When people enter a website, they form an opinion about it in less than a second. That doesn’t give you much time to make an impression. That’s why it’s crucial to get your design right — and that starts with the “hero image.” It is the first thing people see when they enter your site. Here are six helpful tips for choosing a hero image that will help you get more conversions.
Know Your Audience
Image via Flickr by orangeacid
Before you choose a hero image, you need to think about your audience. What would they want to see? What emotions or reactions do you want to evoke? Then, choose an image that will speak to your audience. For example, if your target audience is young adults, don’t choose a hero image of people in their 50s or 60s. Pay attention to your demographics and any information you know about your audience, including age, gender, income, and even personal interests.
Choose the Best Hero Image Type for Your Site
While it’s important to know your audience, you also need to keep your business goals in mind when choosing a hero image for your site. Do you want to promote a product or service? Are you trying to establish trust? Do you want to create a certain mood? Many factors can affect what hero image type would lead to the most conversions on your site.
Here’s an explanation of the four main types of hero images you can choose:
- Product Images: One of the easiest hero images to implement is the product image. It works well for businesses that have one or two products that they sell and want to promote on their website. The image can be static or a short animation that demonstrates the features of the product.
- Contextual Images: While it’s easy to throw up an image of your product, many websites have success by using a complementary hero image instead. This could be anything related to your products and services, such as the environment in which it is used.
- Non-Contextual Images: You don’t have to use a hero image that’s related to your business. Sometimes it’s ok to pick an image based on how cool or trendy it is. These images can help you get a lot of buzz, but be careful because they can also distract from your message.
- Famous Founders: Websites that are heavy in content or are highly personal can benefit from the famous founder hero image. It is simply a headshot or image of the site founder. The famous founders image helps you build trust and connect with your readers on a deeper level.
You won’t know which type of hero image to use without some A/B testing because every website is different, but these four hero image types should give you a good sense of where to start for your site. Think about your goals and then choose a hero image type that will help you get there.
Only Use High-Quality Images
It used to be that website owners avoided putting images on their landing page out of fear that it would hurt their page load speed. This should no longer be a big concern to you because technology has gotten a lot faster in recent years. Plus, larger images work!
High-quality images can really improve your conversions because they help your site make a better first impression. Don’t be tempted to use low-quality images to improve your page load speed because they don’t help by much. High-quality images are important because they create the perception that you also have high-quality products. This then leads to higher conversion rates.
Guide Your Customers With Your Hero Image
The main goal of your hero image should be to convert more readers into customers. Therefore, your hero image should literally guide your readers’ eyes toward the navigation option to buy your products or services. For example, you could use a photo of a person and have that person look at the element of your web page where you want people to look.
Image placement is crucial! The hero image is typically above the fold of your page and the first thing people see. Think about the second thing you want your readers to see and guide them towards it with your hero image.
Make Your Images Evoke an Emotion
Most people are complacent when they visit a website for the first time. They don’t care more about your products and services than your competitors’. You can change this state of mind by choosing a hero image that evokes an emotion, whether that is fear, excitement, hatred, or something else. When people feel something, they are more likely to act. When you use a hero image that evokes an emotion, you will see a higher conversion rate.
Use Hero Images to Humanize Your Site
The best hero images often feature a friendly looking person. This is because people want to connect with other people, not interact solely with technology, and an image of a person helps to humanize your site. It also helps build trust and make your readers think of your business as a friend instead of simply a business that wants to take your money.
It’s a proven fact that people are more likely to convert if they think they are dealing with a real person. For example, according to JeremySaid.com, people are 20 percent more likely to contact your business if there is a headshot of a customer service representative next to the contact button. They feel they will get personal attention and that your business actually cares.
The hero image is one of the most important elements of modern web design. You need to find an image that speaks to your audience, creates a good first impression, and makes people want to learn more about your products or services. If you can choose a good hero image, you’ll see higher conversions, so it’s worth the time to research what your audience will respond to best.