Does including an image above your CTA prompt button clicks?
WhichTestWon's Analysis: (Click back to see versions A & B)
– Case Study –
By: Deborah O’Malley | Jan. 31, 2018
Tech giant Intel conducted this intelligent image test in-house, on their site.
Test Background & Goal:
To encourage shoppers to view gaming products, Intel’s testing team wondered if it would be advantageous to add an image above the “Shop Now” Call To Action (CTA) button.
They also questioned if adding the image would impact clickthrough rate (CTR) conversions across devices and traffic sources.
The team hypothesized that adding the image would not help; they suspected the extra visual element would distract visitors — especially those using small-screened mobile devices — resulting in fewer clicks on the “Shop Now” CTA button.
However, they wanted to put their suspicion to the test.
To accurately determine if including an image helped or hurt CTRs into Intel’s gaming systems and product pages, over 14 thousand visitors were directed to one of three page view versions:
- With the image
- Without the image
- With a clickable image
Traffic was split evenly across the three versions. The test ran on Adobe Target for 20 days. Results achieved 99% confidence.
Winner: Version B – without the image – was the overall winner, increasing CTRs into the “Shop Now” section 13.1%, compared to the control.
Results by Device Type
Looking at results by device type, mobile viewers (who accounted for 42% of shoppers) showed a strong preference for the version with no image. This finding likely held true because the version without the image appeared clearer and less visually cluttered on small mobile screens.
Desktop viewers, on the other hand, didn’t show a strong preference for any of the experiences. CTRs held relatively consistent across all three experiences (image, no image, clickable image) on desktop.
Results by Traffic Type
Looking at results by traffic source, paid search visitors – who were the most numerous – showed a definite preference for the “no image” version.
All other traffic types displayed a moderate preference for the version with no image.
No other results were significant.
Yes, a picture may be worth a thousand words. But, sometimes, less truly is more!
Superfluous images can create visual clutter, adding extra “noise” that may distract visitors — especially on small-screened mobile devices.
Research by Nielsen Norman Group, shows that, on small screens, it’s beneficial to remove images that don’t add valuable information. Doing can increase clarity. And, consequently, increase conversions.
This test supports that added imagery does not provide extra value, or encourage visitors to engage and click through your content.
In this case, the clickable image directly above the CTA button didn’t provide any extra context or relevancy. Instead, it added a distracting design element that competed against the other three bold, colorful image boxes in the banner.
The added image likely also caused confusion — especially for paid search visitors — whose first exposure to ad content that likely created preconceived notions about what to expect when landing on site. Upon arriving, these visitors appeared uncertain about what and where to click – so chose not to click anything at all.
These results show that before adding extra design elements on your site, it’s important to examine their relevance and utility.
If your images are out of context and don’t visually guide visitors to perform a desired action, they likely won’t improve conversions.
It’s also key you recognize that image effectiveness is dependent on many factors beyond the picture itself. As this test shows, traffic sources, user device types, and website goals are all influencing factors that affect conversions.
So, choose your images wisely!
- Don’t add extra images – especially on mobile. Added imagery, especially on small mobile screens, can create visual clutter that may increase confusion, diminishing conversions.
- Choose wisely. Select images that enhance the visual clarity of the message. Extra design elements that don’t provide context won’t help. If the image doesn’t support the text, choose wisely – choose not to add it at all.
- Consider outside factors: Design effectiveness depends on much more than just the image itself. Consider external factors like audience device type and traffic source. These aspects may affect audience perception, impacting conversions.
Tell Us Your Thoughts:
Why do you think the version without the added image won?
Let us know by tweeting @BEHAVEdotorg.
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By: Deborah O’Malley, M.Sc.
Deborah is the Director of Digital Development at BEHAVE.org. She holds a master’s of Science (M.Sc.) degree with a specialization in eye tracking technology and is Google Analytics certified. When not helping optimize websites, she’s busy in the kitchen making homemade fudge, or burning it off at the gym.