Are your images negatively affecting your conversion rates?
So, you have a beautifully designed website, its flow and user journey are on point and your text has been finely crafted and copy written, but is this all being upstaged by photography that’s telling a different story?
As bandwidth has increased, so too has the visual nature of the internet and for good reason. Research shows that our brains can process images 60,000 times faster than text, making photography one of the most powerful tools available to get your message across. In a busy space where users are having to think quicker and make decisions on the fly, you can guarantee that they’ll be tuning into these visual cues for reassurance.
Simplicity and focus
High Rise, a CRM technology company, undertook some extensive A/B testing to figure out the impact that photography had on their sign up page.
They found that by reducing the complexity of this page, turning it into a single long column of text with some small images, they were able to improve conversions by 37.5%. This makes sense because they were able to deliver more information in an easier to understand format. However, this simpler design was still text heavy, and the biggest improvements weren’t seen until the amount of text was reduced even further and a large, page filling image was introduced to do the story telling. This led to a 102.5% increase in conversions compared to the original design.
The more focused the page was, the more conversions it led to, and the larger image and reduced text was the most efficient way to convey enough information to build trust quickly.
Some of the key plays that photography can pick up the tab for can include:
- Reassuring users that they’re in the right place
- Quickly demonstrating to a customer what is on offer to them
- Setting a tone
- Effective story telling
- Conveying quality and building trust
You can see this happening all around the web, details that are too long-winded to explain with reams of text can be communicated in an instant with the right photography and reduced, well-crafted text, which brings me onto my last point.
The right photography
Not all photography is created equal and because most people aren’t trained professionals, the majority of photography isn’t the best quality, which is why you can make some very big gains against the competition by upping your game.
What is next level photography?
- Attention to detail is key! All of the details in a shot should be considered, if an object doesn’t add anything to the shot, then remove it. Oh, and it goes without saying, but don’t model jewellery with dirty fingernails (you’d be surprised what we’ve seen)!
- Aim for a considered and consistent colour pallet that supports your message. Just like objects, unnecessary colours can also create distractions and visual noise.
- The softness of the light illuminating your shot can vary a lot. Different light sources or weather conditions can have a dramatic effect on how soft or hard your shadows look. Aim to keep it consistent for a higher quality feel.
- Finding the right angles to take your shots at can dramatically add power to your compositions. Similar to objects and colours, limiting the number of angles you take your shots from can also make for a powerful way to remove fuss and add flare to a set of images.
- This is quite a technical consideration but the size of your camera’s image sensor can change the look of your photos. Smaller sensors tend to produce much less bokeh (background blur) this can result in fussy looking backgrounds and a cheaper overall feel to the images. This is one of the reasons we’d recommend that camera phones (with their tiny sensors) are great for your website’s blog but not for your main promo images such as your banners.
- And last techy point! A poor focal length choice can make an image feel awkward in a way that a user looking for clues about your company’s professionalism could sniff out! For example, if a camera lens is too wide, it tends to ‘suck in’ more background. This is great for the analytical overview of an area you’re illustrating but not so good for an intimate portrait. Pro tip, if your nose looks bigger than you were expecting in your new company portrait, it could be because the photo was taken with a wide angle lense.
But photography doesn’t have to be a difficult problem to solve. Our designers are trained in photography and have keen instincts to make sure you have access to the best and most suitable photography for your website, you can always talk to us and we can recommend some solutions tailored to your brand and requirements. Below are some of the options available.
Art Direction – creating your Photography Blue Print
This is the creative planning stage that you should seriously consider for any photography project. It involves a designer, who understands your brand and vision, carefully crafting a Photography Blue Print that consists of mood boards for lighting, angles, lens suggestions, colour pallets and other creative decisions as well as a full shot list. We’d then carefully select a photographer and work with them to realise the creative vision set out by your new Photography Blue Print.
Photoshoot – creating your photos
We can select a photographer for you or you can introduce us to one you’d like to use. We will then work with the photographer, going over moodboards and discussing shot ideas before the day of the shoot. We can even attend on the day of the shoot if needed, to make sure all runs smoothly.
Grading and Retouching – finishing your photos
No photos look their best straight out of the camera and all should be, at the bare minimum, colour graded. This involves creating a colour and light levels signature that can be applied to each photo in order to not only boost their visual pop but also level out any inconsistencies. This signature is kind of like a type of photographic branding that helps images feel like they belong to your brand’s stable.
If something needs changing within a photo, our designers are also skilled retouch artists and dab hands at painting with pixels. Common retouching tasks might involve removing or adding objects or backgrounds and even straightening buildings for a cleaner look!
Stock Photography (done the right way)
In the wrong hands, this can be a terrible idea, but it can also be a great one if a skilled designer with insight into your brand puts a selection together. There’s nothing like a bunch of cheesy stock images to turn a users stomach and put them off your material, thankfully we can detect cheesey images a mile away! There is a real craft and some times a slog to finding good and relevant stock images, it should be taken seriously and we’re definitely up to the challenge.
Want to know more? Get in touch :)