Category Archives: SEO

Photos for Your Website

How to choose photos for your website

Choosing the right Photos for your website will increase customer confidence and reflect a professional business.

Choosing the right photo’s for your website is important and even possibly the most important part of designing a good website and it’s not just about the website looking good, photo’s can really help your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Here is why.

  • A good image keeps the audience engaged, a photograph with a caption is read more than the body of the text.
  • An eye catching headline photo is likely to invite your audience to investigate your website further, possibly by up to 300%.
  • A portrait photo of you and your team builds trust. Displaying either a generic, or staff photo on your site will inspire more trust from 79% of consumers. Source on  how a photograph builds trust by Bright Local).
  • A good photograph builds trust in the product
  • A picture paints a thousand words and they can be read in a matter of seconds!
  • Adding images with good Alt descriptions will increase your SEO.
add a portrait photo to give customer confidence

Include a photo of yourself to add customer confidence.

Getting ideas of photos for your website?

Well you could search Google images for a source of inspiration, but I would not recommend that you use these on your website, many images are copyrighted and popular photos are used on many other websites (and probably the same line of business as you), neither reflect well on your brand.
Stock photography is also an option, but stock photography is often dull and the better ones over used. Stock photography does not showcase your brand
Another research option to get inspiration is to use the Google keyword search, you can find out what people are searching for when finding business like yours, and tailor the photograph to reflect that. A unique good quality original photo tailored to show your business works well when used with ‘alt tag’ including the keyword to describe the photograph.

Bright marketing photo with shallow depth of field

Add bright in focus photographs with shallow depth of field

So What makes a good photo for your website?

  • Unique photograph
  • Focused on a point in the photo, shallow depth of field photos are popular (those that have
  • sharp focus but blurry back grounds).
  • Photos that are bright.
  • Relevant photos that get the message across.
  • Include a caption below the image.
  • At all costs avoid poor quality, they might be okay on Facebook and Twitter but on your website it de-values your brand and can harm your professionalism.

I put the question out to a Google+ forum (Local SEO Pros), here are the top 9 tips they came back with for making photography work for you.
1. Don’t use stock photos
2. We are attracted to individuals not groups, so bring in personality into your photo’s
3. Show photo’s of someone using your product/service
4. Have the person looking towards your call-to-action button
5. Show emotions in photo’s, but keep them natural looking.
6. Show a photo of how their life is after using your product/service
7. We are attracted to people like us – make sure your photos are of people who look like your ideal customer.
8. Showcase the bigger brands you work with, testimonials and awards.
9. Social proof – we are influenced by what others are doing. Highlight your most popular product (“this is a community favorite”). Use user photos & videos along with reviews and ratings “225,000 of your peers have this, would you like it as well…”

Mickkenyon.com professional website design and photography based in Ingleton, North Yorkshire, webdesign and photography for the North of England.

 

 

Google Local Searches

Google added a new algorithm to the UK search engines in December 2014 they called it Google Pigeon, this has a massive impact on Google Local Searches.

What are Google Local Searches?

Google Local searches are when someone searches for something location based (geographical searches), so for instance you might type ‘Cafes in Manchester’, this will then return the results based on Manchester + Cafes.  Another local search is now available using generic searches on mobile devices, you now only need to type ‘cafes’ and if you don’t specify an area Google will use your current location to return the cafes in the area you are currently at. Google say that ‘as many as 1 in 3 searches are now location based’, so it makes sense to get your ‘local searches’ in order.

Google Local Search Results Manchester cafes

Google search for Cafes Manchester are displayed in the 7 panel and maps

What is Google Pigeon

Google pigeon is an algorithm that ranks websites for local factors, those sites that are ‘Pigeon’ friendly are more likely to be show in search results that are location based. These results may be returned in search result panels, the top 7 search panel or on Google maps as pins.

The Google Pigeon is Evolving

The pigeon is evolving, Google are tweaking the algorithm all the time, a recent addition is now to show price range on results when a search for accommodation is performed as in the example below for a search ‘Hawes Accommodation’. The price  feeds from accommodation booking sites e.g booking.com, laterooms.com and is shown under the web address. This allows ‘searchers’ to click on the link and directly book via the agency.

Accommodation search showing prices

Search performed for accommodation in Hawes now shows the price range.

How to improve your Google Local Search ranking

There are lots of things you should do, but probably the most important start is to get your Google+ page complete. Google bases a lot of its results on what it finds on your Google+ page, opening hours, telephone number, address and more.  The other thing is to get a good website that operates well across all devices whether it be Desktop, tablet or mobile. Another good tip is to get listed on key business directories (making sure you are consistent in the information you add)

There is obviously a lot more you can do to improve your chances on getting shown on Google Searches, there are no guarantees but you can certainly increase your chances of getting ranked.

Please feel free to drop me a line or give me a call to have a chat.