Visual content marketing is clearly the way of the future. All you have to do is look at the emergence of visual social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Periscope to understand the trajectory of the marketplace. But you should also be going visual on your own website.
Here are a handful of helpful ways you can improve your site’s visuals with minimal time and effort:
- Ditch the Stock Images
Let’s start with something that really needs to be addressed: stop using generic stock images! They look fake, cheesy, and don’t have anything to do with your content. They may be easy, but stock images are anything but effective. They’re nothing more than space fillers.
“There’s a reason why stock images are generic – they work with lots of different types of content,” marketer Dennis Guldstrand says. “You’re definitely not the only one with an iStock-account, and you’re probably not the first person to download that image.”
But it’s not just the fact that stock images stand out as being dull and detached. There’s actually factual data to prove that they’re ineffective. Take this study, for example, which shows that generic stock images produce 34.7 percent fewer conversions than real images. That’s a huge discrepancy for something that you shouldn’t be using in the first place.
- Take Some Original Photos
So what are you supposed to use if you can’t copy and paste stock photos into your content? Well, give original photos a try. While this may sound like a huge time commitment, it’s actually fairly easy. Start by purchasing a high quality camera and then spend a couple hours taking pictures that align with your niche.
While it’s impossible to become a skilled photographer over night, you can increase your chances of taking good pictures by focusing on lighting. “Lighting can make or break a photo,” Green Residential explains. “In fact, you could argue this is the most important aspect of a good listing photo. Your goal should be to use as much natural lighting as you can, while relying on the camera’s flash as little as possible.”
- Reduce Image File Sizes
Few things slow a website down quite like the file size of images. And considering that the average internet user only waits for approximately three seconds before trying another page, you can’t afford to bog your website down with bulky images.
There are plenty of ways to reduce the size of your images, but Shopify has a free tool that makes it quick and easy. Simply upload the image, input your email address, and they’ll give you an optimized version of the image.
- Never Write When You Can Show
As a content marketing rule of thumb, you should never write something when you can show something. This goes along with the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Why use a paragraph of text to explain an idea when you just have to provide the right image? Visuals are king in today’s internet ecosystem and you should be doing everything possible to use more images and fewer words. It will save you time and money, as well as naturally increase conversions and other website metrics.
Make Visual Content a Priority
If you’re creating website content, selecting layouts, choosing color schemes, and then throwing in a few visuals as an afterthought, you’re messing up. Visual content – including images, icons, and infographics – need to be a priority.
Identify opportunities to enhance your website’s visuals and seize them. You’ll enjoy direct and quantifiable benefits like shorter page loading times, fewer bounces, and higher conversion rates. What are you waiting for?