Using Your Own Photos Vs. Stock Photos On Website
No matter what type of business you have, nothing makes a website come alive better than great photos. When landing on a website, the first thing a user notices (besides the overall look) is the photos.
You only get one chance to make a positive first impression and you need to make the most of it. Many of our clients think stock photos are better than ones they take themselves. Plus, stock photos are inexpensive, and you can easily find ones related to your industry.
It’s hard to count the number of times a client has said, “Can’t you just use stock photos?” And yes, we can and do use stock photos, but the question is “Are stock photos better than ones you take yourself?”
It’s about making a connection
I say no. When given the option, it’s always better to use your own photos. Why? Because even when the quality is good, people can usually pick out stock photos. If all they see is stock photos on your website, they may be wondering WHY you don’t have any ‘real’ photos.
More importantly, your website is an excellent opportunity to start making an emotional connection with potential customers and that won’t happen with stock photos. You need real photos of your employees interacting with customers or smiling while doing their job. This is the first step in building credibility and trust with them.
With so much competition for new customers, it’s up to you to take advantage of every little edge that’s out there. Seeing real photos of your employees with happy customers might be the one thing that pushes them to choose you over another business.
Meet your staff virtually
The most obvious photos are headshots for the About Us page as it lets you virtually introduce yourself and staff to customers. People don’t like surprises so letting them know who they’ll be dealing with helps to alleviate that fear of the unknown.
If there’s a short bio to go along with the photo, that’s even better. It’s never a bad idea to give them more information and it helps build confidence when they read about their background, qualifications and skill level.
You don’t have to hire a professional
Getting photos doesn’t have to be a chore or expensive. Of course, the best option is to hire a professional for staff photos and to follow your employees around for ‘on the job’ photos but that’s not always in the budget or necessary. A good digital camera is not that expensive and you or an employee may already have one.
If not, that’s still no excuse as nearly every phone has a camera and they are quite good. Since most everyone always has their phone with them, it is easy for employees to take photos while out on a job and/or done with a project.
Make photos a priority
It comes down to whether your business is worth the extra effort and time it takes to get real photos for our website. Wouldn’t you agree that you can usually find the time to do something IF it’s going to help you make more sales?
Your website is usually the first contact you have with new customers. Since real photos can improve its performance, it’s easy to make the connection that using your own photos can have a positive impact on your sales.
If that’s not enough of a reason to make it a priority, then I don’t know what is.