Photos and other visuals either help tell your story or get in the way of your story; however, they are rarely neutral in effect. Take, for example, the way Apple has designed their products over the last few years. They could have chosen to simply create a functional product that does all we want, but they understood that users wanted something that was visually appealing as well. Their success with their laptops, iMacs, iPhones and iPads is due not simply to great technology, but also to the elegance of design.
The graphics you use on your site need to be carefully thought through and used in a way that communicates your corporate message. Look at your website graphics with a critical eye. Do they convey your message well? Do they look as if they were designed to work together to tell your story?
— Steve Jobs
What does this mean? In the product images below, what are your eyes drawn to? They are drawn to the photo displayed on the products, not the products themselves. The products could have been displayed without an image, but then they lose some of their appeal, don’t they? Similarly, your images on your site need to be more than simply a photo, but a photo, an image, that conveys what you do and how you work, to use Jobs’ words.
Is the impression one of professionalism? Of credibility? Of attention to detail? If so, they are likely to stay on your site and explore other pages on your site.
What is being referred to here is what is known as “bounce rate”, or the percentage of those who visit your site and leave after seeing only one page of your site.
Generally speaking, a bounce rate in the range of 26 to 40 percent is excellent, 41 to 55 percent is roughly average, and 56 to 70 percent is higher than average. While 25% bounce rate may seem high, it is actually quite good, given the way people surf the web. The closer you can bring your bounce rate to 25%, the more successful your site will be. And your photos and other images can play a critical role in this regard.
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