Image maps bring images alive
Image maps turn static images into ‘information central’ for your visitors. Instead of being a cosmetic after-thought, pictures become the fast, relevant and easy route to the facts visitors need.
Call us to upgrade your website from static images to smart image maps.
There’s no better way to understand image maps than to try one in action. We’ve added some (not too serious) hotspots to this image of a plane. Hover over these areas:
- Engines: hotspots don’t have to be rectangular or round. They can be any shape you like.
- Right wing: the hotspot shading can be any colour. You can also change the colour of the pop-up box and the text style used in it. You may notice that this image uses our corporate colours and typeface.
- Cockpit: you can enrich the pop-up by adding another photo.
- Left wing: you can turn the pop-ups into gateways to other parts of your website by adding a button. Or you could take visitors to another website.
- Rear flaps (probably called something else by people who know planes): you can turn the hotspot into a link to another part of your website. You don’t have to use a button.
- Rear cargo space (behind the wing): adding video lets visitors see a detailed explanation of the topic they’re interested in. If you put the same video in the main page they’d have to see it whether they were interested or not. You can change how much playback control you give visitors (we’ve disabled full-screen playback, for example).
Image maps drip-feed information in stages.
The beauty of an image map is that it drip feeds information to visitors as they want it. It puts them in control. Instead of bombarding them with everything you could say about your products, you let them select the features that interest them.
Your imape map provides information in a progressive way too:
- When visitors hover over a hotspot that interests them they see your first level of information, the pop-up text.
- If the visitors want to know more, you might let them enlarge a picture or video.
- If they’re really interested, you can use a link to another page. This turns your image into a gateway to further information.
You can (and should) integrate image maps with marketing automation.
With image maps, visitors choose the information they want to see. That’s vital information to a marketer. If you pass their preferences to your marketing automation system you can make sure you send them information that’ll be useful and relevant to them.
If you came to this page from our marketing automation demo, we’ll have asked you to click on the cockpit and cargo hotspots. This will be recorded.
In real life, that would have told us the type of product feature you’re interested in so we could limit our communications to you to those features. We could tell you our plane requires fewer crew. Or that it was easy for pilots to convert to this aircraft from another common type. Or that our cargo hold was 25% larger. Or that its doors made it easier to load. Or that it was pressurised and heated.
We’d focus our communications with you on subjects that we knew you were interested in. That would improve our relationship with you and bring us closer to a sale.
Image maps help engineering and manufacturing.
It can be difficult to promote technical and mechanical products through a website. Processes are a challenge too. Static illustrations can be dull. Text explanations are long-winded and ignored.
Image maps change that.
- Pop-up hotspots let you annotate different parts of the image without obscuring the rest.
- With one picture, you can deliver an encyclopedia of information about the advantages your business offers.
- And all of it is delivered on-demand.
Image maps work for services too.
Take a look at this signpost image.
We use it at several points on our website to guide people towards services that help them. It looks better than a text menu and provides context-sensitive snippets about what visitors should expect when they press a button.
If you’re a service-oriented business, you probably already have a picture or diagram that illustrates what you offer. An image map turns this into an attractive menu.
Image maps help conversion.
The challenge we face with websites today is not usually getting traffic to them. The challenge is converting those visitors into customers. Or prospects, at least. You’ve got to give visitors something to engage with on the pages they visit.
When you present visitors with lots of text, they switch off. Nobody has the time to read it. Especially if it’s technical.
But if you use an image map, life becomes much easier for them. They don’t just look at the picture. They click on it too. At the very least, that means you get the chance to feed more information to them. In most situations, it leads them deeper into your website and improves your chances of converting them into a customer.
Conversion help SEO.
Activity is one of the key metrics Google uses to judge a web page. It wants to know if visitors reacted to the page it sent them to. If they didn’t react – if they didn’t click on anything or visit any other pages – Google starts to think the page was rubbish. It stops sending people to it.
When you use an image map you give visitors a feature they’re more likely to click on. You give them something engaging. And when they react, Google notices.
Limitations of image maps.
Image maps are great but they’re not perfect.
- They’re not great for mobile. The smartest part of image maps is the way they pop up when you hover your mouse over a hotspot. But you don’t do that when you browse a page on a smartphone. You lose a lot of the image map’s coolest features.