10 seconds. That’s how long you have before a visitor clicks away from your website ….. unless you can give them a compelling reason to stick around. So says studies done by Microsoft Research
All that fabulous SEO – tweeting, blogging and Facebooking (is that a verb yet?) yourself into a stuper to drive visitors to your site is for what? Well it get’s visitors there and that’s the first step. Good business photography will help keep them there.
The 10 second hurdle means to gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds. If you can keep visitors 30 seconds, your conversion rate is much much greater. In other words, show that you can solve the visitor’s question/problem/service/feel good thingy .. whatever you’re providing, and do it fast.
As daunting as the 10 second problem sounds, giving up and going home is not an option either. So how do you pull away from the herd and differentiate your business from your competition? Lots of great writing right? Well writing is important for sure but here’s the kicker – On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.
Think about what your viewer wants to see as well as what they want to read about.
If you’re visiting a site, would you feel better seeing completely random people high-fiving, shaking hands and appearing to do actual work? Stock photos are stock photos for a reason ….. generic. The same perky blond who’s never had a bad hair day or the chiseled super hero chin and a suit without a wrinkle ever? I don’t think so. Plus there is a pretty good chance that there are hundreds, if not thousands of other websites using that same photo trying to present the same message.
Or would you rather see real people within the company doing work and interacting with actual customers?
When you’re considering what types of photos to use on your website, you have to ask “Is this authentic or unique?” and “Is this going to differentiate me from my competitors?”
If you paint houses, show it. Do you build a product? Show it, and show how and where and who’s involved. Invite your viewers to be part of your story. Most importantly, show the benefits for your clients and therefore what it could potentially do for your website visitor/potential client.
For example. A community commercial bank providing small business loans. While you can show the building and the nice lady (hopefully) behind the counter etc. that’s not compelling. It’s their relationships with real businesses and real people that matters . Bob the car mechanic down the street is not going to switch to your bank because it has a nice carpet or well groomed staff. A nice banking facility should be a given. Bob needs to see the value. He wants to matter and feel that he’ll get a fair shake. Showing actual clients and businesses shows relationships in the community and the real effects of the banks small banking program is what makes a difference to a viewer. Make it personal. Compelling photographs are the way to show that value.
Be real: Don’t try and look like Microsoft …. unless you are Microsoft