Be a HERO and not a slider
We have never been fans of sliders as we found them distracting, not helping with your call to action or sales funnel. We won’t deny that having a slider can “look cool” but a website is more than just looking cool. You want to bring people into your sales funnel and buy from you. I will take a sale any day of the week over being the cool kid on the block. There’s more though than just your sales funnel to think about when it comes to a slider on your homepage (or any page for that matter). Let’s look at some of the drawbacks of sliders as well as how you can still have that cool kid wow factor and get rid of those drawbacks.
Sliders which are often called carousels have several search engine drawbacks. For any company on the internet you need to think of the search engines and how they work. Most sliders that we see will have multiple H1’s (header tags). The H1 is the chapter of your book. Every page should be considered a chapter. You don’t put multiple chapters on the same page but sliders tend to always do that. For any page of your website you should have one heading and then as many sub-headings that are needed.
By having multiple H1’s on your webpage you are devaluing the purpose of having a defined keyword on your page.
Sliders add that dazzle as we said earlier but they eat up a lot of space often without providing any value. Sliders will routinely fall into one of three areas. The reasons company’s use sliders are for branding purposes, thought leadership, or product/service promotion.
Sliders will also slow down your website and as we know the slower a page goes the more likely you will lose your customer even before they see the rest of your page. Sliders are beautiful in nature with little text which means they are not helping inform or educate your audience which will hurt your search engine chances for success.
Sliders receive the lowest number of clicks of anywhere on your site. They force your users to either leave or to scroll right past them missing the purpose of what you are trying to get across. What this means is your valuable content which you want your users to read is further pushed down on the screen if not off the screen. The more you force your users to scroll just to get to meaningful content the less likely they will have a positive and memorable experience on your website.
When a user hits your page the slider is shown to the user, continues to keep their attention by the animations you’ve put in to “wow” your users. This stops and prevents those looking for specific answers to miss what they are looking for and will create a higher bounce rate on your website. The bounce rate is when someone comes on your site, doesn’t get the answer to the question they wanted answer, and clicks the back button.
When it comes to fixing the problem, you can still “wow” your visitor and actually be the cooler kid than might otherwise be. You do this by using a HERO image. This is a full page image. On top of this image you can have relevant information but also walk them through your sales funnel process faster and more efficiently without distracting them.
The other methods you can do is to better target your website based on your customer. This is often referred to as customer personas. By targeting to your audience, you will drive more relevant information to your audience and achieve greater results. A well designed page will target your user, have high-quality content that answers your visitors question, and pictures that align with the written text.
As you look and create your page something we always tell our customers is “you are not your customer”. You may feel that fancy graphics and animation will draw people in. Most visitors though are looking for specific answers to their questions. They are not going to your website to be wowed with fancy animations or slideshows. Step back on each page of your website and see if it answers the intent of your page.