7 Tips to Boost Your Site’s Conversion Rate Using Images

Images not only add life to a website, they also make it convert better. People no longer want to browse a website – they want to experience it. Using the right images can boost your site’s conversions and get you to connect better with your target audience.

However, you still find many websites unaware of the importance of images when it comes to getting the most out of existing traffic. Below are some proven tips to help you boost your conversion rate by intelligently using images throughout your website.

Tip 1 – Emotions Rule

Many people buy for emotional reasons. If you make them feel just right, they’ll take action. The same rule applies when choosing images for your site. A positive image brings out positive emotions. It could be a smile, a smirk or a gesture. Emotions are powerful, and they work.

Your customers and prospects aren’t stupid. They know what you’re trying to convey, they see it. Make them feel good, happy, proud, wanted – they’ll agree with you and connect better. The perks of leveraging emotions can be very powerful, but it’s how you do it that matters.

human touch homepage conversions

Human Touch is a company that sells massage and wellness products. Their website very intelligently uses images to convey their message. They’re not only showing the product, but are also letting their customers get a feel of it.

The image used here clearly expresses joy and happiness. It gives their prospects a fair idea of what they can be experiencing. They could have simply shown pictures of the chair without someone using it, but they took it a step further to show the relaxing effect of the product.

Tip 2 – Consider Using A Mascot

Ever noticed your favorite site with a little cartoon? Site mascots are highly popular these days. Websites and blogs are using them for branding. They are being used to create a bonding experience with the visitors. They’re helping sites create a strong image in their audience’s mind. But how does a mascot help you convert better? Here are a few ways:

I. A mascot can solidify your marketing motif.

seomoz moz bot mascot

II. A mascot can have a much more memorable branding effect:

western exterminator co mascot

III. It’s much easier to create a desired emotional effect:

mailchimp connected mascot

Look around, you’ll find sites with various types of mascots. Most of these sites are successful. And it doesn’t even cost you a lot to get it done for your site. Lots of creative designers out there will agree to create one for you at an affordable price.

mailchimp homepage image and conversions

If you’re an online marketer, you should know Mail Chimp – a highly successful email marketing service. The company has managed to capture a fair share of the market in a short span of time. And that’s largely due to the quality of their service and the impactful imagery used in their branding.

Tip 3 – Give Your Images A Human Touch.

Boost your website’s conversion rate by using human faces. They get your prospects to focus more and this causes them to draw towards a common point of interest. It doesn’t get more real than that.

Medalia Art is a site that sells art. Nothing spectacular about that, but the photo versus painting test they did is worth noticing. The website, which is an online art shop, presents paintings from various artists right on their homepage. During their A/B testing, they swapped the paintings with the photo of the artist. Their aim was to have an increased user engagement.

Medalia Art Image Conversion Experiment

Paintings swapped with human photos.

Making this small but relevant change sent their conversion rate through the roof – something they didn’t expect. Their site experienced a whopping 95% increase in conversions!.

Tip 4 – Think Out Of The Box.

Today’s technology allows you to do so much more – leverage it.  You are only limited by your imagination. People want to see something new, even on websites. Make your website scream “I’m different” with your images.

due maternity product conversions

Due Maternity, an online retailer targeted towards pregnant women, knows what it means to think out of the box. In order to give their prospects a real feel of their products, they did something unique. Using advanced “dynamic image technology”, the website used images that you can spin around – 360 degrees.

The result? The pages that had these rotating images outperformed the standard two dimensional ones. And their conversion rate for these particular products increased by 27% – all because of a simple twist.

Tip 5 – Show Validation

What makes TV commercials work? Models, actors, and random people are shown using the product. Praising it, loving it, and going bonkers. That’s what make these commercials tick. But the more important question is: Why does this work?

It’s simple – people want a third opinion. They want to feel safe before buying something/anything. They want to be convinced. They don’t want to make a wrong decision. When they see others happy with a product, they get convinced.

If your website has pictures of your happy customers, your conversion grows. It’s a natural process that will never change. Add a dash of testimonials along with their pictures and voila – chances are your conversion rate will automatically go up.

infusion soft homepage conversions

Infusionsoft is a company that sells a complete sales and marketing software tool for small businesses. Their website is professional and well placed. They’ve strategically used images of customers along with their testimonials on their homepage.

They didn’t hide their customer photos somewhere deep down. Why? Because they know how to make their prospects feel at home by showing how trustworthy their product is. Something that’s essential to grow your conversion rate.

Tip 6 – It’s About THEM, Not You

If you want a higher conversion rate, perfect the art of choosing images. Your prospects are interested in themselves. He or she doesn’t care about your product or company. It’s the ‘me’ factor that ultimately does the magic. Show your visitors they are on the right track. Make them feel comfortable. Get them to experience what you want them to. That will open up doors and get more people to like you – buy from you.

coconut bliss homepage conversions

Coconut Bliss sells ice cream. But they’re different, they’re approach is new. Their product looks and feels more personal than commercial. They call it the evolution of ice cream.

This reflects in their website’s design, and the images they used. A very natural picture of a couple enjoying their ice cream. The pictures used on their homepage are relevant and professionally done. If you’re an ice-creamoholic you’d be very interested in what they’re offering. Just because the site uses the right pictures to communicate the right ideas. They didn’t use any pictures to ‘decorate’ their site, but meaningful ones.

Tip 7 – Stop Using Bad Stock Photos

The 90’s are gone. The web 1.0 era has ended. This is the social age of the Internet. People don’t look at the web like they used to. They’re more connected than ever. And educated. What does that have to do with images and conversions?

People can tell if you’ve used a cheesy stock photos.

images with no value for homepage

They used to be a rage back then, but not now. Your prospects will know you’re trying to fool them with people shaking hands in suits.

So in order to get a higher conversion rate today, you need to do the opposite. Choose stock photos intelligently – even if you have to spend more money.

Your site has to look professional enough to convert better. If the stock photos you go for look obvious, you get a thumbs down from your visitors. Not good. Your aim should be to send a positive message to your audience. Be smart and go for stock photos that you know will be right for your site, in every way.

mcafee homepage image

Who isn’t familiar with McAfee, provider of security and anti-virus solutions? Do you see how they’ve used an overpowering image on their homepage? Something that not only relates to their message, but also looks professional.

What they used is a high quality image, which may or may not be a stock photo, but it does not look staged, or cheesy. It looks real and authentic, and is adding real substance to the site. Bottom line: using the right stock photos on your own site can make a difference to your conversion rate.

Don’t Forget To Test Your Changes

The tips described above are to help you get headed in the right direction. Whenever you feel it’s time to make a change to your website, be sure to test your changes with testing software like Google Website Optimizer or KISSmetrics.

Got Any Tips?

Do you have any specific tips on using images that helped you improve your website’s conversion rate? Please share them in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

About the Author: Mustafa Khundmiri is the co-founder of Foundora, a knowledge hub for entrepreneurs where startup founders share their stories. You can follow him on Twitter @foundora.

  1. And don’t forget to include Alt Text : )

  2. Great blog, well said (or showed!). I would add that you shouldn’t stop with your website, use real, genuine photos (not stock photos) in emails, social media, and print collateral.

  3. I love cheesy stock photo’s. Especially those of people shaking hands. Are you absolutely sure these shouldn’t be used anymore ;)?

  4. how do you know these pages are converting well?

  5. Try and take your own images!
    That way you own the right to them and other people can’t use them on their blogs so you won’t have the “I’m sure I’ve seen that image somewhere before. Oh yeah, it was on *insert top blog in your niche here*!”. Plus by using your own pictures you’re letting readers into your life a little more and they feel like they know you better :)

    • Definitely :) That’s actually something every website should consider, because ultimately it’s about connecting with your visitors/prospects. People take you seriously when you treat your business seriously.

  6. I agree with staying away from cheesy stock photos. Yes, it takes a little thinking and some creativity but in the end I believe it will help not only increase traffic but revenues as well.

  7. It’s funny that I’m reading this article after visiting a website earlier today that had a stock photo at the top and in their little pop-up saying I could talk to someone in person if I wanted to. You’re right, engaging photos that have something to do with the goals of the site makes a lot of sense. And if you can’t do that, then just use your logo and be done with it.

  8. catchy images are always good to boost your conversion but these days will web 2.0 , i think using video is creating a lot of impact , sites like fiverr have started users to upload video of their product and its is really working for sellers at least it is for me. what do you think?

  9. I really love your point about it being about “Them” not you. it is such a simple point, but so many people, me included, just get focused on what they want to provide and show. it is always good to get back to basics and focus on what your “users/visitors/potential customers” will want to see.

  10. You must bring people willing to buy, not always the same person that the webmaster focus on!

  11. Great post and very well thought through. Helped a lot!

  12. Vishal Sharma May 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    We are making changes with our website images and considering both the options of either using rights managed images or our own people’s images. I think its important to understand your target audience while selecting images for websites. Talking primarily about small companies, If you have a local client base or target market then you’d be better off posting your own images such as real estate agents, restaurants, motels and others. On the other hand, if your deal with primarily national/international clientele and your scope of business is large than “carefully selected” rights managed images would do the trick.

  13. thanks for sharing such an informative article about the importance of Images on website , with us all. According to me the Importance of images in generating a lead has been well known in traditional marketing but Relevant product Image on ecommerce websites or online shopping store becomes even more important when there’s no physical product for users to see properly. ThePhotos on ecommerce website alone have to work to convey the true look and feel of your product.

  14. spelling typo beneath: they’re should be their.

    “Coconut Bliss sells ice cream. But they’re different, they’re approach is new. Their product looks and feels more personal than commercial. They call it the evolution of ice cream.”

  15. As a commercial photographer, I’d say take it a step further. Instead of spending hours (literally!) online looking for the right stock image, hire a local professional photographer to create custom images just for you and your company.

    With digital technology, it is easy to review the images as they are being shot, so that appropriate adjustments to lighting, expressions, composition, etc. can all be tweaked to taste.

    They’ll be relevant, show your actual product/people/place, and you can have a say in the overall look and feel in creating those images. It’s not as expensive as you might imagine, and perhaps best of all, no one else will be using the same images.

    This has happened quite a bit on recent annual reports, where the same image was used by two different (competing!) companies! Not good for either one…

    HIre a pro. You’ll literally see the difference…

    John Slemp
    Photographer

  16. People definitely want to experience everything. It does seem like the word ‘engagement’ is overused but it is the best way to explain what the modern consumer wants. They want to feel like they are a part of the brands they use every day.

    Someone told me the other day that talking about the emotional/anthropological aspects of marketing scares marketers but I think people who think that way miss the point. Metrics matter, obviously, but if you don’t connect them to real people your efforts won’t be sustainable.

    Images that resonate with people are one of the best ways to create a lasting connection.

  17. Great post thank you!

    I think I will revise some aspects of my website thanks to you.
    However I can’t find any 360 degrees photography through the website you highlighted… Do you have an example relating to this solution?

    Many thanks!

  18. What about social media and ways to leverage it. I’m sure if you use it properly it can make or break your site.

  19. I can’t see any 360 degree spinning on the Due Maternity website (here’s the page included in the article screenshot: http://www.duematernity.com/elmadrbymoma.html).

    If they really did see conversions lift 27% for products with rotating images then it seems a strange decision to drop this functionality.

  20. I guess it really depends on the type of image you want to portray but sometimes the use of an illustration is much better than an actually photo.

    We found that a combination of a mascot and testimonials without photos worked best for our site – in fact, conversions shot up by 35%.

    We are actually in the procedure of revamping the whole site as we have found that interactivity, a very important aspect, is decreasing.

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