Five Tips for Improving Website Photos

In these days of tightened budgets, your marketing website needs to provide assistance to the sales process for those prospects considering your retirement community. Photographs are an integral, and important, element of your website – and can be the most important when dealing with an older adult’s mind.

Photos tell a story that is quickly understood by older adults. Because of changes that occur in the brain, brain research shows that senior adults get to the gist of your sales message faster. Photos help them do that. Stories depicted by the use of photos help organize thoughts of people of age. Photos can have the power of triggering a memory or prompting an emotional reaction. Many times, it goes further. Seniors draw emotional energy from images they connect with.

Your web designer, likely a younger person, needs to understand that vision changes with age. As a result, over time, our eyes absorb less light and more lighting is required in websites. Diminished eyesight affects comprehension and response to messages of all kinds. Images need to be clean, simple and create more response.

Other issues are in play with seniors’ use of the internet and websites. There’s less familiarity with the internet including how to navigate, the language and technical terms.

Will the photos you select present your unique selling proposition and connect with retirement community prospects? As long as you are thoughtful in your approach.

In judging MOMBA, the marketing awards program from last year, I reviewed hundreds of video, web, print and audio from senior living communities. Many used photographs for their communications, especially on their websites.

From what I learned there, as well as speaking with web designers, here are five tips for improving website photos:

1. Single images do better with seniors than collages of multiple images. Sometimes, web creators try to bring together disparate images into one, in the hopes of creating a holistic view of the retirement community. Collage images are not as impactful.

2. Candid photos are generally preferred over posed ones, as long as the photos are clear and professionally done in a captivating photo situation. In other words, avoid grainy, unfocused scenes. It does take advance planning.

3. Another winner is the use of “vibrant” pictures versus subdued images when using professional models where the photo dominates the page. Using vibrant photos and an expressive person are better than images using just colors and contemplative models. Vitality is the key when portraying seniors.

4. Lifestyle imagery is preferred over photos of the residential community in general. Picture your resident as independent, capable and confident. A caution: Educate your web master who may be 40 to 50 years younger than the target market. Knowing what that means can be a distinct aid to that person. Show them examples of older adults in meaningful situations.

5. Full shot photos are preferred over cropped ones when using professional models or senior residents. Show the whole picture when you can.