Why web graphics are important for site optimization

Using graphics to help sell and increase SEO

Pick up an annotated copy of Marx’ Communist Manifesto and you will quickly see why graphics are important on a website. The book has more than three hundred pages of tiny writing and heady materials that can drive even readers of the highest intellect to look for a cartoon. Website graphics are not just a fun luxury, they serve a purpose: providing information and holding the readers’ interest.

What are the benefits of having images and video on your site? Four-fold explanation below.

Stop the Bounce

Web designers and internet marketing people like to use bounce rate as one of the statistics of web functionality (“bounce rate” refers to the length of time a user is on your site). High bounce rates mean the user came to your site and left almost immediately. One of the reasons for a high bounce is that the site does not have engaging content. Having good content is great, but adding graphics that are in line with this content keep people engaged on your site. By integrating graphics that are instructive, not just pretty, the user has a reason stay longer. In fact, Marketing Sherpa reports that visitors stay on webpages featuring video content 100 percent longer than pages without video.

Let the Picture Sell

Most websites have some type of marketing component, whether its purpose is selling a product, selling a service or educating readers about a product or service. But no one understands the strength of web graphics like the foodie website owner. A picture of a well laid out meal creates an astronomical cue that naturally entices the user to take action. The action may be the purchase of your goods, the sharing of your photo or a continued read of your site. Each of these possibilities are results of a good marketing campaign.

Best Foot Forward and to the Left

At the end of the day, your website needs to generate income. Eye tracking studies have been linked to customer engagement and conversions. By placing your call-to-action graphic in the upper left hand corner, you have a better chance of making a sale because we read left to right. This is called the Gutenberg pattern. The strongest visual cue is the upper left, declining as the eye moves horizontally to the right. The bottom left corner is the weakest visual area and the bottom right is the terminal area where the user goes before leaving.

Usable for Older Eyes

The lower cost and scalability of stock graphics means that every site can be visually appealing on a budget. The advent of green screen technology allows the designer to place video or photo onto any background that is appropriate, even if that means a white background and no borders. By placing this type of graphic into a site, it is easier for older eyes to comprehend. As a person gets older, eye tracking changes. As you age, your eyes focus less on the sweet spot to the left and rely more on graphic stimuli over text. Placing cost effective, content-relevant graphics within your site will lower the bounce rate for mature adults while maintaining the aesthetic appeal for young adults.

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Cathy Earle

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