Hero Section Best Practices: What Works and What Doesn’t for Your Website

by | May 19, 2023 | Web Design

You’ve decided to create a one page website, traditional website or revamping an existing one, and now you’re faced with the important task of designing the perfect hero section.

But, what exactly is a hero section? Simply put, it’s the first thing visitors see when they land on your website, and it plays a crucial role in capturing their attention within 5–7 seconds and convincing them to stay.

The Importance of a Hero Section

A well-crafted hero section is essential for numerous reasons. It sets the tone for your website, communicates your brand’s identity, and highlights your value proposition. With only a few seconds to make a lasting impression, it’s important to get your hero section right.

Components of an Effective Hero Section

A successful hero section typically consists of five main components:


The headline should be engaging, concise, and immediately convey the core message of your brand or product.


The subheadline is an opportunity to expand on your headline and further explain your value proposition.

Call to Action

A clear and persuasive call to action (CTA) prompts your visitors to take the desired action, such as signing up or making a purchase.

Visual Elements

High-quality images, illustrations, or videos can help to reinforce your message and create a strong emotional connection with your audience.

Background Image/Video

An eye-catching background can set the mood and add visual interest to your hero section. If you use video, make sure that the audio is off.

Crafting the Words for Your Hero Section

Writing the Perfect Headline

A great headline should be short, sweet, and to the point. Use action verbs and focus on the benefits of your product or service. Keep in mind that you want to capture your audience’s attention quickly, so avoid using jargon or complicated language.

Suggested reading: How to Write a Branding Statement for your Website Hero Section that Captures Attention within 7 Seconds.

Crafting the Ideal Sub-headline

The subheadline is your chance to elaborate on your headline and showcase what sets you apart from competitors. Provide more context, address pain points, and explain how your product or service can solve them.

Putting the Headline and Sub-headline together

Here are 5 examples:

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Creating a Compelling Call to Action

Your CTA should be action-oriented, concise, and visually distinct. Use strong verbs and create a sense of urgency to motivate your visitors. Customize your CTA based on your target audience and desired outcome.

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Selecting the Right Visual Elements

Visual elements can help to tell your brand story and support your message. Choose high-quality images or illustrations that resonate with your audience and match your brand’s aesthetic.

Take the image at the top of this article. It’s adorable and eye-catching, but what does it have to do with the context of a hero section? nothing really, it’s a cute hero section and I used a play on words “hero” by using an adorable super hero image, but the article is technical in nature.

Choosing the Best Background Image or Video

A captivating background can enhance the overall look and feel of your hero section. Consider using a static image, a video, or even a pattern or color gradient. Just make sure it doesn’t distract from your main message. You can find some nice background images and videos on Canva. Signup for a free account and you can see everything they’ve got.

How to Combine All Elements Effectively for Your Hero Section

Strive for a cohesive design by balancing all elements and ensuring they complement one another. Pay attention to the visual hierarchy, ensuring that the most important information stands out. Don’t be afraid to use whitespace to avoid clutter and improve readability.

Ensuring Mobile Responsiveness

With more users accessing websites on mobile devices, it’s crucial to make sure your hero section looks great on all screen sizes. Optimize your design for mobile by simplifying your layout, scaling down images, and adjusting typography to ensure a seamless user experience.

A/B Testing Your Hero Section

Experiment with different headlines, subheadlines, CTAs, and visual elements to see which combinations work best. By conducting A/B tests, you can identify the most effective elements and continuously improve your hero section.

Research Hero Sections

To gather inspiration, examine successful hero sections from websites within your industry or niche. Take note of what elements they use, their overall design, and how they convey their message.

But the hero section isn’t the place to get clever with your copy and layout. The Hero section has one job: to tell your website visitor what you do and the benefits to the visitor in just a few seconds.

The examples below show the same layout with a few changes for two completely different industries.

Example of a hero section for a webpage, featuring a little boy eating vegetables
Example of a hero section for a webpage with a woman looking at her laptop

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Overloading your hero section with too much information
  • Using low-quality images or visuals
  • Having a weak or unclear value proposition
  • Neglecting mobile optimization
  • Failing to test and iterate on your design

Wrapping it Up

Creating an engaging and effective hero section is an essential step in building a successful website. By focusing on the key components and following best practices, you can craft a hero section that grabs your audience’s attention and drives them to take action. Remember to test and refine your design to achieve the best possible results.


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