5 Tips for Choosing a Hero Image that Drives Conversions

The Hero Image is the first thing you see on a website. Think of it as your business’ first pitch. You have a brief window of time from a user’s first click, and you need to use it to catch their attention and keep them wanting more.

Whether you’re designing a new website or undertaking a redesign, choosing an effective hero image is crucial. But the task is a loaded one! What kind of first impression do I want to make? What’s more effective—photography, or video? Should I use stock imagery, or splurge on something custom? Could illustration be a more effective way to communicate my message?

Before you make a decision, consider the following five tips for choosing a Hero Image.

1. Choose images that tell a story

Like we said above, the Hero Image is your business’s first pitch to your potential customers. It should create a strong first impression.

But more than that, it should build an interest that goes beyond aesthetic appeal. Whatever image or multimedia you choose, the viewer should instantly gain some understanding of what you bring to the table as a business. When it comes to images, context matters.

Visuals on your website should go hand in hand with your brand’s story. Photos and images should match the overall theme and mood of the rest of your site. Most importantly, images should tell a story, visually guiding users from the landing page through to your call to action.

Whatever technique you choose, it’s important to keep your users top of mind. At the landing page, images and videos should give your users instantaneous knowledge of what your business does, and provide enough intrigue to keep them clicking through.

2. Keep it Simple

One of the problems business’s face when creating content online is user over-stimulation. Users are inundated with images at all hours of the day. This makes it difficult for brands to stand out and grab hold of ever-shrinking attention spans.

The key to overcoming this problem is to avoid clutter in both your content and chosen imagery. Describe as much as you can about your service or product in as few words as possible. This avoids cluttering the image and detracting from its power.

While users are drawn to quality images, they are also spoiled for choice. An effective landing page tells a story with images first, and copy second. This allows your site to capitalize on the power of strong aesthetics to engage users.

3. Consider original images for a human touch

Choosing original photography and videography can have a huge impact on conversions. Our research shows that transitioning from stock photography to original photography saw a 10% increase in conversions! An even further increase was possible with the inclusion of original video content.

Why does original content work? Part of choosing an image that’s not only appealing, but effective, is knowing who your audience is and what kinds of connections they need to make in order to gain trust in your business.

For instance, any business that offers face-to-face services can benefit from displaying real images of the people providing those services on the homepage. This allows for the user to instantly understand what the service offering will look and feel like. If done well, original content can build an immediate sense of knowledge and trust.

4. Paint a picture with custom illustration

A picture paints a thousand words! But sometimes, one picture isn’t enough to convey the many facets of one business. Illustration and animation are incredible tools for conveying complex messages in fun, easy-to-digest formats.

Infographics are one way to bring together a message that involves multiple steps or processes. These are often difficult to describe without overcrowding a landing page with copy. Say your service involves a multi-step registration process. Users might benefit from being led to your call to action with fun and engaging illustrations, as opposed to copy and stock images that are dry and burdensome to read.

Animation can serve a similar purpose. Certain technical aspects of a product or service are difficult to explain without long stretches of copy. Consider creating an original animation that can show (rather than tell) in a single creative, compelling, moving image.

5. Remember – you don’t have to spend more to get more

Design in DC offers a variety of multimedia services, including videography, photography, illustration and animation. We understand the powerful impact that original images can have on a brand’s landing page.

Having said that, we understand that every business’s budget is different. Our goal is to build the most effective websites possible, whatever stage you’re at in the growth of your company.

Original images can make all the difference in keeping users engaged with your site. However, even one original clip, image, or illustration, combined with a mixture of stock imagery, can go a long way.

This method allows you to hook users in with high-quality and professional imagery. On top of that, original images will help communicate your brand in a human, honest way– without going over budget! We believe that every brand can have access to the best and most effective Hero Images, to enhance your website’s credibility and optimize conversions.