In the past there was a lot of debate about the potential advantages of placing a full width image at the head of the article. Paul E was a great fan of this, and many people promoted the idea. There used to be an extra ad that appeared when a large image was at the top. Some people argued against this as it reduced the amount of text above the fold. In the new layout, shifting the ad that used to be in the text area to the right column, was presumably done to reduce the number of ads above the fold. The new layout has changed things. Could staff and authors please provide an update of the relative merits of having a large image at the top, and other advice about image placement with the new layout. Presumably there are stats available for comparison. This includes Pinterest optimization. Thanks
Very good subject to bring up, janderson. I often put large images up in that space. I am very interested in an update on that. Thanks .
My personal view is that it depends.
The concept of the "hero shot" comes from online shopping. If someone is searching for a product or service, and the first thing they see on arrival at a webpage is a gorgeous photo of that product or service, then that's a very effective selling tool. The reader knows they're in the right place and will happily scroll down to read on.
However if someone is looking for information, and the first thing they see on arrival is a gorgeous photo that doesn't answer their question, is that effective? Will they scroll down to read the information or will they think they've arrived at a frivolous page and click back to find something more serious?
You have only a few words at the start of your Hub to "hook" the reader and persuade them to read more. If you're using a large image at the top of the Hub, your visitor can't see those words.
We haven't studied traffic/shares etc by image placement recently, but I think high quality media does improve the user experience.
I wouldn't say there is a hard rule. A lot has to do with context, your subject and the quality of the media. That said, I think a leading high quality photo is perfect for recipes and finished products.
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