Why Not to Use Sliders on Your Homepage

What is an image slider?

Image sliders are extremely common across the web and are even prevalent on a number of our websites. Clients tend to like sliders because they offer an interactive animated component to their page. They allow for a lot of content to be contained within one small area of their site’s homepage. As it turns out, sliders actually offer little benefit to most websites and in fact have a lot of negative qualities that can detract from your site’s message.

When someone visits your website you have a matter of seconds to get their attention. In those seconds you need to give them a clear focused message that drives them to a desired action. An image slider contains a collection of disconnected messages. This dilutes the overall story you are trying to tell.

Effectiveness of Image Sliders

With responsive websites being all the rage, it is key that your website transitions easily to mobile platforms. Sliders generally do not adapt well to mobile platforms and usually will not work at all. Now that a growing number of people visit your website via a mobile device, your slider content is completely invisible to them.

Want to be found on the internet? An image slider negatively affects your site’s SEO. Javascript and large images in the slider bog down load times, something considered unfavorable by Google. Text contained in sliders often isn’t considered by browsers and h1 tags in the slider can cause the site to be penalized for h1 tag duplication.

Even with all of these negatives, at the end of the day sliders just don’t make people click. Click rates on sliders are about 1% on average, with 89.1% of that 1% occurring on the first slide. This means only 10% of that 1% see any of the other slides in your slider.

What to Use Instead of an Image Slider

So what is an effective alternative for displaying your site’s content? Current trends favor long form full width pages with hero areas. On these pages the first part of the page, a hero area, conveys one powerful message. As the user scrolls the page they see content that provides information clarifying this message. The end of the page contains a call-to-action. Essentially the entire page is set up to guide the user to this action.

These “hero pages” correct many of the problems that occur with image sliders. They allow for a more cohesive and consistent message across the homepage. They provide more design flexibility than the slider construct. They can easily be made responsive for mobile platforms because of their uniform layouts. They are more SEO-friendly.

For more detailed information about the negatives of sliders and the hero area concept, Leadpages has a terrific blog on this subject.

Expert Orlando Web Design

If you feel like your web page is no longer working for you and you would like to update to a more effective hero layout, reach out to our team at authenticWEB. We can help design your site to attract the right type of traffic and convert those visitors to customers.