Images are either scrutinised OR ignored

In summary:

  • Images will either be scrutinised or be completely ignored. There is no “half good” image online.
  • We look at four examples of funds management companies – Platinum Asset Management, AMP Capital, Alliance Bernstein and Colonial First State
  • Stock images don’t add value to a browser – they are completely ignored by viewers

Websites referenced in this teardown:

Transcript of this teardown:

Hi, I’m Steve Pell. I’m here to do another one of our B2B marketing teardowns where we use some practical examples to show you ways that you can improve your return on digital marketing.

Today, I’m going to use four examples from the funds management space to show you a practical takeaway on improving your use of images on your website and on your blog. If you’d like to follow along, there are links down below. I’ll show you the four websites we’re going to have a look at, and then we’ll look at some data before we dig into which ones are great and which ones are terrible.

Without further ado, we’ve got Platinum Asset Management, AMP Capital, Alliance Bernstein and Colonial First State. If you’d like to pull up those four blogs and have a look at them, please go ahead, rank them out in order which one you think is doing images the best, and which one you think is doing images the worst. We’ll come back and talk about the order in terms of who’s getting the most value out of images on their website.

Let me show you some research to support this. This is a study from Nielsen Group who do eye tracking research. What they’ve done here is they’ve put people in front of a computer and used a video camera to look at how the viewers eye works through the website. Here they’ve looked at Yale School of Management here and you can see blue dots that represent where that viewer stops to look at information.

You can see that any images that aren’t contextually related to the information the browser is looking for are completely ignored. You can see these blue dots all over the text, but they don’t make it to this image here at all.

This is the core takeaway from today; Images will either be scrutinised or be completely ignored. You can think about it as being binary, there is no “half good” image online. The image is either so critical and crucial that the viewer will spend a lot of the time looking at the images, or they’ll completely skip over them and have “stock image blindness”.

Let’s use that insight and go back and have a look at these four websites.

I think Platinum is doing this really well. They’ve done something that’s probably quite expensive in getting custom images designed for each of these articles. If we look here, this is an article about whether the current sell off in equity markets is really as bad as it’s making out to be. They’ve got a goldfish with a shark shadowing. It’s a contextual image. It’s very custom. You haven’t seen this before. It’s not a stock image and I would bank that people spend a lot of time looking at this, especially when they’re on that general blog page. This image would bring people through to look at these articles. I think Platinum is doing this really well.

Another example I think is quite good, maybe not as bespoke but still a good example is AMP Capital. They have this image up the top, that puts a face to the blog. Then there’s a whole bunch of charts as you work through. People are definitely engaging with these images. They’re going to scrutinise it. They’re not going to skip over it. Again, a good use of images that are adding to the article, deepening engagement, and  keeping people on the site for longer.

Now for a site that’s not as good, I’m going to highlight Alliance Bernstein. This article here is about Korean businesses and they’ve gone with a stock image of a Korean street in the background. It’s kind of contextual but people would not stop to look at this. Everyone is going straight over and you’re wasting space, especially when you scroll down and they’ve got good charts, interesting pieces of information, that really would be “scrutinised” images. Compare that to the stock up the top, which will be completely skipped over.

The worst one of the four here is Colonial First State. This is an image that you could see on any one of 5,000 different websites across the internet. As soon as that’s the case, and there’s an image you could see anywhere, it’s no good. This doesn’t help the cause at all. It doesn’t deepen engagement. This is an image that is going to be completely ignored.

The practical takeaway from today is using images that get scrutinised. You’re aiming to use images that are so contextually integrated to your content that the viewer has no choice but to deeply look at the image content. And at the other end, avoid stock images because people just aren’t looking at it, and it’s completely skipped over.

If you’ve found this helpful and you’d like to get more practical insights about your website, we offer a service at TLP, called the Content Audit. We’ll come and work with you for 14 days and really look for low hanging opportunities to improve your digital and content marketing. You’ll get a 90-page comprehensive report.

Click below to find out more.

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