Humans, by nature, are predominantly visual creatures which is why certain imagery is instrumental in helping us processes information and make decisions.

Fifty five percent of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds reading the content on your site. What does that indicate about the average person’s attention span and focus? It’s short—which means it’s your job to publish the most valuable content where it will receive the most exposure and include visual elements that will support (and not takeaway) from your main intent.

Have an eCommerce website? If you do, then visual elements play a huge role in the navigation, structure and level of engagement on your site. Could you single handedly be sabotaging your conversion rate by not implementing the right images and optimizing them appropriately?

In this article we’ll explore 5 visual tools you can use to complement your writing or website, drive visitor engagement and increase your rate of return.

Graphs and Diagrams to Simplify Offerings

Did you know that visuals can be processed nearly 60,000 times faster than plain text?

Highly detailed or intricate topics can often be difficult for readers to grasp, especially if they’re unfamiliar with the subject matter or feel it’s outside their realm of understanding. Graphs and flow charts can help to illustrate the main argument in a more concise and straightforward manner. What’s more, charts are sometimes easier for our brains to follow the sequence of ideas or events.

Which is easier to understand

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Take for example an eCommerce site that sells tables. Including a simple diagram of the dimensions, like Amazon.com does, helps visitors get a better understanding of its size and further facilitate an easy buying process. Make it as simple as possible for your visitor to see the overarching picture, whether it be a product, service or conceptual idea.

Leverage Infographics for Maximum Shares

Digital marketers will be the first ones to tell you how powerful an infographic can be for raising brand awareness and also disseminating novel insights. Infographic make use of text, diagrams, and pictures to convey a message and many times you can easily transform a blog post into one by using a tool like Piktochart.

Infographic of Infographics

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The result? A well-executed infographic can see triple or even quadruple the levels of engagement than a regular post just because it’s more likely to be shared.

Videos Increase Retention and Comprehension

Individuals remember, on average, eighty percent of what they see. A video or webinar can be a highly effective way to tell a story, demonstrate the use of a product or discuss an idea in detail. What’s more it allows the presenter to connect on a more personal level with the viewer which fosters greater trust and credibility. Before creating a video that’s two hours long though, you need to consider your audience’s attention span. Shorter clips typically fair better than those that are drawn out. The chart below shows the level of attention across varying video lengths. Notice how longer videos receive considerably less attention than those then are between 30 seconds and 4 minutes.

Attention Span by Different Video Lengths

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All these components are significant factors in converting a visitor into a customer or directing them towards your call-to-action.

Screenshots and Slideshare Presentations

Ever considered the impact a simple screenshot or Slideshare presentation can have for driving home a point? If you opt for a presentation it’s important that it not distract from the core article or message. These are intended to serve as side dishes, not necessarily the main course. Pick and choose snippets from your content to highlight and then elaborate more on it within the actual body of the article.

Slideshare Screenshot

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Invest in Custom Graphics or Headers

Creating custom images and headers are great methods to inject your brand’s personal style and personality. Stock images may be appropriate in some cases, but they can often come across as generic and cliché so use them sparingly.

While often overlooked, visual elements play a significant role in your marketing efforts and online presence. Pay close attention to these five visual tools the next time you want to add value to your site’s content.