Do you think Your Website Images Need an Update?

Ideas, Images, Infographics, Style and Design are rapidly changing, and you are trying to keep up with a market segment that is pouring more resources and time and digital energy into their website every day.

website restaurant image for business

So how does your website keep up let alone compete? Why do consumers choose your business  over theirs?

With incredible, creative, relevant images. And its not as hard as you might think!

As a small business where can you effectively put your limited resources into the get the best bang for the buck or for your larger entities your ROI?

Great images can help you drive sales, grow your business and build your online community.

For the uninitiated photography newbie, there are a few little tweaks that can help you retain your clients and start to get longer stays and better more qualified conversions for your business.

What are the best images to use for your business and how do you get them?

THE best images that you can use for your business are images of – you guessed it  – YOUR business! People want an experience. They are BEGGING for it! What better way is there to sell yourself and business than showing them what you do, and how, and why? From a spa style dentist office to boutique restaurant to florist, show what you do best. Have a professional photographer come and bring LIGHT to what your business is about. A second option is to use stock images (istock.com, shutterstock.com, getty.com). They are great. They can supplement your personalized images, but don’t make the mistake of using the same image that the dentist office down the street is using of the girl with the pearly whites…these types of images are overused, impersonal and not representational of your business.

How can you use photographic images to create some buzz?

yelling man image

Its a great reason to announce on all your media platforms that you have relaunched your website. Its free PR! And YOU will be top of mind next time they need a wax, a haircut (before and after for beauty services), financial service, or their car fixed. It’s also a great way to announce that you are committed to improving your business, offer new services, and a reason for them to come back and check you out again. A few more things to consider using images with: newsletters, mailing list, direct mailings, and emails are all great ways to use images to enhance all your fulfilment procedures.

Where to use images to get the best ROI and conversion rate?

Front page of your website and landing pages would be the key ingredients here. When you figure out where people are landing and where you want them to go…you leave them a trail of breadcrumbs (images) to lead them around…

Environmental images and services will have the greatest impact on retaining hits. Great images will bring people to your website from social media, online listings, associations etc. When people are doing their snooping and investigating, their eye will be drawn to the pretty picture, and light spaces first, so plan your media images to draw the eye.

It has to be said. Responsive websites and devices are what you need to be working towards. There is no point in having a great image on a poorly designed mobile device that wont scale properly. Goodbye customer – immediately, and never to return. Experience is everything on mobile devices and 45% of us use them for surfing these days and this is growing rapidly. So there is no point in building a site that sits statically on a mobile device.

Use Infographics!

Coolinfographics.com has a great list of Infographics. Lets make statics EXCITING! When you need to use numbers in your business presentation, Infographics are a great way to go.

tall_infographics

 

 

 

 

(The Tall Infographics design from Randall Munroe at xkcd literally made me laugh out loud.  As he mentions in the text: “‘Big Data’ doesn’t just mean increasing the font size.)

Images that kill your experience and send them running

There are lots of great examples of things that dont work well, and here is the far end of the spectrum that need no explaining: cigarette packages, surgical procedures, awkward family shots…well I think you get the ‘picture’. When it comes to medical services, people are nervous enough, so less is more. Think END product.

Some other things that dont work well would be irrelevant imagery. People want to see pictures of your business. Not a picture of the outside of your building thats located in an industrial park, or a stock image of a pretty smiling face with a head microphone. It feels fake, and Im sure your not in the business of selling what you are not.

Consider that your images need to work well with your website as well. That means color tone and crop work for your banners, pages are places relevantly and they are consistent within your messaging in site.

There are multitudes of things to consider when chosing how to design your business images. But know that a consistent, well designed message and images help you meet the coherent message that you want your viewers to see and conversions will go from a trickly to a pour.

See you online!

Erin Pimm

www.head-hunters.com

 

 

 

Why Should You Use Images, Infographics and Videos on your website?

Images get your website noticed and create conversions

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I’ve recently been asked to work with several small businesses in the Melbourne area that have asked me forthright – WHY do we need to have images on our website? Why do we want to have video? What are Infographics, sliding presentations and movement?

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Lets go back to basics.

90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.

(Sources: 3M Corporation and Zabisco) 

It’s an immediate impression that you are making on your client. It’s a feeling, an understanding of experience your clients will receive from you. Are your images professional? Do they represent your product, your environment, and your distinctions?

 

40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. (Source: Zabisco)

Catch them with a stunning visual then lead them down the path. They will spend more time on your website which in turn leads to more conversions. They feel comfortable now; Let’s throw in the HOOK!

Posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts.

(Source: SEOmoz)  

images for websites

We want to be entertained. YouTube is the best example of this, not only for the best funniest videos, but what you probably DONT know is that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Do you have channel? Are you creating interesting videos that you can now imbed on your website about your companies infomercial? Do you have a fabulous behind the scenes video that will entice further, relax, and invite clients to you?
And here’s the biggie: What are you offering for learning and engagement that will lead your customers down the path towards your business. Videos are a GREAT way to build your expertise, give people information, allow them to trust you, and then set in hooks. People are searching for free information. So many people learn online and if you want to guide them into your company, providing free information to get them through the door is an incredibly valuable resource to your future clients.


46% of people say a website’s design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company. (Source: Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab)

images for websites

Say no more. Images build trust.

On Facebook, photos perform best for likes, comments, and shares as compared to text, video, and links. (Source: Dan Zarrella) 

Facebook’s algorithm (aka Edgerank) is dead. Keep it relevant, timely, and often. You’re post can be buried in seconds.

“Facebook is improving on its ability to detect high-quality content. In order to best optimize for Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, marketers need to think of social comments the same way we think of content meant for Google and other search engines — in other words, if you want your content to be visible to your target audience, it must be timely, relevant, trustworthy and valuable.”

(source: http://marketingland.com/r-i-p-edgerank-how-to-optimize-for-facebooks-newsfeed-algorithm-61226)

25 million smartphone users stream 4 hours of mobile video per month. 75% of smartphone users watch videos on their phones, 26% of whom use video at least once a day. (Sources: Ooyala and Ipsos) 

mobile images for web design

Your website HAS to be mobile ready. Estimates are that 75% of web traffic is going to be mobile over the next few years. People are moving away from landlines, network cables. Today it’s all wireless and mobile. So if your site isn’t responsive, and mobile ready you are going to LOSE people, dropping like flies if they cant access what they want, when they want it, how they want it. You must be up to speed and designed for ecommerce and complete functionality by mobile, tablet, ipad etc.

Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video. (Source: Internet Retailer) 

This is self explanatory on the surface, but also consider your services. Perhaps for something that is a little less understood, or intimidating, or downright scared. Being able to familiarize and becoming comfortable with your products will leave your clients feeling safe in your hands and again leading towards website conversion.

Now go get some GREAT images from your local photographer. It will make a difference.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts as well.

Erin Pimm

 

How to become an online expert (or at least appear that way)

You may not be an expert about the social media, but distinguishing yourself as an expert in your field can gain you the credibility you need to gain readership, offer better SEO traffic, and in the end more conversions on your blog and website.

 Expert business corporate image

Heres are some ideas to get you started on your expert personal brand:

Decide on at niche for your personal brand expertise

Everyone is an expert out there. But competing against the BIG dogs on social media, marketing are going to relegate you pages deep in searches with the hundreds of thousands of other bloggers and Twittering Twerkers out there. Get specific. Gear your articles towards your SEO and specific keyword results and create rich content that other readers will want to backlink to. Your niche will separate you from the other generalists out there specially in the long tailed search strings that are ranking much higher now and will grow in the future.

Your Opinion

People are looking for thier next opinions, and where do they get them if they haven’t had to time to sort it out themselves ? You

Most opinions are based on the last person they talked to or read. It’s a simple statement of fact. Be dramatic, or tow the party line. But be consistent. People will come back to you because of what you offer them in ideas and if they like your personal branded voice. Flip flopping back and forth will not do you an favours and bring a consistent readership to your platforms.  You are also more likely to have reputable sources linking, and retweeting you when you have a steady congruent professional message.

Be Current and topical

In this ever changing super fast world of online digital strategies, it only takes one blink and you are seen as yesterdays news. Making sure you are spending the time to stay current by reading other peoples blogs, news feeds, current policies, and keeping the pulse on the topical conversations (along with your keywords use in all the arenas) will keep your content fresh and relevant. No one wants to read yesterdays news.

Start locally

It seems simple this idea, and its probably the easiest of all. Start with your local city, neighborhood and target local audiences both online and in the real world. Most of us have professional associations we belong to, or networking groups, or local business groups we work with. Reach out to these groups first, establish yourself as an expert locally and build your following here (while cutting your teeth) before you move onto a wider audience both in person and online. Write articles for local papers, post on local business forums, write press releases and talk on the radio, and get out there to local fetes, and community events and engagements.

Guest Blogging

You can find lists of local blogs that are pertinent in your field. Spend some time googling your competition and find out where thier articles are landing up and how. Pick the leaders in your local field and ask them where thier feeds come from, and then write some RICH keyword articles with relevant content. Use an plugin such as Squirrly SEO to help you get the most out of your articles for ranking. And for Pete’s sake, make sure you have spell checked and had someone proof your article. There is NOTHING worse than seeing amateur mistakes going out on national sites, and there is NO excuse for it!

Guilty by Association

Seth GOdin

We all know that you can gain a HEAP of recognition instantaneously by celebrity endorsement. Take the time to consider who in your industry has that celebrity pull (Seth Godin is the first person that comes to mind not to mention the highest raking blog online). Guest blogging is a great way to get some juice from industry leaders and the recognition and backlinking and twitter mentionshelping you with momentous gains in followers! Mentions, direct linking, recommendations, retweets, follows, all add up really quickly in the social media world! Get out and interview the leaders and experts in the field you are wanting to penetrate. Just the request alone will put you on the map as due dilligence leads those experts to check out your validity and even though you might not make the final cut, at least you have introduced yourself as ‘keen and on the scene’.

Just imagine what an endorsement from Brangelina would do for your personal brand!

Lets go start that expert path today and see you in the ‘bright future’.

If you have any  further ideas about creating your expertise personal brand let us know in the comments below!

By Erin Pimm

 

 

 

 

Do you have the time for Social Media?

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My first thought is how could you NOT have the time?

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Social media can be a serious time suck in your daily activities of updating, linking, tracking, retweeting, and posting. With new APPS and ways to connect popping up every other day and your home page on your smart phone laden with collections of smart boxes, you would wonder how many hours a day could you really spend connecting socially through a little hand held computer? Well – its doesnt need to be as daunting as all that, and there are some GREAT ways to exercise your right to speak out to your circles that could only take you moments a day.

I bring you the coallators and aggrigators. Blessed be they that organize your social media strategies and save you hours of posting online.

At the moment I am loving SproutSocial.com. It takes multiple accounts  from Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Feedly and LinkedIn and you can then schedule adnd publish all your posts from one location to multiple platforms in seconds if you are well organized. Other great features include Feeds from your social media to aggregate them and offer organized reading and an easy way to keep up on all your social media during the day. Reporting pulls from all your platforms in an easy to read format with interactions and graphs, and aggregates them into one easy group as well. And one of my favorites is Discovery where you can find some great feeds and people to follow based on key words and accounts. Its a great way to manage most of your social medias. Exceptions of course are Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, YouTube and some other majors, but all in all, its fast, super easy and moderately priced for the time you are saving.

I think you cant NOT afford to take the time and keep up on your social media platforms. At midnight as you are burning that last end of the candle, you can line up all your posts for the next day, for the best time to launch for each media, to maximize your exposure and clicks and conversion rates.

Let everyone know you are the expert.

Be top of mind.

Strengthen your brand.

Build your readership.

Maximize your social media.

Be the leader.

 

By Erin Pimm