Why you need a visual website

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About once a week I have to tell a client they need to cut out some of their text and speak through their visuals - and no, it’s not because I just don’t want to read it. But what does this “Speak through your visuals” even mean? 

Now days, people are bombarded with information - they’re tired of reading and they’re on information overload. How many times have you flipped through a magazine looking only at the pictures and big headlines and completely ignoring all the long texts? We all have, and quite often.

Telling your brands story using photos, graphics, videos, or any other kind of visual elements is far more effective than telling that story with words. Yes, you have a lot to say, you want to tell everyone why your brand is special, what unique elements it offers, why the  customer needs it! But writing a bunch of paragraphs and slapping it on your homepage (or top of your newsletter) is the quickest way to ensure that the customer will leave your website in 10 seconds flat or less.

Eye-tracking studies show internet readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. In fact, when the images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page.
— Nielsen Norman Group

Visual information can be processed 60,000 times faster than text and is easier to remember. And if you’re not already convinced that visuals are the way to go, consider that website visitors typically read only 20 percent of the text on a page, so when your website is filled with text (no matter how well written) instead of photos, you are literally throwing away valuable real estate.

Although speaking with visuals may seem like it would be a really hard thing to do: it’s not! If you don’t have professional photos, every kind of stock photo imaginable is available, and almost everyone has a cell phone camera. Most of my favorite websites are 90% photo/video, and many of them use pictures sourced straight from social media. 

Share how do you speak with visuals on your website/email newsletters and how you create your content!