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A beginner’s guide to visual content.

Research has shown that humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish, and our attention spans are shortening every year. This means that when we have valuable content and information to share, we need to grab people’s attention fast and keep their attention long enough to establish a relationship with them. One of the best ways to do this is to utilize visual content.

There are several types of visual content and ways to create them, and there are many that work for some brands and business more than others. But no matter what industry you’re in, what content you want to share, or what level of experience you have, there are a few foolproof ways to add visual content to your website that take a minimal amount of time, cost, and maintenance…

Hire a professional photographer (or take them yourself).

For the most authentic and unique visual content, hiring a professional photographer or taking your own photos is guaranteed to be your best option. When a potential client or customer visits your site for the first time, they don’t just want to read about your brand or business, they want to see it.

If you’re an individual or a team that is offering a service, they want to see what you or your team looks like. If you’re a retail store, a restaurant, an office space, or an organization, they want to see what your location looks like before they visit, so they know what to expect and what to look for when they get there. If you’re selling a product or providing a service, they want to see the real product or see the service in action. Creating real photos is the best way to visually showcase and reflect your brand or business.

A professional photographer will capture you or your business’ best angles and will provide you with the highest-quality photos for your website. If a professional photographer isn’t in your budget, you can also consider taking your own photos, or having an experienced team member within your company take them for you. Most smartphones currently on the market come equipped with user-friendly cameras with an impressive number of megapixels, and there are several free or inexpensive photo editing apps available.

Purchase or download stock photography.

If your brand or business is still in the start-up stage, having professional photos taken, edited, and optimized may not be in your budget or on your radar. And you may not be comfortable taking your own photos, or depending on your experience with photography, you may not be satisfied with your results.

If professional or in-house photography is out of the question for you, stock photography is another great option. There is a long list of websites that offer free or inexpensive stock images for you to use, and you can almost always find an image suitable for your needs. But there are a few things to keep in mind with stock photography:

  1. Stock photography is not a replacement for authentic, self-created photos.
    Avoid using stock photos to reflect individuals within your company or your company’s facility. While there is an endless number of stock photos of professional-looking individuals or great looking office structures, if you use these photos on your “meet the team” or “where to find us” pages, your potential clients or customers may be misled and end up confused. Use authentic photos as often as possible, and reserve stock photography for content emphasis.
  2. Stock photography is available to everyone.
    When looking for the perfect stock photo to feature in your blog post or to place on your website, keep in mind that other brands or businesses can use that photo, too. Avoid going for the first photo that pops up, or ones that have an exceptionally high download count. But if you find an image you love and that you think is perfect for that specific piece of content, go for it!
  3. Stock photography shouldn’t mean generic.
    While all photography used on your website should be visually appealing and attention grabbing, don’t let it steal the show or distract from the content you worked hard on. Photos should complement the content and bring attention to it, so always choose a photo that is relevant to your topic or content.
  4. Stock photography must be royalty free and licensed for use. This means that the photo is available to be used or reused for personal or commercial design purposes without paying royalty fees to the photographer/creator, and without copyright infringement or legal implications. Taking images from Google or directly from other websites can result in legal battles and fines, so it is crucial to always use reputable stock photography websites that allow you to download these photos for free or with a one-time purchase per photo.

Create custom infographics.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and when you have the right photo (whether it’s professionally taken, you took it yourself, or you found it on a stock website), it can communicate everything you need it to. But when you can’t take or find the perfect photo, an infographic is a great alternative!

Infographics take overwhelming concepts and heaps of data and makes them easy to understand and process. Visually appealing and efficiently communicative infographics can be made in-house using free or inexpensive programs, or can be outsourced to a professional, often at a lower rate than photography. 

We understand the importance of visual content.

When we build websites for our clients, we design them around the client’s content. We believe that the website should serve the content and the conversion goals, and that content shouldn’t be made to just fill up an aesthetic space. Just like written and optimized content, visual content has an important and impactful place on a webpage, and we’re passionate about helping you create or find the perfect photos and graphics.

Our team of experts will help you polish, create, or find the visual content that will grab the attention of your potential clients and customers and get them interested in you.