by Steve Phipps

How to Win More Customers With Compelling Website Images (and where to find them)

May 17, 2019 | Marketing, Website

Are you losing business because of your website images?

Think about the images on your website for a minute. Do they tell a story that interests your customers? If your pictures are mainly of you, your building, or your equipment, then the answer is probably no. And that could be costing you business.

I want you to get more from your website by helping you choose images that engage your customers and prospects and help them understand what you do and why it matters to them.

We’re currently going through a six-part blog series to help you get more business from your website. In our last post, we talked about clarifying your messaging, so your customers can quickly and easily understand what you do, why it matters, and what to do next.

Why Stellar Images Are Essential to Getting Better Results From Your Website

Great photos help your customers remember you longer

Given a choice between someone describing the Grand Canyon to you with their words or showing you a picture, which would you pick? The picture, of course. Words don’t do justice to something as magnificent as the Grand Canyon. And you’re much more likely to remember the picture than the words because as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Now your business might not be on the same scale as the Grand Canyon, but you do provide your customers with something valuable and meaningful. And while the words you use are significant, they have a much bigger impact when paired with images that tell a great story. Research shows that pairing text and an image can increase recall 6x. If that’s not compelling, I’m not sure what is. After all, we want our customers and prospects to remember us when it’s time to make a buying decision, and this is one way to stay top-of-mind.

Using text and an image together can increase your customer’s recall 6x.

Compelling images help your customers understand what you do faster

In our last blog post I asked if a caveman could look at your website and figure out what you do, why it matters, and what to do next in under eight seconds (it’s called the grunt test; it’s also the amount of time you want to stay on a bull, but that has nothing to do with this post). Using an image that reinforces your main headline can ensure that your website does indeed pass the grunt test.

Here’s the reason why – your brain processes images 60.000 times faster than words. And 93% of all human communication is visual. Images make it easier for your customers and prospects to grasp what you do and why it matters. You get the picture. (Bad pun, I know.)

Your brain processes images 60.000 times faster than words.

In today’s world, we are bombarded with constant noise and distraction, which means that capturing your customer’s attention is harder than ever. You must stand out, cut through the noise, and help your customers understand what you do. And that can lead to more business.

Relevant images enable your customers to grasp how you help them

Do your customers buy from you because of the building you are in or the type of delivery truck you drive? Probably not. However, many website feature pictures of buildings, vehicles, or other things that don’t mean much to customers.

Show the result of working with your company

Instead, what if your website used pictures that show your customers achieving their goals and overcoming a problem because they used your product or service? That’s much more compelling and memorable, and it positions your customer as the hero of the story.

Your main homepage image – the one visitors see at the top of the page – should make it clear how you help your customers. The picture should show your customers using your product or what they experience and feel as a result of using your product or service. This type of picture helps your customers and prospects quickly understand how you help them succeed.

What to Look for When Choosing Images

Here are several dos and three don’ts for finding images for your website:

Do use images that:

  • Include happy people who look like your customers.
  • Have people looking at the camera, if possible.  
  • Reinforce your key messages.
  • Convey emotion.
  • Reflect the personality of your brand.

Don’t use images that:

  • Focus solely on you (remember, you aren’t the hero of the story; your customer is).
  • Only include your buildings, trucks, etc. (There’s a time and a place for using these types of photos, but your homepage typically isn’t it).
  • Look generic or cheesy. There’s a whole world of super cheesy stock photos – stay away from them. You want pictures that are realistic and seem original.
  • You don’t have permission to use. Don’t go to Google Images (or any other search engine) and download the images you find there. You could end up in trouble over copyright violations. Just don’t do it.
Avoid images of your vehicles

Two Great Examples

Here are two examples I like from Yeti and Airstream. Both homepage images do a great job connecting at a human level and telling a story.

Where to Find Great Website Images

Ok. So now you’re convinced (hopefully) that you need compelling images for your website to get better results. So where do you get the pictures for your site? Glad you asked.

You have a few options:

  1. Hire a photographer. This is the ideal option because the pictures are unique and won’t show up on someone else’s website or brochure. While it can be expensive, it’s generally a wise investment. If you go in this direction, look for a photographer who has experience with commercial photography, and understands how to tell a great story through pictures.
  2. Use stock photos. This is a popular option because it’s convenient, cost-effective, and you have thousands of choices. The downside is that other people are using the same photos. There are many free and paid stock photo sites with prices ranging from just a dollar per image up to hundreds of dollars per image. Here are several sites to get you started:
  3. Take photos yourself. I mention this option because some folks can take good pictures. Either you are skilled with a professional camera, or someone on your team is. This is not the time to snap away on your smartphone. Those pictures likely won’t have the image or storytelling quality you need.

Don’t skimp on images. You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars to make an impact, but you do need to be willing to invest if you want the kind of images that will convert people browsing your site to clients.

Clarifying your message and using compelling images are the first two ways to get more leads and business from your website. Keep an eye out for the upcoming posts (you can sign up in the footer below to get these blog posts via email, so you don’t miss out).

Here are two things you can do to turn these ideas into more business:

  1. Download the free guide we created for you – six ways to get more leads from your website. It’s the basis for this blog series and includes additional tips.
  2. Schedule a free 30-minute meeting with our team. We’d love the opportunity to learn more and offer you specific suggestions on how you can get more from your website.
by Steve Phipps

Think Beyond Your Backyard: Digital B2B Marketing for Accountants