We've all heard the cliche by now. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?
Well, if that's true, then it's simply no wonder that your website needs good pictures to shine and thrive.
The kinds of photos you use on your website and blog play a major role in your online reputation and business presence.
Unsure why or how to integrate the best images into your website? We've got you covered! Let's get into it!
Think pictures are just a nice extra for your website? Think again.
Pictures evoke. They tell stories. They make your content look visually appealing, and they jump out to your audience.
They do what words cannot: they create instant feelings and evoke instant responses and thoughts.
And with research suggesting that most of us are visual learners, this just reinforces the message that your website needs good pictures. Many of us value what we can see over what we hear or experience or feel. Don't take that premise for granted as you craft your website!
Think about when you were a child reading your favorite storybooks. Maybe you read the text, but where did your eyes typically land? That's right- the photos!
Who doesn't love a beautiful storybook with captivating, dynamic photos? As it turns out, kids had it right all along, and you need to transfer that energy to your online presence.
Ah, SEO. Anyone who has half a decent website knows the importance that SEO plays in improving your online reputation and driving traffic to your site.
SEO dictates everything from your domain and page authority to the perceived expertise you may have within your particular industry or niche.
Did you know that your website needs good pictures in order to boost its SEO? Google believes so!
With that said, there are a few key points to keep in mind:
Another SEO reason your website needs good pictures? Photos can decrease your bounce rate.
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of online users who click back to the original search engine results without pursuing further on your website. Google simply refers to it as a single-page session.
As a general rule of thumb, you don't want a high bounce rate. It means that people aren't staying very long on your website- they're just getting the bare minimum and then "bouncing."
Quality photos can help reduce this from happening.
Your website needs good pictures because high-quality images attract more visitors to your site. This can result in longer visit times for each user, which allows you more time to show off your awesome good and services.
Images can increase the overall views your website receives, increase user interaction and engagement, and form a powerful connection between you and your customers.
Now you know your website needs good pictures, but simply getting "good pictures" is the first step. You need to know what to do with those pictures in order to improve your website SEO and keep users engaged!
Even if it seems like a total no-brainer, this is an important reminder: your visual content needs to match your written content. If you're talking about your law firm but posting pictures of chocolate chip cookies, you're only going to confuse or frustrate your readers.
When you name your images, name them to something that actually pertains to your website.
Don't just keep the random pile of numbers or letters automatically given to you. For example, if you're using a law firm photo, actually change the name to the law firm (or something relevant) in the file name.
Alt text description and title tags provide a brief overview of your images that can be orally read aloud. This is ideal for people who may struggle with vision impairment.
What's more? Search engine bots find these, and it can naturally improve your website's ranking. Just don't go overboard- describe the image in a natural and cohesive way. Stuffing it with keywords will look obvious, and it can actually penalize you.
Your website needs good pictures, but good pictures are not just a Google Image click away.
There are a lot of legal implications that come with photography and stealing someone's original photo without permission could land you in serious hot water.
Besides, nobody likes theft! It's unattractive and highly unprofessional.
Many successful websites use stock photography. Today, there is no shortage of free and paid photo sites for personal or small business use.
These photosites provide royalty free images, so you don't have to worry about legal or copyright issues. You simply search your theme and choose from the selected list.
Depending on your individual needs, you can choose from paid subscriptions or buy single images at a time.
Even though it may be a costly method, professional photos provide a unique, one-of-a-kind touch to your website.
After all, nobody else has access to those pictures: they are inherently yours.
Professional photographers work great for providing people-based images (you, your team, business events) or specific product and service images (the inventory and items that you carry).
Shop around for different quotes and make sure that you view the professional's portfolio. A website needs good pictures, but not all professionals are created equally!
Like taking your own pictures? Looking to cut down on costs?
Go for it! Even though it may be the most labor-intensive option, you can definitely create high-quality photos for your website.
Your website needs good pictures, and good pictures are natural-looking. That means you want natural light sources- this will mimic how professional photography looks.
Find bright spots by openings or windows, and make sure that you are checking the shadows. If you are taking shots outside, check out the golden hour. Consider the late afternoon or mid-morning for optimal lighting.
A lightbox is a basic piece of equipment that can elevate your amateur photography skills. Remember, a website needs pictures, and the right tools can make all the difference!
A lightbox is a square-shaped device with translucent sides. It helps to diffuse lighting coming in from natural sources. They create a bright lighting free from shadows., so you have a simple and solid background.
Get a Tripod
You know that shaky feeling when you're using your iPhone and have to keep retaking the picture? A tripod can help with that. Eliminate the smeared or blurred look, and keep your picture-taking perfectly still.
A website needs good pictures, and good pictures typically follow the infamous "rule of thirds."
What does this mean? Imagine a grid, kind of like a tic-tac-toe-game, placed on your phone or camera's viewfinder. Today, many cameras and smartphones actually have grid options available, so you don't have to "guess" by yourself.
You need to place the main subject of the photo on the direct intersection of these lines.
You want to make sure that you are appropriately zoomed in on the people you are capturing in your photos. Don't zoom out enough to see their feet. Don't zoom in enough where the photo still looks blurry.
So, a website needs good pictures, but good pictures don't always happen automatically.
Sometimes, a little extra magic is needed.
Basic editing tools can go a long way. Familiarize yourself with how lighting, exposure, and different gradients can impact your pictures.
Check out free third-party editing sites and apps if you need an extra boost. Today, many smartphones and cameras also have options for you to directly edit on the device.
With that said, be careful and don't go overboard. Nothing looks tackier than an overly-filtered or overly-edited photo. Remember, you want to go natural! You don't want your readers looking at a grainy, pixelated image!
With over a billion websites floating around on the Internet, it's more important than ever for your online presence to stand out from the competition.
Remember, a picture tells a thousand words. Next time you think you can't afford to spend time or money on photography, remember this: you can't afford not to!
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Search Engine Marketing Columnist
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