Make Your Images Bigger
Welcome to a new and ongoing series of tips on how to improve your online conversion rates.
Every week (roughly) I'll be giving you one technique that you can use straightaway to improve your online results.
Tip number one is to make your images bigger, your thumbnails, your normal images and even your expanded images.
Images of less than 100 pixels square are pretty much ignored according to recent research.
According to the research users equated small images with a lack of importance and mostly ignored them. Once the images started getting bigger then subconsciously they attributed more importance to the image and therefore spent more time looking at it.
In fact the bigger the image the more importance they gave it and hence viewing time.
This has several implications for websites, especially ecommerce websites. If your thumbnails are less than 100 pixels square (which they are on many sites) then you are subconsciously communicating to your customers that these products are not that important.
This particular size seems to have become popular as it allows retailers to display more products across a page on product listing pages. However, this is obviously counter productive. It may be a case of less products displayed (with larger thumbnails) may actually result in more products viewed and bought.
The issue of thumbnail size can be applied to all sorts of web pages. Take corporate pages with staff and board members. Again small images will convey less importance. Hardly the type of message any company wants to put across.
What's the Best Size for a Normal Image?
Even normal product images on web pages are quite small. That may well be a legacy of smaller screen sizes, but most people are now on larger monitors. Then of course there's always the issue of how much screen real estate do you give to an image.
Without getting into the intricacies of page design and layout, the best size is probably the biggest you can get away with, without comprimising the copy or design.
After all, the research is saying that bigger size equates to more importance and more engagement on the part of the customer.
Apple is one company that gets this. If you look at any of their product pages you will see lots of images on the page that are around 500 pixels square. (This is sometimes the size of many sites enlarged images.)
How Big is Big?
The question then becomes how big should an enlarged image be? The answer is whatever is appropriate for the product and your audience. In the offline world the standard size for a decent pic has always been the 10x8. That's roughly about A4 and will fill up most of the viewing area on an average monitor.
However, I would advise you to also consider the value of the product your selling when determining an enlarged view. For something like a house, then filling up the screen is probably a good idea.
Remember the larger an image the more engaged a customer becomes with the product, the more time he spends with it and the more their propensity to buy increases. I would also include some extra functionality in the enlarged view to further manipulate the image.
The same would be true for a car, a luxury hotel and in fact any high value product or service.
And, as always, don't forget to include a clear call to action with the image.
Ask yourself some questions: Does my product require more engagement from a customer before they make a buy decision or is it simple product requiring minimal thought from the customer? Then adjust your image sizes accordingly.
Don't Forget to Test
As always, you should run your own tests to see if this makes a difference to your conversion rates. However, this is one test that should be very easy to set up in Website Optimizer.
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