Lights, Camera, Action! 3 Ways That Images Drive Conversions

A long time ago, when websites were a fairly new phenomenon, the traditional site might have included a single image (if even that much), and a bunch of text. The idea seems laughable now that images cover the web. Despite their popularity, however, many companies don’t understand how they can make such a substantial difference in conversions.

Did you know that the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it comprehends text? The majority of the brain’s processing is done through visuals rather than words, so relying on images is more apt to attract greater numbers of customers to your business.

That hardly means words are obsolete. In fact, they’re still highly important, but only if you can get potential customers to read them. Graphics and visuals are a powerful way to make that happen; they can increase consumers’ willingness to read a piece of content by 80 percent, according to surveys.

People are also 65 percent more likely to remember the information three days later if there was an image attached. In short, effective images on your site will bring more customers and increase your conversion rates.

Here are a few ways to put this into practice.

1. Use High-Quality, Dynamic Images

Stock photos are often used for landing pages and blog posts. That’s better than no image at all, but in recent years, consumers have begun to recognize and reject these cheesy, fake-looking photos. If they associate such low-quality images with your products, you’re in trouble.

The opposite is what you want, of course: If you use high-quality, dynamic-looking images on your landing pages, consumers will associate the image with high-quality products. Consider the images that appear on the site for Newport Whales, a company that takes tourists whale watching off the coast of California.

The images on this company’s site have been taken during their own whale-watching tours and show whales and dolphins in action, which will appeal to the reader in a way that makes him or her want to book a whale-watching excursion and have that experience, too. The text on the landing pages is mainly just background to what the images are joyfully showing.

2. Feature the Everyday Customer

If your company is hoping to show its value to your customers through your website (which should be the goal of every firm), stop using models to showcase your products. Instead, turn to an everyday customer.

Images can be far more effective when they show the target audience rather than a sleek model or clichéd stock photo. It gives the consumer a better perspective on your product or service and creates a form of social validation.

To see how this done, take a look at the landing pages on InfusionSoft, a CRM software company. It targets small and home-based businesses. Each of the landing pages features a different view of people working in a small business setting, whether in a small group or as individuals working from home.

Each image has the power to appeal to the company’s target consumers because the images are like looking in a mirror.

3. Use Images to Guide the Consumer’s Eye

Do you have a certain message you want to send home with your customers, but you’re not sure whether it’s sufficiently clear? A well-chosen image can successfully draw a person’s eyes to what you want him or her to see.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to present a photo of a person looking toward the piece of content you want your readers to see. In web design, this strategy is known as the “hero shot.”

Another great tactic is to use weighted images to lead the eye in the direction you want. When you have heavy images on one side, it will automatically draw your eye to them, and then encourage them to move to the lighter text next to them.

To see this example in action, consider the homepage for Ready for Zero, a platform aimed at helping individuals to eliminate debt. The first thing you see on the homepage is a faded picture of a colorful hot air balloon with the firm’s color-coded software in the foreground.

The heavy weight on the right side encourages the eye to seek a lighter weight for balance, so it draws the eye to the main message on the left. The pattern continues as you scroll.

These are just a few examples of the ways you can use images to improve your website and increase your conversions, but they’re three of the most powerful tactics employed by marketers today. Through these examples and your own experiences, you should be able to see the difference when you make high-quality imaging a priority on your website.

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