The Psychology Behind Landing Page Visuals
For a start, here’s a question:
How do you choose visual content for landing pages?
Do you have a team of designers and leave it up to them? Or, maybe you spy on competitors and choose images that look similar to what they are doing? Do you use an image of your product or anything general but visually pleasing to the eye?
All the above are wrong strategies. For your landing page to engage and convert, its visuals need to appeal to your target audience on an emotional level.
The question remains:
What visuals to consider for evoking positive emotions and affecting consumers’ decision-making to our benefit? For that, marketers learn to understand the psychology behind images and choose those communicating desired meanings.
Wanna get more insights on the topic? Keep on reading the below guide.
WHY ARE VISUALS SO IMPORTANT?
By contrast with other content types you use to build links, your landing page serves to engage the audience and persuade them to choose your offer over others. But what makes people love and respond to visual content better than any other type of data?
It’s nothing but how the human brain works:
- It absorbs 90% of information like visuals.
- It processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
That’s why most people are visual learners; that’s why content with visuals is more persuasive; that’s why 93% of all communication is nonverbal. And that’s why the first thing your targets see on a landing page is the image you use to communicate your marketing message.
Studies prove that the human brain needs only 150 milliseconds to process an image and 100 milliseconds to attach meaning to it. And this fact makes visuals much more than just a cute element for a landing page to look nice. They are exactly what persuade consumers to take the next step:
“The job of the eyes is not only to get the information into the brain but to allow the brain to think about it rapidly enough to know what you should look at next.״ — Mary Potter, Professor at MIT
Long story short, it’s an image that conveys feelings and directs your prospect’s attention towards your desired action. And it’s an image that drives your landing page conversions this way.
PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS OF VISUALS ON YOUR LANDING PAGE
Psychological factors of visual content on your landing page are the signals transforming your marketing message into an unconventional solution for a consumer.
Let’s review the top three signals your landing page image sends:
1) It Helps You Express Brand Values
In 2021, all the best brands are about authenticity, social responsibility, and sustainability. People choose and trust companies that share their values and aren’t afraid of communicating those values to the world.
The design of your landing page visuals helps to express brand values and communicate them to the audience. It’s a chance to prove that your business is about something bigger than mere sales. It’s an instrument to show that you have principles aligned with your audience.
Landing page images with strong visual realization, color psychology, and a clear message allow you to reach the audience at an emotional level.
Take Harper Wilde, for example:
They sell bras but invest in marketing for social responsibility. To express these views and communicate the company’s commitment to naturality, they use more natural colors, softer text shapes, organic color palettes, and smooth lines in their landing page visuals.
So, when choosing a hero image for your landing page, make sure it communicates confidence and reliability to what your brand believes in. It needs to convey the following signals: authority, clarity, and brevity.
2) It Emphasizes Your Brand Message
Visuals serve to support your landing page’s content, optimizing it to drive consumers’ attention to the point. To understand if your images convey the desired emotions and meanings, consider the following:
Only the lazy one didn’t hear about the psychology of color in marketing: Colors influence emotions and affect purchase decisions, helping your landing page stand out.
Back in 2014, Neil Patel shared the research on how colors affect conversion rates:
- For 85% of consumers, color is the #1 reason to buy.
- Up to 90% of purchase decisions depend on visual factors.
- 66% said they wouldn’t buy a product if it weren’t in their preferred color.
Quite impressive, huh?
Indeed, some brands report an increase in conversions after they changed the color of CTAs or made two links contrast from one another with color.
More than that, each color elicits particular emotions and associations from the audience. Remember about that when choosing your brand visual identity and be consistent when thinking about visuals for your landing page:
Font and shape psychology
Both determine your brand message’s first visual impression, so the task here is to find the right balance and contrast between words and visuals on the landing page.
Speaking of contrast, you need to remember three core moments:
- Dark texts work with close-to-white visuals.
- Light font colors look great only with black-and-white and dark images.
- To get a higher contrast, darken your landing page visuals or add some bright background to the text.
Speaking of fonts, choose those reflecting your brand’s personality. The psychology behind typography exists too, prescribing definite associations to each of six font categories:
- Serif is for stability, intellect, tradition, and formality.
- Slab serif is about power, masculinity, and strength.
- Sans serif is friendly, communicating progress, informality, and openness.
- Modern sans serif fonts are elegant, chic, and futuristic.
- Script is about fun, creativity, romance, and amusement.
- Display represents individuality, difference, novelty, and adaptability.
NB! Don’t overplay with fonts on your landing page. Two or three are the maximum you can use; otherwise, they’ll distract the audience and make them lose the meaning of your marketing message.
Speaking of shapes, they influence the perception of your brand message too. Lines, edges, curves, and circles can signal particular qualities to the audience: Subconsciously, people respond to various shapes differently.
Circles suggest love, friendship, and unity. In contrast, triangles and squares are signs of stability, strength, power, and professionalism. Vertical lines signal aggression, while horizontal ones suggest calm and community.
Landing images are more than mere beautiful pictures on a website. They serve to state a thesis and communicate your brand message to the audience. As already mentioned above, people process visuals 60,000 times faster than words, and that is why a landing image is so essential:
It builds an impression about your offer, evoking emotion to learn more and buy.
Please ensure your landing visuals follow these criteria:
- Help prospects understand the mission and goal of your website.
- Make your landing page look trustworthy.
- Are relevant to your keywords. (Promoting a pizza, you’ll hardly place a picture of snickers on a landing page, won’t you? Yes, even if you intend to show how fast your pizza delivery can be.)
- Demonstrate the benefits of your product/service to prospects.
- Contrast with the overall design of your landing page.
- Make it easy for prospects to notice your CTA button.
- Express desired emotions, making prospects look like heroes once they choose your offer.
The visual looks cozy and personalized, evoking positive emotions of optimism and creativity (see: bright orange color).
Prospects understand the goal: You’ll help them to be heard. (A roaring lion evokes associations with power, authority, and a loud voice everyone listens to.)
The page looks trustworthy: It’s high-quality, up-to-point, and concise. (Remember the psychological factor #1 here: authority, clarity, and brevity.)
3) It Boosts Engagement and Improves User Experience
When thinking about what visual to consider for a landing page, most marketers are guided by the following principle: It should hook visitors and encourage them to continue investigating a website.
Indeed, engagement is another psychological signal a visual sends to prospects, evoking interest and curiosity.
And yet, a great landing image is not only bright and attention-grabbing but also meaningful: It communicates contexts, improving user experience this way. Online users don’t read but scan, and a quick look at your landing page visual helps them understand (1) if they are at the right place and (2) if they want to learn more.
In short, visual content brings value to text messages and diversifies them for better readability and perception.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT IMAGE
When a prospect arrives on your page, they expect it to help them solve some problem. Whether it’s personal (finding something to wear, getting higher self-esteem) or business (getting software, finding an expert to collaborate), visitors want you to make those queries come true.
Two image strategies exist to help you evoke emotions in prospects:
- The current feeling technique, when your visual “reminds” a prospect about their problem. From there, they’ll feel the importance of dealing with it, considering your platform the one who’ll help.
- The desired outcome technique, when you visual “shows” prospects how great they’ll feel after purchasing from your brand.
To understand which one will work for you, run a test with three variations of your landing image: the one you have now vs. a visual of the current feeling vs. an image of the desired outcome.
IMAGE TYPES TO CONSIDER FOR LANDING PAGES
Let me guess:
You already know the general rules of choosing visuals for landing pages, don’t you? Yeah, here they go:
- Consider your prospects’ state of awareness.
- Interview or survey your customers to learn why they choose your brand and uncover what emotions, imagery, colors, and words work better than others.
- Organize a brainstorm with your team. You all know your prospect’s pain points, challenges, and motivations; it will help you decide on visual keys that would work better.
- Review your keywords. Identify your prospects’ search intent and visualize it on a landing page for them to see they’re at the right place.
And yet, we can highlight three types of visuals that always work. (Given that you follow the above rules and consider the above psychological factors when designing them.)
1) Image of People
Studies prove it: Photos of people impact website visitors’ first impression. Happy and friendly faces evoke positive emotions and help you build trust. So, the visuals of your CEO, happy customers, or team working on the project would be a great option to try.
But ensure you use relevant authentic pictures. Most people ignore stock photos: They look similar and stolid, reduce trust, and are used by hundreds of other websites already. More than that, stock photos are proven to reduce conversion rates.
Haven’t you seen this “customer service” woman everywhere?
And what about this “Everywhere Girl?”
Sure, not all stock photos are so bad, and you can find a few websites (Gratisography, Getty Images, Skuawk, etc.) with original and authentic pictures. If you have no budget to organize a photo session, please consider them but first check who else uses the same image.
2) Image of Products
Such visuals make sense if they are original and eye-grabbing, complementing your product’s description. You can also use interactive visual content (animations, videos, etc.) on your landing page to demonstrate your product (or team working on it) in action.
Visuals complementing your product or service can boost conversion rates if they are of high quality, authentic, and match your overall website design.
3) Image of Context
It’s when your image is not a product but a lifestyle communicating the outcome and emotions prospects will get after purchasing from you. Such visuals become the aesthetics of your brand, build its narrative, and transmit the way others perceive you.
They are the “face” of your brand, so choose those matching its overall look and tone of voice.
Forget about neutral visuals (general photos of laptops, pens with paper, etc.) unless they are the best way to communicate your brand’s identity to the audience. Color psychology and other strong visual cues can help you convey the desired message and emotions to prospects.
IN A WORD
Visual content calls the shots today. With that in mind, most marketers have already changed their approach to landing page design.
It’s not enough to place a beautiful image on the page and expect high lead generations and conversions. To influence these marketing metrics, it’s critical to understand how the human brain works and choose landing visuals that would resonate with prospects and communicate the desired meanings.
Consider the psychological factors behind visuals at your website — and the positive result won’t take long in coming.
About the author
By Lesley Vos, a content evangelist and contributor to publications on education, digital marketing, and personal development.
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