Picture Perfect Web Pages

How the Right Balance of Images & Copy on Your Website Can Mean a Big Return in Conversions

A number of us here at Enrollment Resources (ER) recently attended an interesting webinar put on by MarketingExperiments, an internet-based research lab dedicated to conducting experiments in optimizing sales and marketing processes. After the webinar, we got to talking about a topic that comes up again and again when we’re looking at and designing web pages: “Images vs. Copy.”

We’re always trying to help schools articulate their offering in a way that is clear, distinct, and speaks directly to the target market. Most often we do this through copy.

This webinar was a great reminder of the power that a good image can have (and the unfortunate power that a poor image can have too).

The success of every element of your website can be measured by its ability to communicate value with 1 of 2 things:

  • Force – meaning that the element intensifies the appeal of value
  • Precision – meaning that the element communicates value with specific clarity

Typically, copy has greater potential to communicate value with precision, while images have the greater potential to communicate value with force. For example…

My daughter recently graduated from high school. She’s taking some time off to travel before heading to University, and this is the first time I’ve been away from her for more than a couple of days.

When I hear my daughter’s name it calls up a bunch of warm feelings. But when I see the picture of her, grinning under the weight of her huge backpack, ready to take off for her first big solo adventure – the force of the feelings is so much greater. However, if a stranger looked at that same picture, it might not mean much without a good caption.

Instead of trying to choose between images and copy, your goal should be to balance these two important elements in order to create the most powerful statement of value.

But how do you do it?

We’ve put together a few simple steps to help guide you toward creating the highest performing websites…

When Choosing an Image:
When choosing an image for your website or landing page, ask yourself the following questions about the image:
– Is the image relevant to your prospects?
– Can prospects see themselves in the image – or is it just clip art or a stock photo?
– Does the image seem authentic?
– Does the image help the visitor “see” and “touch” the core value of your offering? (Strong images help prospects visualize what they will get from you)
– Do images on your page compete with one another? You want the most important image to draw attention – Do not have too many images competing for the attention of your visitor.

For every image on your page, ask yourself: “What does this image say?” and “could I say it better with text?”

When Writing Copy
When editing the copy for your website or landing page, ask yourself the following questions:
– Does the copy provide specific, quantifiable details? (as opposed to vague generalizations)
– Does the tone of the copy match the “voice” of your customer – you should aim to speak in the language and tone that your customer does?
– Does your copy reflect your school’s personality?

For every section of copy on your page, ask yourself: “What am I trying to say?” and “could I communicate this better with an image?”

Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut, cross-the-board answer in the images vs. copy debate. The balance of what amount of copy to what size image (not to mention which image) will vary slightly for every website and value offering.

The important thing to realize is that both copy and images affect your value proposition, and the right balance of these two important elements can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line.

Like so many things in the ER universe, when it comes to finding the ideal balance between image & copy, you need to TEST! TEST! TEST!

Some Ideas of What to Test:
– Size of the main image on your home page
– Placement of images
– Test a few specific images against one another

To learn more about Web Optimization and testing elements of your website to increase conversion, call us to speak with a knowledgeable conversion expert today. We’ll be happy to schedule a time to take a look at your website and help you begin thinking about areas you could test to improve your site’s overall conversion.

Call 1-250-391-9494 and receive a Mini-Audit of your website for FREE.


Gregg Meiklejohn is co-founder of the performance improvement company Enrollment Resources Inc. specialists in systemizing marketing chaos. To learn about optimizing images and copy on your website to maximize conversions, e-mail gregg@enrollmentresources.com for more information.