Why Images Matter More Than You Might Think

Images can help potential customers identify with your brand, or make them question your credibility, which makes choosing the right images for your website essential to increasing conversion. The wrong image choice can misalign visitors with who your company is, and what they represent. At the end of the day, these images are the face of your company and often the first component of a website that visitors are drawn to. In fact, when testing web pages here at WEVO, we often see a majority of responses from people fixated on a single image - the hero, the headline, or even a smaller photo buried further down the page, and the images on a web page can often be make or break in getting visitors to convert. Because of this, picking the right image should be one of the key decisions a digital marketer makes, and not something thrown in to fill space.

There are a few guidelines that can be used to ensure the photo you choose is the best one for your site. Make sure the photo you select is relevant, and represents your product or service accurately. If your image features people they should represent your target audience, look like they are using your product, or are at least in a position of success because of your product. In a test we ran for Progressive Insurance for example, a seemingly relevant image of a woman smiling out of her car window didn’t resonate with everyone. Diving deeper, we discovered that visitors felt that the photo was unnecessary, and even superfluous to their decision on whether or not to purchase auto insurance. To quote one respondent: “this picture was not necessary in my decision making”. Because the image wasn’t relevant in their search for car insurance, it ended up detracting from the rest of the page.

Another example of photos lending themselves to conversion came when we ran a test for Northeastern University’s MBA page. Unlike with the Progressive Insurance page, these visitors had very positive reactions to the images on the landing page, which featured real students looking happy and professional on the Northeastern campus as well as pictures of successful graduates from the program. In fact, the response was so positive that a whopping 78% of our sample said they would recommend it to a friend. These seemingly small touches add credibility and appeal to a website, and helps prospective customers (students in this case) to see themselves using a product, subscribing to a service, or attending a school. Combined with the relatively low cost of obtaining relevant photos, the benefit here is clear.

Every digital marketer knows that there are a myriad of things that can affect conversion, but through WEVO’s extensive testing, the data plainly shows that images tend to have the largest impact. For many, if not most, of your prospective customers the images you choose will be the single most important decision in retaining visitors long enough to convert. If visitors don’t like what they see, they’ll be more likely to leave your page without even considering your offering. Always take the time to choose not only the image your team thinks is the best, but the one your customers can relate to and resonate with.