16 Sep Optimizing Your Imagery for Conversions
This post was authored and contributed by Ian Bower, owner of Yardline partner, Graphic Rhythm.
Every component of your Amazon presence has a role to play in driving increased sales. As a seller, you probably already know that your title, bullets and description drive traffic through keyword optimization.
PPC advertising drives paid traffic, and Amazon posts drive organic traffic.
Traffic is nice, but if you don’t convert that traffic then you are potentially wasting your time and money and worse – you risk your listing being ranked lower in search results because Amazon perceives it as irrelevant.
In order to make your blood sweat and tears pay off, you need to convert. In fact, unlike other (off Amazon) channels, it’s recommended that you improve your conversions before you increase your traffic precisely because Amazon will punish you if you have high traffic but low conversions.
So how do you do it?
Conversions are primarily the domain of imagery, and in this post I’ll teach you the key things I’ve learned about optimizing your images based on the 3000+ images and 400+ listings that my design agency, Graphic Rhythm, has optimized.
Aligning Your Message
First, if you don’t already think of your Amazon imagery as a set of advertisements, then you need to adjust your perspective.
At minimum, Amazon gives you 8 or so image slots (we will refer to these as “Gallery Images”). Commonly we see clients put good photography in these slots and call it a day.
Not only are they the perfect place to communicate features and benefits, but they are a key location for overcoming objections, answering questions and closing the sale.
Like any advertisement, if you are putting the wrong messaging in your gallery images (or any other image location on Amazon) then you’re going to have a decreased conversion rate.
To maximize the impact of your messaging, you’ll need to make sure that you align your messaging with the buyer’s stage of awareness based on the image location.
Here is a quick chart to help you understand what message to put in which location:Consider the case of a lumbar support product. If an Amazon shopper is on your listing and looking at a lumbar support pillow, it’s a waste of your time (and theirs) to try to teach them about lumbar pain and why they need to solve the problem. They know all about it; that’s why they are on your listing!
If you would like to learn more about message matching, you can download Graphic Rhythm’s entire 22 page guide on listing optimization for free by going here.
The Graphic Rhythm MarketSync process is our secret sauce for crafting high conversion imagery.
In short, you want to do deep market research to understand what the pains of your target market are, how your competitors are addressing those pains (or not), and then marry this information with the features and benefits of the product you are optimizing.
Let’s check out the steps we use to pull this off.
What Do People Love?
For each of these steps you will plumb the depths of Amazon reviews and off-Amazon reviews. You should look at the reviews of the product you are working on as well as their competitors.
To figure out what people love, search for four and five star reviews. You can gloss over the generic stuff like “It was great!” because we aren’t validating that people love it, we are trying to identify their favorite features
For this step and the next two which rely on voice of consumer (VOC) data, you should make note of the juiciest comments. Copy them verbatim so that you can use them in your copywriting later.
What Do People Hate?
Primarily, your focus should be on your competitors for this category. In particular look at the three star reviews. Three star reviews are extremely valuable because they were almost a positive review except for just one thing. What was the one thing?
The “one” thing is important, especially if the product you are working on has solved for that deficiency in the competitors’ product.
As before, copy down the juiciest feedback so that you can use it later when you are writing the headlines for the imagery.
What Are People Confused About?
This single metric is responsible for a ton of missed conversions. If there are features of your product which are not obvious, it can create confusion for your potential buyer, causing them to skip your product and buy a competing product which does a better job of communicating.
So how do you determine what your prospect is confused about? Well, you can check the reviews (you should) as we have done with the previous two categories. But the real golden goose here is in the Q&A section.Consider that customers who stopped to ask a question here would have otherwise bought the product if their question was already answered!
Carefully check this section for both your product and your competitors. Check for recurring themes and make note of them for later when you are planning your imagery.
What Do People Expect?
When you or someone else is shopping for a product, there is a good chance that they have a list of the features that they are looking for.
Think about a diaper bag for instance. A modern shopper might be specifically looking for a baby wipes dispenser and an insulated compartment for bottles.
If your customer can’t easily discern if your product has their most treasured features then it may be easier for them just to skip it and move on to a product which is more explicit with their messaging.
Consider your product and the features that all or most of your shoppers are expecting to see and make sure that you plan them into your imagery.
Plan Your Imagery
Within each image area of your Amazon presence (gallery images, A+ Content, storefront) it is important to sequence your images in the most optimized way. Especially if you consider that in the case of the gallery images the last two images may not display all the time.
In short, you want to always optimize for delivering the most important message as quickly as possible.
To plan your imagery, gather your features and benefits and the research you performed in the previous step and start organizing this research into a plan of action.
Here is a quick reference guide to help you figure out how to sequence your imagery.Additionally, you can use the last few image slots to cross sell your other products or to promote some features of your brand.
To learn how to sequence your A+ content and storefront, as well as to deep dive on how to audit and optimize every area of your Amazon presence, consider downloading our free Ultimate Guide to Amazon Optimization.
Designing Your Imagery
I’ll be honest: unless you’re a graphic designer, you shouldn’t design your own Amazon imagery. (And if you ARE a designer, then you don’t need this section anyway.)
Rather than giving you any direction on how to design your imagery practically, here are some of the things you should consider when you are working with a graphic designer.
The following considerations are all part of the Graphic Rhythm “Boom Factor” design process, and they are also the quality control standards we check our clients imagery against before we send them for approval.
Is the copywriting front and center?
You may be saying to yourself: “Wait – copywriting is the first design consideration?”
Yes, messaging is that important. The first thing you’ll want to ensure is that the message of your imagery is easy to read and, where relevant, front and center.
Is the design emotionally engaging?
Emotion is a big driver of purchasing decisions and engaging the viewers emotions can increase conversions.
Review the designs and make sure that when appropriate, the imagery and designs are connecting emotionally with the viewer.
Is there a clear and intentional visual hierarchy?
A visual hierarchy is the order in which a viewers eye travels from one element of a design to another. If there is NO visual hierarchy then the viewer will be confused. If you’ve ever read an ad or viewed an image and you didn’t know where to look first, then it likely did not have a visual hierarchy.
On the other hand, the hierarchy can exist but not in the way that it was intended to. That’s why the “intentional” bit is so important. The designer should be intentional about the weight of the elements in the design so that the viewers eye goes where intended and the message is consumed in the correct way.
Is the design harmonized and more than the sum of its parts?
There is a tendency of some designers to “decorate” rather than design. Even a great designer can sometimes fall for this.
Ideally your design should include only the things it needs to make the point and support the goal of the image and nothing else.
Does the design faithfully adhere to the brand identity?
A good strong visual identity creates a sense of confidence in a consumer. If something is off on the imagery then it can have the opposite effect of creating a sense of confusion or uneasiness.
An identity includes design elements, colors, fonts and logos, of course. But it can also include imagery.
Your Amazon imagery should reflect the brand values and feel like a seamless extension of the brand overall.
Finishing Your Images
Amazon is rapidly becoming a visual marketplace. Every year they add support for new and engaging visual content like A+ Content, Storefronts, Amazon Posts and video.
Sellers who stay ahead of these changes and maximize all that Amazon has to offer are positioned to sell more and take more market share.
The strategies shared in this guide will give you a good strong head start in optimizing your imagery for the Amazon marketplace. If you would like to take deep dive on this subject, consider downloading our free guide.
If you would like to talk to the experts at Graphic Rhythm about your listing or brand, then give us a ring over on our website.