For photographs on websites and social media pages, first impressions are key. Bad photographs can put off potential customers and make your business feel less professional.
Never have images on your website (or social media pages) that are blurry, out of focus or have the wrong exposure. Not only can this mis-sell your company or products, but also if you cannot afford the time or money to have quality images on your website, then it may be assumed that you cut corners elsewhere in your business, and this could damage your image severely.
For the best photographs on your website, hiring in a professional photographer can ensure that the photographs on your website match your brand image. Taking the photographs yourself can also be an option if you have the skill, time and equipment to do so. Another idea is to use stock photographs. Although these are well-captured images, they often stand out as being generic, especially if several companies are using the same stock photographs. This again can put your business in as bad a light as bad personal images do. Imagine if Apple used stock or poor quality images on their website. Although your business might not be as large an organisation as Apple don’t forget how this is affecting your brand image.
Having images that directly link to your business are essential. There is nothing worse than generic clip art style ‘business’ photographs appearing on your website. If the picture is irrelevant to your business do not put it online! You would not want to write irrelevant information on your website, so why would you put irrelevant images on it?
People do not usually read things, yet a picture can easily demonstrate an idea clearly without overwhelming the user with too much to concentrate on. New inventions or products can be easily explained with images, helping the user to understand what they are buying. Images are an essential part of the online shopping experience. Without them, many people will be put off buying the product. Images are attention grabbing, showing off the best aspects of your products and should be a central part of your website design.
Using images in social media can be a great way to have ‘free advertising’. Allowing followers to ‘like’ and ‘share’ your content can ensure more exposure. Clever ideas, such as free giveaways of your products if followers ‘like’ and ‘share’ your images can maximise this exposure.
Obviously, when using images you need to ensure that your website is fully accessible. Adding alternative text or ‘alt text’ will help ensure that programs which read out web content can describe what the image is displaying. You also need to consider those with difficulty distinguishing between colours. Adding in different patterns, or increasing contrasts can help to make images clearer. When adding in images of text don’t forget that these can easily become pixelated at a zoomed level, so ensure that all images are of a high enough quality for people who need to make the text larger.
Whilst working on a website for Belle Macaron recently, (see www.bellemacaron.com) the theme and feeling of the website had to be considered carefully. Having Macarons can be seen to be a treat. The images that have been put on the homepage of bellemacaron.com, such as the book with a tea-cup full of macarons helped portray that ‘special’ moment to yourself, to relax and enjoy the gorgeous flavours. Having your own personalised product images can show off your products and entice your customers to order, like it does for Belle Macaron!
Remember every image you use online, be it on your website, social media or a blog, is a representation of your attitude to business so ensure all images are individual and of a high quality.
www.jadechloe.co.uk (Coming soon)