To Slide or Not to Slide?
If you’re in the early stages of a website design or redesign, you’re likely exploring ideas for that uber-important “above the fold” hero section on your home page. Those homepage hero sliders, although commonly used, have actually proved to be unsuccessful at converting your site visitors. So, if you’re looking for a quick answer to the question “to slide or not to slide,” our answer is “no.” If you need more proof, here are a few reasons why sliders are bad and belong in the past:
Sliders Don’t Convert
The main reason image sliders are bad is that they’re a poor delivery mechanism for content. When looking at how website visitors interact with content on a typical website, only around 1% will click on a slider. And if they do click, it is most likely on the first slide, defeating the purpose of the slider altogether. Additionally, while the intention may be to showcase various products or photos, this isn’t the reality. To the user, it may appear as if you couldn’t prioritize a focal product or decide what your consumer wants.
Sliders Reduce User Interactions
A web slider provides a poor user experience for people browsing mobile devices. It isn’t fun to struggle to decipher or interact with content. The rotating effect doesn’t always translate well to a mobile device, which again defeats having a website slider. Your core message, or product photo, may also become lost in your web page slider. Sliders can be overwhelming and distracting for the consumer, making them more likely to scroll past your slider than interact.
Sliders Aren’t Accessible
A typical web slider features a series of images. These images have some content — perhaps a headline and a sentence or two of text. They are designed to encourage people to click on the image and learn more. The problem with this type of technique is that it excludes visually impaired users. Partially sighted users may struggle to see the content, and visually impaired users may struggle to use screen reader technology. If you do ultimately choose to use a slider or carousel on your site, make sure it complies with accessibility guidelines, such as allowing the user to pause the slide to stop its movement.
Sliders Are Bad for SEO
If you’re looking to get more leads or sales through your website, adding an image slider could be detrimental to your goals. Sliders slow down website loading speeds and can result in higher bounce rates or completely dissuade users from your website. Additionally, if your website is slow to load, Google will inevitably rank your website lower, making it less likely for your target audience to find you easily.
Still Not Convinced?
Here are a few more points to consider:
- Website sliders sometimes require a developer to edit, which becomes an additional cost for you.
- Movement on your website is distracting from your brand identity and message.
- It is unlikely that users will ever see all of the content in your slider. You’re better off using static text and images that they will at least skim versus never interact.
Your website is your virtual storefront and often the first impression you make on your customer. So if your website theme includes a slider, it doesn’t mean you should include one. Instead, focus on giving users a straightforward message and making your website accessible. Need help? Contact us! Whether you seek a robust e-commerce marketplace or a simple business website, we can help boost your business’s online presence.