Internet Marketing Journal -

FREE subscription to more than $20 million in marketing research

Enter your email below to receive the latest in marketing research and exclusives offers from MarketingExperiments.

create Lab ID
We value your privacy. View details on how to contact us.

You can also get our latest research delivered to you via our social media feeds below.


Follow us on Twitter Join our Optimization Group Visit the MarketingExperiments Blog
Listen to our MP3 Podcast Listen to our podcast on iTunes Watch videos on our YouTube Channel

Research Topics

Site Optimization

Email Optimization

Search Optimization

Marketing Optimization



"Your emails and website provide the common sense that we often leave at the door to the office."

David Jones
Senior Practice Leader
Kaiser Permanente

"I often change small things across many pages as MarketingExperiments gets me thinking about how to increase the straighforwardness of my pages for the visitor."

Amanda Schaner
Marketing Coordinator
Home Science Tools

"The live web clinics are very humbling. I think we're doing a pretty good job. But every time I attend, I realize we could do things much better for our clients. I consider MarketingExperiments my encyclopedia, and parrot the principles I learn every chance I get."

Troy O'Bryan
Co-Founder and Chief Response Officer
Response Capture, Inc

Home arrow Site Optimization arrow Images vs. Copy
Images vs. Copy
Thursday, 18 November 2010

Read Read    Watch Watch    Listen Listen

Topic: Images vs. Copy: How getting the right balance increased conversion by 29%

When it comes to choosing an image for a web page, most marketers and designers rely on gut feelings or personal preferences. Few have a concrete way of determining the “what, when and where” of an image. So, in this Web clinic, we revealed new research findings that provide simple tactics for using both images and copy effectively. We discussed three key elements of an effective image, as well as two unique advantages copy has over images. For the first time, we revealed strategies for balancing landing page optimization (LPO) with search engine optimization (SEO).

During the Web clinic, we noted that each element of your page can be measured by two capabilities in regards to the expression of value: Force and Precision. In most cases, images will have the greater potential to communicate value with force, and copy will have the greater potential to communicate value with precision. Therefore, it is not a matter of choosing between images or copy, but rather, the goal is to strategically balance the strengths and weaknesses of both to create the most powerful statement of value.

First, Flint McGlaughlin – Managing Director (CEO) of MECLABS – walked through key points for choosing images that communicate value with the most force. He broke this into three key strengths of using images:

  • RELEVANCE – The force of an image increases as the connection between the image and the perceived value becomes clearer. Therefore, marketers must choose images that have a direct implication of value for the actual product or service. For instance, to increase image relevance, marketers should stop using random stock images that communicate little to no value about the offer.
  • REALITY – The force of an image increases with its authenticity. Images can bring a realism that reduces the “virtual distance” between an offer’s value and the recipient’s perception of that value. Therefore, choose images that help the visitor see and touch the core value of the product. For instance, showing a family enjoying a roller coaster can provide tangible reality to the purchase of amusement park tickets.
  • RELATIVE WEIGHT – The force of an image increases as its relative graphical proportion increases. Used properly, images should draw the natural eye-path of the visitor and thus bring more force to the value communicated by the image. Image weight must be used sparingly, as too many competing graphical elements will only confuse the visitor.

Next, McGlaughlin discussed the strategic advantage copy has over images, in relation to being able to communicate the value proposition with precision. This, he broke into two key capabilities: 1) The ability to include a specific quantifiable details 2) The ability to include a tone that matches the visitor’s motivations. He walked through both of these aspects to illustrate for our audience how marketers can craft effective copy.

Finally, SEO was addressed. How can marketers improve copy and/or images without hurting search rankings? In this section of the presentation, we provided key strategies for balancing conversion objectives (LPO) with organic traffic objectives (SEO). As presented, determining the proper balance is based upon your answer to four simple questions:

  • Where does your traffic come from?
  • What are the LPO needs and potential impact?
  • What contributes most to your SEO ranking?
  • Can you measure the impact of your page changes?

To provide real-world examples of the principles taught on this Web clinic, McGlaughlin and the MECLABS Conversion Group team conducted live optimization of audience-submitted web pages.

View the clinic replay, or listen to the audio recording (mp3), to learn how to optimize the design of your homepage.

Download the MarketingExperiments Quarterly Research Journal:

Q4 2010

View a replay of this presentation:

Webinar Video 2010-08-11
Presentation will open in new window

Listen to an audio replay of the presentation:

iTuns Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes

Audio Subscribe to our mp3 podcast

Watch the next Web Clinic in real-time

Enter your email below for invites to our Web Clinics featuring:

  • First access* invites to Web clinics
  • Latest discoveries in online testing and optimization research
  • Interactive Q&A with the MECLABS research team
  • Live analysis of audience-submitted landing pages and wireframes

You will also receive updates on the latest in marketing research and exclusives offers from MarketingExperiments.

Subscribe for FREE

* Seating is limited to 1,000 attendees and fills quickly

We value your privacy. View details on how to contact us.

About This Brief


Flint McGlaughlin
Tony Doty
Nathan Thompson

Austin McCraw
Daniel Burstein

Technical Production
Austin McCraw
Joelle Parra
Nicole Evans

Additional Contributers
MECLABS Conversion Group

::Top Of Page::