Even if you don't understand SEO, you need to understand VISUAL

Services for Real Estate Pros with houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove 01870024

Even if you don't understand SEO, you need to understand Visual


Yes, visual, as in "seeing or pertaining to site."  


We all scratch our heads and try to comprehend the latest Google Panda or Koala Bear or whatever it's called now and figure out how to get to the highly sought-after "Page 1."  We do this through trying to understand that ever changing world of SEO.  

However, sit back for a moment and grasp what is so often overlooked (pun intended) - we are all visual creatures and that computer screen in front of you right now is a visual means of communication.  It's visual not just for you but also for the potential client that just found your website.  Do you want to hold their attention?  Do you want them to remember you and mention you to a friend?  Then you need to appeal to them visually.  

Of course, I am a fan of good photography, but there is a "trick" I'm going to let you in on.  It's really no trick at all but it's understanding the human eye and then using that knowledge creatively.  The "color" white on a computer screen is very bright and makes the human eye "squint."  Darker colors, such as "black" on a computer screen are still "backlight" by the computer screen but don't make the human eye work so hard.  As a result, other colors, such as red, blue, green, etc look deeper and richer on a black background than they do on a white background.  So, photos on a dark background simply look better. Look at this photo of a Little League game 

Benicia property management



I've had to make the photos small to try and get a large enough border to demonstrate the effect even though with the white Active Rain background, I'm probably fighting a losing battle.  It's the exact same photo on two different backgrounds.  If you can look closely, you will notice that the colors in the left photo appear richer than those on the right.  Look at this photo.  


Benicia home rentals

Doesn't the sky on the left look deeper and richer then that on the right?  The only difference is the background color.  


Don't believe me?  Take a look at these fine art photography websites -  fineartphoto.com, 1x.com, francisfineart.com.  Why does each of these fine art photography websites use a black background?  They use it because it makes the photos look better than a white background would.  Nearly all high quality photography websites use a dark, or at least medium tone background color - with an exception in the case of some wedding websites (for reasons related to the bride in white dress and NOT for visual reasons).


Yet, most realtor websites, most MLS sites and most of the "Big 4" sites use white, or very light backgrounds around photos?  Why?  I can only guess that it's because they don't understnad... you guessed it, they don't understand "visual."  (Remember, this only works on computer screens, not necesarily on printed items.)


But, now you do.  Armed with this knowledge maybe you re-consider how you present photos on your own website?  Try it and see if you start to get compliments or better yet, more traffic and even more business.  

We get tons of business from how impressed folks are with our photography on the internet.  The color of our listing page?  See for yourself. Benicia Rental Homes.



Comments (14)

Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Visual is so important Mark.........excellent points.

Jun 06, 2013 10:39 PM
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h
Thank you Roger. Visual, not SEO, is what keeps folks coming back to your site. We all know that this translates into more emails and phone calls and that traffic is the lifeblood of our business.
Jun 06, 2013 10:46 PM
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Exactly, and I need to work on my website and make some changes.  I have some new photos that need to be added and I may just change the whole look of it too, I haven't decided yet.

Jun 06, 2013 11:30 PM
Brian Schulte
Allison James Estates & Homes - Sierra Vista, AZ
SFR, Sierra Vista, AZ

Google Juice, REO, SEO. Sight and Sound, Clicks per something or other.

Sounds like a lot of Greek.  "I know any language but Greek, go ahead and say something"  Keep Smilin'

Jun 06, 2013 11:57 PM
Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC www.BuyFortCollinsHomes.com - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate

This is great info Mark!!  Now, to figure out how to put that to work on my next blog post!!  Thanks!  Oh, and thanks for the comments on my blog, too!!

Jun 07, 2013 01:57 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Mark I've always wondered  about another possibility - and I hope guys/gals don't get wigged by this one!  A lot  of the women I know prefer lighter backgrounds while the guys gravitate to the darker ones - black for sure. For me it's easier to read and enjoy the lighter copy.  Any research on that?  Whenever I go to art museums I really notice the backgrounds because that makes such a difference on presentation of the art. But when it comes to reading copy it seems to be different.  Very interesting topic - thanks! 


Featured in BananaTude!






Jun 07, 2013 02:06 AM
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h
Brian - my point exactly! Even if we aren't masters of SEO we should all have a basic grasp of light and color. Chris - good luck Anna - interesting observation on the "gender factor." I am not aware of any studies on this. The information I had learned was "gender neutral" which suggested to me that there would be no difference. Thank you for the Feature as well as your own comments on my posts.
Jun 07, 2013 03:40 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks so much for your tips. Best wishes for continued success. 

High quality photographs are mandatory for real estate marketing.  And, the photographs also need to be very inviting.

Jun 07, 2013 04:08 AM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

You have convienced me to put my co logo in my website listing photos....I'm really happy my website allows for WATERMARKS and logo placement - looks great on Craigslist

Jun 07, 2013 07:36 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Mark, I like to use black mats in framing so it makes really good sense but on a website I tend to like lighter colors as dark colors are so in your face.

Jun 07, 2013 02:06 PM
Marti Steele Kilby, CRS
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Interesting points Mark, but I tend to agree with Debbie, and I do believe there is something to what Anna said about gender preference.  I definitely favor a lighter background and actually get a negative feel from websites with black or dark backgrounds...they often feel too dramatic or depressing.  I think there is also something to be said for allowing white space and letting the images on a page breath and not appear cramped.  That to me makes for a comfortable visual environment...but hey, maybe that's just me :)

Jun 08, 2013 01:09 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Mark:  It's only natural that people will dwell on those images that are more pleasing to the eye .. even if they're unaware of why that's the case.  Or if white actually "hurts" the eye ... that you'd try to find something that did not.  The fact that this info exists is a plus for those of us marketing our services.  Why not use the k knowledge to our advantage ... even if only subliminal in nature?  You offer info that can be very beneficial to us all ... thank you so much!


Jun 08, 2013 02:02 AM
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h

I wonder if the comments regarding lighter backgrounds are speaking more to preference than to the actual appearance of the photo?  I can understand preferences being influenced by gender but I am not so quick to think that visual perception is influenced by gender.  With that said, preference is still very, very important.

Perhaps the way to try to capitalize on both is to choose a medium color background?

Jun 08, 2013 03:53 PM
Dulcey Schuster
Rentec Direct Property Management Software Tenant Screening - Grants Pass, OR
Property Management Software

Interesting post! The photos do look brighter and deeper in color on the black background.  That is a good idea especially for pictures posted online. However, printing pictures with colored ink backgrounds would use a lot of ink and $$ so I don't think I would go that route for items I need to print.

Jun 11, 2013 07:06 AM