Updated: Sep 8
Have you ever come across an image while scrolling through social media that made you stop in your tracks?
Perhaps a heartwarming photo or an aspirational image! Usually, these types of visuals capture the audience's attention and evoke certain emotions.
And as it turns out, you can use this same power of emotion to increase your website's conversion rate.
Think about it: When you're making a purchase online, you want to feel good about your decision. You want to be confident that you're spending your money on something worthy. And one of the quickest ways to build that confidence is by using high-quality images that inspire positive emotions.
Of course, simply using any old image won't do the trick. The key is choosing visuals relevant to your product or service and appealing to your target audience. With that in mind, let’s see the power of website visuals on conversion rate and other metrics!
Can Images Make That Big of a Difference?
The short answer is yes! Images are essential to any website design, especially since so much of the world is now being consumed digitally. Pictures can help break up the text, add visual interest and contrast, convey a message, and cause an emotional reaction.
When it comes to conversion rate optimization (or CRO), you can leverage images in several ways to help website visitors take the desired action. The action can take many forms, from making a purchase or filling out a form.
For example, you can use product photos to show off features and benefits, while lifestyle images can create an aspirational feeling that speaks to the customer’s needs. And according to research, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. So if you want good conversion rates, don’t overlook the importance of good visuals!
How To Do Image Optimization For Conversion Rate Optimization?
For images to have the most impact on your conversions, they must be optimized for users and search engines alike. Here are some tips:
Use Descriptive File Names
When you save your image, give it a name that accurately describes what’s in the photo. This would help Google understand what your image is about when it crawls your site. It will also make it easier for visitors to discover what they’re looking for when viewing your image gallery.
For example, rather than naming an image “DSC4567.jpg,” try something like “men’s-red-shirt-frontview.jpg” instead.
Choose The Right File Format
JPEGs are best for photos, while PNGs are better for graphics with fewer colors, like logos and icons. You should only use GIFs if you want to loop animations on your site - they aren’t ideal for photographs because they tend to decrease load times due to their large file size.
Resize Your Images
No one wants (and likes) waiting for a page to load. Research shows 40% of people will abandon an online purchase if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
To avoid this issue, ensure your images are correctly sized so they don’t impact your site’s responsiveness. You can easily do this using free online tools like Picresize or Photoshop Lightroom CC. Once you have the perfect dimensions for each image type on your site (e.g., product photos vs. header images), consider creating separate folders so you can easily find them later.
Add Alt Text
In addition to optimizing your image files, you also need to add alt text (or alternative text) tags. These tags describe what’s in an image if it doesn’t load properly due to slow internet connection speeds or technical issues on the user end.
However, these days, alt tags play an important role in SEO since Google relies heavily on them when indexing websites. It helps them determine relevant content for searchers who use Google Images. Since Google can’t “see” pictures as humans can, it relies on these tags—which is why they need to be descriptive (but not too long) and keyword-rich without stuffing.
Your alt tags should be kept under 125 characters, including spaces so that Google can easily read them while getting all the information it needs about what's in each image.
Tips to Ensure Your Website Visuals Convert Better
If you're not using images effectively on your website, you're missing out on a major opportunity to increase conversions. Providing information in both textual and visual formats has been proven to help website visitors remember it more easily.
Now that you understand how to optimize images, let’s discuss ways you can improve your image selection to enhance conversion rates. Here are some tips you can follow:
Use People-Focused Imagery that Evokes Emotions
Winning your audience’s trust is easier when you provide relatable, i.e., people-focused imagery. This could be photos of real people using your product, images of smiling customers, or even shots of people enjoying themselves to show the newcomers what to expect.
Say you sell fitness equipment. A great aspirational image would be someone fit and healthy, enjoying their active lifestyle. You could pair this with a call-to-action (CTA) such as "Get started on your fitness journey today!"
An image like this will help you close the sale by providing the audience with the motivation and means to achieve their goals.
Focus on Image Quality and Messaging
Your images should be clear, sharp, and free of distortion. They should also be relevant to the products or services you offer. Especially if you sell online only - the product images are the only view for potential buyers. Ensuring they are high-quality will allow you to show off your products in the best light possible.
Besides image quality, you also need to ensure that your images support the messaging of your website. The photos you use should reinforce the ideas and concepts you're trying to communicate through your text.
For example, suppose your website is about assisting people in leading healthy lives. In that case, you must help the audience visualize the same by sharing photos of someone running outdoors or lifting weights at the gym.
Ensure Visual Symmetry in Your Website Images
When creating imagery for your website, it's important to create a sense of visual symmetry. This means using balanced and evenly distributed images throughout your web pages. One easy way to achieve visual symmetry is by using rectangular images that are equal in size.
You can include image symmetry in your site by effectively using positive and negative space.
Positive space refers to the area occupied by the image's subject, while negative space is the area around it. Good use of negative space can help draw attention to the subject and make the image more visually appealing. Let your web design creativity flow freely at this point!
Leverage the Impact of Color Psychology to Enhance Visual Impact
Color psychology is a real thing - and it can significantly impact how people perceive your website and its content. Different colors can trigger different feelings in people, so it's important to choose colors that align with the message you're trying to communicate.
For example, if you want people to see your website as trustworthy, use blue as your primary color (since blue is considered more convincing). Alternatively, if you want people to see your website as energetic, it's good to use red (since red is associated with powerful messaging).
Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to just one color—you can use multiple colors throughout your website. Just make sure they work well together and help reinforce the message you're trying to communicate.
If You Go For Stock Photos, Use the Unique Ones
There's nothing wrong with using stock photos on your website, as they’re more budget-friendly and accessible. But only when you ensure that you purchase unique stock photos online (i.e., not the same pictures everyone else is using).
A quick Google search will reveal numerous websites selling stock photos. Take some time to browse through them until you find ones that fit well with your website's design and messaging. Filter through the chosen website and select photos that appear candid and are not “perfectly posed.”
Look at the quality of the pictures and shortlist only the ones in high-res and good lighting. Once you've found some good options, purchase them and upload them to your site.
Remember, you can also edit most stock photos by adding overlays and filters to make them more relevant to your branding.
16 Free Stock Images
CLICK HERE for a great resource on where to find quality stock images if you absolutely can't provide your own
The power of images isn’t anything new - remember when “a picture is worth a thousand words” was popularized? As social media and instant gratification become more prevalent, we can now leverage the power of visuals even further.
When used correctly, visuals can capture visitors' attention and persuade them to take action. However, it is important to use images wisely, as too many or poorly chosen images can detract from the message you wish to convey.
With careful planning and execution, you can use images to your advantage and boost your website's conversion rate. Remember to experiment and test different approaches until you find what works best for your target audience.