Wondering why we used a photo of duck feet? Hopefully it generated some type of curiosity, and made you want to read more. If so, we picked a good stock image. If not, well, let’s talk about how stock images can improve conversion rates.
“Stock photos get a bad rap.” Actually, they were part of the joke when they were used to promote Vince Vaughn’s movie Unfinished Business. Twentieth Century Fox and iStock by Getty Images slipped Vaughn and cast mates into cheesy stock photos to boost the movie.
Their ironic take on stock photos is just further proof they aren’t the best option when it comes to your landing pages. Sure, they were funny in the movie promotion, but then again they were part of the joke.
When it comes to photos for your landing pages, there are options. You can look for a truly “authentic” stock photo – just say no to men in business suits and ladies with headsets. You could use your own photos, or you can use user generated photos – these are the ones your customers’ post. These can only be used with permission, though.
In this post, we’re going to talk about where to find stock images to optimize landing page conversions as well as why it’s so important.
Consumers Mostly Ignore Stock Photos
Did you know that your customers usually ignore stock photos? After all, many of the stock photos in use today are just different versions of the same person in a business suit or customer service representative.
The Nielsen Norman Group conducted eye-tracking studies and found the following:
- People generally ignore feel good, decorative images that don’t elicit emotion.
- Photos of real products and real people are treated as important and looked at.
While using stock photos may save you time, in the long run, this saved time costs you a lot of money in lost landing page conversions.
You want to stay away from “filler” images that just take up space. The Nielsen Norma study analyzed viewers’ eye movements across webpages and showed they paid attention to images with real people and relevant information, but they ignored fluffy, filler images.
So, you can see how poorly-chosen stock photos hurt your landing page conversion rates.
Authentic Photos Increase Conversions
The web is a visual media, and your visual content is the founding block of all your online marketing.
Photos that humanize your brand work best. While creative, unique stock photos can work well, you might also choose to go the authentic route to optimize your landing page conversion.
For example, let’s take that woman with a headset stock photo we talked about earlier. These photos are all over the Internet, and for the most part they are nearly identical.
What can you do on your customer page? Where will you find an image? Take a walk down your office hallway and find a real person. Ask them if you can take their photo for your website, and voila, you have a recognizably human, unique, authentic person to use on your customer service page.
In the digital world we live in, and especially with the onslaught of social media options, we’ve all become mini digital voyeurs. Social media has bred this in us. Yet, this is one of the reasons that as consumers we are more driven by authentic photos than we are by obviously canned, stock photos.
Think About Your Image First
When creating your landing pages and thinking about how to optimize them for conversions, pick your image first. Your image shouldn’t be the last thing you think about, but the first. It can actually drive your creativity.
You should plan how you’ll use your landing page image to hook your customers emotionally.
To optimize your landing page conversions, you’ve got to hook your website visitors. This is greatly dependent on your image and the emotion it generates. You have a very limited time frame to grab your reader, so your image is important to your success.
Your image is also your key to winning trust. Use a cheesy stock photo as one of your testimonial photos, and you’ve hardly won any trust. Yet, use a real person’s photo, and you go a long way towards building your credibility.
Where To Find Stock Images
Back in the days before smartphones, taking photos for your branding campaigns and website was a long, arduous process. Today, you can take them yourself, or you can use the Internet to access high-quality stock photos.
Using stock photos isn’t a complete no-no. What is, though, is using images that aren’t authentic. Where can you find high quality stock photos? Here are a few of our favorites for unique stock imagery:
- Fotalia offers unique images at affordable prices.
- Getty Images is often considered the stock image leader. In their recent Visual Trends forecast, they note “our appetite for a unique point of view and standout visuals increases.” They seem to understand the need for stock photos that don’t look like they’re stock.
- Photocase prides itself for offering stock photography for people who don’t want typical stock photos.
Other Options for Images
The best option remains to take your own photos. This leads to images that help optimize landing page conversion rates.
If the thought of taking your own photos sends you running for the hills, we’ve got some tips for taking your own photos and using them to optimize landing page conversions.
First, make a list of the photos you need. Talk to your co-workers or people you know, tell them what you’re looking for and find out if they’d be willing to be your model.
Many smartphones have excellent cameras, but you can also purchase a nice digital camera. Now that you have models and a camera, decide what you’ll photograph and where. The goal here is to stay authentic. Take photos of people doing interesting, engaging things.
Shooting outside is usually a good idea because viewers like nature photos. We also recommend keeping humans in your photos to engage your audience and trigger their emotional response.
Think about your visual story and what you want to portray. This will help with your landing page conversions, too.
Lastly, you can always hire a pro to take great website photos.
Images of real people doing real things in real places serve to increase your website’s success. You want to look for stock images (or take your own) of people doing things in the moment. This is how you’ll optimize your landing pages.
Your use of unique, quality images lends authenticity to your website, engenders trust and resonates with your viewers.
Let your images set the tone and the mood of your landing pages. Step away from the oversell, and let the photo do the talking.
We can help you use stock images, or your own images, to optimize landing page conversion. If you’d like more information on how to generate leads and increase conversions, we can help. Lead generation and conversion rate optimization are our specialty. We can help you improve your content and use images to optimize your landing pages. Contact us today.
We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.