As the saying goes , “a picture is worth a thousand words” and, in today’s fast-paced world of phone scrolling and screen swiping, images and media content are often used to quickly express complex ideas or perhaps, even your entire brand image. Pictures and videos can also be a fast way to convey a thousand words about your company, but is the media on your current website saying the right words for your brand? It is of the utmost importance to utilize media content in a way that attracts and engages the right audience. Here are some simple tips for creating mindful visual content for your webfront  and its viewers.

The Feels

When choosing the theme for your images and video content, be aware of the emotions you are trying to evoke. If your website is for a legal firm, it’s probably a good idea to stay away from posting images of people relaxing on the beach. The idea is to host images that align with and cater to the interests of your targeted audience. Media content should also clearly articulate what you are trying to say. If utilized incorrectly, media content can paint a negative image of your business and actually turn potential customers off from your service completely.

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Clearly The Man For The Job

Lights, Camera, Action

 

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A surefire way to ensure your company’s visual uniqueness is to invest in an in-house photographer or filmographer and create custom photos and videos specifically for your site. Seeing actual photos of your product, service or facility can help persuade visitors to trust your business and convince them to choose you over other possible candidates.

When conducting in-house photography and film there are certain design rules to be aware of.

1. Setting and Lighting

 

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While shooting photography for your site, be conscious of the area’s lighting and arrangement. Too much light can lead to over exposed and washed out images, while poor lighting can lead to dark an undecipherable work. Both of these can make a website appear unprofessional and may make it seem unwelcoming to potential consumers. If studio lighting is not in your budget, natural light can be used to achieve beautiful shots as well. For the best results, shoot early in the morning or in the later afternoon (also known to photographers as the “golden hour”), when light is filtered at a smaller angle.

2. Cut the Clutter

 

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When framing your shot, you want to make sure your subject stands out. Too much clutter and background noise can take the emphasis off your subject and leave your viewer confused with what message your photo is attempting to deliver. Using a shallow depth of field in your aperture setting is great way to place more focus on your designated subject.  It’s time to clean up your composition and put those F-stops to good use.

3. Quality Video Production

Videoproduction

 

Quality video production follows many of the same rules as that of photography, but with a couple additions and utilizing of different tools. Just like with photography, video is sensitive to unnecessary noise. The more noise in your footage, the less it can be compressed, which can become an issue for web display. It is best to minimize pans, zooms and unnecessary subject motion. It is also crucial to invest in a solid tripod and avoid handheld shots. Lower noise content and  movement not only makes video publishing easier; it also helps highlight the subject of the video and eliminates distractions from its message.

 

Optimal  Imagery

When mapping out designs for webpages and laying out visuals for presentation, it easy to forget how media content affects SEO and page load time. So, if you have content on your site that slowly dribbles down the page , you may unknowingly be turning potential customers away. There are actually quite a few things that you can alter within your media content usage that can help your site’s visibility.

1. Quit Lagging

Today, Nearly 50% of consumers say they will not wait more than 3 seconds for an ecommerce site to load. Additionally, Google actually uses page load time as a website ranking factor in their search algorithm. In order to keep page load time to a minimum, image and video sizes, which can often slow down the loading process, should be sized appropriately.

So how do you know what image size is ideal for your site? Many modern web design hosting sites will such as WordPress will warn you when your selected image exceeds the recommended size and will give you the option to resize. If you have access to image editing software such as Photoshop, there is command called “save for web” which allows you to downsize your image while observing the resulting quality.

2. Name Calling

When compiling image and video choices for your site, it can be easy to forget to rename your content. Search engines not only comb through the text on your page, they also investigate your file names. So, investing in image SEO can help your webpage climb the ranks on search engine result pages. Creating descriptive, keyword-inclusive file names is essential for image optimization.

3. The Alt Route

The alt text attribute is the component of web design that specifies alternative text for an image when it cannot be displayed. It provides alternative information  in case if  a display error should occur. The alt attribute also contributes to the SEO value of your site, so adding appropriate alt attributes containing useful keywords is essential. For ecommerce site, your if your site contains a purchasing page, using alt attributes  is the best way to ensure your products show up in Google’s image search.

4. Video Op

The key to optimizing videos on the internet is to break them down into smaller segments that are a few minutes long at most. Cut out parts of the movie that aren’t crucial  to your desired message, crop fuzzy edges, and minimize the dimensions to keep them to a working size.  Apply the smallest frame rate that still gives a quality playback. Finally after editing out unimportant content, modify your videos with different codecs to see which generates the smallest acceptable file.

You noware starting to understand how to leverage your media content and its SEO attributes. Still, media optimization is complex and we’ve just scratched the surface and if you need some extra help, The Studio WLV can assist you with your visual content.