Websites are very visual. A web page with only text is not only extremely boring to look at, but it’s actually harder to read.
On the web, people are more scanners than actual readers.
This means shorter paragraphs, shorter sentences and even shorter distances of reading.
Adding a photo will make your page more visually appealing while also cutting the distance on the page that your visitor needs to read.Fun Fact: Having a photo on your website alongside your copy actually makes the text more believable as well, even if the imagery is not related to the text. (A little psychology tip from Neuroscience Marketing)
When you’re putting photos together for your website, you are likely to be searching through some stock photography websites. While a stock photo site can be useful in a lot of situations, it may not always work for you.
Having photos on your website will also make it more visual when shared on social networks. People are more likely to click on a link if there is an image associated with it. When someone shares a page on Facebook or Pinterest, the image is automatically taken out of the web page to show as a preview.
Why Stock Photography May Not Be The Best Option For You
Stock photography costs money, sometimes its only a few dollars but it can add up if you have 50 pages on your website or are posting on your blog twice a day.
Copyrights are limited if you want to have a photo used on your website as well as in your brochure or at a booth at a trade show. Then the cost of the stock photos really goes up.
Depending on your industry, a lot of your competitors are probably using the exact same stock photographs that you would want to put on your website. How silly would it look if someone was researching your services and compared two different companies and they both had a picture of the same two businessmen shaking hands and smiling? Which brings me to another point, stock photography can be very unoriginal and bland itself.
Alternatives To Stock Photography
If you fall into one of these categories where stock photography is not the right answer for your website’s visual needs, there are alternatives.
You can do something as simple as using a pull quote on your page to break up text into shorter widths. Taking a screen shot of a pull quote and adding it to your page as an image would also help with the social sharing of your links.
You can create simple graphics using PowerPoint. Or even create charts from Excel sheets to visually communicate numbers.
There is also a web tool called Wordle that creates word clouds out of text that you provide. You can take a screen shot of the Wordle cloud and crop it to become a fun looking graphic of the important topics your web page is talking about.
Taking Your Own Photos
Taking your own photos is another great option. Most smart phones today can take high quality photographs, especially for web use. A little trick if you want to take your own photographs for your website:Quick Tip: Search a stock photo site for keywords that you are writing about, then try to match that photograph yourself
A few things to keep in mind when taking your own photographs:
*Both photos in this post were taken with an iPhone 4G and not edited other than blurring the brand name on the camera.
How Do You Get Photos For Your Website?
Do you shell out the money for stock photographs every time you need a new picture for your website? Have you taken your own pictures? Share your experiences and suggestions in the comments below!