While you’re plugging away at long-term SEO strategy, here’s another tactic that can yield immediate results for your firm: great photos.
Professional photos can help give you an immediate edge over your competition. Plus, it’s relatively fast and easy to hire a skilled photographer and upload new photos to your website.
Here’s what you need to know about whether professional photos really matter, what kind of photos you need for a lawyer website, and where to use photos in your digital marketing.
Are professional photos really that important?
The fact is that owning a smartphone does not make you a professional photographer—and a headshot is so much more than just a picture of your face.
An experienced photographer with a high-quality camera can capture images that communicate your expertise, your professionalism, and your humanity. They’ll document your office from its best angles. They’ll ensure consistency in the style and lighting of your team headshots. The effect of professional photos can be positively dramatic.
Without great photos, your online presence is incomplete.
Think of it this way: It doesn’t make sense to invest heavily in SEO strategy, but neglect the importance of key site elements like photos. We see this happen a lot, unfortunately. You attract a ton of visitors to your page with excellent site optimization tactics—but ultimately, you repel them with substandard photos and bad design.
In today’s online marketplace, you must do everything you can to earn and retain the trust of your visitors. Great photos are a simple way to build trust and transparency with your audience.
What photos do you need?
Keep it simple. Here are a few types of photos we recommend for every law firm:
- Headshots of everyone on the team
- Interior office photos
- Exterior office photos
- Candid action shots (team in a meeting, working on files, greeting clients)
You don’t need to photograph every nook and cranny of your office. But consider what things your specific audience might like to see.
Would a potential client be reassured by your calm and comfortable reception area? Would they be impressed by your organized and imposing library? Would they enjoy seeing the exterior of your well-maintained building with free parking spaces and attractive landscaping?
Update your photos every year
Once a year, your law firm should schedule a day to get brand new photos taken. A lot can change in a year! Your office might get repainted or you might get a new haircut.
Remember, the purpose of photos is to build trust. Your photos need to be accurate, even if it pains you to be photographed with your newly graying hair.
A lot of people dislike having their photos taken. We get it! It can feel like an inconvenience to be blinded by a flashbulb when you’d rather be focusing on the billable work.
But how can you expect a colleague to recognize you at a conference if your headshot is from 2010? What impression are you giving to a client when the lawyer who greets them at an in-person consultation looks nothing like their photo online?
Make it an annual tradition to get new photos to avoid misleading your online visitors.
How to use photos on your website
Got your new photos? Here are a few tips for how and where to use them for maximum impact.
Publish your new photos in the right places on your website. Attorney profile updates should be your #1 action. Upload a new headshot for each team member. Consider using them throughout your site, as well.
Size the photos correctly. Compress the image file so it loads quickly. This is important for SEO image optimization with Google. Then, make sure the photo is big enough to clearly show your face but small enough to complement the rest of the page. It’s critical to size each image properly so it looks good on mobile, too.
Employ alt text and captions for assistive technologies. Some of your website visitors may have low vision. They rely on screen readers to parse the content on your page, including photos. Alt text is a textual description of an image that allows screen readers (and Google) to understand your content.
In other words, you need to place, size, and tag images correctly to ensure that your new photos are useful to visitors, assistive technologies, and Google.
How to use photos in your email
Adding a photograph to your email signature is a powerful way to personalize your touchpoints.
Once you have your new photos, it’s fairly easy to add a photo to your signature. The process varies by email client but it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
With your photo embedded in your email signature, you are building recognizability and establishing trust from the very first communication. For such low-hanging fruit, that’s a seriously impactful result!
Review and next steps
We talk a lot about how SEO can help your firm stand out. But great photos are much easier to execute on and they can make a big difference.
If you can set aside a few hours to get photos taken by a professional photographer, we think you’ll be impressed by the ROI. Get team headshots and office photos. Then, update your website, write alt tags, and add your new photo to your email signature.
Remember to schedule a session for next year, too, so you always have accurate photos of your team and your office.
Ready to propel your practice? From content creation to website design and strategy, we’re the design partner of choice for growth-oriented law firms across the country. Reach out if we can help you grow your business this year.