Your website is where you not only talk about the products and services you sell but also where you build an emotional connection with your audience.
As humans, we can naturally relate more to things we can look at rather than read. Visuals evoke emotions in us, and shape our opinions. They also improve our ability to retrieve and remember information.
Just like the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words.
That’s why visuals can be a significant factor contributing to the success of your website or blog.
But what to do if you’ve run out of good ideas for visuals you could use? Or worse. You have enough ideas, but you’re stuck because you don’t know when and where you should be using them to increase engagement and drive actions.
In this post, I’m going to talk about eleven ways in which correctly placed visuals will help your website to convert more visitors.
On Your Blog
Each day new content is getting published on more than 1.74 billion websites. This information overload leads to changes in the content consumption trends. Internet users are either skimming through articles and newly-discovered websites or ignoring them altogether.
Most of the content that goes live is tedious and requires users to process a substantial amount of text. And if the content has images, they’re mostly stock photos that have been overused severally across the web.
Images on your blog grab and hold your reader’s attention. They also help you pass information faster by providing visual explanations to difficult to understand concepts.
Besides, 65% of your readers are visual learners, so you need to cater to their needs. Below, you will find some ideas to help you do that.
1. Featured images
Writing a great blog post is one thing. Getting someone to read it is another story.
You’ll rarely come up with a perfect million dollar opening line that stops a reader on their tracks, making them click through and read your content.
A featured image helps you tell what your blog post is all about while still encouraging your reader to click through. Take a look at these featured images on the Piktochart blog.
The first featured image shows how hectic it can be when working from home due to space limitations, often forcing you to use any flat (but raised) surface as a working table.
Every employee who found themselves having to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic relates to this image. They’re willing to click through and learn how to create a workstation that helps them stay productive and sane while they work from home.
Takeaway: when choosing (or designing) a featured image for your blog post, think of the central theme of your content. Does the visual help you convey this theme to your readers while eliciting relevant emotions that make them click through, and read on?
Whenever you’re illustrating something or providing evidence to support an idea, screenshots are your best bet.
For example, this step by step process on how to create a Gmail signature wouldn’t be complete without a screenshot detailing each step. Take a look at how they show the reader what to do.
And this goes on until you’re ready to add an image to your Gmail signature.
Similarly, a concept like plagiarism in this Grammarly review won’t make sense until you see how good Grammarly is at catching even the smallest errors and reporting them as 1% plagiarism score:
3. Data-driven visuals
When you’re presenting results from a case study, use data visualization to help your readers quickly identify patterns and trends.
By sharing information in a manner that is easy to understand and digest, you ensure that you can keep your audience’s attention.
For example, Codeless conducted a study by testing five different content writing services to evaluate the quality of content produced through content mills. Here’s the visual they used to make sure that readers could instantly understand the results.
The visual’s message is crystal clear: When it comes to content mills, you get what you pay for.
Note how the visual helps to pass your message across while still tapping on your curiosity to dive deeper and learn more? That’s the power of an excellent data-driven visual.
4. Custom images
Sometimes, you might not find the screenshots you’re looking for or those that you have might not be the right fit for your blog. A workaround? Try customizing the illustrations you already use on your blog. This is what Buzzsprout did in their in-depth guide on how to start a podcast.
Sometimes finding a screenshot or an image that will help to explain the idea quickly might be challenging.
And that’s where customized illustrations come handy. They help explain concepts in an easy to understand way.
Take note of how simple the illustration looks. Yet, it passes across the message on how you need to position your microphone when recording your podcast.
If you don’t have resources on your team to design customer illustrations, you can easily create them with Piktochart. You will find there over 100 illustrations of humans, and background scenes which you can combine and customize to your needs.
Another option is to consider taking actual pictures of your team or customers to illustrate the concept.
For example, Swagbucks does this with great success.
Infographics are a powerful form of visual content that combines charts, images, text, and storytelling to provide an easy-to-understand overview of a topic. For example, what’s a better way to explain how infographics can help you generate more leads than by using an actual infographic?
When creating infographics, you don’t need to do it on your own. Consider partnering up with another business. Create an infographic together and have each side post it on their website. It will give you more exposure, social proof, and the credibility needed to grow your blog audience.
You also want to amplify your content marketing efforts by gaining the credibility and trust of your audience.
Whenever you’re writing a blog post, make sure you quote an expert or share their opinion. This will add more value to the reader and boost the credibility of your content. Alternatively, use customer quotes. They can be a great way to promote your content on social media.
Instead of just adding a few words and their name in your post, create a quote image, then share it with them once you publish your post. The industry experts or your customers that you featured will become more likely to share your content with their network. Ultimately this will help you get more exposure.
Your landing pages
Your landing page copy works better when you use visuals.
First of all, they can serve as visual cues. We have a tendency to follow the gaze of another person as well as directional elements such as arrows.
Second, visuals help to easily break large blocks of text and make it easier for the visitors to grab the context behind your message quickly. Take a look at different ways to use visuals on your landing pages.
Arrows can be a great way to point visitors towards the essential elements of your landing page. If you want your visitors to convert, adding an indicator next to or directly on your call-to-action button will help you achieve that.
Here is an example of how Miro uses an arrow next to their CTA text prompting the visitors to take action.
Why does this work? Because arrows are commonly used and easily understood in our day-to-day life as a way of guidance.
Even though we are used to scrolling and skipping through the content when we see an arrow, we take it as a visual cue. We automatically stop and focus our attention on the element to which the arrow is pointing.
That’s why arrows can also help drive attention to a specific element of a more sophisticated visual.
A great example would be the one from Basecamp. Instead of just using screenshots, they added arrows to provide an easy overview of the most important features of their product.
8. Customer images in testimonials
You also want to make sure that your landing page uses social proof. We mentioned before using testimonials in the blog post, but they can be even more powerful when used on your landing page. Customer testimonials used on your landing page will help you gain additional credibility. Adding a picture of the customer next to the testimonial will amplify the effect.
While the majority of SaaS websites use illustrations in their header, VWO decided to use a picture of their customer. They paired the friendly face with some compelling results that the customer achieved by using their product. This helps them build trust without even requiring the visitor to scroll.
Inflow Inventory uses a customer’s quote plus their profile picture to help build their company’s credibility. Without a photo, the quote might sound like it’s made up (something anyone can do). With a picture, it automatically looks more authentic.
Besides, such testimonials help boost your landing page copy because they come across as trustworthy. Landing page visitors relate more with what your customers are saying than they do with the marketing copy on your landing page.
In addition to using images on your landing pages, your consumers want to know about you and your brand. They may not necessarily buy from you on your homepage or “About Us” page, but that doesn’t mean that you ignore these pages by failing to include visual content.
Make an excellent first impression to make sure that they like what they see immediately when they land on your home page.
What are your company values? What do you believe in? Why does your business exist? What impact have you had since you started your business?
While that’s a lot to cover using text, a video describing what you believe in, why you exist, and the impact you’ve made so far, helps you do more with less.
Besides, a video helps you connect with your audience and earns their trust in the process. Take a look at this video where the business owner greets new visitors immediately upon landing on their site.
In addition to your landing page, start embedding video into your content marketing and blog posts. This will heavily increase engagement on your content, sending valuable trust signals to Google.
Videos can also play an important role when it comes to talent acquisition.
In recruiting, branding is critical. It’s not just you assessing the candidates, but it’s also your potential employees who evaluate the company. 53% of the candidates you’re looking for will assess you based on your social media content, your website content, and the reviews you have on online review sites.
Have a dedicated page on your website where interested candidates apply, and can learn more about your company culture. This will give them a better feeling of how it is like to work at your company.
Most websites are too text-heavy. Considering that most people skim text online, it’s hard to get people to actually read the benefits, features, and value of your offering.
How can you combat it? Via icons.
Icons are small graphics that you can utilize on site to make a big impact in text-dense areas where you need to communicate value.
For example, here is how Spruce uses them to describe and highlight each product feature:
Rather than just bullet points that would be skimmed, Spruce uses custom icons on each product benefit to make them stand out.
In doing so, users on their landing pages will never miss the benefits and value.
Consider utilizing custom icons on your site to include more visual stimulus. You can create them yourself in tools like Photoshop or Piktochart, or simply outsource to a freelance designer.
11. Put a Face Behind the Brand
Most websites nowadays follow the same, boring template. A hero, featured image of graphics / illustrations, a headline, and a call-to-action.
These illustrated graphics are beautiful, but there are other options that can produce big wins.
Instead, try putting a face behind the brand. This is an incredibly easy and effective way to both use more visual content and drive more conversions.
For instance, check out how HelpScout does this on their homepage:
Displaying Javier, their Customer Champion front and center, they break up the text and focus of the viewer to an actual HelpScout employee.
Similarly, Zendesk does this via social media, promoting specific quotes from their own staff:
Takeaway: To include more visual content, try bringing your team front and center.
Now it’s your turn!
By now, I’m sure your creative juices are already flowing. You should have some new ideas on where you can add visual content on your website.
Will you start by giving your landing pages a facelift by adding icons? Will you use customer images in your testimonials? Or will you start creating custom illustrations for your blog content? That’s up to you.
The visuals you choose to use will help improve your website’s visual outlook, increase engagement, and improve conversions. However, don’t stop there because you’re only limited by how far you want to take this.
For example, if you’re already using screenshots, data-driven visuals, and customized illustrations on your blog, create a video to accompany your blog content and walk readers through difficult concepts.
Alternatively, create an infographic sharing key milestones since you started your company and post it on your About us page.
I hope you get the idea. Now go ahead and make it happen.