There is plenty of research available on the type of information best processed by the human brain. In general, the consensus is clear: we’re much better with images than we are with words. According to a team of MIT neuroscientists, the human brain needs as little as 13 milliseconds to process an image in its entirety.
When we consider that one of the best ways to drive conversions on a website is through clearly focused content, this becomes a pretty relevant piece of information. The average person reads 200-250 words per minute. That’s about two short paragraphs in 60,000 milliseconds. When we compare this to the above-mentioned 13 milliseconds, we could conclude that the same amount of time could potentially be enough to process 4,000+ images.
Of course, things don’t work that easily. No one wants their web visitors to skim through content, then go away without a second thought. The objective is for them to stay and turn into leads. Nonetheless, knowing just how well people react to visuals can, and should, play into the decisions you make regarding web design.
So, if you’re looking for ways to boost conversions on your website, why not take a second look at whether you’re using images and videos in the best possible way.
Consider What People Like Seeing
The first thing you should ask yourself is whether the images you’re (hopefully) using on your website are what your visitors would want to see. It’s always best to follow a few simple rules when choosing photos:
- For product pictures, go with a clean white background that will allow the items to stand out. You want the eye to be immediately drawn to your product. Minimalistic web design works particularly well for that purpose. For an example of a simple website that does a great job of showing off products, take a look at NuaBikes‘ website – it’s clean, simple, and immediately directs the eye towards the product.
- Allow visitors to view your product from every single angle. This will build familiarity, which leads to preference. It’s called the mere-exposure effect, and it’s certainly something you should be using to boost conversions
- Use emotion. According to psychology, marketing that is based on emotional response will be much more effective than that which reverts to logic. Use images to awaken happiness or excitement with your web visitors. They’ll be more likely to make a purchase than if you merely tell them why your offer is amazing.
Go a Step Further – Use Video
If a single image is great, then think about the potential of including videos on your webpage. Not only do they allow you to communicate relevant information efficiently, but more importantly, videos can increase the likelihood of people buying your product by 85%. In general, you will find that web visitors will interact with video more than with images – especially on social media. You can also add videos to your email marketing campaigns (this practice has been shown to increase click-through rates by as much as 65%), or use them to better show off your products.
For example, if your products require lengthy explanations in order to be used, why not film a 3-minute how-to, such as this one? Not only will it be more practical than an instruction manual, but even more, it will also help keep visitors on your page, and hopefully entice them to make a purchase.
There are no limits on what you can do even with a short video – entertain, inspire, describe, or instruct. But what’s certain is that this type of content holds the potential of offering added value, which is always something you should be striving for.
If Your Posts Are Too Long, Break Them Up with Visual Information
The average person has an attention span of 8 seconds. This makes it quite difficult to keep your audience engaged. Still, it should be a top priority.
A good way to do this would be to break up your blog posts with images. Pictures offer readers a chance to regain their focus, but even more, they can be used to summarize written information. Animations and infographics are particularly popular as they make it easier to retain focus and hold on to useful pieces of information.
This is a strategy that can work equally well to emphasize key points in studies, like in this post from Eachnight, as well as for making your blog posts more engaging. Plus, there are lots of great guides on how to shoot your own visuals. This means that you can still have exceptional content, even if your budget is limited.
Don’t Overdo It
The one word of caution about using visuals on your website or blog is that you have to make sure your content is optimized. There is clear data to show that too much content significantly decreases conversions, as do slow page loading speeds. So, before you click upload, make sure your images have been resized, that you’ve chosen the best format for quality and loading speed, as well as that you’ve taken the steps to optimize your pics and videos for SEO.
Of course, don’t forget that all your content needs to be oriented towards offering added value to your visitors. Don’t just do photos or videos because everyone is doing it. Instead, think of ways you can use them to get your message across and convince potential buyers of why they should be investing in your products or services.
There are numerous creative ways to use images and videos to boost conversions on your website. They are exceptionally effective at awakening emotions, they can do a great job of describing objects and services, or they can be used to show off the benefits and applications of your products. Ultimately, all of these are key steps towards generating leads and making conversions.
But that’s not where the possibilities end. Visual content is one of the absolute best ways to raise brand awareness, inspire familiarity, and establish a connection with your potential customers. So don’t be shy to use it. Whether you choose to publish on social media, your blog, or use it on your e-commerce product pages, investing in visual content is sure to pay off.
Natasha is a lady of a keyboard whose fields of expertise could be summed up in digital marketing, branding, and growth-hacking related topics. She is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs by sharing her knowledge. These days Natasha is all about helping businesses to grow smoothly and strong. To see what she is up to next, check her out on Twitter.