Thursday, January 26, 2012
One of the law firms that we work with recently contacted us to let us know that a prospective client had called them after finding the site in a Google search. The web visitor said that he felt a sense of immediate comfort when landing on the home page explaining that he could relate to the photos used (featuring middle aged caregivers and their senior parents). After just a few moments on the site, he called to schedule an initial consultation and later retained the firm.
This example is not an isolated incident. The first thing that most people notice when they come to your firm’s website is the imagery. Outdated, overly posed or poor quality photos can leave a bad first impression. On the other hand, professional photos selected with your target demographic in mind can help to make a positive and long-lasting impression of your firm. So where and what exactly should you look for when selecting photos for your firm’s website?
There are dozens of reputable stock photography sites which allow you to purchase the rights to high quality images at minimal cost. When selecting a photo, make certain that it is current (if the photo has a rotary phone in it, stay away) and try to avoid posed images which are overly used and can make your site appear less authentic.
If you decide to use photos of your offices or local scenery, be sure to hire a professional photographer. While your spouse may have given you a great new digital camera for Christmas, this will not ensure the quality that is necessary for a professional website. A local photographer can bring the appropriate equipment and expertise to the table. Even their advice on the best pose or lighting can really make a significant difference. Another benefit of working with local photographers is that they often have photos of your town or city which are for sale, saving you the cost of shooting time.
Some of our clients will turn to Google and scour the web to find good photos. The problem with most photos that you find online is ownership and whether you can use the photo legally. Unless you have purchased a photo or have written permission from the photographer or owner, do not include the photo on your site.
If there is a personal photo or two that you are fond of and would like to use, seriously consider the quality. If it is pixilated or blurry, realize that you may actually deter visitors with your selection and, if you still feel adamant about including the photo on your site, make sure it is not featured in the prominent header area. Instead, consider including the personal photo on your profile page where it might have greater appeal to clients.