How Split-Testing Your Images Could Explode Your Conversion Rate

Joseph Chklovski & Steven Tulman

ICM Consulting & Media Corp.

Feb. 22, 2014

Every modern business wants to improve their conversion rate – after all, it’s how your website generates money. There’s a wealth of expensive and complicated conversion optimization tools available; but there’s one simple, cheap and particularly effective website change that could explode your conversion rate.

Images are one of the most important elements in the conversion process:

  • 90% of all information transmitted to brain is visual.
  • This visual information is processed 60,000x faster than text…
  • …which results in 40% of website visitors engaging better with images than plain text…
  • …and almost 50% of people believing website design to be the number one criteria for discerning the credibility of a business.


In other words, the images you put on your website will have a significant impact on your business, and by optimizing your images, you could increase your conversion rate by as much as 95%.

‘Okay, I get it! Images impact my website. But how?’

Images Add Legitimacy to your Site

Your website needs to earn the trust of your visitors. After all, they’ve never visited before – so how do they know you aren’t running a spam site? Photos of previous customers, and shots of your products and services in action, both add legitimacy to your website. When software company 37Signals added customer images to their landing pages, they saw a 100% increase in conversion.

They Direct User Flow

Once you’ve established trust, you need to direct visitors to your CTA. As this eye-tracking study shows, well-placed images draw your visitor’s attention to particular page elements. Using visual cues like arrows and line-of-sight will allow visitors to focus on the most important element of your landing page – your CTA – and could result in as much as 14x more engagement.

They Make Your Brand Memorable

Images allow your brand to differentiate itself from its competitors. Adding a distinctive logo to your site header helps to solidify your marketing theme; improve how memorable your site is; and even encourage particular emotional reactions from your visitors. Don’t believe me? Check out Freddie, MailChimp’s mascot – I guarantee you’ll leave smiling.

‘So how can I incorporate these benefits into my website?’

Simple A/B Testing

By choosing the right images for your website.

Split-testing, or A/B testing, allows you to directly compare different images, and analyze their impact on conversion rates. There’s a wealth of complicated software available for comprehensive split-testing, but to start seeing the benefits of images, we need just two things – a landing page, and our potential images.

Once you’ve identified a handful of suitable images for your landing page (customer photos, for example), it’s time to test. Make sure you’ve already measured the conversion rate of your current landing page (using free tools like Google Analytics) – and then add your first image.

Measure the conversion rate for the first 100 visits to your landing page – and then switch the image for your second choice. Repeat the test, noting the conversion rate for the next 100 visits. Congratulations! You’ve just split-tested your landing page images, and the image with the highest conversion rate wins. You can refine this further by running simultaneous tests, and testing each image against other potential choices.

Conversion is the key to long-term business success, and this simple guide to image testing could send your conversion rate through-the-roof. So how do you choose your landing page images? Have you ever split-tested your website design? Let us know in the comments!


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