Hero images have been around a long time; they have been used in multiple forms of media from art to television. With the advent of the internet, hero images made the jump another environment. If you don’t already know, a hero image is a large image that is centered in the middle of the screen, usually just beneath a navigation bar or company logo. Its purpose is to stir a response from those who view it. Think of Captain America waving a flag, that’s a hero image.
Hero images aren’t just limited to heroes; many different images can fit the bill. Keep in mind that hero images make an instant impression which is essential when it takes less than three seconds for a user to form an impression of a website. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your hero image.
Product First Hero Image
Use a hero image that focuses on the product or service you are selling. Make sure that you don’t just take a picture of your product in your company parking lot. The picture needs to be taken by a professional photographer who is experienced with photographing products to be sold. If your company teaches kids how to swim, you would want a hero image portraying that service. In many cases, if you are using a web designer, they will know in advance what they want the image to be; they may even have a photographer on staff.
You don’t have to use a photo for your hero image; you can use vectors and other quality artwork to give an impression of what your business does and the brand image you want to convey. Using fonts, vivid colors, and textures that are in line with your brand are all useful in creating a strong first impression with visitors to your website.
Your hero image won’t be very heroic if it does not evoke an emotion. When choosing a hero image, decide what feeling you are trying to bring about in a user who sees it. Do you want the emotion to be relaxation, inspiration, compassion, or just a desire for what’s in the hero image? Studies have shown that having an emotion-stirring hero image helps a visitor to your website to be more trusting of your company and more open to what you are selling. Remember, if you are using a dull, drab, dreary image that is the emotion you will bring about in those who see it, and they will be less likely to click any links that lead to product pages.
Focus on the Goal
All of these elements we have discussed will combine to drive your customers to do something; what that is depends on your hero image. What is the goal you hope your hero image to bring about? Is it to purchase a good or service, to read about an important issue, to raise money for charity? If your goal is to sell a product or receive donations, you can put a call to action button directly in the hero image. If the goal is to raise awareness issues, you can put a link urging them to read on in the image. Your hero image is a tool to drive visitors to an action you want them to take; your image should reflect that goal.
You can add sliders to your website so that a visitor sees multiple hero images, which can be more effective than one if the images are all closely related.
Adding text sliders next to a hero image lets you quickly give information about a product or service without the user having to click anything.
Adding a short form to the hero image allows you to get customer demographics upfront in an unobtrusive way.
Hero Image Final Thoughts
Hero images are a proven and effective way to keep customers on your website and build brand awareness at the same time.