You’ve only got one shot to make a first impression. This is especially true when it comes to your website. Our attention spans today are so short that if you don’t grab their attention right away, there’s a good chance they’ll leave and move on to (ready?) … your competitor’s website (gasp!).
What is a hero image?
When you first land on a website, there’s generally a large, attention grabbing image at the top of the page. This banner image is what we in the website world call a “hero header” or “hero image.” It’s the first glimpse of your business and what you do. Often times it’ll have your slogan or tagline and often a call to action button. Bottom line: you need a large image front and center to grab the viewer’s attention.
Just a photo?
In most cases, you’ll see websites with their hero image as just that – an image. Nothing wrong with that and in some instances it might work best. You can also create a slow moving slideshow that has a series of images automatically playing with a Ken Burns zooming affect (you can see an example of this on the Red Rooster website I built). In other case, you can have a video that automatically plays in the background (you can see an example of this on the Fisher Family Construction or Heritage Market websites I built).
What should be in the photo(s)?
It goes without saying that if you sell a product – show your product. If you sell a service – show your service. BUT … what’s most important is to show happy people engaged with your product or service. Yep. People.. After all, what you’re really selling is a transformational experience. You’re going to make their life better in one way or another because of what they buy from you. Show that transformation. Show happy, relieved, satisfied, thrilled customers. You won’t find them in stock photos either. YOU need to take them (with permission of course)! There’s always exceptions to this rule but generally speaking, if you can show someone engaged with what you sell, potential customers will be able to see themselves enjoying that same experience.
High resolution images
Keep in mind that your hero image should be high quality and good resolution, even if it’s on the web. But high resolution doesn’t mean that you need to hire a photographer and use fancy equipment, although you can. You can take a great picture for your hero image using nothing more than your phone.
A few other tips:
Be real and authentic. That’s why you want to avoid stock photos where possible. Evoke some emotions in your image. Connect with your customers visually. Build trust. Display the benefits.
If you have questions about what would work best for your image, reach out to me and I’d be happy to offer my opinion and some suggestions.
Here’s a few examples of some hero images I’ve created for some local clients: