You have probably heard that on the internet “content is king”. This is extremely true. With everything that is available to the millions of people on the internet, you want your content to be where those people stop, even if just for a little while. Without original desirable content any internet venture is bound to fall flat on its face. While you probably know that text-based content is required for SEO (search engine optimization), visual content is what will get your website to stand out in the crowded world wide web. Here are some reasons that you should make sure your visual content is killer.
1. Visuals are easy to digest.
In the world of the internet there is a wealth of knowledge and information. I know what you’re thinking: “I thought the internet was only for cat pictures.” It’s not! There is so much information out there, and the people that find your site want that information quickly and efficiently. If you are writing long-winded content, you may want to rethink your strategy and instead focus on visuals, which give you the same information in quick snippets.
Infographics, charts, and images are all great examples of this and can be used in many places throughout your site. They work well because they provide immediate value to the user.
2. Visuals are memorable.
Think back to the last week of web browsing. You probably remember the visuals of the sites you have been to even before you can remember the site address. There is nothing more visible than visuals, it’s right there in the word. If you can work humor and good design in, you can make some very great visuals for your site. If humor is not in your site’s character, figure out what the character of your site is and use it to your visual advantage.
For example, Old Spice uses great imagery that ties in their branding across all marketing channels.
3. Visuals are attractive.
Magazines are built with this premise in mind – that’s why they catch your eye when you open them up. The attractive content is where your eyes linger. In fact, you may actually choose to read articles based on the caliber of visual content on that page. Magazines and advertisers have known this for decades and use it to their advantage. You should use the same tactic when deciding what content should be used on your site.
Stet is a website that pulls its design straight from magazines, and it works really well for them.
4. Your brain loves visuals.
You want to know why pictures of cute cats are popular on the internet? It’s because your brain is hardwired to enjoy and even search out images. We are an extremely visual species. Our brains take in visual information and can be totally tricked by those visuals. There is a whole science behind this so I won’t get into it too much, but 90% of the information processed by your brain is visual information and images are processed 60,000 times faster than text. What I’m saying is, if you want to stop reading this now, you can stop. I understand. Look at a cute kitten instead.
5. Everyone understands images.
In fact, images are usually very hard to misunderstand. This is the reason why we use them in situations where that’s important – like traffic signs, for example. There has recently been a huge upsurge of images in the form of memes and infographics that are taking over the internet. Scrolling through your social media, the statuses and posts that get you to stop are more than likely image posts. Heck, there are even entire social networks based on visual content!
This study by Hubspot shows that people are more likely to engage with social network posts that include images. You can read more here.
So what does this mean? Take a look at your site. Are there places where visual content can be used in addition to the text content? Look over your marketing and social media presence, too. If you aren’t using visually attractive images you may want to rethink your strategy. There are several free online tools that can help you make visual content beautiful and engaging for your users. Ultimately, visual content should be your focus if you are doing anything in the online space. If you don’t believe me, test it for yourself!