I'd like to discuss with you about this trend that's flooding the internet since...well, almost since the beginning of the internet. It's the use of cliche, stock photography.
After the content (words), visual elements (photos) are the most important part of your website. They're used to influence connection with your audience and generate an emotional response from your potential customers. What kind of emotional response create in me an image of generic, plastic-looking "corporate team" with fake smiles? Well, first it makes me puke because it looks so cheesy and unnatural. Second, it irritates me because I've seen that exact image on 1352542 websites before. Third, I won't even check what's written on your website because it looks boring, outdated, generic.
So, should we stop using stock images? Of course not. But please, try to be more creative. For your own good. Pay someone to make you an illustration instead of generic stock photo, for example. If you have to choose image, choose one that's not been used on every other website before. Crop them, use some creative effect so they don't look so generic.
The point is... try to stand out from the crowd! You'll be rewarded, trust me. I'm not only talking about higher CTR, easier branding etc. You can't build your personal or company brand if you're not creative. You have to be creative in order to stand out among millions.
What tells me about your company the fact that when I visit your customer support page and see airbrushed, plastic looking model in some call center smiling like she won lottery or found out she's HIV negative. Especially, the fact that I saw that image million times before. Ok, it's scientifically proven that people like pretty faces and that's normal but I'm not talking only for myself when I say that those fake smiles look creepy and unnatural.
Let's take MailChimp for example. I like the design of their website and I like that monkey Instead of that monkey they could put some random, good looking dude in business suit who's smiling for no obvious reason but they didn't. Why? Because monkey is cool and those dudes aren't anymore? People like monkeys? I don't know but I do know it works. If that was one of those generic websites I wouldn't even check their product but that illustration grabs people's attention. Of course, if someone's product is crap then even the best looking website or sales copy won't help him but you get my point.
Let's try to make internet a better place. Let's try to be creative and push boundaries. Let's not settle for mediocre things in life.
I'd like to hear your opinions about this, whether you agree or disagree with me