If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with the limitless potential of websites and online marketing in business. You might also know that I’m a professional photographer by trade. These two things go hand-in-hand in so many ways. Today I’m sharing my photography secrets as it relates to your website. Learn how to improve your website with a few simple steps!
How to improve your website with better photos
As a wedding and brand photographer, you know I can’t NOT talk about photography!
Good, professional photos are vital to your online brand and your website. Your website visitors are drawn to the imagery on your website. Your photos will make or break your potential clients’ first impression of your business.
The photos on your website also give visitors a quick glimpse into your brand. They say a lot about your style, your professionalism (or lack thereof), what you do, and so much more!
Improve user experience on a website: What your photos should look like
I want you to take a look at the photos on your website, and ask yourself a few questions:
- Do your photos make sense with what you do? Your first photo should either be of you (especially if you are building a personal brand!), or demonstrate what you offer. Your potential client will not sit on your website long enough to try to interpret the underlying meaning of the sailboat on your website, and how it relates to your (unrelated) business.
- Are your photos consistent? Consistency in color (they don’t have to match, but they should complement each other, and match with your brand colors!), lighting, and style are all important to portraying a strong, cohesive brand.
- Do your photos give visitors a good sense of who you are? I work with personal brands, and in almost every circumstance, a photo of you and/or your team is vital to establishing trust with your potential customers! More on this topic below!
Side note: If you have a product based business, make sure all of the photos of your products are the same size and ratio.
The first (and most important) photo on your website!
If you’re looking for a quick tip on how to improve your website immediately, this is it. The photo of you and/or your team can immediately establish trust between you and a potential customer.
The photo(s) of you and your team are invaluable to your online brand. With the exception of some product-based brands, where the product is really the brand, I think it is so important for your potential clients to get to know who you are.
If you’re not meeting every single potential client in-person, the first impression you have to make is with your brand photo! Modern marketing is personal. Personal brand marketing establishes the Know Like and Trust Factor, which is vital to growing a community and getting business.
A few must-haves for your first photo of you:
- Keep it close up. I want to feel like I’m meeting you. I wouldn’t meet you by shouting at your from across a field while you’re twirling around in the grass.
- You should be looking at the camera! This develops trust! Save the photos of you looking at your computer or off-camera for other parts of your website.
- Professional and in good light. Bad photography is bad for the first impression of your brand! Hire a professional photographer for this photo when you can.
- Make sure it embodies your brand and ideal client. Wear what you would wear when meeting with a client. Make sure the mood you evoke in your photo reflects the mood of your brand. What do you want people to feel when working with you? Don’t cross your arms if you want to be open, inviting and approachable. Don’t have the camera pointing down or up at you. Be level with your client.
How to improve your website content through your photos right now: Action Steps!
Take new photos with a brand photographer! I cannot stress this enough. As a photographer, I may be biased. As a business owner, I mean this with my whole heart! Photography is one of the easiest things you can outsource. If you are not a photographer, take the pressure off and hire someone who can do it well. This will uplevel your website, and your online brand as a whole, immediately!
I can’t speak for all brand photographers, but when I do a branding session, I take a variety of images in multiple locations, with multiple outfits. My clients can use their photos throughout their website without actually looking like the same shoot – AND they end up with a stockpile of images for social media.
If you can’t afford to hire a professional photographer now, here are some tips to take better photos yourself:
- If you’re taking photos of yourself, use a tripod. Put your camera or phone on a timer, and snap a few. Make sure you’re facing a source of natural light if you’re inside. Place yourself near a window, with a clean background.
- If you’re outside on a sunny day, shade is your best friend. Stand in the shade, again with a clean background that is also shaded. Never, ever face the sun (squinty eyes!). If you can’t find shade, put your back to the sun. Have a friend block the sun from hitting the camera lens directly to avoid haze.
- When you’re taking photos of products, the same rules apply. Put the products on a clean surface near a source of natural light. Here, you can use a reflector (anything big and white will work) to bounce the light back from the window onto your products. Otherwise, you’ll have one bright side and one shadowy side.
Website Photos and SEO: How to improve your website SEO
As a bonus to improving your website experience and conversion rate, images are a great way to improve your website SEO (how it ranks on Google) too! If you optimize your images (name the files with your target keyphrase, use ALT text, etc.), it boosts your ranking on Google. If you have professional images, you’ll likely draw more traffic from places like Google Images! While this isn’t an SEO post, it’s worth mentioning that professional, optimized images can help your website in more ways than just improving the look of your website. (I help small business owners do this! Shoot me a message if you have questions!).
And if you’re ready to hire a brand photographer, check out my work here! I am located in Madison, Wisconsin, but I travel all over the country to work with brands on their photography and online marketing. If you have questions about your website, or upleveling your brand, please click here to set up your free consultation!