How to boost your site's conversion rate using images

storefront_jocelynmandrykphoto

If your website is the storefront for your business, the images you place in that storefront can be deal-breakers for your audience. It's documented that a bounce rate of anything below 50% is generally very good, (the average for boutique hotels hovers around 46%).  However this percentage can drastically increase once a visitor leaves your home page, which is a problem if you want people to thoroughly explore your business offerings and eventually make a sale.

For this reason, the images you use on your website to hold your audience's attention need to be carefully considered.

"People no longer want to browse a website –they want to experience it. Using the right images can boost your site’s conversions and get you to connect better with your target audience".

Here are some top tips on how best to use images to boost your conversion rates.

1. Emotions Rule

What emotions do you want your brand to evoke?

Many people buy for emotional reasons. If you make them feel just the way they want to, they’re more likely to take action. The same rule applies when choosing images for your site. A positive image brings out positive emotions. It could be a smile, an interaction, or a gesture. Emotions are powerful, and they work.

Think about what emotions you want your audience to feel - freedom, happiness, excitement, joy? Choose images that specifically portray these emotions in alignment with your service or product and you're well on your way to convincing them to investing with you.

Kerb_jocelynmandrykphoto

Kerb Street Food Specialists have an excellent homepage on their website that showcases an image and video reel that makes visitors feel happy and hungry instantly. People connect with their happy and friendly staff that is showcased in the images as much as the food itself.

2. Make the mobile experience count

Think about how images look on different platforms and media

I work with a lot of clients that want to polish their existing websites with more curated images that fit their brand. It's a great investment to make, but often forgotten is how these images will sync with their mobile site. Mobile can no longer be an afterthought and should be an integral part of any image strategy for a website. More and more people are making their purchase decisions from a smartphone and not a laptop or a desk. For this reason your mobile site needs to showcase images just as well as your desktop site.

Most website templates offer good desktop-mobile compatibility, but Squarespace does this especially well, allowing custom tweaks to make the mobile experience top-notch for users.

3. Don't use bad stock photos

Stop treating your audience like retards, they are savvy and smart

The 90’s are gone. The web 1.0 era has ended. This is the social age of the Internet. People don’t look at the websites like they used to. They’re more connected and educated than ever and they can spot a fake. People can tell if you’ve used a cheesy stock photos and even the good ones are used repeatedly, often across the same industry. Your prospects will know you’re trying to fool them with people shaking hands in suits. Just avoid it and save yourself the embarrassment of being totally unoriginal.

Here's a case in point: Original Image vs. Bad Stock Image. Which do you feel is more convincing if you were going to invest in yoga classes?

yoga_jocelynmandrykphoto

4. Go BIG wherever possible.

make the most use of your professional images by using them at a large size

Modern website designs tend to favour large engaging images over small thumbnails or collages. Why? Because images that are used as full-site backgrounds and banners demonstrate a level of professionalism of quality media and pull the audience in. The eye has an immediate place to focus and doesn't get confused. The same rings true for product photographs on e-commerce sites. Its important to have magnified and detail shots that visitors can examine at close range.

5. Don't be afraid to select artistic images

unique images are more memorable than generic commercial images

There is a fear amongst marketers and business owners that being "too different" may risk losing your audience that aren't able to digest your ideas and message. This is definitely a good point, however as the sheer quantity of image content continues to skyrocket, there's no harm in purposefully setting yourself apart. Choosing a mix of glossy commercial images, mixed with more curated artistic shots is a great way to make the user-experience (UX) on your website is more memorable and attention-grabbing.

With these tips in mind, make sure you take a thorough look at your image library and carefully consider what kind of images to use on your site and also how you use them. Above all, its about THEM, not you, so images should be chosen first with your audience in mind - their tastes, characteristics, and the messages you want to convey to them. Bottom line: Successful websites use smart images. Time to get started.

For more information on curating images for your business and website, please check out my photography and visual content creation services.