Daniel Burstein

Strategically Selecting Images for Landing Page Optimization

September 22nd, 2023

Wednesdays at 2 pm EDT we hold an AI Guild briefing for members. Chat with MECLABS AI if you would like a free trial to the AI Guild.

In the session, marketers and entrepreneurs can ask questions in the webinar chat. And we answer a few of them right here…

How to choose the type of images for your landing page?

“The images you use on your webpage should work hard for you,” Flint McGlaughlin taught in the session. And he identified three ways your images can do that.

Control or direct the eye path

I love going for a brisk walk on the beach. It’s great exercise and replenishes the soul.

But one thing distracts me from my walk every time – when I see people staring into the ocean.

I stop. Stand next to them. And try to figure out what they’re looking at. I’ve seen a massive sting ray. A pod of dolphins. Shark fins. And a futuristic-looking jet surfing contraption.

That, my friends, is eye path. Because I was entirely focused on hitting my halfway point and turning around. And there’s so much other stuff happening on the beach. I would have walked right by that giant manta ray playing in the surf and never knew it existed.

The same is true of your landing pages. There’s a lot happening on them. Plus – on the other side of that monitor or device – there is a lot happening in your ideal customer’s life. But you can use imagery to help focus their attention where you want to focus it. Eye path.

For example, a health insurance company originally had a medical stock photo of some hands on a keyboard in their control landing page. They changed it to a photo of a couple, with the man craning his neck to look at the headline. You’ll see the woman is looking in the other direction, but the man is craning his neck so far it draws your eyes to the headline and Synoptic-Layered Approach at the top of the landing page.

The eye path in that image helped the treatment generate a 638% increase in leads. You can see the control and treatment pages in Value Sequencing: A step-by-step examination of a landing page that generated 638% more conversions. In fairness, that image probably only played a very small role in that 638% increase.

Set a tone

The image also set the tone. Instead of generic hands on a keyboard in a medical setting, the couple in the stock image represented the ideal customer, setting the tone that they are in the right place. Again, this probably only played a very small role, Medicare is mentioned prominently in headlines. Probably the biggest effect imagery had was when it came to value proposition (see next section).

But images can help you effectively set a tone. Think of it this way. We’re not trying to force customers to act with our marketing. We’re coaxing them in. We’re trying to help them understand the value our products deliver. Give them the right information and let them come to their own conclusions about a product.

Honest, straightforward information is helpful here, and copy can help a great deal.

But visual cues help as well. And you have to make sure the images set the right tone. In an extreme example, think about walking into a law firm versus a kid’s arcade/pizzeria.

Mahogany desks, shelves lined with law books, desks with task lamps for focused work. You think, ‘these are solid folks I can trust.’

Versus… colorful balloons, vibrant foam padding, bright plastic tables, cartoonish wall murals. You think, ‘my kids can’t break anything here or get too hurt, I can just let them run wild.’

Here’s an example with a landing page for an online broker of theme park tickets. Their control landing page was a text-heavy design. But that’s not the right fit for theme parks. Bright vibrant images showing theme park fun helped increase conversion. See the details in Landing Page Optimization: How an engaging headline and revamped layout led to a 26% conversion rate gain.

Expressing or supporting your value proposition

This is the highest and best use of your images, and as Flint said, 90% of the time this should be the focus of your images.

Why? Because this is the core job of a marketer. It’s not just snazzy design. It’s helping the customer perceive the value of our products and services.

You’re asking them to take a leap of trust with you, take a conversion action, give you some of their information or time or treasure. What value will they get in exchange for that cost?

What might that look like? Here are some examples to give you ideas:

  • Remember the elderly couple mentioned in the two sections above, with the gentlemen looking at the headline? Well, there were other images on that page as well. And adding images of specific TeleAgents the ideal customer could talk to was probably the biggest image-based factor that contributed to the 638% increase in leads for a health insurance company. If you haven’t already, see the control and treatment landing pages in Value Sequencing: A step-by-step examination of a landing page that generated 638% more conversions.
  • Here’s one of my favorites. The image-heavy landing page got 29% more conversions than the copy-heavy version… for home delivery of a newspaper. At first you might think: ‘What? Wait a minute, everyone knows what a newspaper looks like, why waste space on the landing page by showing them? And besides, the type of person that would want to subscribe to a newspaper probably likes to read.’ However, think about the value proposition for a print newspaper. The information is part of it, of course. But the format is key as well. After all, they can get this information quicker and cheaper on any digital device. That imagery reminds them of the experience of holding a print newspaper, a key part of the value proposition for home delivery. See for yourself in This Just Tested: Do images or copy generate more user response?

How do I get to the G-Prompter?

In the AI Guild briefings, Flint teaches how to use the latest AI tools to communicate your value proposition and optimize your marketing results as well as your own workflow.

One of the new tools he taught was called G-Prompter. Links are always available to the discussed tools in the Briefing Notes section for AI Guild members. In this case, you can find the G-Prompter link in the Guild [09-20-23] briefing notes, under the ‘PROMPT SCHOOL’ section, and then under point three, ‘We need a shortcut for image prompts.’

Are you using a paid version Flint?

As I mentioned, Flint taught a series of tools in the September 20th briefing. If you are a Guild member and weren’t able to attend, you can watch the replay in the LiveClass Replays section of your digital notebook.

Most of the tools had free plans that would be sufficient for what Flint taught, and even the premium offerings of these tools were often affordable (for example, $10 per month).

Daniel Burstein

About Daniel Burstein

Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the editorial direction for MECLABS – digging for actionable information while serving as an advocate for the audience. Daniel is also a speaker and moderator at live events and on webinars. Previously, he was the main writer powering MarketingExperiments publishing engine – from Web clinics to Research Journals to the blog. Prior to joining the team, Daniel was Vice President of MindPulse Communications – a boutique communications consultancy specializing in IT clients such as IBM, VMware, and BEA Systems. Daniel has 18 years of experience in copywriting, editing, internal communications, sales enablement and field marketing communications.

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