Good quality images are essential to your website. Not only do they create a much more immersive and enhanced experience, images help to tell your story in a way that words simply cannot.
Our brains can process and identify pictures quite literally in the blink of an eye. Text takes far longer to process and is retained for much shorter periods of time. In our fast paced, information saturated world the need to grab the attention of your audience is greater than ever and there is no better way to do that than with great visual content.
Still not convinced? Research shows that content with visuals gets 94% more views than content without. If you want your content to be successful, it needs to be seen!
Before you go grab your camera or start searching Google Images, there are a few key things that you should know in order to avoid copyright infringement.
To help you start creating amazing visual content the right way, we have created a list of the most important dos and don’ts when it comes to using images on your website.
- DO take your own photographs The images that you take belong to you, so go ahead and use them as you wish. There are however, certain exceptions regarding photographing people.
- DO NOT publish a photograph of someone without their consent. If you snap a picture of a client in your office or a patient in your clinic, make sure to get their consent either verbally or in writing before you publish their photo (example 1). In most cases, people will happily oblige but it’s better to be safe than sorry. It is OK to use a photo when a person is not the main subject of the photograph. For example: if you take a picture of a street corner and people appear walking down the sidewalk or appear in the background etc. (example 2)
- DO NOT publish other people’s photographs. If you’re searching the internet looking for that perfect image to add to your website, latest blog or social media post STOP. You cannot publish other people’s photographs without permission. It is also important to remember that giving credit to the photographer or citing the source does not negate copyright infringement. The good news is that there are plenty of resources for photographs out there, many of which are free, you just have to know where to look.
- DO use FREE stock photography websites. To most people’s surprise, there are many resources available for free, high quality stock photos that can be used for any legal purpose. Here are some of our favorite websites for free photos:
- DO purchase stock images. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for there are always stock images that you can purchase for very reasonable rates. Websites such as www.istock.com or www.shutterstock.com provide amazing search filters that allow you to find very specific images. For example; you can narrow down your search results to find images that are only a specific orientation (horizontal, vertical, square, etc.) or within a specific colour range.
- DO use Google’s advanced search filters to find images that are free to reuse. Within Google images you can filter your results to only show you images that are labeled for reuse. However, it is always recommended that you verify the source of the image even if it is labeled for reuse because there may be certain restrictions or conditions, for example: the image is free to reuse as long as a credit is given to the photographer. Follow these steps to turn on the filter in Google:
- DO NOT plead ignorance. Simply claiming that you “didn’t know” or you thought it was OK because there was no indication to think otherwise does not make you exempt from the law. When in doubt, don’t publish! If you’ve saved an image to your computer and you can’t remember where it came from, try uploading it to tineye.com a reverse image lookup that will help you find the source.
The value of using images to grab the attention of your audience is undeniable but it is important to comply with best practices. The penalties for copyright infringement are real and can be quite harsh.
Note: we are not lawyers; therefore the information provided in this article is based solely on our personal research and experience. For legal advice, please consult a legal professional.
The homepage of a website is essentially the most important page of any website. This is the page where you make your first impression and often this first impression is deciphered in the first 3 seconds of landing on your website. The homepage is also the one page that commonly gets the bulk of your site traffic and can either encourage or discourage the visitor from turning into a lead and eventually a customer. That is why it is critical to ensure you know who you are marketing to and what it is you intend to deliver as a business and how. As such, our Montreal Web Design team has put together a list of elements we believe are critical to keep in mind when having the website of your business redesigned.
1. Headlines and sub-headlines:
The homepage of your business website should reflect the stages of the buying cycle which include:
- Awareness: when a visitor becomes aware of your product.
- Consideration: when a visitor starts evaluating solutions to their needs.
The top of your homepage will reflect the awareness stage of the buying cycle through the use of headlines and a sub-headline. Both should briefly and effectively demonstrate what it is your business does and what it has to offer for your clientele.
2. Supporting Images:
There should be high quality supporting images all throughout your website, but having such on your homepage is of primary importance. The majority of people are fairly visual. It’s crucial that you include visuals that very clearly demonstrate who it is you are and what your business has to offer. We encourage you to be authentic and choose imagery that captures emotion. Images that make your website visitors feel a positive emotion that relates to your product offered tend to further encourage the visitor to choose your product.
3. Good copy that reveals the benefits of your product or service:
As the visitor scrolls below the introductory section of your homepage that is normally within the header area, they should be able to understand the benefits in which your product or service offers and your experience level or how long you have been offering your service. This can be done by using lightweight and straightforward copy that is worded in the manner in which your clientele speaks. If you honestly demonstrate the benefits to your visitors and how long you have been offering such a service for, the chances of them going with your product and being faithful to it will be greater.
4. Show your visitors the way with links:
Your homepage should always provide your visitors with a direction to other significant features on your website. Part of your homepage should be dedicated to encouraging your visitors to click links to these important pages on your website such as products, services, blog and contact pages. It provides your visitors with the ability to easily navigate through your site and find what they are searching for. When you lead your visitors to the most important pages of your website such as the specific services or products offered using the particular keywords you are seeking to be ranked for, you’re helping Google find and rank your linked webpages accordingly.
According to Hubspot, the call to action (CTA) is the link between the regular content which the visitor is interested in and the page that persuades this visitor to turn into a potential lead. The CTA is very brief in wording, consisting of no more than 5 action oriented words. Examples of a good call-to-action include:
- Contact us today
- Make an appointment
- Get a free consultation
Based on the content you have on your homepage, there should be a couple calls-to-action on your homepage.
6. Testimonials, reviews and success stories:
Your homepage can have every critical element in the book, but what will surely grab the attention of the visitor is if the positive statements towards your product or service are supported with proof. Proof consists of reviews, testimonials and general customer success stories that are visible on the homepage. All you need is a few of your best quotes from reviews, testimonials or success stories and you should be well on your way in demonstrating credibility through such indicators of success.
7. Your most recent Blogs and articles:
You should ensure that there is a section on your website that is solely devoted to a blog. This blog demonstrates that you care for your clients and want to provide them with helpful content that will better their lives in one form or another. Blogs are also great for using keywords that elevate your websites ranking on search engines (commonly known as SEO). Displaying your three most recent blog posts towards the bottom half of your website is an excellent way in showing your clientele that you are not only qualified in what you do but that you are a thought leader in your particular industry.
8. Link to your social media accounts:
Adding links to your social media accounts won’t only help increase the chances of your clientele finding you on search engines, but it also demonstrates to visitors that you are an actively present organization. Being active on social media can help you retain your audience and can also help make sure that both your target market and search engines can find you.
Our WSI Montreal team is keen to educate our clients of the most beneficial online trends, techniques and technologies to grow their business. If you would like help achieving the perfect digital marketing mix for your business or want to know more about our Montreal web design services, contact us today.
Our West Island Web Design team is pleased to launch the new responsive Website for Terragon Environmental Technologies Inc. Terragon is an engineering firm that provides resource and waste management solutions for remote communities including isolated Northern arctic communities, ships, resorts, hospitals, mining work camps and military installations. With the development of award-winning appliances that enable such environments to treat its own waste locally as opposed to having to manage the removal of it, Terragon works to generate useful resources through the re-purposing of waste and wastewater.
Terragon Environmental is just one of many companies and organizations that WSI has dealt with over the years, whose focus is in the northern regions including Quebec’s arctic region, Nunavik. We are proud to partner with these organizations to help market them online.
WSI Digital Marketing – A Trusted Online Marketing Partner to Help You Promote Your Online Brand
At the outset of the project, our Montreal digital marketing strategists invested much time learning about the business, determining who their target markets are and how to improve the core marketing message so that it successfully reaches the end-users. We designed and developed a responsive WordPress website with a blog to allow the Terragon marketing team to publish new content on an ongoing basis.
Moving forward, WSI Montreal Digital Marketing will provide ongoing WordPress support, training and will update the WP versions as well as the plugins to minimize the risk of the WordPress website being hacked. We thank the Terragon team for their confidence and are looking forward to acting as their ongoing digital marketing partners in the future.
Custom Web Designs for your B2B or B2C Business
Our West Island Web design experts will provide you with a customized website design for your organization, B2B or B2C business. Contact us today to find out more about our design services. Already have a website but need to be more active with your marketing? Ask us about our social media marketing services.
It is a pleasure to announce that our West Island Web Design team has been chosen to rebuild the VOBOC foundation WordPress site. VOBOC (Venturing Out Beyond Our Cancer) offers newly diagnosed adolescent and young adult cancer patients help to ease their cancer journey with free distractions, resources and tools; providing unique membership as part of an oncology interdisciplinary team within leading cancer treatment centres. VOBOC continuously works to raise public awareness concerning increasing incidents of cancer diagnosis in adolescent and young adults and we are humbly supporting their mission in doing so.
WSI Montreal firmly supports the work done by not-for-profit organizations such as VOBOC and other organizations whose goals are to improving the quality of life in various ways. We are proud of the support our Digital Marketing team provides to many West Island organizations and businesses.
Goal of the Mandate: Provide a More Responsive WordPress Support Service and Increase the Client Management Capabilities
The VOBOC foundation was referred to our digital marketing firm by another West Island Business owner. VOBOC was in need of a much more responsive technical support and advisory team. Their website theme was outdated and no longer supported by the original developer which was a potential vulnerability of the site being hacked. WSI Digital Marketing has rebuilt the WordPress site with a more current and trusted theme and will provide ongoing WordPress customer support, systems updates including theme and plugin updates and WordPress training into the future.
We have also freshened up the overall look and feel of their website with the use of larger visuals and have improved website management capabilities. Their web presence has further been aligned with the foundations goals and priorities with more prominent calls to action and ‘Donate Now’ button as well as visually demonstrating how many people VOBOC has had the privilege of helping over the years.
Custom Web Designs without the Downtown Agency Costs
Our West Island Web design experts will provide you with a customized website design for your organization or small business, without the downtown agency cost. Contact us today to find out more about our design services. Already have a site but need to be more active with your marketing? Ask us about our social media marketing services.