You are probably wondering, what is a hero image? Well, it is a large banner image, illustration, or video which is prominently placed on your webpage and is usually the first visual you encounter. Its purpose is to present an overview of the site’s most important content.
Hero images are incredibly important because the internet is becoming an increasingly visual platform. Nowadays, when a visitor lands on your page, they make a judgement within seconds. How is this possible? Well, the brain processes images a lot faster than text, so most visitors to your website will assess the landing page based on visuals alone. Studies conducted by Google suggest that it takes many users just a fraction of a second to decide whether they want to stay on the page.
This means that your website is only as good as the images you use, and if the images on your landing page aren’t top notch, you’ll be losing a lot of potential clients and customers. Keeping this in mind, whether you use images to enhance user experience or to create a unified brand identity, they need to be chosen with care. Hero images, and the rest of the visuals on your site, should always be:
- Professional – They shouldn’t be pixelated or taken on a phone. If you can’t get professional images, there are a wider range of high-quality stock images available.
- Relevant – Both to your brand and what you’re selling. They need to be clear, eye-catching and shout your purpose.
- Informative – Your photos shouldn’t just look good, they should convey a clear message. It’s no joke that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Authenticity’s important too, so use real images whenever possible, preferably of people or your product. Just to illustrate how effective authentic images can be: a study by a company called 37 Signals found a 102% increase in signups when they used a picture of a person from their team on their homepage.
Modern web designs have an advantage in this way by enabling more flexible layouts, allowing for multiple ways to format their hero image. For example, instead of a singular banner image, sites that we’ve launched like The Click Hub and The Terrace have a mobile grid of photos that portray various aspects of the company and direct visitors towards different sections of the site. Using more than one hero image creates a vibrant and compelling landing page that engages visitors on multiple levels. Modern web designs also allow for hero images to incorporate movement and video, like our own landing page which has a stream of background video or The Terrace’s website on which the photos fade into video when scrolled over. With the right comprehensive web design, the opportunities are endless.
So, what is a hero image? Well, in short, you can think of it as the bait that draws visitors to content. The juicier the lure, the more successful your site will be.