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Visual content is really important in online marketing. Like it or not, website visitors make snap judgements, and it can take many of them less than a second to decide whether they like your site, or whether they’re going to try and find an alternative.

Visuals are very important to any website visitor – your site’s visuals will dictate their first impression of your site before they’ve even managed to read a word of your content. Visuals can also be very persuasive; having the right visual on your homepage or a landing page can be the difference between a conversion and a lost opportunity.

The case for dynamic, effective visual content is compelling. Here’s why it’s so important to offer your visitors quality visual content.

The brain processes visual content, at a faster rate

According to 3M Corporation and Zabisco, 90% of the information that is sent to your brain is visual – and these visuals are processed up to 60,000 times faster than text. This is how we’re able to make such fast judgements on a website’s suitability based on the first impression. Visuals have an enormous impact – get them right, and you’ll make sure that impact is a positive one.

Visual content drives engagement

The world of social media has long since cottoned onto the power of visuals. Marketers on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks have discovered that posts with images or videos stimulate more engagement than those with plain text. If your visuals are appealing and suitable for your site, it means your visitors are more likely to act, rather than passively browsing your text-dominant website before navigating away.

Visuals can boost comprehension

The Educational Technology Research and Development Journal published a study of learning aids, in which they discovered that comprehension and understanding of certain information jumped by quite a significant amount (from 70% to 95%) when images were included. People following directions with text and accompanying images perform 323% better than those who were only given text instructions to follow.

Images can enhance your credibility

The brain is a funny thing – it turns out that certain images increase the probability of users buying into what you’re saying. Researchers took part in an interesting study where participants were given a completely random statement, and asked to state whether it was true or false. Half of the statements were accompanied by an image – a neutral image, but still one related to the statement in question. Those who took part were far more likely to state a fact as true when it was accompanied by a photo, giving credence to the theory that visuals enhance credibility and trust.

We’re bombarded with so much information

Experts believe that we are bombarded with five times as much information on a daily basis as we did thirty years ago. This has naturally caused our brains to adapt, filtering out ‘noise’ and focusing on other engaging factors. When you’re competing with so much information, you need something that will leap off the page and engage the reader – visuals are much better suited to this than blocks of text.

What value do you see in visual content? How do you leverage it to meet your website’s needs?

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