How important are images and video to your website?
There's a lot more to your website design than just the words. In fact, images and videos are some of the most important tools in your marketing arsenal.
According to a study conducted by Stanford University, we process images 60,000 times faster than text. In fact, we can digest an entire image in the time it takes us to read one word. That’s why visual content is so important for your site: it grabs attention and helps you get your message across faster than any other type of content on the web.
Be memorable and create an emotional connection
Visuals aren’t just quicker to digest they can help you better communicate your message, tell a story, or even create an emotional connection with your audience, thus also making them more memorable than text.
Studies on the Picture Superiority Effect back this up,“When we read text alone, we are likely to remember only 10 percent of the information 3 days later. If that information is presented to us as text combined with a relevant image, we are likely to remember 65 percent of the information 3 days later.” - John Medina, Brain Rules, 2008
Increase visitor engagement and increase leads
Users also find visual content on websites more engaging than blocks of text; this increased engagement means you are likely to generate more leads. But adding just any images won’t do, they need to be relevant to your content and your audience for maximum effect. A great example of this is demonstrated in a Basecamp A/B test comparing two sign up pages, they found that adding a human image led to more than double the number of signups.
Along with images being relevant they also need to be high quality; a great image can make all the difference in the success of an ecommerce website. Potential customers want to clearly see how a product looks or works before parting with their money.
Apple's website is a world-class leader in how to use high quality product images correctly. Its famous "hero" images are great at showing off its products, generally focusing on one product per image. The high-quality photography shows every detail of their products in 360 degrees, as if you could just reach out and touch them.
Boost your SEO
Search engine optimisation is a crucial part of having a well-performing website. It's a fact that images and videos can improve your SEO. Using relevant keywords in the captions and alt text of the images on your site offers more content for search engines to index. You will also benefit from having that content show up in both web and image searches, giving you more opportunities to be found online.
Ecommerce website Candymail delivers sweets and snacks from America and around the world. They have utilised images to help boost their search engine rankings and organic traffic very well.
Take for example, when searching for the chocolate bar ‘Milkybar Choo’ they appear at the top of the search results, not only does their listing contain text but also an image to the right, helping to capture the user’s attention.
Performing the same search in image search also displays a result from Candymail with a text description indicating the product is in stock, letting potential customers easily see they can purchase this item from Candymail.
Build a cohesive brand identity
Images and video can also be repurposed across social media channels, further aiding brand awareness and recognition. The same images that you use on your website can be used as Instagram Stories or Facebook Ads, for instance. This is an easy way to add some variety to your social media posts without having to create new content from scratch every time.
Using the same images consistently across all your marketing materials will help build a cohesive brand identity that people will recognize when they see it.
Gousto food delivery service are a great example of a brand repurposing their website images across their social media platforms. They use high quality photographs of the meals customers can buy on their website and these same images can be seen in posts on their Facebook and Instagram accounts, helping to create consistency and brand recognition across all their media outlets.
We hope this blog post has been helpful in giving you more information on the importance of images and video to your website.
It’s important to keep in mind that while the visual aspect may seem minor, it is actually an incredibly powerful tool for getting your message across.
When used correctly on a site, it can help draw viewers in, keep them engaged and ultimately drive more traffic for your business or brand.
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