absolutely necessary. Yes, despite the age-old adage ‘never judge a book by its cover’, if your Website doesn’t look visually appealing, then you’ll lose customers faster than you can say ‘I need a Website redesign.’
This makes having high-quality images and galleries on your Site absolutely essential if you want to truly maximise your Small Business’s Online success. Even if you have a nice, clean layout, this will mean absolutely nothing if it’s filled with blurred, uninspiring photos or generic graphics.
To grab a visitor’s attention and let them know that your Small Business’s Website is worth their time, professional and credible, it’s essential to have high-quality photos or images across each page.
However, before your Website’s built, it’s crucial to understand that it’s not just the written content on your Site that matters, but also your images, whether that be graphics, photos, cartoons or illustrations.
Here why you need to make images a priority for your Website!
It Creates A Great First Impression
In all honestly, if a user is visiting your Website for the first time, unless they know you have what they’re looking for, they’ll give your Website a quick 3-second scan before they decide whether or not to stay or move on to another Site.
So, the best and fastest way to portray your Business as professional, credible and trustworthy (AKA Someone they want to buy from) is with high-quality, attention-grabbing or inspiring images. The best chance of keeping the visitor on your Website and converting them to an buyer rests on these high-quality images.
If you have a limited budget, then focus on the images for your Homepage, especially the ones that appear when a visitor first lands on your Site. If they don’t like what they see on this page, chances are they’ll never make it to the checkout or Contact Us page.
It should be noted too, that using poor quality images is NOT a good substitute. In fact, using low-quality images, or images that aren’t relevant to your Business is likely to do more damage than having no images at all. While no images might not be engaging, poor images will actively deter visitors and make sure they don’t return.
Image Galleries Aid In The Decision-Making Process
Adding an image gallery to accompany your Web Content, especially if you have an E-commerce Store, can deliver more information to your customers than if it were simply described with text.
For example, if a sports shoe provider were offering varying styles of runners, it would be quicker for that Business to best portray the product with images instead of detailed text. This would also be content that’s much easier for potential customers to digest, making their buying process so much easier.
In addition, using an image gallery allows your Site visitors to view your product from various angles, which can help to reassure them that the product is what they’re wanting. Remember, in a physical shop the customer is able to pick-up a product, feel it, touch it and try it on. Through your Online Store, you want to be able to give them an experience that is as close to this as possible. The more you can show them of your product, the more confidence they’ll have in purchasing it.
Images Help You Target Your Demographic
It’s easy for people of specific demographics to feel ignored by Businesses if they can’t connect with the language, layout or style of your Website.
By including images relevant to your intended demographic within your Webpage, you specifically target the section of the public you’re trying to communicate with. In doing so, your audience will know that your services are meant for them and they will be more inclined to like your Business and explore your Website further.
Increases Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is vital for increasing the success of your Website, but you may not have been aware that SEO doesn’t just rely on the Keywords and Key Phrases within your written content. It also takes images into account when ranking your Website in Search Engine results.
A great deal of research has gone into how images can help increase your Website’s SEO ranking. While adding images to tweets (Twitter posts) can result in an increase of 150% retweets, 63% of Internet users click on an image before visiting a Web Page, and 35% of users will scroll through Google to find the image they are looking for.
Customers may even land on your Website without searching for your services directly. They may simply type the description of the dress they wish to purchase into Google and land upon an image from your Website’s photo gallery.
Increase Social Media Sharing
Today’s increase in Social Media usage is quickly making visuals the new King of Content. Consider the popularity of GIFs and memes on Facebook and society’s growing obsession with Instagram. For this reason, attaching imagery to your Website has the potential to increase your Social Media potential astronomically.
Images used on both your Business’s Social Media accounts and your Website, will draw attention to your Business, helping your potential customers to identify your brand and particular style. This will help your Business stick in their minds when it comes time to buy.
Images Keep Visitors Engaged
Most people love photos! They’re easier to absorb than text and the more engaging the photo, the longer someone will look at it!
According to recent Digital Marketing studies, the longer a user stays on a Website, the more likely they are to engage with the Business – either by making a purchase or query. This extra time gives your Small Business a better chance to tell your prospect even more about your Small Business and ultimately convert them into a paying customer.
Tell Your Story
You’ve heard the phrase, ‘A picture can tell a thousand words’, and it holds true in the Digital World. Great photos can convey you Small Business story, your character and about the quality of your products or services.
For example, a photo of a pizza with a wood fired oven in the background tells a story of ‘quality ingredients’, ‘traditional’, ‘homemade’ and ‘delicious’. On the other hand, a Margherita pizza in a take-away box tells a different story. While neither is necessarily better than the other, the one you will choose will depend entirely on the story your Business wants to portray, and the audience you’re trying to appeal to.
Each image can instantly tell your Website visitor what they can expect from your Business. Great photos will go a long way to answering any immediate questions that your potential customer may have about your Business and products.
When used correctly, images can create the right impression about your Small business, improve SEO, engage your customers and simplify in the buying process. By contrast, low-quality photos or poorly chosen ones can have the opposite effect, driving people away from your Website, so take great care when choosing each image or photo. Ask yourself, is the image best portrays your Business and is up to a standard that will help you convert Site visitors to paying, happy customers.
Most importantly, great images will transform your Small Business Website from just another Web Page fighting for attention Online, to a place users will want to visit again and again!