Many people who have heard me speak know that I'm not a fan of using gratuitous images just to spice up your web design. By its very nature, the web is a visual medium, and the wrong image can create a visual distraction that pulls your visitor away from your key message points and/or call-to-action. Aside from causing a distraction, images can create confusion (if they aren't aligned with visitor expectations) and even make a visitor feel insecure (if the quality is low or is commonly used as "stock" imagery.) Naturally, all of this leads to lower conversions.
But I do need to set the record straight: I'm not against images altogether. In fact, the right images, properly placed, are an important element of every website, especially if you're marketing a product or service online. Images can help engage visitors and focus attention on your value proposition and/or call-to-action. Used correctly, the right graphics and images can help personalize your organization, especially if your customers' first (or only) contact with you is online. Here are six ways you can use images to increase your web conversion rate:
Implementing just one of these strategies can boost your web conversion rate and increase sales. You may not have the time, creativity, or internal support to create a mascot for your company, but can you switch out some of your stock photos with images that truly connect with your customers? Even this small change can deliver surprising results.
This column was originally published on October 30, 2012.
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Tim Ash is CEO of SiteTuners.com, a landing page optimization firm that offers conversion consulting, full-service guaranteed-improvement tests, and software tools to improve conversion rates. SiteTuners' AttentionWizard.com visual attention prediction tool can be used on a landing page screenshot or mock-up to quickly identify major conversion issues. He has worked with Google, Facebook, American Express, CBS, Sony Music, Universal Studios, Verizon Wireless, Texas Instruments, and Coach.
Tim is a highly-regarded presenter at SES, eMetrics, PPC Summit, Affiliate Summit, PubCon, Affiliate Conference, and LeadsCon. He is the chairperson of ConversionConference.com, the first conference focused on improving online conversions. A columnist for several publications including ClickZ, he's host of the weekly Landing Page Optimization show and podcast on WebmasterRadio.fm. His columns can be found in the Search Engine Watch archive.
He received his B.S. and M.S. during his Ph.D. studies at UC San Diego. Tim is the author of the bestselling book, "Landing Page Optimization."
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