The popular idiom, “a picture is worth 1000 words” expresses the significance of images in written communication. If a picture is worth 1000 words, it’s a great advantage to use more of them on your website. In this post, I’m going to share my advice and opinion about using images on a small business website. I will use examples with a few different types of businesses so you can hopefully imagine your business type within one of them.
Photos on a website are more important now than ever. Why? Because as the speed of life and information continue to increase, the human attention span decreases. Images are the preferred source of introduction to your
message. Want people to learn more about your product or service? Include some compelling images. If the image(s) pass the test, people will stick around on your website a little longer to absorb more of the content (and maybe even read a few words!).
Can you imagine a home remodeling company who doesn’t have photos of the finished basement or new kitchen project they just completed for a client? What’s going to work better, a bullet-point list of your services or actual photos of your completed jobs? It’s a no-brainer, yet most websites have few images displaying their masterful work.
Can you imagine custom cabinet maker who doesn’t have pages and pages on his website showcasing his imagination and craftsmanship? I see it all the time. What is the purpose of your website if not to show off your product? Talking about your “pride in workmanship”, or “dedication to excellence” is mundane and empty. The proof is in the pictures!
Ever visit a restaurant website and the website is 80% words and 20% photos (usually of their empty dining room)? Silly, don’t you think? How are restaurants advertised on TV? With images of hot, steamy food, and often in the process of being served to wide-eyed, smiling people.
Want to really stand out? People are skeptical of testimonials typed out on a website. Picture testimonials pack a punch unlike anything else you can deliver (besides video testimonials which I’ll cover another time). Picture testimonials, just like other images will capture attention but the marketing message they deliver is more powerful than just about anything you can say about your company, your product or your service. If you get the chance, ALWAYS capture a picture testimonial.
The content on your website should communicate with your potential customers AND the search engines. If you want your business discovered by people who don’t already know you exists, the written content on your website plays a big role. The search engines DO read your website. Strategically-written web copy plays a very important role in search engine optimization, BUT let’s not get caught up with concern about this right now. For now, let’s stay focused on images because THEY are the website content focus of this post.
Although people have very little patience for reading, they will read if the images and headlines first catch there attention. Think about a magazine article. The first thing to catch your attention is the featured image, THEN it’s the headline. If you’re not captured by the image and headlines initially, you’re likely to turn the page pretty quickly…just as you’re likely to do when you visit a website with small type and few uninteresting images.
In the previous paragraph, I mentioned how the featured image and the headline of a magazine article largely determine the chances you will read the article. These are the first and most widely consumed pieces of content on a magazine page or a web page. The next most consumed (or read) piece of content is the picture caption: the small type describing the picture or the purpose of the picture on the page.
When uploading an image onto a website, depending upon the website builder platform, there’s usually a way to add a description of the picture, a caption, and an Alt-tag. They’re all marketing opportunities. I just described the importance of the caption. The Alt-Tag and the description fields actually communicate the purpose and the content of the image to the search engines. This is a further reason and benefit to plow on the images.
If you have a smartphone, you have all the tools you need to capture images and video to use to make a better, more marketing-oriented website. If you could never see yourself taking care of uploading the images onto your website and making the modifications which will make your website into the marketing machine is can and should be, let me help you. Call Andrew Mazer at Small Business U: 866-799-2825
Andrew Mazer, Founder of Mazer Wholesale, Inc. established since 1986. In 1996, I began marketing my wholesale business online. In 2009, I began helping other business owners market THEIR business online. I am the author of The Business Owner's Guide to Marketing Online, The Groupon Solution, and The One Good Idea Newsletter. Contact me at Andrew@smallbusinessu.org