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The Internet is home to an abundance of content created daily, so businesses have to work hard to grab their target market’s attention. With so many websites competing for a slice of the readership pie, marketers need to strategize well.
Content can come in many forms. You can provide information via text, images, video, or a combination. But what is the best way to present content on your website?
As many like to learn visually, the first answer would be to go visual and use lots of images. It’s certainly a logical thing to do, knowing from our experience that images and infographics convey information well.
Still, we must know that visual content is not the ultimate content form. Here we break down the comparative advantages and disadvantages of both visual and text content.
Our brains process visual information better
Visual content is generally easier to understand visuals than to read entire blocks of text. In fact, it is said that 90% of the informationthe brain receives is non-verbal. And of course, the first written language of humans consisted of pictures. Our brain is hardwired to understand visuals better than text.
Because of this, people remember up to 80% of what they see, compared to only about 20% of what they read. So when it comes to memorability, visuals are key to your content creation.
More people view posts that have visuals
You can almost double the number of views that your webpage gets if you include visuals. Plus, visuals can help you attract the right kind of audience to your website.
Further, research has shown that 40% of online users will give more positive responses to visual content than text-based content.
Visuals are better for today’s hectic lifestyles
While most people still use multiple platforms to access websites, mobile usage has continued to increase. Mobile devices are handy and allow you to access the
Internet anytime and anywhere. If you only have ten seconds to spare, visuals will help you digest information quickly.
There is a caveat to this advantage, though, which is the next thing on our list.
The text is faster to load
If speed is your concern, then the text is the way to go. Pages that have several high-quality images will take longer to load. This can decrease the number of visitors to your site.
Studies have shown that the longer it takes for a page to load, the more users abandon the site. Today, a page load time of ten seconds is considered very slow, with about 40% of visitors leaving after the tenth second. For best results, aim for a page load time between two and five seconds.
So while images are essential to a website, saturating your pages with visuals can also backfire.
Younger people prefer visuals
If your business targets the younger crowd, you will benefit more from visuals. Digital marketing experts often use elegantly designed visuals to attract this demographic.
Young people between 18 and 24 years old are particularly attracted to videos and indicate a strong preference for it. Meanwhile, older generations prefer to get their content through news articles, email, and reports, all text-based content.
The text is more accessible to all kinds of audiences
Users who are visually impaired need other tools to navigate websites. Some need to adjust the font size so they can read better. Text content can be easily enlarged for the benefit of these users, but you can’t resize graphics.
Others often use devices like screen readers to help them navigate. These text-to-speech screen readers work by translating what is on the screen to audio. If our website only contains visuals, then screen readers will not be able to ‘read’ it. We need to make your images more accessible by providing alt-text for each visual element.
Search engines index text, not visuals
Search engine optimization uses keywords to determine what results to show. If your website is purely visual, then you lose the chance to optimize your content for search engines.
If you present most of your information in graphics form, search engines will have no way of indexing your website. So when people search for a particular keyword, your website might not be included even if it has the word embedded in an image.
To work around this, be sure to include text descriptions on your website, taking note of important keywords. Provide alt-texts for all your images so search engines will have something to index.
Visuals help increase online customer engagement and sales
For many businesses, it’s not enough just to get traffic to their websites. The key is to get targeted audiences to visit the sites. Once you have your target audience’s attention, visual elements can increase your online engagement by up to 37%.
Businesses who rely on customer loyalty will surely benefit from this increased engagement. It builds customer relationships, which will affect revenue and brand awareness down the line.
As a plus, product videos also help generate revenue. Studies have shown that website visitors spend more time on websites that have video elements.
In summary, visuals and text must work together
In many aspects, visuals do trump text. However, images and videos still have their limitations. Visuals allow people to remember more details. Words can provide context for the visuals.
In the end, we would want our website to include images and videos that explain our business effectively. Further, we’ll also want to accompany them with text that explains the visuals further.
Text modified by Jamuna Rangachari