Consumers who visit your website make unconscious snap judgments based on how they see a product or environment (Jeanette McMurty, e4marketing). That’s why it’s critical that you make visitors feel comfortable on your site, especially since you may only have a few seconds to make an impression!
Law Firm photography is a key component of the impression you make on your site’s visitors. They can make or break you. Be careful to avoid these five fatal mistakes when adding photos to your site:
- Too Close for Comfort. Did you know that photos that zoom in too closely on your face can cause people to perceive you as untrustworthy? Last year, researchers at the California Institute of Technology discovered that “photographs of faces taken from within personal space elicit lower investments in an economic trust game, and lower ratings of social traits (such as trustworthiness, competence, and attractiveness), compared to photographs taken from a greater distance.” In other words, images sometimes can be too close for comfort. This simple mistake could cost you a prospective client.
- Bad Stock Images. Admit it – you know those overly beautiful people in your stock photos don’t work at your firm, and your site’s visitors are likely to reach that conclusion, too. Unfortunately, most stock imagery is obviously staged and reduces your website’s likability instead of enhancing it. There are some high-quality stock images that balance realism and relevant content. Featuring quality photos of real people connected to your firm can increase a visitor’s ability to connect with your site and, therefore, your firm.
- Misleading Images. Did you know that certain types of graphics or images on an attorney’s site could be considered unethical? Placing a picture of a person on your site that implies that the person is either a member of your firm or an actual client, when in fact the person is neither, could be considered misleading and a violation of ethics’ standards. This is yet another reason to be cautious when using stock images.
- Impersonal Images. Companies have brands, but as a practicing lawyer you are your own brand. That personal brand is reflected in your online presence. In that sense, your website should be an extension of your personality. Is your firm’s personality edgy and aggressive, or compassionate and understanding? Your site’s imagery should portray your personality, allowing prospective clients to connect with you better. Make sure to use custom photos whenever possible and always feature professional photography of your attorneys and, as applicable, staff.
- Out-of-Date pictures. Visitors may not be Web experts, but they can quickly tell when a site does not stack up against other sites they review. If you are receiving fewer cases than in the past or your ROI has decreased, you may need a design update. Outdated photos project the impression that your law firm is out-of-date and stagnant. Even worse, it shows a lack of concern for your own business. If your portfolio manager continued wearing the same suit, every day, for years at a time, wouldn’t that make you question his or her business acumen?
At Consultwebs.com, we encourage our clients to optimize their Web presence, from law firm photography to video to full site content. If you need recommendations on professional photographers or sources, we can help; simply contact us today at 800-872-6590 or firstname.lastname@example.org.