Your photo gallery is a sort of proving ground, and virtually every prospective patient will go there when vetting you as an aesthetic provider. For most practices, photo gallery pages will account for more than half of all website page views and will deeply shape a prospective patient’s perspective on your experience and outcomes.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve always put photos first, or if you’re newly committed to shaping up a long-neglected showcase, here are some tips to transform the appearance and performance of your gallery.
Take Photos and Get Consent.
While it may seem like we’re stating the obvious here, the #1 tip for getting your photo gallery to work for you is to work on your photo gallery. That means consistently documenting your results with patient photos, regardless of whether you’ll use the photos for marketing.
Let the Results Take Center Stage.
It’s natural to want to primp for the camera, but you’ll need be clear with your patients that these are medical photos. That means no makeup or distracting garments in either image. To help patients help you, have neutral garments and headbands on hand, provide a makeup station where patients can reapply after their photos, as well as a tray where patients can safely store distracting jewelry.
Not only do you have to consistently take patient photos, you must also create consistency across your gallery. Prepare each room with matching backdrops and equipment to ensure consistency across images, wherever they are taken in your office. Also consider marking the floor where feet or chairs and tripods are positioned, and the walls at each point you want patients to turn. And keep in mind it’s better to pull back; you can always crop photos later.
Brush Up On Your Editing Skills.
Many a photo gallery has fallen victim to editing fails. In “the business,” we cringe at things like faces and bodies zoomed to varying degrees; inconsistent aspect ratios (when your before and after photos are different sizes); and the emojis or black circles intended to hide the eyes or nipples that only end up making us want to hide our eyes. Careful image preparation will allow potential patients to focus on your work.
Avoid Common Publishing Mistakes.
Again, consistency is key. You need to regularly publish new cases and keep growing your gallery for each of the procedures you want to showcase. If a gallery category is skimpy or the cases are outdated, prospective patients will think you don’t do a lot of that procedure (and will probably move on to a surgeon who does).
To engage prospective patients (and search engines) you should include important data about the case like height, weight, age, recovery time frames, a short description of the patient’s experience, and a link back to the related procedure page on your site.
And try to organize your photos into a single category. When photos depict combined procedures, consider representing them in custom categories like “Mommy Makeover” or “Full Face Rejuvenation” to avoid misleading patients.
Display Like a Pro.
First and foremost, your gallery should be fast. Waiting for photos to load is so 2011. And since more than 60% of people will be exploring your gallery on their phones, your gallery needs to be “mobile optimized.” That means it needs to look good and work well on portable devices like smartphones.
Protect Your Assets (And Your Patients).
Other providers may want to take credit for your results, and it’s not uncommon for before-and-after photos to be stolen. Make sure you have copyright protection on your site pages and watermark your photos to make it harder for imposters to use them.
And while it has been said many times before, take care to remove any identifiable file names or image META data before you upload images to the public Web. Google may detect these subtle clues and return compromising images when patients search their own names if you aren’t careful.
Make Your Photos Google-Friendly.
Optimizing your photo gallery means making it as accessible to search engines as possible. Insider tip: many common ways of displaying photos on websites actually hide those photos from Google. Here’s how to make sure your gallery is optimally optimized:
- Publish each case to a dedicated page with a unique title, meta description, and heading
- Stitch together the before and after into a single image
- Use optimized alt tags to describe your images
- Give the case a short, unique written description
- Add structured data (aka “schema”) to help Google understand the nature of the case
Optimizing your gallery for image search could help you attract dozens or hundreds of new qualified prospects to your site.
Use Your Photos As Marketing Tools.
Now that you’ve got a robust collection of before-and-after photos, you need to integrate them across all online marketing channels. Some of the places you can display your latest and best cases:
- Your website procedure pages
- Google My Business and other local listings
- Blog posts
- Social media
Get Smart About Using Photos On Social.
The major social media channels have varied guidelines on how you can use before-and-after photos in organic posts and social advertising. Facebook and Instagram have restrictions on nudity in organic posts and prohibit showing before-and-after images in paid social ads. Master the basics of each platform and explore clever workarounds (like teasing just the “before” image in Facebook Ads) to maximize the educational and marketing potential of your gallery.
Time Well Spent.
If you’re looking to do some renovation on your online marketing, your before-and-after gallery is a great place to start. A slick, well-optimized, user-friendly gallery builds consumer trust, attracts new patients, and boosts search engine rankings. Time invested in polishing up your photo gallery reaps measurable rewards, and these tips should help you work smart and get the most from your efforts.