A vertical-specific guide to choosing a powerful hero image.

Want to know the truth about first impressions? They happen quickly and there is no such thing as a do-over. This is why a high-quality, targeted hero image is so important to your user’s experience with your website.

It is widely known in the digital marketing world that you only have about 0.5 seconds to capture the attention of your audience. With so little time to work with, you’ll want to make a clear, attractive statement within the first moment they land on your page to discourage them from bouncing off your site and onto the next one.

Your hero image has some heavy lifting to do, so make sure you choose one strong enough to carry your brand message.

The Basics

Quality Counts. A high-resolution photo is the only way to ensure that your hero image will look great at all times and on all devices. Here is a helpful size guide from Medium.com.  

Content Is King. Put your most appealing and unique feature front and center to set yourself apart and make users want to see more.

Be True to Your Brand. When choosing a hero image or setting up a photo shoot, consider your brand’s colors and try to subtly incorporate them into the scene.

Keep It Simple. Let your logo, calls-to-action, and contact information stand out by choosing a photo with enough negative space to showcase these essential website components.

Say “No” to Sliders. Sliding or rotating hero images distract users and can weaken your messaging while a single, powerful image will drive home your positioning and, ultimately, drive more leads.

Play Up Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). A UVP is the reason why your users should want to convert with your business. Highlight your most compelling feature with a catchy UVP on or near your hero image.

Let’s Talk Industries

Whether offering a great apartment in a prime location, the friendliest self storage team in town, or the most engaging lifestyles for seniors in your area, your message needs to be clear, consistent, and immediate to win over customers. Follow the above guidelines and these industry-specific tips to find your ideal hero image.

Senior Living

Demonstrate Value. Build Trust.


Let your community shine with a carefully selected hero image evoking a warm, welcoming mood. While this image does carry a lot of weight, avoid the temptation to try and tell your entire story in one photo.

  • Choose an image with a single focal point and plenty of negative space so your information is easy to read for aging eyes. Even the adult children of your residents will appreciate a clean, readable call-to-action.
  • Independent Living communities can depict vivacious seniors living active lifestyles. Assisted Living and Memory Care can show one-on-one interaction between residents and family members or your care team.
  • You can limit the action in your photo to make it more user-friendly by including only one to three people and keeping the setting as simple and clutter-free as possible.

Pro Tip: If you’re staging a community photo shoot to use as your hero image, remember what we said about brand colors. A well-placed vase or throw pillow matching the colors in your logo can turn a nice picture into a beautiful hero.  

Self Storage

Make It Easy. Make It Count.


Your customer needs more space and they’re coming to you for a simple, convenient solution. Use your hero image to demonstrate the value of your facility to show how it can help solve their storage needs.

Instead of trying to capture the whole exterior of your facility or your entire team, which can lead to a busy hero image, consider a closer shot of an important feature, like a well-lit hallway or driveway.

  • The unit doors will evoke security and provide users a glimpse of the look and feel of your facility.
  •  By arriving on a familiar image with positive associations, the customer will know right away that you have what they are looking for.
  • Plus, a less crowded image provides more negative space where your logo and call-to-action can stand out.

Pro Tip: To really nail your hero image, have your hallway or driveway lead toward your call to action for an intuitive visual queue guiding the user’s eyes right where you want them. 


Invite Them In. Show Them Around.


Choosing a new home is a big move – literally. Whether your shopper is looking for a budget-friendly apartment or an all-out resort experience, chances are you won’t be the only game in town. Your hero image is your first chance to set yourself apart from the competition. This is the time to get creative and represent your brand’s unique value in the marketplace.

  • Make sure you choose a hero image which emphasizes your top, most distinct feature, like an artistic scene from your desirable neighborhood or a glowing shot of a sun-drenched swimming pool.
  • Apartment-centric lifestyle shots of smiling faces are another great option. Just remember the rules about not overcrowding an image and leaving plenty of negative space for your call to action.
  • If you have a narrow demographic, like students of a nearby university, you can get more specific with a hero image. Choosing an eye-catching photo of a diligent millennial leaning over a computer, for example, will make sure your first impression matches your target customer.

Pro Tip: Filters are your friends. A subtle, well-placed filter is a great way to enhance an existing photo: it can cover imperfections, add ambiance, create a consistent look throughout your photos, and make your tagline and logo pop.

Make It Happen 

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to go out and find that just-right hero image to take your website to the next level. For personalized help from the experts, contact G5 Creative Services for a heavy-lifting hero image tailored specifically to your target customer, your brand, and your business needs.