Web Design

Why Your Website Needs Better Photos

A picture is worth a thousand words. As cliche as it may sound, the images used on your website speak volumes to your clients and customers.  Website visitors are more likely to stay on your site for more than 15 seconds if there are attractive and interesting images. High-quality photos engage people and make it more likely that they will make a purchase or complete a desired action. Because images leave a lasting impression, the quality of the image is crucial. You can achieve high-quality images with professional photographers, stock images, and even DIY with your cell phone. Here, we share the benefits of investing in high-quality photography for your website.

Create Your Visual Identity

Before hiring a photographer or scouring the internet for stock photos, it’s important to define your brand’s visual identity. A visual identity is a collection of visual elements that represent and differentiate your brand. This includes your logo, colors, typography, and images that tie into your organization’s s core values and personality. Elements to consider when creating your visual identity

  • Does it evoke the right emotion(s)? 
  • Is it distinct? Does it differ from your competitors in a meaningful, calculated way? 
  • Is it simple and easy to understand? 
  • Is it timeless? Will it stay relevant over time? Or at least the duration of time you need it to stay relevant?
  • Is it functional? Visual assets should be used across different mediums and channels to preserve your brand’s integrity. 
Click here to check out a visual identity we designed for a beverage brand.

Connect With Your Audience

Once your visual identity is nailed down, the next step is considering how you want visitors to feel when they explore your website – think of your website as a virtual space that makes people feel the same way they’d feel if they walked into your office. An image of a cup of coffee and a book can create a feeling of solace and relaxation for a small cafe, while an image of a family smiling around a board game evokes joy and togetherness for an organization focused on foster care or adoption. When choosing images or taking photos, always think about what you want to convey to the audience and what you want their takeaway to be. Use buyer personas to your benefit. 

Find Great Photos  

A cost-efficient way to get high-quality photos is via stock photos. Many websites offer images from professional photographers, often at no cost. Our favorites include Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay, StockSnap.io, and Negative Space. These sites let you easily search for different topics and subjects and browse for options to download for your website. Be careful not to oversaturate with stock images, though, since this could negatively impact your website’s SEO. 

Mustard & Moxie partners with vetted and trusted photographers across the country to make the process easy for you. If you have a limited budget for photography, we work with an innovative company called Soona that specializes in highly efficient studio shoots.

Use Photos to Boost SEO

A photographer can bring your brand to life and use their expertise to create a feeling of connection between your brand and your audience. Deric Mendes, founder of digital marketing agency Bold Type Agency and a longtime commercial and portrait photographer, adds another reason to hire a pro: “If a company wants to attract business via its website, Google ads, social media ads, etc., and it wants to be seen/found before competitors, the benefits of professional photography go well beyond aesthetics.” 

The more original the images and the higher quality they are, the more they improve your SEO. Google Ads and search ranking systems consider the quality of photos, photo metadata, and load times for website graphics to assign value to your website. 

Mendes explains, “Photo quality means clarity, composition, style, whether there is open space versus text-heavy design, and the subject – are people in the images? Products? Can AI easily geotag the image? For metadata, the algorithm is ranking new, engaging, content higher than old photos.”

With AI, search engines and social apps identify the subjects of the images and use that information for targeting (which they can't do, by the way, if the image is blurry or the subject was shot from a distorted angle.) 

“For example, I've posted photos of my dog on Instagram.Instagram now knows what kind of dog I have and shows me reels with dogs that look like her,” Mendes says. “It does this in accordance with an algorithm that assesses the ‘quality’ and metadata of the reels it puts in my feed. A bad photo throws a wrench into that: Google won't recommend it in search. Consecutive bad photos can actually harm a business, whereas good photos can lead to greater engagement, higher search ranking, and lower ad costs. This goes for both social media and websites.”

Click here to learn more about SEO best practices. 

Know What Kind of Photos to Use

Whether you have a nonprofit or for-profit, including people in your photos can make your audience feel more comfortable with you. Think beyond the product or service you’re offering and consider the people who make your organization great. Mendes mentions success he’s had with photography for service-based businesses: “In an industry such as green building, for example, the images are always landscapes and architecture. The moment I add a photo of a human on such a website, it builds a sense of trust and suggests interfacing with the community.” 

Transparency is something audiences want to see on a nonprofit website. For NPOs, using actual photos of your volunteers, staff, and community members is especially important since it shows the human side of the work you do. Make sure anyone whose likeness you use has signed a photo release form

Ready to Enhance Your Website?

A well-designed website will improve brand awareness, generate web traffic, and drive business. If you’re ready to take your website to the next level with high-quality images that tell your brand’s story, Mustard & Moxie can make that happen!  Our team can design your website and create images that help you connect with your clients and  customers in an impactful way. Contact us here.