Hero image from Johnlewis.co.uk

Hero Image Definition:

The hero image should be a credible photo or video of a solution that embraces relevance, context, emotion and value to inform or persuade a customer to take action. It is usually a large banner image that is positioned in a prominent central location above the fold on a web page.

Images are important because research indicates that posts without images get lower levels of engagement. For example posts with an image get 94% more total views than those without an image. Facebook posts with an image get 2.3 times more engagement than those posts without an image.  The hero image is especially important because it is usually the first thing that a visitor will see when they land on a page. It helps create the first impression of the page which is critical to preventing visitors from bouncing from the site.

When evaluating a hero image a number of factors need to be considered including:

  1. Keyword relevancy. Does the hero image relate to keywords that you are targeting as this will help your SEO but also reduce the bounce rate.
  2. How it supports the scent trial. The hero image should reinforce the scent trial from the source of traffic (e.g. from your Google search entry) as this will help your conversion rate.
  3. How does it communicate the purpose of the page? People process images more rapidly than text and so your hero image can help convey the purpose of the page or your site much more quickly than text.
  4. Does it communicate authenticity? The image should support the authenticity of your page or site to minimise your bounce rate reinforce your brand promise.
  5. What qualities or emotions does it communicate? Images are very effective at communicating emotions. Ensure the hero image communicates relevant and engaging emotions.
  6. Does it display the customer as the hero (not the brand)? It is always preferable to project the customer as the hero because people are much more responsive to content and images that relates to their needs rather than the organisations.

Conclusion:

A hero image is an important element of a page and can have a significant influence on conversion. Ensure you consider all the above points to select an image that will have most positive impact on user behaviour.

Resources:

Conversion marketing – Glossary of Conversion Marketing.

Over 300 tools reviewed – Digital Marketing Toolbox.

A/B testing software – Which A/B testing tools should you choose?

Image optimisation – Image optimisation tools to improve load speed and conversion.

Beautiful women – Are images of beautiful women on website a distraction?

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