The Importance of Photography in Digital Marketing
If you want to draw traffic to your website, unique, high-quality content is essential. Done well, your website will be full of written content addressing important questions and issues in your industry. Paragraphs and paragraphs of text aren’t enough. To draw readers in and keep them engaged, you need images on each page as well.
Simple enough, right? Just grab a few stock photos off of an image site, either free or for a nominal licensing fee, and upload them to your website. Only that won’t cut it. If you want your content to have an impact, you need to include original photos as well as original words. Here’s why photography across your digital marketing efforts is so important, and how to include it.
Original Photography Vs. Stock Photos
The problem with stock photos is that they’re generic. They’re made this way deliberately to fit in with a variety of different topics and scenarios. Unfortunately, generic doesn’t engage your readers. Most people can spot a stock photo, and they don’t pay as much attention to them as they do to images specifically designed for the content they’re attached to. Studies have shown original photography sees more engagement than stock photos with up to 35% higher conversion rates.
Additionally, original photography is better for search engine optimization. Google’s search algorithms favor original, dynamic content, and rank it higher than content that’s taken from elsewhere. This mostly applies to text, but it extends to photos as well. The stock photo you licensed has likely been licensed by many other websites as well. Google’s algorithms can detect that, and will rank your site lower than another that uses new, original photos instead.
Getting Photography for Your Site
So where do you get original photos? You may be tempted just to take your iPhone and point it at a few staff members. However, like every other aspect of SEO, your first and foremost concern should be quality. You don’t just want photos. You want quality photos that will engage your audience. If your photos look rushed or unprofessional, it will turn people off of your brand.
If you have someone on staff who knows about photography and can take good quality photos for you, then, by all means, use them. Otherwise, hire a professional who can deliver vibrant, engaging photos that meet your specifications. It will cost a little bit more than using stock photos, but the increased engagement—and increased conversion rates—will more than make up for it over time.
How do you determine what kind of original photos to use? It’s the same basic process you’d use when choosing a stock photo. Look at the topic of the content and ask, “What kind of image best conveys this topic?” Try to get more specific than just, “a person in an office, working on their computer,” unless that particular person is important to the content. Get creative, and try to find something that will catch users’ eyes when they click your page. With a little creativity and a little investment of time and resources, your photos can improve your content – and your engagement – by leaps and bounds.