Images for Design Optimization

Images and Page Design For Conversion

One of the most important aspects of page design for conversion rate optimization are the images a website chooses to display. Whatever products or services you offer, it's a good idea to use images that highlight the benefits of these products or services that consumers can identify with on a personal level.

One of the most important images on a landing page is the hero image. A hero image is usually a large banner or background photo on a website that expresses a value proposition of it's products or services. The hero image can also contain a call-to-action such as a signup form or trial or purchase button. 

Image Design Tips

Important questions to keep in mind when selecting images to display on your website are:

  • Benefits - how does the image illustrate the benefits of your product or services?
  • Brand persona - how does it help distinguish your brand persona?
  • Target audience - how does it apply to your target audience and/or demographics?
  • Page layout -  does image selection, size, and placement fit with your websites copy, layout, etc.?

All of the above questions are worth asking when deciding what images to display on your website to ultimately help drive users to become conversions. 

How Do Images Psychologically Influence Consumers?

People tend to associate the images they see with themselves. When websites use big hero images of happy people, they're trying to generate an emotional response from people that associates this feeling of happiness with the use of their products or services. 

This is why the images you choose for you're website have to generate emotional reactions from visitors. They don't have to always be of happy people; however, they should generate the target response that highlights the benefits of your product or service.

For example, many clothing e-commerce websites have large amounts of images of their products, but usually the hero images are shown with the clothing being worn by people engaging in a cool or fun activity, displaying a positive emotional reaction, or showcasing a desirable lifestyle. Thus, their value proposition can be interpreted as "by buying X, you can achieve Y". 

In order to increase conversions, you should try to incorporate images that highlight the benefits of your product and the anxieties that they help eliminate to ultimately convince users that your product or service is the solution to their problem. 

How Do Images Help Distinguish Your Brand Persona?

Many businesses are constantly competing with other businesses within their markets. One way to effectively separate themselves from their competitors is to develop an engaging business persona that people can identify with. The two most important images that help distinguish your brand persona are the brand logo and the hero image of your website.

Logos

The most important aspect of logo design is how memorable it is. When people think of your business they should also be able to visualize your logo and vice-versa.

Features such as font style, color usage, and avatars are crucial when it comes to developing an image you want people to remember when thinking about products or services in your market. 

logos example

Hero Image

A hero image is usually a large banner or background photo on a website that expresses a value proposition of it's products or services. The hero image can also contain a call-to-action (CTA) such as a signup form or trial or purchase button.  When designing these landing pages, optimize them with hero images that are:

  • Emotionally compelling
  • Relative to the product or service you are providing
  • Visually interesting
  • Relative to the copy on the page

Using images that fit the above criteria can help distinguish your brand's identity, increase consumer trust in your brand, and help users determine what products or services your business offers. Try to implement images that are original. Stock photos that appear across a multitude of websites can seem tacky and repetitive. A brand persona should be original and creative, and the design you implement on your website should follow suit. 

hero image example

Banner Image Carousels

Some businesses that sell a wide variety of products or services often rotate images with sliders or carousels. These can be beneficial to highlight the different products you offer with visual representations or to appeal to multiple audiences with different images.

However, they can often be undesirable and non-user friendly because:

  • Automated image carousels don't provide users with enough time to read the content associated with the image which can generate user frustration.
  • They are often ignored by users
  • Users that are not native to the language displayed on your website might take longer times to read all of the information. 
  • Automated switching between images may result in the users clicking on the wrong image and being taken to an undesired page.

Thus, if using image carousels, it may be a good choice to allow for the cycling between these images to be manual so that users can switch between them at will. 

Design your logos and landing page hero images with the needs of the customers as a first priority and stylized creativity second. Repeatedly test different images on landing pages and A/B test them with heatmaps and session replay to find the image that generates the most conversions for that landing page. 

How Do Images Apply To Your Target Audience And Demographics

The images you display can have a wide range of effects on different groups of people. While there won't be an image that caters to everyone's likes and tastes, using images that appeal to the demographic audience you're targeting can be beneficial for conversion rates.

In some cases, such as for Ecommerce clothing websites, they may use different hero images based on the gender and ethnicity of website users. When consumers see other people wearing clothes, it's easier to envision what those clothes will look like on them when they see someone with similar physical features wearing the products.

User Segmentation

Use Google Analytics to determine demographic data and the sources from where the visitors found your website. Furthermore, you can use a landing page tool to segment these users to determine which landing page these visitors will see based on their demographics, interests, and location and optimize it accordingly to find the highest converting versions. 

Test different user segments with different images to see which generates the highest conversion rates with that demographic. There is no absolute formula of what will work; however, you can continually test your images with hypothesis' based on demographic and source segmentation to find the best results. 

How Does Your Hero Image to Copy and Layout

Layout Question to Keep in Mind

When deciding on what kind of layout you want to use for your website, the hero image you use at the top should be one of the most important factors. Ask yourself the following questions when designing your webpage:

  • Do you want to use a full background image? 
  • Just a banner at the top? 
  • Will you be cycling through images with a carousel? 
  • Will you be using interactive graphics, gifs, or videos?

All of these questions are worth thinking about when constructing your website to find what will be most appealing to your visitor base. It's also important to keep the website clean and as clutter-free as possible.

Don't Distract From The CTA

When too much is going on on a page, users can become distracted or frustrated and not complete a CTA. Always ask yourself if the CTA on a page is clear and if your images strengthen or weaken it.

Using click and mouse-tracking heatmaps to see where users are clicking and focusing their attention can be a vital tool to understanding their behavior in regard to how the page layout is affected by your image selection. 

The three most important factors on a landing page are the hero image, the CTA, and the headlines. All three should work together to ultimately reinforce the value proposition you want to express. 

Takeaways

  • Be compelling - Use images that are visually compelling and create an emotional response that highlights your value proposition, especially on landing pages. 
  • Be creative and clear - stand out from the competition as much as possible with your logos and image selection.
  • Utilize user segments -  see how different images affect your conversion rates with different types of visitors or visitors from different sources. 
  • Layout and design cohesion - See how your images with within your overall design scheme. Use heatmaps to test this and implement changes if it seems that users are distracted from completing a CTA. 
  • CTA and headline copy - make sure hero images correspond with the CTA and headline copy.  All three should work together to influence the user to complete the CTA.