Picture this: You’ve decided to start investing your money with a local financial advisor. After a few phone conversations you are confident that he will make the right investments for your future. On the day of your first in-person meeting he pulls into your driveway in an old, rusted car with a missing side mirror and a crack in the windshield. Your opinion has suddenly changed. You are reluctant to invest your money with someone who seems to manage his own poorly. While that may not be the whole truth, it doesn’t matter; he’s lost the sale.
This is the same message low quality images send to visitors on your website. You could be one of the best in your industry but if your website doesn’t reflect your expertise, you’ve dropped the ball. Here are four reasons you should be using professional photographs on your website.
Your Website Precedes You
Before you meet with a new customer it’s a safe bet that they have already taken a look at your website and done a little probing. Online research precedes most buying decisions today; so many prospective customers have already formed an opinion about you before you even get a chance to speak with them. This being the case, you want your website to be as appealing and professional looking as possible. An attractive, accurate representation of what you are all about will lead to good first impressions for prospective buyers.
Imagery Pulls People In
Not only do consumers consult the web to inquire about specific businesses, they rely on it heavily to search for new products and services. While in search mode, consumers generally give each site only a few seconds before deciding whether to dig deeper or move on. Alluring imagery is the best way to pull surfers in and entice them to delve in further. Your content could be top-notch, but if your page is not visually appealing they will never get to the words. Beautiful, eye-catching imagery captures a reader’s attention.
Your Images Are A Reflection Of You
In the case of your website, appearances do matter, a lot. Prospective buyers visiting your site are looking for clues indicative of how well you do your job. A site displaying striking, high-quality imagery is emblematic of a professional, credible, high-class company who cares about the quality of its work. Companies using professional photographs are likely to be perceived as more trustworthy, competent, and successful than companies using poor-quality images.
The Difference is Obvious
It is incredibly quick and easy for anyone to snap a picture these days. But quick and easy cell phone shots will not provide desirable photos appropriate for a business website. Professional photographers have the skills, equipment, and experience necessary to showcase your company, products, and team in the most attractive way.
Below are two images of a promotional product we feature in the portfolio section of our website. The image on the right was taken by a local professional photographer. The one on the left was taken with my iPhone in an attempt to replicate her image. As you can see, the professionally shot picture is higher quality and more visually appealing. With the use of the photographer’s lighting, backdrops, professional camera, and expert positioning the product looks more crisp and vibrant.
An alternative to professional photography is the use of stock photo images. While this may be preferable to cell phone shots, they often come across as posed and inauthentic. Since they are available to anyone for purchase, you may end up with the same photo as the company down the street. With the use of professional photography, you’ll own original images truly unique to your company that will set you apart from your competitors. Visitors on your site will feel more connected to you by getting to know you, your products, and your team. With authentic photos prospective buyers will be able to “put a face” to your name, making them more likely to trust you.
Consumers can tell the difference between smart phone pictures, stock photos, and professionally shot images. Using professional photographs on your website is a smart and rather small investment that will help yield desirable results based on an improved company image and audience perception of your brand.