Why you shouldn’t use sliders on your website.

May 19, 2014

A slider is the SUPER TRENDY thing that web designers throw onto a home page, index page or any other page.  It shows a series of images and maybe some text as well, at the top of the page, and revolves round or animates in SOME way to show a different image.

 

Sliders suck 99.8% of the time. Clients that replace them with a Me!Boxed Video see exponential increases in traffic and conversions. Don’t believe it? Well, we’ll put our money where our mouth is…will you?


We’ve all seen them.  Go to 99% of designer or corporate websites and they love showing them off.

So why do people and businesses love slider?

The answer lies in our perception of how people use our website.

We have the idea that when a user visits our site, we want to provide them with a range of options for finding the information that they want.  So we have sliders, menus, featured posts, social links, call to action buttons, banners, opt-in banners, adverts and so on.

When we design a site for a user, we have a fear of missing out.  FOMO is the website killer, in fact it kills businesses full stop, but lets focus here.

We have a fear that if we don’t provide a route to a customer to the information that they want, they will leave, tell people our site sucks and we will never have any customers.  Sliders APPARENTLY allow us to cover that base.

Secondly, they look cool.  Right?  Broadband, high speed internet, fibre optics.  It all means that we can have glorious, HD images of our favourite stock photos or products, revolving round in a fancy animation with cool effects and it looks awesome.  I’m must be a super successful business right because I can afford such a talented designer.

The truth about why you shouldn’t use sliders.

Ready for the ugly bit?

Sliders are responsible for 3 mistakes.

  1.  Pretending that something is easy to access and is being promoted.  This is a fallacy.  There’s an old joke in web design that ‘if marketing wants something promoted, pop it in the slider‘.
    The truth is that 1% of user EVER click on a slider.  Even then, it is usually the first slide (85%+) Source: http://weedygarden.net/2013/01/carousel-stats/
  2. It negatively affects your SEO.  The big one.  Sliders have a harmful effect on your SEO.  If you don’t believe me, then read Yoast’s reasons for not having a slider.  Basically they push content down the page and the code behind them is ignored by search engines.
  3. It dilutes your message.  If you’re using a slider to allow users to choose their next step, then you’re living in a fantasy world.  First of all, people tend to skip sliders because they look like adverts, so already your message is being ignored.  Second, our customers need ONE option for their next step.  Users who regularly use your site will know where to go, new users need to by guided to ONE option.

What can we use instead of sliders?

Are there alternatives to sliders?  Of course there are, and frankly your web designer should be providing you with options.  But if they’re not, you need to talk to us.  And read below for a few ideas.

  1.  Text, or even, text over an image.  Do you remember these things called words?  Mental right?  Well you can have a paragraph of text about your site, page, product etc.  If you really want, you could use a ‘hero image’ (large image with text), but opinion is divided as to whether that works with SEO too.  Ultimately, what is the goal of your site?  SEO?  Large conversions?  Then address that goal.
  2. Call to action.  Use the area to develop a landing page and have ONE BIG button for the next step.  Give a few words about what they can get and have something to click on.
  3. Video.  YouTube is probably your best option if you’re really struggling.  Either do a quick recording of yourself or use a content creator to make a little video.

If you want more ideas, check out ManageWP’s blog about sliders here.

So there we go, why you shouldn’t use sliders and what to do instead.  Easy

Michael

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