4 Reasons to Ditch the Homepage Slider
Only 1% of people actually click on a slider.
You know your organization is amazing and you want every visitor to see all the things you do as quickly as possible. What better way to get your most important messages out then putting them front and center on your website. If you can get a couple of messages front and center, even better. The pressure is real and I understand why a homepage slider may seem like the perfect solutions.
Once people land on a page on your site you have <7 seconds to grab their attention and reel them in. If you don’t, they have moved on and you have missed your opportunity. But friend, a full-width slider on your homepage is not the way to capture them.
A Homepage Slider is Only Hurting Your Website
They Simply Don’t Convert – When planning your organization’s website you probably established a couple of goals. Maybe you are a healthcare organization that wants to spotlight your new service or help patients connect to their online medical records. Great! But trying to put both those messages and calls to action on an image that automatically scrolls can make it very difficult users. Plus, statistics show that users don’t click on sliders. Only 1% of people actually click on a slider. Normally, it is the first slider. Source. So, what if your slider has a second slide and doesn’t automatically scroll? One of your important messages remained hidden.
Advertising Blindness – The internet as we know has been around for about 25 years. That means internet advertising has been around about 24 years and 6 months. How often do you scroll through social media, or browse the internet and completely block out banner, sidebar, and social media ads. We have trained ourselves to recognize it, block it out and move on.
Guess what? Homepage sliders often look and function a lot like internet banner ads. One Nielsen Norman Group study found that banner blindness caused a consumer to skip right over a big bold offer they were searching for, located in an image slider. According to another Nielsen article, this banner blindness means, “Users almost never look at anything that looks like an advertisement, whether or not it’s actually an ad.”
Not-So Mobile friendly – Organizations can’t assume that people will visit your website from a laptop or desktop. Actually, in 2017 they are much more likely to visit your site from a mobile or tablet device. Often times homepage sliders do not function well on mobile devices. The images become smaller and too hard to read and the forward/back navigation can become difficult to use. Your organization could lose key conversions (replace industry talk) if an important message and call-to-action is lost because of legibility or usability.
SEO, Not-So-Much – Homepage sliders require more images, more code and more content. This combination makes homepage sliders very unattractive to search-engines for a couple of reasons. First, the code and images used to make a homepage slider function means more information is downloaded. This could slow down page refresh rate, especially when viewing on mobile networks. Search-engines note this and can penalize a website search result ranking. Second, they push the main content further down the page. We know that only 1% of users actually click on a homepage sliders and we have now pushed the information that users will click on further down page.
How to Create a Better Homepage
Choose one strong image + message for your homepage hero image. Instead of overwhelming users with multiple images just stick to one. This will allow your organization to really focus your message.
Change the main image + message regularly to match the focus of current efforts. Choosing one image for your website homepage seems scary until you give yourself permission to change the photo regularly.You actually SHOULD update your image regularly to keep the user-experience interesting.
Use the rest of the homepage to share additional information. Instead of hiding secondary messages on sliders that will not be read, place those messages further down the page. Website users regularly scroll on social media and e-commerce sites. They will scroll on your website too… if the information is compelling.
Determine what action users should take on the homepage. It is very hard to structure your homepage help users take action if you haven’t identified what you want users to do. Once the next step is identified, make that action as clear and easy to follow as possible.
Ready to Improve Your Website’s Homepage?
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