Why Local Businesses Need Website Images
Images and illustrations on local businesses websites do so much more than just look pretty and ‘break the text up a bit’!
In fact, recent studies prove they play a huge, vitally important role in attracting local visitors, re-visits and driving customer conversion.Recent studies prove #images play a huge, vitally important role in attracting local visitors, re-visits and driving customer conversion. Click To Tweet
In recent years, customers have been ‘trained’ by advertising and social media to recognise and trust ‘brands’.
Many local businesses feel they can’t compete, but this really is not so. As their website builder, you can advise them how they can win more sales and pick up some repeat business for yourself at the same time!
Below are a few takeaways I’m sure you’ll find to be a real eye-opener when it comes to talking to your website customers who have a local trading base.
Website Builder TAKEAWAYS:
Branding isn’t just for the ‘big boys’
- Big brands use images all the time and put their logo, characters and colours prominently on every page.
- Local businesses can learn from this by copying how established national brands use images and illustrations to drive business goals such as sales.
Visitors remain on websites with images for longer
- Humans are visual creatures, and when combined with our curious nature most people can’t help engaging with a well-designed image.
- Web sites displaying business branding prominently on buttons and images are more than twice as likely to get click-throughs than those without.
A picture tells a thousand words
- Whatever the industry, big or small, a process flow or business summary is much more likely to get views if it is linked to an engaging image.
- Using well thought out and targeted flow diagrams, graphs, maps and infographics really boost customer engagement for local businesses.
- Ask you local business client to compare that to the time taken to read a paragraph containing the same information!
Are you sitting comfortably…?
- Customers engage with websites that tell stories about their brands through their on-line content and related images.
- Use the fact they are a local brand by embracing the local story, be that historical, modern, specialist or quirky.
- If locals see them as part of their community, they will begin to trust and respect their place in it. Likewise, visitors from outside their immediate area will warm to the ‘local good will’ their website displays.
- By using carefully chosen relatable images, you will capture their website visitor’s attention, drawing them into the main offering.
- Visitors who feel actively invested in a character’s visual personality will warm to them and be more inclined to return to the local business’ website.
- Images imprint on the brain more permanently than either spoken or written media.
- So by linking your customer’s local brand with their adopted image style and colour pallet, their customers will begin to subconsciously think of them as one of the ‘big brands’.
- This is what we have all been trained to do over the years and your customers’ clients are no different.
- Images and colours can have both positive and negative impacts on viewers.
- Illustrations and images of happy, smiling people are proven to attract views, but make your customers aware that ‘false’ looking stock photos have been shown to have the opposite effect.
- Remember that one of their big selling points is that they know their local customers, so use images and develop characters that their audience can relate to.
- A big up and coming trend is for cartoon avatars and brand ambassadors. Think Meerkats, Churchill, Cadbury’s Bunny and the Famous Grouse!
- This proven strategy could work really well for your clients and is affordable and flexible too.
- It’s also perfect for the camera shy!
Images drive search engine results
- Properly labelled images with captions and SEO friendly metadata helps content show up in local businesses search results and win them more ‘clicks’.
- Labelling their images with the name of their town and business type as well as the image description will help no end with search engine results eg. ‘Cambridge Coffee Shop table in the window’.
- Search engine results with thumbnail images attached immediately attract the eye, and also the clicks of visitors.
- Advise your local businesses to use their URL and town as well as their business name in all their social media links.
- Just like the big brands, advise them to stick to one pallet of colours and their website typeface.
- You might want to suggest they get their social media headers designed in the same style as their website header.
- Whatever they do, tell them not to confuse their customers by looking different on social media!
- If they argue, point them to the big brands… Consistency is the key!
Get people talking about them
- Show them how to get others to spread the word about their local business.
- Make it easy for visitors to share their content by including click-to-share Facebook and Twitter buttons on their website pages.
- Use forward linked website images to promote competitions and to celebrate special days, seasons, local causes and events.
- Suggest allowing events and causes they promote to use your local businesses images on their websites as long as they have backlinks to your customer’s website.
Website Builders Beware
If you are going to use images and photographs on your client’s websites there are a few things to be aware of:
- Make sure you or they own the rights to use that image on the website.
- If you or they take any photos, check they have permission before using someone’s photo online.
- If you are using stock photography double check that their competitors are not using the same images.
- Royalty free images copied from the internet (such as clip-art) are rarely COST FREE. Copy and paste can lead to prosecution. Be careful.
- Images designed for you or for your client by others can also have royalty and copyright terms attached. Check any licencing agreements before putting any images online. You or they may only have the rights to use them in print for example.