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Is it true? Using stock images can really hammer down your conversions? Well the answer isn’t so clear cut. Sometimes using stock photography can add the perfect emotion that you just wouldn’t be able to get on your own. So when should you use it vs. not?


Company photos:

Always use real company images of your team. It has been shown time and time again that even taking an image of a stock truck and super imposing your logo on it will convert less than taking a picture of your real truck with your real logo on it. You want to have the personal human touch with your website. Showing real people is definitely known to increase your conversion rate and it just feels good and trustworthy!


Industry related photos:

When showing photos of your industry defer to the proper emotion you are portraying. Sure in a perfect world all photography would be custom. However in a world of budgets, campaigns, and deadlines sometimes you have to bypass all that! Pretty much all of the major companies in the world have used stock photography in some campaign or another in the past five years. That is where you want to be wise about the images and licenses you choose when purchasing stock photography. If you find yourself browsing the stock image shelves keep your photo focused on the psychological ramifications of it’s use rather than just using something to use it.

There was this A & B split test study with a baby faced towards people and then the same exact content except the baby was facing the content and the button. The version with the baby facing the content converted significantly better. This shows the psychological understanding of following someone’s gaze. So when paying attention to your images, understand how it is affecting people in of itself. It’s a lot like decorating a house. The more custom it is, the more it gives a certain feel.


Types of conversions:

It always helps to understand the types of conversions you are trying to make when using photography to hammer home something. Quite often enough the most simplest question to ask yourself is: “What is my end goal by using this photo? Am I priming the user for a certain action or emotion? Here are three different types of conversions to think about when selecting stock or planning your own photo shoots.

Rational: When people convert from a rational standpoint, you should prime people’s concept for rationality. For example using a brain image scan like an MRI will really prime people’s mind for credibility. It’s been shown in studies.
Emotional: When you include fun, in the moment confident images it will help your users make emotional decisions. Smiling and not crossing arms in photos are good examples of this and psychologically reflect well.
Pro Social: When images of eyes or people pointing or religious connotations were displayed, the researchers received 3x more money. Self-awareness is a huge cue to users to give rather than receive.

Recap – Tips when using stock images to convert higher:

  • When shopping for stock images use a reverse image search tool such as TinEye. Check and see where and how many companies are already using the same image.
  • Focus on the energy or emotion you are wanting to convey.
  • Remember the end goal of the content. What is the actions you are wanting the user to do?

For help with your website, marketing, and other branding materials please contact us.

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Happy to bring you this guest post from Ivan Serrano.

Mobile is growing rapidly and is changing the way consumers interact with brands. As mobile continues to evolve in 2015, brands will need to prepare their marketing strategy for the mobile market domination.

How fast is mobile growing, exactly? Well, it’s expected by 2018 that there will be 10 billion mobile connected devices. Additionally, more than half of all mobile devices will be smartphones. As more people continue to use mobile devices to communicate and make purchasing decisions, brands will need to make sure they’re adapting just as quickly to mobile trends.

Speaking of using mobile devices to make purchases, businesses should know that four out of five consumers use their mobile device to make a purchasing decision. Not only that, but 56 percent of consumers also think mobile devices make the shopping experience more enjoyable. Businesses can greatly improve their current marketing strategy by using mobile to become more accessible to customers.

There are a number of things brands should think about when creating a mobile strategy. First, mobile video is a tactic that cannot be ignored. With half of all mobile traffic being video traffic, brands should find a way to incorporate mobile video into their marketing strategy. It’s also important to make sure your business is using social media to reach targeted customers. With 90 percent of tweets being sent from a mobile device, brands must be available to customers through social media.

It’s also important for brands to create a mobile website for their business. With 67 percent of consumers using their smartphones to find store locations, businesses need to make sure customers can easily access information about their business online. By creating a mobile website, businesses can offer store and product information that will aid customers when shopping online.

Another element businesses should implement when creating a mobile strategy is social advertising. According to the infographic, three out of five mobile users pay attention to mobile ads when visiting social media sites. It should also be noted that up to 84 percent of consumers rely on social networks when researching new products. Businesses that take advantage of social advertising will be able to reach more customers and build awareness of their business online.

Mobile market domination is changing the way businesses build relationships with their customers. By following these tips, you’ll create a mobile strategy that builds a stronger mobile presence to for your business. To learn more about mobile market domination and how it’ll impact your business, check out the infographic below:


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Happy to bring you this guest post from Ivan Serrano.

There are almost as many mobile phone subscribers in the world as there is the population of India, China and the United States combined. With numbers of subscribers continuing to climb as globalization increases, this means one thing for businesses (pretty much anywhere in the world): it’s time to tap into the ‘mobile market.’

Mobile Design For The Modern Market

In the US, Europe, and much of Asia, mobile phone means Smartphone. Most businessmen and women not only have their personal Smartphones attached at the hip, but they also have an office phone – one that gets used daily and is checked regularly. The rise of Smartphones in recent years only means that businesses have to get smarter if they want to compete for attention, and time, on tiny screens. Trends have all been pointing towards one magical word: Apps. Businesses have developed so many Smartphone Apps these days it’s hard to keep track of which notification is coming from which outlet. Smartphone users can do practically everything via Smartphone Apps – online shop, check the weather, send exact GPS locations, use flashlights and music; dictionaries, the news, and even full-on novels are now at the fingertips of Smartphone carriers. Literally.

But this also means that Smartphone users have less time to shop for extraneous Apps, and less patience to do so. In fact, the reality is that the App market is clogging everyone’s phones and draining batteries. Users who really want information about your company or startup or brand will seek it out – and you have to be ready to meet them on the other end. That’s right: instead of wasting your energy on developing a Smartphone App, you might just be more effective if you spend your time developing a user-friendly, Smartphone-friendly, online website.

Here are some fast-facts on mobile design for the modern business to help you get started:



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Are you creating your world by design? Or are you simply existing in it? Most of us don’t ask ourselves these types of questions anymore. What makes a good design anyways? Ask ten different people which design is best and most of the time you will get ten different opinions. Clearly design is much more than what we see with our eyes.


Design Has Crafted Our World

Often times we have just learned to inherit the old designs of past that really half the time weren’t even working then! For example before Eli Whitney all products that were made, once they broke down had to be purchased again. Eli knew this design sucked. So he created interchangeable parts solving several things that were important to users (cost-effectiveness, recyclability, and overall common sense). Through the past century all of us have seen the benefits of such innovation of design. Recently with the surge of technology we are making a sharp turn backwards when it comes to interchangeable parts, especially when it comes to cell phones.


Over the past ten years cell phones have become one of the most obsolete items and quick. I myself am on my 5th smart phone in that timeframe. The new design that has replaced Eli Whitney’s interchangeable parts goes something like this: patent anything possible then hold out on releasing new technology so that we force the user to use “outdated” devices in a current market where we have known much greater advances. We simply won’t release them because we make more money doing it this way. This is a very outdated and short-sighted design.

If we constantly are constrained by how much money single organizations can make then we are literally handcuffing society from moving forward at much higher levels. Can you imagine if you put chains on the best athlete how well they would be able to perform? Well that’s what happens when we lose sight of the big picture.

The Purpose Of Our Designs

Design is simply the conscious thought to organize data or materials in a system with purpose. It can be quoted in the dictionary as: purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object.

The question that we forget most of the time is what is the purpose?

What is the big picture? Do we even remember anymore? If you have traveled through the jungles of LA or the fast paced life of New York it might be very easy to forget. This world is bigger than each of us. It serves the purposes of many things. It has been designed that way. So why are we trying to go against that in almost every notion of society and business?

Don’t do it in design. Chances are the business owners you work with won’t be as privy to this as you need to be. Remember to always question the purpose or functions of the design you are creating. Find out more about the landscape before you begin building. The clearer it is why and what you are doing, the more effective each design is going to turn out.

Designs That Work

Not all designs are created equal. There are designs that work and designs that don’t. What is work? Well it could be said that designs that work:

  • Get it done, whatever it is
  • Spell it out quickly
  • Invoke or embody greater purpose
  • Are extendable
  • Replace outdated solutions continuously
  • Just are effective
  • Communicate usage almost subconsciously
  • Have significant thought put in
  • Aim to innovate
  • Guide users along


There’s Always A Better Way

Think of your design as a living breathing organism that is constantly learning and adapting to better suit itself in its current environment. Shit aren’t we all?


From that same notion can you truly say our society is the most usable it can be? Of course not. There’s always a better way. I remember when I was taking singing lessons from my teachers and they would always tell me this way is the best. Well when you get enough evaluative experience you will learn that there are several ways to climb a mountain. To begin to define better you need variables, and once you have variables you begin to put things to the test and that’s where trust me: there will always be a better way awaiting discovery.

Just ask Einstein or Newton if you could. Because now a lot of their ideas have been adapted and added upon to better explain the world than they could at their time.

With more serious clients you may find it useful to adopt a maintenance design package where you then go in after launch and collect user information and data so that you can begin to alter your design to taste. Feedback and time through usage always gives a more accurate reading than at the onset of any launch regardless how much beta testing is done.

All Trends Die Hard

Remember slavery? Wasn’t that a good decision? Or what about smoking in the 70s and 80s? Everyone was doing it. It was even doctor approved at one point! You can thank mirror neurons for that! That can be explained as why we have the tendency to make extremely stupid decisions based completely on the fact that everyone else is doing it. Even I was a smoker once.  Blog


At one point in time we all believed: the Earth was the center of the universe, mercury was a healing agent, there were only 9 planets, women couldn’t vote, the universe was slowing down, and so on.

This should definitely help illustrate to not always trust the trends of the present. Instead focus more on the purpose and do the necessary research, asking the pertinent questions from yourself and your design.

So how is it that we design a better world?

Stop designing for the now or what already is. Begin to look ahead and see where the world is headed. What users are doing today aren’t what they are going to be doing tomorrow. It’s by asking questions, conceptualizing a more effective future, re-defining what is effective and isn’t that we begin to consciously draw up and slowly inhabit a better world made by design.

Were all on the path to a better world. One design at a time.

Visit us for more web design and marketing information.

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The new year is here and yes it’s time to make some serious decisions online. Year after year it is becoming increasingly important to think ahead in an ever changing technological society. The things that worked yesterday aren’t going to work today. Business models that depended on older forms of business are not going to last the test of time as technology will continue to revolutionize the way we see the world as a whole.

Just think about 10 – 15 years ago when television was extremely different than it is today. Look at how much our psychological societal behavior has changed in just the last decade! Business corresponds with these social changes and aims to fulfill needs that arise in the process. If you aren’t thinking about the market in a long term way, then you might as well begin packing your company up right now. “Adapt or die” prime minister of South Africa Pieter Willem Botha said to parliament in 1978. Boy did he have it figured out! You should begin seeing it that way too before it is too late. Let’s face it. In 1978 change was imminent, however the changes that are coming in society technologically speaking are revolutionizing the world faster than it ever has before. Just 20 years ago business was not done on computers. There were no cell phones and there was no need to be thinking about digital and online strategy in this same way. All aboard?!


The Technological Train To The Future

Imagine for a second that your business was lifted up onto a car train, much like the ones you can take to Copenhagen over the harbor. In business you need fuel to carry you forward in your endeavors. Sometimes that fuel comes from referrals. Other times it comes from being around for a long time. However now with the world going more global by the minute, those same modalities aren’t going to get you to the next stop. You need to be putting your attention and investment into the new light rail systems that should have replaced the New York subways long long ago!  Blog

  • Content Depth – yes it’s still king when in context. The more content depth scattered across as many satellite sites as you can, well in a somewhat targeted manner – the better! People tend to forget that without content that is meaningful what are you really trying to do? As branding and marketing continues to rage on in the business world, more and more firms are going to get eaten up in the fold. Stay on top of your future as you continue to stoke the fire with meaningful communication and outreach in your field.
  • Branding – It’s quite hilarious to watch as many struggle to figure this key component out yet still today. The biggest companies in the world tend to most of the time be the biggest brands. Think that’s a coincidence? Brands have value. Straight up. Even when the business has failed and all looks grim, there are many that will buy your brand if it has value. So why not begin building that brand name value asap!?
  • Digital Strategy – Most people look at their online presence as a website and a bunch of social media accounts they have to manage. What a waste! Who wants to work with anyone that has to do something? I’m in a band that I run when I am away from business and the other guys mentioned the other night: “who likes working when they don’t have to”? Haha, I do! And quite honestly so do people that are truly passionate about what they are doing in this world. You should feel the same about your digital strategy. Do you have one? Who makes it? How far is it taking you today?

Time and time again we get leads here in the door from organizations that want to integrate, innovate, and move forward on their business path. Often enough they are stuck in old processes and behaviors that ultimately are preventing them from moving forward swiftly with ease. Well it’s time we all started thinking ahead and preparing our websites, digital strategy, and overall marketing plan for the long stretch ahead. No more dead ends, pit falls, and beliefs that the old way will work for us. Now it’s time to build the path ahead. For more tips check out our main site: http://www.thelightwurx.com/

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