There are many different components in play when it comes to increasing a website’s conversion rates; but in 2016, few are more important than visual elements. While the wrong visual techniques will turn visitors away, the right strategies will encourage them to stick around.
Here are some pointers for modernizing your approach to visual elements.
1. Put Images Above the Fold
According to research, 80 percent of visitor’s attention is paid to information above the fold. And since screen sizes vary so much these days, it’s important that you keep your best images at the very top of your pages. This increases the chance that they’ll be seen and enjoyed by the visitor. Images at the bottom of the page may still be seen, but the exposure will be fractional when compared to the visuals above the fold.
2. Ditch Stock Photography
“[Poor quality images] will distract your readers with their visual dominance, without the benefit of interesting your readers with their content,” consultant Bnonn Tennant explains. “And very often they will convey the impression that you are incompetent, thoughtless about your page content, or just unable to come up with anything of real quality.”
While there are all different kinds of poor quality images, stock photography is considered the worst of them all. While it’s easy to find stock images, they’re wholly impersonal and ineffective. Check out these terrible examples to see just how ineffective stock images are.
3. Use High-Resolution Images
Once you learn to ditch stock photography, you’ll recognize a whole new world of opportunities. Suddenly, you’ll realize that large, colorful images are a possibility.
In web design – and specifically when it comes to homepage web design – the focus should be on high-resolution images. You need to wow your visitors from the start and a large, clear banner image will significantly help you accomplish this goal of engaging customers. Here’s a strong example from easyTahiti.com. Notice how the quality and color scheme draw you in and engage your senses.
You can read all about the need for high resolution images and the future of the internet in this article, but the moral of the story is that you should ditch the grainy images and replace them with compelling alternatives.
4. Establish a Visual Hierarchy
In design school, students are taught about the importance of visual hierarchy. This refers to the techniques a designer can use to direct the viewer. In web design, things like font size, images, colors, and symbols are used to create a hierarchy. If you aren’t actively working to establish a visual hierarchy that drives your conversions, then you’re missing a chance to engage your visitors.
5. Utilize White Space
In the past, web design was all about showing off your skills by including as many different design elements, images, and layouts as possible to create a cohesive final product. Today, the trend is minimalism.
You can’t be afraid of having white space on your website. In fact, white space is extremely valuable. Instead of overwhelming users with an onslaught of in-your-face elements, simplify things and go for a sleek, more professional look. The Cultured Code homepage is the perfect example of how a simple, white interface can have a huge impact.
Make Visuals a Priority
In 2016, you can no longer rely on large blocks of text and outdated website layouts. In order to engage site visitors and bolster conversion rates, visuals must become a priority.
Today’s users are becoming increasingly savvy and you need to satisfy their evolving preferences and demands. Luckily, these strategies will help you get where you need to be.