Using photos on your website is a great way to add more color, visual interest and to add to your site’s overall emotional tone. But, photography can be a budget-buster. Here are some tips on using photos:
- As an element of the general page design. Photos can be placed underneath your navigation items in a vertical navigation menu, or in the upper right corner of your website frame. This can add visual texture to every page of your site, and act as a major contributor to your Visual Vocabulary. This is a great technique for livening up a website for a company that has a very simple logo or a text-only logo. You can also change these images from page to page to add more variety to your site.
- As a feature on the home page. Many home page designs are centered around a large image in the center of the page. This image may also be accented by some words – a tagline, service bullet points, or a marketing campaign statement like “Kids’ Easter Fashions That Hop!”. If you’re not ready to write a detailed home page, or if your company’s brand is more focused on emotions, this can be a great approach. This is also a strong solution for companies whose brands depend on visuals – like fashion companies, furniture companies, or even design companies.
- To highlight your company’s offerings. In a product-based company, this usually means having photos of your company’s products throughout the site. You should certainly use photos of your company’s products in the shopping cart to show the products off and communicate their value. If your company is a service company, then showing photos of what you do may be difficult. If you do produce a physical end-product – like a decorator or architect, for example – then be sure to take photos of your work and post them on your site. If you don’t, then you can highlight your offerings by writing up case studies or posting testimonials and including your clients’ head shots or logos next to those.
- To show who you are and build trust. Whether you sell products or services, it helps to have a headshot of yourself and any key people in your company on your company’s “About” page. You can also use these photos on your press page, and alongside promotions for classes or written materials to show who’s involved in your company. I also suggest placing a headshot on a thank-you page. This helps to build trust and makes your company seem more “human” and friendly in this technical media.
- As an accent throughout the site. You can use strategically-placed stock photos throughout your site too add visual interest. If you choose to do this, I recommend that you select photos that have a similar theme. This means that they have subject matter and/or color palette commonalities. For example, one site that I designed for an investment firm included photos that all depicted sports. Another site that I designed for a computer company had photos that all had a muted color palette. This helps the site to look cohesive.
- As a highlight or special promotion. If you’re promoting or selling a special service or product that you want to shine a spotlight on, accenting your offer with a photo or even an illustration can help bring it some extra attention, and get it noticed on your site. This will help you to close more sales.