Today I’m talking about the impact that graphic and images can have in getting customers to stay on your website longer.
We’ve all seen that one website that just made us laugh hysterically at how poor the design was, and also on the flip side. We’ve also seen a website that makes us literally stop and go, “WOW! I wish my website look like that!”
I’m sure you’re pretty well aware of the fact that every website needs good graphics and photos as well as the good content itself in order to get people to stay on your website and to possibly become customers or clients.
What most people don’t know however, is what constitutes a good photo or graphic.
Now, we live in the day and age where it is very easy to get graphics and photos. And I’m not talking about
borrowing stealing images from Google.
DON’T DO THAT!
There are plenty of stock photo and graphic sites available that can help you improve the quality of your website and bring in more customers until you can budget a professional designer or a professional photographer to create custom images just for your business.
And really, that should be the ultimate goal of improving your website. Getting professionals to create custom things for your business to help you stand apart from your competition.
But when your business isn’t doing well, or if you’re in a slow month, or just starting up, you may not have the budget to pay for professionals to do the work for you.
And that’s okay!
Everyone has to start somewhere. There are plenty of tools available out on the web that can help you make good-looking graphics and stock photo sites that can provide you with photos temporarily.
But what makes a good image or graphic?
Well, the factors may vary depending on what business you’re in, however most successful graphics and photos will contain some of the same elements. There are certain psychological factors that go into graphics and photos that make them super responsive to your customers.
I was looking at the website of Elegant Themes recently, and came across their blog post about bad web design. Granted, this is originally posted in 2015, but its still current today. Most of the bad websites that they featured were old 90s style, text based blogs, but there was one on the list that genuinely surprised me.
Yale Art University.
So for an Ivy League school, you would expect the website to be somewhat edgy, but clean.
Here’s what their website looks like at the time of the blog post:
The website features a standard page menu off on the left-hand side of the screen, along with some department events being announced in the top center. Okay, not so bad, except that it’s kind of hard to read. The background however, is what completely detracts from this website. It’s a photo of what appears to be a gathering in one of the university’s galleries, and instead of being a single image front and center with a caption underneath that, that same photo is tiled as the background, so there are multiple images splashing across the page. And then there’s some other odd photo that looks like it’s trying to tell about party in one of the dorm rooms down the bottom center.
Isn’t that horrible?
So giving them the benefit of the doubt, since this blog post was done in 2015, I assumed that Yale University would’ve cleaned up their art departments page and done something unique with that. After all, some of the graphic design and website students could have taken it over and made something truly unique. So I went to go check it out.
Instead, in 2017, it’s just as bad as it was in 2015.
The background has been changed to the University Shield with red, blue and yellow colors, with their mascot superimposed. And that has been tiled across the background!
The navigation menu is still off to the left and is still hard to read!
Now, your website may not look as bad. In fact, because you’re using a website building service, yours may actually be fairly decent. So what’s the one thing that you can do to make your website go from, “Nice website.” to “Wow – I love your website! That was part of the reason why I chose to work with you/shop with you! It looks so professional!”
Now here’s an example of a website that went from okay to Much Better! A web design company in Colorado called WebYodel.com took the website of the Sunshine Paper Company and updated it. This happened in 2014, but the website of the Sunshine Paper Company has been used like that ever since.
The old one was okay, with the basic navigation menu on the left-hand side, a basic About Us in the center, with a couple of new items off to the right. This website is certainly functional, and does the job, but it takes a minute or two to figure out exactly what it is that they’re offering if you don’t read the text right in the middle of the page. This website could be so much better! Which is exactly what WebYodel.com did.
WebYodel.com did a complete revamp from top to bottom. Instead of the 90s looking blue bar graphics, they changed the theme to red and black text in order to match the logo. Even the logo was slightly revamped, going from orange to red and updating the font ever so slightly. There’s a beautiful graphic of the pressman holding a piece of paper hot off the press, so it’s pretty clear what it is that they do without having to read any of the text on the page. Below the main image is now a small four column layout, that features new products, featured items, tech tips, and a place to send your questions. The telephone number is very visible, allowing potential customers to call up and place the orders right away.
This is a great example of an okay website going to fantastic. It’s very professional looking in the image on the front page makes me think that their customers and employees are happy because the guy has a big smile on his face. The customers look like they’re happy, then the quality of the products must also be good. Or so the psychology goes.
Of course, even if you have a stellar website, if your customer service or your product/ service delivery sucks, then no amount of marketing will do you any good! So be sure to follow up with your customer service and delivery to keep your customers happy.
So now for today’s action item: what is one thing that you could do to improve your website? Besides a complete redesign! Think about one main graphic or photo that could be swapped out and make your website go from, “ehhh, it’s ok.” to “Love it!”
Send me a snapshot before and after your change! At the end of the month, I’ll be choosing one lucky winner to receive a complete website breakdown. This is where I go through your website and give you ideas on what you could change quickly and easily to improve the quality of your website.
If you would like to be able to get high quality photos, videos and graphics for your website and other marketing materials, sign-up for Deposit Photos. They have multiple purchase options available, from single image downloads to fantastic cost-savings packages.
If you would like to see more of Elegant Theme’s post about bad web design ( and I suggest you go look at them just for a laugh), click here.