Growing up, I always heard people saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I have found that to be true, pictures can tell a story and, depending upon your business, it can also be worth a thousand dollars – in sales, services and in reputation.
When it comes to small business websites, it is important to design sites that include both great content and impactful pictures. A great picture can tell a story, educate the reader, can create a feeling of trust and familiarity or draw attention to a service or product they weren’t searching for.
A picture has the potential of breaking a tie between you and your competitor or another way is increasing your average sales dollar per customer by introducing them to something new you sell.
It’s just like checking out at the grocery store. In the checkout line, you are in an aisle full of brightly colored candies of all shapes and sizes, magazines telling you the best way to lose weight and gift cards, reminding you to pick up a gift for a party later.
They give you everything you need to make just one more small purchase. Pictures can help do that on your website.
But there’s another even better reason why you need great pictures….
According to John Medina’s book Brain Rules, when working with people, vision trumps all other senses and they remember more if a picture is associated with the content they are learning about. Medina states that after hearing something, we typically only remember about 10% of it three days later but when there is a picture associated, typically we will remember 65% of it.
If your customer is a person (which I am assuming they all are), we are hardwired to learn that way and it is a huge increase in recognition which we need when someone asks what business they should use or have they heard of a ______ in town that can help them. It’s a major reason why you should include pictures on your website.
Here are a few tips about what to put on your site:
- Your place of business – This helps show people what your business looks like, could help them know where you are and might give them a glimpse of how you work. Show real pictures of your location but make sure they are your best spots. If you work in a warehouse, an outside picture is good but if it is just a tan metal building, maybe pair that picture with an inside picture of the product, an office picture or of your business sign.
- Your staff – Showing off your staff or you, the owner, can help build credibility, drive trust and show that there are people involved and not just robots. People love to see small business owners and there is pride and showing that your business is run and owned by as small staff. Make sure that the people in your pictures are smiling, happy, are dressed appropriately for your business and absolutely DO NOT take pictures in the bathroom (unless you sell bathrooms and then it might be ok) J
- Your products or people at work –Customers are more inclined to spend money on a product that they see before they purchase, even if it is online. Make pictures clear, take them at different angles if needed and at a high resolution so you can see the colors and patterns if applicable. If you run a service like a plumber or an electrician, you could take a picture of your people at work under a sink or beside a wall socket. That can tell a story about what they do and how they do it (and make sure everyone in the picture is smiling, too).
Other ideas of graphics to use on your website:
- Lifestyle pictures. These are professionally shot pictures using models posing in certain lifelike activities like eating dinner, washing the car or using the computer – it’s people showing the actions of everyday life. These options are usually more expensive but there are some free options out there (we can help you find those). Another option is to hire a local photographer that can shoot these types of photos. That may also be great if you have a favorite customer or client that you want to feature on your website.
- Include a Google Map to the business. Help people find your location by including a map on your website allowing them to see where you are in the neighborhood. Google map is a great tool that allows the customer to put in their starting location and get directions to you or see what else is in your area. Tip: Right now it is free to sign up your business on Google Maps so when the customer is searching for your neighboring business, restaurant or shop, they also find you and can link to your website.
- Graph or chart. Do you have interesting business facts that would educate the customer or show them that you know the business well, better than you competitor, maybe? Include a chart so instead of telling the customer about it, you are showing them the data in an easy to understand way. The millennial customer likes charts and graphs to explain data as well as stories to bring them to life. Going back to the plumber business, maybe you create a graph showing how an annual maintenance package you sell can decrease calls for clogs and faulty fixtures. If you want to go a step further, put a story about a customer with it who used your service and talk about how it saved them money or time. Which brings me to my next point…
- Letters or pictures of happy customers. Brag about the great letter you received from customers. Ask them if you can use it on your website. If so, go snap a high resolution picture of them and post it and the letter on your site. It’s like a social media recommendation and it can add credibility to your business.
And lastly, make sure the visuals are something that you would want to see on a website that you would pay money to.
Ask yourself these things:
- If I knew nothing about this business, would this picture tell me what I need to know about them and make me want to trust/purchase/hire/call them?
- Does this picture show the best of my business?
- Does this picture represent my business brand?
- Do I have permission to use the pictures of these people on my website?
If you cannot say “yes” to every question, call us and our team can work with you to help showcase the best of what you have to offer.