Graphic Design

Make Sure You Use a Good Photo on Your Website

It took a long time before people finally started putting their own photo on their sites. Today, however, you frequently see a mugshot of the site’s owner either on the home page or on the about page, or in the case of blogs like this one on EVERY page.

Now, in my poinion, that’s a very good thing. Your photo humanizes you for your visitors. People feel like they know you. Your words mean more to readers when they can see a photo of the person the words are coming from.

I recently saw some advice from a major web marketing firm who advised it is more important for your photos to make the site look good than for your photo to mean anything. That firm would rather see slick stock photos of models bumping fists.

Oh contraire! I would MUCH rather see the real photos of the real people on your staff doing what they really do during a normal day. That would stand out from all the fake stock photos we see on the vast majority of sites.

* Have a photo of you working, even if it is just sitting at a computer

* Do you interact with customers in person, on the phone, or on Facebook? Show a photo of that.

* Show your location, even if it is your home.

* Is there a pet where you work — for crying out loud show the pet! You’ll have people buying just because of the pet photo.

Ten years ago when I had a bunch of employees working in a highrise office, we had a web cam posted on our site that showed writers pounding the keyboards in our “control room.”

If you have lots of customers coming to your location, a web cam can have people being recognized by friends. That can be a very good thing, or bad depending on who recognizes them.

Today it is very easy to use your camera to make a little video you can load up on Youtube. Then post it on your site. Walk around your office or workplace and talk about what you do. Boring? Maybe, but many people will find it refreshingly fascinating. These days people are used to home-made videos, so your production quality does not have to be high.

Come to think of it. I’m writing this on a laptop next to a wood stove in my country home in New England on a cold day with the cat napping next to me. Wouldn’t that make a relaxing web site photo!

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