What are Hero Images?
- Large aesthetically impactful images
- Used by website designers to convey a message
- Normally they are placed top of the page, above the fold
- Some designers use stock photos or graphics
- Best when they add value to the other page content
Why do people think Hero Images are bad?
If your SMB website relies on search to deliver visitors, you need to conform to Google Webmaster Guidelines and Bing Quality Guidelines. Both search engines are doing their best to keep up with changes in search technology which is driven by the transition to mobile devices like cell phones and tablets.
Long time, important ranking factor for search engines are "time on page" and "bounce rate". Search engine measure when a search user goes to your website and stays for some time or clicks the browser's back button to return to search. Those metrics indicate how happy the search user is with the search results; when they're happy finding your site, search engines will send more.
People using mobile devices for search are usually looking for timely information like directions, business hours, or quick answers to questions. For those people, large images that don't provide value aren't helpful and could detract from finding the information they're looking for.
When are Hero Images useful?
When a large image conveys a message and at the same time adds an interesting element to the page design, it can help: both your visitors and your website performance in search. Most people who access a webpage full of text won't even try to read it. But throw in an image or a video that tells a story relevant to the page content, and those same people will stay on the page. The key, of course, is to make the image or video relevant. Then it provides value and encourages the reader to stay on the page.
If you have questions about whether your page images are helpful, get in touch with us and we'll be happy to help.