The role of photos and spokespeople on web pages
It happens all the time. Your website is immaculately designed. The marketing language is perfect. The right information is delivered to the visitors in a straightforward manner. But your site does not perform, and your sales pages do not convert your visitors into clients. The “bounce” rate is very high. What may possibly be wrong?
Chances are, this has to do with the trust your visitors have – in you, in your company or in your product. In the very beginning of your relationship with a prospect, when they have just landed on your web page without knowing anything about you, you’re already asking them for something – and I’m not even talking about a call to action. You’re asking them to trust that your site is legitimate and that what you’re saying is true. This may not sound like much, but your site’s rapport is a significant factor when your visitors make the – almost unconscious – decision: to leave and browse the next company, or to stay and see what you have to offer.
We live in a time when pretty much anybody can put up a web page in a matter of seconds. Internet fraud schemes abound, and this results in visitors being weary and cautious whenever they venture out into unfamiliar territory. To improve your site’s rapport, you have to make your visitors feel safe.
Science shows that we make our decisions based on emotions. In order to win your visitors’ business, you first have to ask yourself the following question: “What emotions do I want my website visitors to experience as a result of looking at my web page?” If your answers are in the vicinity of “safety, trust, appeal and connection,” then you’re on the right track. So how is this accomplished?
People don’t connect with a website – people connect with people. AI, chatbots – even the ones that can brilliantly answer all of their questions – are absolutely ineffective when it comes to making a connection with your prospects. In order to begin establishing trust, your prospects need a genuine connection with a real human being.
Every business needs a face. When we walk in to a store or a hotel, for example, we like to be greeted by a live person. We are genetically wired to gravitate toward people. If you want to establish rapport, your website should prominently display photographs of a person or people. A spokesperson – the face of your organization – is just as important as your marketing message.
You might say, “Big deal! Just get a bunch of photos of a good-looking guy or girl from a stock site and use those.” Although this may work in some marginal cases, you’ll be facing several challenges, all of which lead back to the question of rapport. Stock photos being quite popular, the models have now become recognizable. This means that you’re back in the category of “just anybody,” who can invest in a stock site subscription. The models usually look impeccable, stock photos are photoshopped to perfection, all of which can lead to your web page seeming inauthentic. And when your prospect decides to call or meet you, they will experience a cognitive dissonance, because – chances are – you look and sound nothing like your spokesperson.
Your spokesperson doesn’t have to be beautiful to be likeable. Authenticity is key. This is why I highly recommend that you should be the spokesperson for your brand. This applies to most small and medium-sized businesses. Think about the following: if your website was a physical location, and an eager customer had just walked through the door – wouldn’t you want to greet them in person?
If you’re thinking about a new or a redesigned website, your best course of action is to schedule a photoshoot with you and your team members. Give me a call, and I will tell you a few things to keep in mind when taking photos for your website.