The homepage of your website is the first thing that clients see. Visitors will make an immediate judgment based on the way it looks, feels and reads. You want your first impression to be the best it can be, and a sure way to do that is to choose images that really speak to your company mission and goals.
A good design makes a great impression for you, so follow these simple tips to make your homepage images shine and make a positive impression on potential clients.
1. Listen to Your Creative Team’s Direction
Your creative team should have a photo plan for your company or firm that is crafted around your brand, goals, slide messaging, style direction, layout and overall concept. As PaperStreet’s Art Director, I spend a great deal of time finding just the right photo to tell the story at hand, all within the parameters of the art direction we have created. For example, if the photo area spans across the page, a landscape-oriented picture with either no focal point or has the main subject matter smaller in the middle is ideal.
2. Spend a Little Extra if Necessary
A high quality photo will set the tone and make a great first impression for your website. If a custom photo shoot does not work with your schedule or budget, turn to stock photos and proceed with caution. Stock photo prices can vary greatly so it is worth doing an extensive search and being selective with your choices. Typically, a little extra spent on stock photos goes a long way.
3. Don’t Be So Literal
There is nothing wrong with being straightforward or accurately descriptive with your images, however you can be artful about it. For example, if you are a personal injury attorney and you take vehicle accident cases, it does not mean that you have to show an entire picture of a large car crash on your home page. Instead you can show a car speeding with the blur lines, or something else pertaining to your brand differentiating factors.
4. Pair Images with Relative Messages
If you are clear as to what you want to communicate on your home page slide area, it is best to find images that relate to those messages. It is also a good idea to be consistent about the tone of messages and the style / theme of the photos you are using. For example, you may want to communicate that you bring calm and peace to your clients’ lives, so finding images of nature would connect well. You may also find that after finding images you love, tweaking the messages to relate to those photos even further will be helpful for the user.
The best advice I can give is to trust your creative team and the plan they have for you. Although your input and feedback are an integral part of your homepage image success, the prime real estate of your website should be manicured by a trained creative eye.