The Benefit of Screenshots in Communication | Iconize Your Clickthrough Rate

Icons Increase Clickthrough Rate

I use quite a lot of screenshots when blogging as I find the old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” very appropriate.
Michel Fortin also pointed out in his top plugins and blogging tips article today how graphic icons with each post help with clickthrough. He has been using eye tracking software to prove it, and is a fanatical tester.

No Excerpts = Less Comments?

This concept just came to me while writing this post, maybe I will write about it again tomorrow in more detail.

I use full content on the front page currently because I like the idea of having my cupboard open to encourage people to read what I have written, like it, and thus subscribe.

The vast majority of my readers are via subscription, thus when they click through, they read the single permalink page, which has a comment box.

I do however get a large amount of casual traffic. If they click through to the front page, and get to read 10 articles, they are less inclined to read the comments on a post, where typically on my best content, there is a lot more discussion, that often is worth more than the original post.

Maybe there is a measurable benefit in only showing excerpts in increased comments from more casual readers, and readers on their 2nd page view. They wouldn’t have to take an additional action to place a comment.

The problem is in testing this you introduce more variables, because you might get more or less subscribers by showing less content.

Enough of the wandering mind…

Pictures in Communication

I have had a few people mention that my pages don’t look quite right. I had done a number of tests using both Firefox and Internet explorer, and had continued to do so. Some things aren’t perfect under Internet Explorer, but I am not a designer so I will have to live with them and tweak things as they go.

I was shocked when I saw this

Michel dropped me an email today with a screenshot attached (I have reduced it in size)

Digg Button Broken

I think Michel might be using Internet Explorer, I primarily use Firefox, and only check things on IE typically when I am playing with page layout. I didn’t think about how a plugin might break under a different browser.

This is how this looks under Firefox

Digg Button Under Firefox

By communicating with a picture, I was able to fix the problem in about 2 minutes by simply switching off the plugin and clearing my cache.

As a p.s. I think both me and Michel use a little tool called SnagIt for grabbing quick screenshots. I am not an affiliate in any way, and I still find bugs with it (scrolling pages never seems to work), but find what it does do very useful.

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Comments

  1. says

    Completely agree. SnagIt (and Camtasia) are great tools for communicating. I use it all the time when I outsource, such as, for example, when I have researchers work on copy drafts. But they also help greatly in discovering errors. For example, one of my students did it with me:

    http://www.michelfortin.com/take-advantage-of-my-mistake/

    (Please delete the link, Andy, if inappropriate.)

    He recorded his inability to purchase a service from me, and I instantly knew what the problem was. I highly recommend SnagIt and Camtasia. Both are from TechSmith.com.

  2. says

    You got me turned onto SnagIt Andy, and I bought myself a copy and one for my business partner. That’s how much I like that program. And I’ve used the scroll feature a couple of times to great success. Have you upgraded to their latest version???

  3. says

    Michel you can drop links here as often and in as great a quantity as you like, I am sure they are all relevant.

    I am now in the process of upgrading to 8.2.2 but maybe the problem is I use it in Firefox using their Firefox plugin. Maybe there is a conflict with something I am running.

    I can do a manual area scroll, but that is also horribly slow.
    One screenshot of a blog post plus about 20 comments I recently grabbed took 5 minutes to scroll down the page using the area scroll.

  4. says

    I agree that screenshot communication is very effective in problem solving—sure beats writing a thousand words. I have loved using FastStoneCapture as a screenshot and resizing tool. I especially like that it floats on your desktop for easy access.

    http://tinyurl.com/22uyzv

  5. gayapink says

    I bought myself a copy and one for my business partner. That's how much I like that program.