The hero image is the first thing your potential customers see when they enter your site. It is your first impression, so it better be a good one.
It’s a fact that readers will decide to either leave or stay on your site within the first 8 seconds of viewing it, so if your first impression is weak – you are losing sales. A high bounce rate (which is the Google Analytics stat that tells you how many people leave your site before clicking on another page) can be attributed to a weak hero image that is turning clients away, rather than asking them to come inside.
When you are creating the web banner that will serve up that first impression, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Since the hero image takes up the most important real estate on your website – the top of the homepage – you should be using it to establish your brand and command attention.
Some people choose to use stock images for their hero image, but I’m not a huge fan of this approach. This is the space where you should be showing people exactly what your brand is about, and people can always spot a stock image from a real image. Using a professionally shot photo of you, your team, or your product is always preferable where possible.
At A Nerd’s World, our hero image features a photo of me and my team working away at the office, along with the all-important call to action copy, “We’re Nerds! No shame, just a passion for design. (Seriously, we love it.)” When they click this text, they are taken to our about page, which tells the potential client all about us, our team, and what we do.
Once they’ve invested time in clicking the call to action and reading about us, they are that much more likely to consider working with us over the other guys.
That said, if your budget is tight and you can’t yet get professional images shot, it is best to use a stock image until you can afford to upgrade it.
When it comes to how often you should change your hero image out – I recommend a minimum of every 3 months. As the seasons change, so too should your hero image.
That said, if you have a heavy product line or new items you want to promote regularly, there is nothing wrong with changing it out on a frequent basis.
This is the area of your website that will make or break your sales, so use it wisely. Are you searching for a team of Nerds to help you build a new website in Toronto? Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Chris A. Hughes