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Interesting research on Visual Marketing

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jimcoe
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Interesting research on Visual Marketing

In writing my new ebook product on "Visual marketing Online - How to Increase Sales with Visual Communication", I turned up an interesting fact that I expect most marketers are unaware of.

Because this is my 2nd book touching on human (and non-human) visual perception (a life-long interest of mine as an artist with a scientific bent), I was already aware that human vision is faster than human thought and also operates unconsciously, leaving unconscious visual material in memory.

But I hadn't made the connection to online sales.

Now my ebook research has revealed that a visitor's first (preconscious and unconscious through the Limbic System) impressions of your website actually color their emotions toward your page - and therefore have a lot to do with people clicking away from your site quickly (before they can really appreciate your offer).

In other words, appreciating your offer takes quite a long time in cognitive terms (a few seconds at least), while getting their first impression and first emotional response to your page is both entirely visual and very much faster than the reading/viewing and conscious consideration required by your offer.

Then there is that old saying, "You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression", lol. That is now part of my first UVP (Unique Value Proposition" = "Offer") statement for my new ebook.

So it's even more critical than I thought to have good visuals and visual layouts on your pages, since they represent 100% of your visitor's "first impression" and also do color their response (or lack thereof) to your offer.

Another thing about this fact has to do with page load speed. I think most online marketers understand that they have only a few seconds to get the visitor involved in their page - before the visitor clicks away to the next site in their search returns. Some say it's 7 seconds, but I've also read research that says 17 seconds.

What I didn't fully appreciate until now is that this short time you have to initiate the AIDA sales cycle (Attention / Interest / Decision / Action) includes page load time! Your visitor doesn't "start their clock" after they see that your page is fully loaded, but at the instant they click on your ad or on their browser's "Go" button, etc.

So, if your page takes 5 seconds to load and the attentions span of your visitor is really 7 seconds - you have only 2 seconds to get their attention and to pique their Interest in getting further into your offer, after your page loads!

Does this makes sense? Is page load speed really this critical to success? I'm thinking it is and I'm glad I've learned how to get my WordPress Sales/Landing page's load times down to 3 seconds or less.

I also located a post from a couple of years ago from one of the gurus I respect on http://www.WebMasterWorld.com , who was writing about how he arranges his (static) web pages such that the most important (above the fold) content always loads first and is visible to the visitors right away - even while the rest of his content (below the fold, etc.) is still loading in the background.

Although today's broadband Internet connections are faster, that is offset by pages getting a lot bigger (one stat I saw during my recent ebook research said something like 8X bigger!) and by a lot more use of slow loading multimedia.

According to my present understanding - the last thing you want is waiting several seconds for your page to load a video which constitutes your only offer.

Food for thought....

Comments?

BTW, I've just finished my new ebook and am finishing the first Phase of my WordPress blog for it, this weekend. I expect to "go on sale" with it early next week - or maybe even this weekend!

If any of you experienced affiliates would like a free review copy, please PM me.

_jim coe http://www.well-made-webs.com/visual-marketing/ Any comments/crits on the new site are very, very welcome!

Thanks All!
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maryt
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This is an interesting read and I agree there is some truth behind your observation. I must add, the "intangibility" of websites play a lot here. In a way, people would always decide first on how "good" something looks online before reading its content simply because we cannot touch or smell it. It is like your other senses are turned off and the only thing that you can do is to "maximize" your vision.

jimcoe wrote:Does this makes sense? Is page load speed really this critical to success? I'm thinking it is and I'm glad I've learned how to get my WordPress Sales/Landing page's load times down to 3 seconds or less.


It does make sense. Personally, I hate websites that are not only loading longer, but more so sites that have a lot of pop-ups, and not to mention flashed-based sites too. It's frustrating when you are waiting for the site to load and if it does load, there are a bunch of pop-ads and redirect pages that you will still have to click before you land to your preferred page. I wish websites like these "think" like their customers. I am not saying they eliminate all these, maybe they need to provide users "options" just to promote usability in their pages.
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PremiumMember
jimcoe
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Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Macdalangin.

I guess with vision being our major sense (said to use 85% of brain power - but have not researched that, may be urban myth) it's not so surprising that a website's "Look" is so important. What surprised me most was thinking about the unconscious and emotive aspect of what happens before you're even aware of it.

And that figure I see of "7 seconds" average time to get people's attention - minus your page load time, is pretty scary. I've also read that it's "17 seconds" - anyone have data on this? I expect it varies by niche and need though. A disparate searcher will put up with more hurdles to try to find a solution to their problem.

Yes, it's very tricky to use multimedia to express an offer, instead of a good headline, sub head and ad copy. I don't usually like it either.

Cheers!
_jim coe
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maryt
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jimcoe wrote:What surprised me most was thinking about the unconscious and emotive aspect of what happens before you're even aware of it.

And that figure I see of "7 seconds" average time to get people's attention - minus your page load time, is pretty scary. I've also read that it's "17 seconds" - anyone have data on this? I expect it varies by niche and need though. A disparate searcher will put up with more hurdles to try to find a solution to their problem.


On top of niche variation, one possible "active" factor related to an individual's attention span online, is their overall experience of the Internet. Like for example, some are used to reading online on all sorts of websites in different layout and themes. On the other hand, there are individuals who are seemed to be comfortable to "specific" themes and layout only.
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