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Heather Church

What’s A Picture Worth?

Posted on January 23rd, 2013 by Heather Church

“Of all our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” 

~ Walt Disney

Have you noticed the use of pictures lately around the web? Think back to your online experience just five years ago. How different was it from today?

Consider social media alone.  Facebook used to be about “status updates” – text posts telling what we’re doing at any given time. But in the last year or so, many of those updates have included photos that capture the moment. Personally I’m guilty of this trend on my own Facebook page, and I’m far more drawn to a “picture post” than a plain text post in my news feed. I did some research and it seems I’m not alone. Approximately 250 million photos are being uploaded to Facebook daily according to this infographic posted on Mashable. And a picture post receives 120 – 180% more engagement than a plain text update.

Beyond Facebook, photo sites are everywhere – Instagram, Hipstamatic, EyeEm, Pinterest, Tumblr and more. People love photos and they love to share them even more. This wisdom holds true on websites as well. Use the following tips to enhance your website  and make it ascetically appealing. Add more photos and provide your customers with the information they need about your products and services.

Spotlight! Place photos of items on your Home page that you are particularly interested in featuring. If you have a rotating banner on your Home page, be sure to change it regularly and use photos that draw the eye and tell a story. Create visually stimulating banners with photos and copy that advertises what you sell. This is probably the single most important space for pictures. People will return to your site if they already like who you are and what you do. Your chances of return visits are even greater if you keep it fresh with new photos and information.

Stay balanced to stay on top. ”A picture is worth a thousand words.” This is true. Photos often say what words cannot, but it is important to stay balanced with photos and copy to increase search engine optimization (SEO). Photos with words on them DO NOT help SEO as the only thing search engines read from a photo is the file name and alternate text (alt text, alt tags). Keep this in mind when uploading photos to your website. Give each photo a name that makes sense and add alt tags to increase SEO.

Showcase. One of the most important places to include photos on your site is within your product catalog. Be sure to include lots of photos, in multiple views, to detail your products and services. Your website gives a customer access to your business 24/7. If they are shopping at 4 a.m., give them what they are looking for by adding large vibrant images of anything and everything you sell. Optimize images with the ability to enlarge from thumbnail to half or full screen images whenever possible.

Stand out. So many websites include only copy (text) and no photos, or very few. Include photos on all pages of your site. Often customers will browse around and click away from your site if there is too much to read. Make the photos relevant to the copy. Include a photo of your family, staff or storefront on your About page. Include a product or two on your Frequently Asked Questions page. Photos on pages within the copy breaks the text up and gives customers a reason to stay, especially if the photos tell a story themselves.

Blog away baby. If you don’t currently have a blog on your site, add one. Blogs inherently increase SEO, as each time you add content the search engines reindex your site. Adding interesting photos within your blog posts that tell stories or illustrate your point is equally important. Blogs are a great place to highlight new products and services and common questions you often receive. It’s also a great place to educate your customers.

Videos. Videos are pictures too. Adding videos to your site will keep people around longer. We all learn differently — some people prefer to watch a video over reading. Mix up copy, photos and video for a fabulous end-user experience.

Since this post is about pictures, we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you our Pinterest page is finally coming along. There we feature photos of our beautiful websites with links that allow you to interact with them.

Is your website working for you? Contact Grey Suit Sites today for a beautiful custom website that fully illustrates who you are and what you do. Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn to stay in-the-know and hear what others are saying!