What makes for a good website: image tips
Here are some image tips for what makes a good website. They say that images speak a thousand words and it’s true. Here’s how to use web images to clarify and convey your message so that visitors want to continue reading and avoid image mistakes that will have them leave.
Imagery can be used in a very powerful way to help visitors understand what your site is about.
Conversely, using the wrong images (or no images) make it difficult for your website visitors to know they’re in the right place so they leave.
Here’s some mistakes I see that consultants, coaches and therapists make on their website homepage and what to do instead.
When I’m working with business owners honing and improving their websites, the first thing I check is the hero area of their homepage.
The hero area is the section that appears first when the website loads without scrolling.
I’m looking for clarity in their message and whether the image they’ve used supports that clarity and message.
A mistake I often see on website homepages is using the wrong imagery.
What are wrong images?
I’ve seen a trend that uses images that evoke feelings.
They include landscape images of mountains, lakes, sky, clouds, beaches, water, rivers or pictures of Buddha statues and other inanimate objects.
I see lots of therapists and coaches use these kinds of imagery on the hero section of their homepage.
Whilst beautiful images of landscapes and inanimate objects may evoke feelings of freedom, peace and tranquillity they mistakenly believe that this will help a potential client to know that this is how you will feel after a session with them.
However, our brains aren’t clever enough to make that connection.
Or more specifically, the part of the brain that filters messages to the main brain to wake up and take action isn’t that clever.
Our brains are naturally wired to survive and conserve energy.
Thinking uses energy, so we have a filter that screens out unnecessary information and only allows information through that will help us to survive and thrive.
We’re being subjected to thousands of pieces of information, signals and messages all the time.
We’d soon be exhausted if we were to actively respond and engage with every single bit of information, signal or message.
Our brain is able to filter the information that it’s being subjected to and when something important that has an impact on their survival appears, it wakes up the main brain to pay attention and use brain power to take the next step.
But if it’s not important for survival then the information is dismissed as unimportant and moves on.
You may have noticed when you’re listening to someone talk and you find you’ve switched off and aren’t really listening.
It’s not just because they’re boring (although that could be true) – what they’re talking about isn’t important to your survival so you switch off – you can’t help it!
When we scan websites, our brain is deciding whether the information presented (in that hero section) is important and it does this in seconds.
So, seeing a picture of tranquil mountains or water, doesn’t help a potential customer know, in that split second that your service/product will help them survive or thrive.
For a mountain picture, they might think, climbing adventure.
A beach picture they may think beach holiday.
And that is fine if what you’re selling is beach holidays and mountain treks.
But if actually you sell consulting, coaching or therapy services, that’s not what you want your potential customers to be thinking of.
So what images are best for a consultant, coaching or therapy business website?
In that first instance someone scans your website, they’re looking for confirmation they’re in the right website.
They’re looking to see if you can help them survive or thrive.
Primarily they want to know if you work with people like them, for the problems they’re looking to have solved.
Part of that is also seeing people like them have success as a result of using your services or products.
If your web text says this succinctly and clearly then that’s halfway there.
Supplement your clear message with an image of happy people (who are like your ideal clients) using your products or who have benefited from using your services.
You might be thinking that customers come to you unhappy and stressed so should you use images that depict unhappy stressed people?
Definitely not, as that’s not attractive.
If you’re already unhappy then depicting more unhappiness is a turn-off.
Images of happy people are far more engaging.
Happiness is what your potential customers aspire to, so seeing happy people having had their problem solved with your service is far more appealing.
A lot more powerful than images of mountains, Buddha statues or decorative images of buildings or flowers (UNLESS that’s what you sell)!
So there you have some tips for using imagery well that will make for a good website.
If you’d like me to check over your website and suggest improvements so that you get more quality leads then get in touch.
You can get more tips like this when you download my free 5 minute guide, 6 Simple Tweaks to Increasing Website Conversions WITHOUT Increasing Traffic.