How to Use Visual Cues to Increase Landing Page Conversions
Increase Landing Page Conversions
Every successful organization knows the power of a high-quality website. Any landing page that encourages visitors to stay awhile, to click through to more content, and to ultimately convert is a high-value asset for your business. But developing such a page is no easy task. First and foremost, you must prioritize the types of visual cues that drive greater engagement, from motion graphics and video content to icons and interactive elements.
But how do you know what kinds of visuals will best serve your digital marketing and sales goals? And which will be the most compelling cues to action for site visitors? Let’s take a look at how your brand can develop the right kind of visual content for your site to achieve maximum return on your investment.
Defining Visual Cues
First things first: how do we define “visual cues,” and what are some examples?
Visual cues are non-textual elements appearing in both digital and print environments that communicate information or ideas. They’ll often direct the viewer to a particular part of the page or a key action — clicking through to the contact page, for instance. Ideally, these elements will follow visual communication best practices by getting their message across with minimal or no aid from text.
What’s the problem with text? As it turns out, audiences are willing to read just 20% of web pages containing 600 or more words. So if you’re trying to convince and convert potential customers by using text, you’re not likely to succeed.
So what should you deliver instead of text? As it turns out, 91% of consumers prefer visual content to traditional formats such as text. That’s a ringing endorsement for incorporating visual cues into any landing page you design.
When considering some examples of visual cues, it’s important to remember that they can range from in-your-face to incredibly subtle. A visual cue might be as simple as a pop-up or prompt offering you more information on a map or graph when you hover over it. Or it could involve a complex piece of interactive content or an augmented reality experience. Videos drive huge engagement, with Cisco projecting that video will comprise a stunning 82% of all web traffic by 2022. After all, would you rather spend 10 minutes reading an article, or 1 minute watching a well-made video?
Long story short, any piece of visual communication content qualifies as a visual cue. But not all such content will deliver results. Let’s see why.
Stock Is Dead – Why Quality Content Matters
Stock photography, icons, and even illustrations have been an easy go-to for marketers in a pinch for as long as most of us can remember. But we now live in a different world. Our audiences are more visually literate than ever — probably because they interact with more visual content on a daily (even hourly) basis than any generation before them. And it’s not just about quantity — the quality of much of that content is unparalleled. From HBO blockbusters to well-produced YouTube influencer videos, they’ve got a lot of great content to choose from. So if yours doesn’t stack on, it’s all too easy for them to move on to the next thing.
One big reason they might bounce from your landing page or scroll past your social-media post is if they see any hint of stock. Today’s audiences can recognize stock images and other cookie-cutter visual cues from a mile away. They feel impersonal, irrelevant, and even cheap. And they can make your brand look the same way.
Meanwhile, custom-made branded content can capture your message with elegance and precision. And it can deliver that message in the blink of an eye — 60,000 times faster than text. Custom design means no other brand will look like yours. It helps you distinguish what makes your brand truly special — and makes you worth remembering.
What’s more, custom content is a better fit for your marketing budget than you might think. Many organizations opt to create a visual workbench of assets that they can use over and over — such as product or service icons, or commonly used data visualizations. When you have these custom-made for your business, you can easily incorporate them across all kinds of content, from the landing page for your latest campaign to a product explainer video.
And since custom content has an ROI that’s up to 7x higher than stock images, it’ll be well worth the investment.
6 Types of Visual Cues
Let’s take a look at 6 key examples of the most effective visual cues you can incorporate into your landing page.
Motion Graphics & Video
Videos are incredibly effective at grabbing people’s attention — and keeping it. That’s because just 1 minute of video is worth 1.8 million words — far more than you could ever convince a site visitor to read.
Whether you’re trying to introduce your company, explain how to use a particular product, or communicate the problems your brand aims to solve, videos and motion graphics are almost always a great choice for any landing page. And with live-action video more difficult to film in the COVID-19 era, working with an animation agency may be the best fit for most brands.
From widgets to clickable graphs to interactive infographics, the variety of interactivity available for your landing page is hard to overstate. And considering that visual interactive content boasts a 70% conversion rate, the potential impact of this type of content as you work to achieve your business goals can’t be overstated either.
Interactivity can be as simple as a tooltip that offers a little more information when you hover over an element on a page. It can be as complex as an interactive quiz that helps potential customers find the right solution for them. It can incorporate animations, parallax effects, video embeds, and just about any other functionality or visuals that the digital space has to offer.
The reason these features are so effective is that they keep the viewer active as they peruse the page. They’re not just a passive visitor — they’re co-creating the story or experience that your landing page is offering up. What’s more, interactivity is an incredibly powerful tool for personalizing content. This is crucial when 72% of consumers say they’ll only engage with content that’s personalized to them.
A simple icon can do some real heavy lifting when it comes to getting your message across. Maybe you want to highlight the variety of services you offer at a glance. Maybe you want to outline the steps in a process, or label the different parts of an image. Icons can make quick work of concepts that might otherwise take whole paragraphs to describe.
If you’re doubtful about the power of icons, just take a look at the street signs that you pass the next time you’re in your car or on a walk. Tight turns, deer crossings, crosswalks, and streetlights up ahead aren’t communicated to drivers with text — it’s icons that do all the work.
What’s more, these icons transcend the barriers of language, so that anyone in the world who arrives at your page can instantly know what you’re talking about.
And finally, as I said before, icons can be part of a visual workbench that you can use again and again, making your investment continue to pay off long after this marketing campaign is over.
Buttons and Calls-to-Action
There’s a whole world of marketing research and expertise around the optimal placement of CTAs, buttons, and other important elements within a landing page. That’s why, when you design your page, you’ll want to consult UI and visual communication experts on the best ways to naturally draw viewers’ attention toward your ultimate conversion goal — whatever that goal may be.
It’s beyond the scope of this piece to explore all the considerations to take into account as you design your landing page to convert. But here are a few essentials:
- Identify a “pop” color within your brand that is used sparingly compared to the rest of your palette. That way, when it is used, it draws the viewer’s attention.
- Don’t place important buttons or CTAs near other attention-grabbing elements that might distract from them.
- Incorporate directional cues to action, such as an image of a person “looking at” your CTA button. This helps guide readers to the right place.
- Across the board, viewers scan any page in an F-shaped pattern. Place the CTA or button within the places they’re most likely to look.
Many brands simply don’t lend themselves well to photography. Say your company makes circuit boards. Or maybe you’re a healthcare organization studying DNA — of which no high-quality photographs yet exist.
Illustration is the answer when you want to visualize something that photographs can’t truly communicate — either because a photo would be too messy or complicated, obscuring the message, or because good photos simply aren’t out there. Clean, compelling illustrations — often incorporating labels, data visualizations, or other elements — are often much more educational and engaging than photos.
In fact, even if you do have access to great, custom photography related to your brand, you still need to consider your goals. When IKEA writes up instructions on how to put together a piece of furniture, they don’t use photos of that furniture — they use illustrations. That’s because they break the product down to its bare essentials, so the viewer sees only what they need at each step in the process, rather than a bunch of static.
In a world of “fake news,” building trust with your audiences is more important than ever. And using data to backup your claims is a great way to build that trust.
But people have trouble processing many types of data without a little help — especially when you’re sharing high volumes of information. That’s where data visualization comes in. It helps your viewers identify trends and patterns for themselves — conclusions that they’ll be more confident in than if you just told them what to think.
Just remember: when it comes to data viz, accuracy is key. Make sure your content developer is skilled at visual communication, not just design. That means they’re skilled in the art of accurate information visualization — and can make your landing page look great too.
The Right Visual Cues for Your Landing Page
Every brand and every marketing campaign has its own goals and unique target audiences. That means the right solution for each will vary widely. To make your next marketing effort a success, develop a clear visual strategy that’s designed to convert. That strategy will be your guide as you build essential visual cues into your landing page — and make sure you achieve your goals.
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