The Importance of Adding High-Quality Images to Your Website
Erich Noack |March 02, 2015
Most self storage facility owners would do just about anything to increase customer traffic, convert more leads, and boost their organic search rankings. And while original content, keywords, and meta tags can do wonders to develop your SEO, there’s one major, often overlooked factor that contributes to your site’s rankings: User experience, or how effective your website is in sending your message and helping your user complete his/her goal.
The good news is you have some measure of control over this part of your website by including high-quality images. This is one simple and effective way you can improve your site’s user experience and, at the same time, enhance your SEO. Covered in this post are the basic rules and benefits of adding photos to your storage facility website. The value of doing so can then be assessed through the increased amount of leads your site converts and the higher organic search rankings it receives.
Using Images to Enhance Your SEO
The growing popularity of using search engines to find images online has long necessitated the addition of images to websites. The connection between searching for images and organic rankings means that adding relevant pictures to your website will increase your online visibility. Now that you have this knowledge under your belt, you definitely want to add images to your site, right? Take these factors into account:
Images should pertain directly to the content on your site. This sounds pretty straightforward, but gearing your visual content toward the written content on your website creates a sense of continuity. If your content concerns the great benefits of your climate-controlled units, then a picture of those units would be the most beneficial.
Write and include alt text descriptions and image title tags. Alt text description and title tags are designed for the visually impaired, providing a brief sketch of your images that can be read out by a program. They are also crawled by search engine bots and are therefore important to helping your site’s ranking. Don’t stuff your tags with keywords!
Including images is always better than no images at all. You certainly want to add the best quality images on your website as possible, but if you don’t have a high-resolution camera or the money to pay a photographer, then uploading images from your phone or a basic camera is more valuable than not including images on your site.
Beyond pleasing the bots as they index your site, images provide you an opportunity to please your human users and decrease your bounce rate. Bounce rate is measured by analyzing the number of users who return to the search results without viewing any further pages on a website. Images engage users to click through your pages, thereby helping to decrease your site’s bounce rate.
Studies show that, if users are given images to look at, they will remain on a site for a longer period of time. Adding images to your site kills two birds with one stone: Bettering your users’ experience and automatically bettering your ranking by decreasing bounce rate.
Using Images to Convert Your Leads
Sites containing high-quality images in addition to their relevant content get 94% more views than those that are purely text-based. That figure alone should be enough to make adding images to your site a top priority, but if you need more incentive, sites that contain no images will receive an average of 45% more views than before after adding them. Essentially, high-quality photography supplies you with more visits by increasing the quality of your user engagement.
So images will attract more visitors to your site. That much is clear. What’s more is that your site’s increased user engagement will result in longer visit times for users, allowing you more time to sell your product through both the content and the images. Remember that your images help to tell the story of your facility and the services it offers by providing easy-to-scan information. Utilizing this form of visual communication will build credibility and recognition in your brand.
High-quality images will convert your leads by:
Garnering more views to your site, which means more chances to convert.
Increasing user engagement, which means users spend more time on your site.
Decreasing bounce rate, which means more traffic and higher rankings.
Forming a link between customer and company, which means users are more likely to choose your services.
Using Images to Sell Your Product
As mentioned above, high-quality images tell the story of your services and create a sense of trust between your business and your client. They show the cleanliness, the security, and the well-maintained state of your facility, which all work toward the end goal of converting a potential lead into a paying customer.
For best results, you’ll want to use the highest quality, highest resolution photographs you can get your hands on. 67% of consumers note that the quality of the images depicting a product heavily influences their decision to purchase, so the higher the quality, the better the chance to convert. Plus, higher quality images are best suited for a number of applications:
They fit well into modern web design. Large, relevant, high-resolution photos are an integral part of putting together a well-formulated website that gets results.
They further the promotion of your facility and brand. Having a collection of nice, professionally produced images allows you to use them in your office, on brochures, or in other online directories.
They bring continuity to your social media accounts. Adding your images to all of your social media platforms, such as Facebook or Google+, can further increase your online presence.
What to Do Next
Now what? Where can you get these high-quality, high-resolution photographs of your facility and its features? There are a few different outlets for this, but keep in mind that, as stated above, including images is always better than no images at all. If you cannot afford a professional photography service or a digital camera, then make the time to take your own pictures with your phone or a friend’s camera.
You may want to find an affordable, professional photographer who can best represent your brand. They’ll have the necessary knowledge of lighting, angles, and color to make your facility look immaculate. Plus, they’ll provide you with edited, digital copies of the images in whatever format you need. Sometimes, your web service provider will have a staff photographer whose fee is included in the cost of your website. Check with your provider to see if they offer these integrated services.
Keep in mind that your first goal should be to provide the best user experience on your website as possible. Images will help you do that. Leads, conversions, and higher rankings will come from the time you spend making your site the best it can be by combining quality, relevant images with your original content.