Think about this for a moment. When you stumble across two websites in the same niche and one has a mix of text and graphics and the other has straight text, which leaves better first impressions, given all else was equal?
First impressions are made within the first few seconds
Countless studies have concluded that first impressions are made within the first few seconds of visiting a website. Impressions based on text take longer, simply because of the time it takes to read through the content. Impressions based on a mixture of graphics and text can project a broad range of perceptions within seconds. Those could include the size of your company, the scope of the products or services you offer, and whether your visitor should hang around to explore.
If you include a picture of your brick & mortar business with a mailing address, would that lend itself to trust and stability? If you included a picture of yourself or your staff with short bio’s, would that convert to “know” in know, like and trust, the three key ingredients to selling anything online or offline?
Can graphics be used to make a connection with your visitors?
A graphic that conveys emotion automatically makes a connection with your visitor. That connection can be one of comfort, hunger, curiosity or any number of emotions. Just as the correct use of white space can lead visitors from Point A to Point Purchase, graphic optimization of your website has shown to increase conversion ratios, the stuff all ecommerce entrepreneurs love.
I’m sure you’ve stumbled upon sites just as I have that blind you with their color themes. Even if you have the best content, products and pricing, visitors will likely leave. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good color theme.
Just as it’s important to be found in the first ten results on search engine queries, it’s equally important to immediately lead visitors to your website, graphically, to your Value Proposition or Unique Selling Point. Eye path should intuitively lead visitors to a call-to-action.
Generally, less text in graphics implies higher quality. Great designs can double or triple your page views, return visits, time-on-site, and conversion ratios.
Attention to detail
I’ve also seen some shopping carts recently, where the drop-down menus don’t match well with the images. Attention to detail is important. And I don’t know about everyone else, but small thumbnails don’t cut the mustard when I’m shopping, if I can’t click to enlarge the image, with some solution focused caption.
Image size in bytes
Site speed is so very important now, as visitors won’t hang around waiting for images to download. I closely relate this to the fast food industry. Just last week, I waited 15 minutes in line at a drive thru, then gave up and drove to the restaurant next to it. Thankfully, my wife was understanding. I was on a “you fly, I buy” mission. Not only will visitors move on, but Google will penalize you in their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS), further adversely affecting your conversion ratios.
Great graphics unarguably translate to improved sales. If you’re selling a recurring service, one lost sale can equate to a lifetime loss of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The look and feel of your website are an investment in your company or organization. Professional graphic design is well worth the investment, in both branding and sales – and in first impressions!
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