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April 28, 2017

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Use Sliders On Your Website

Published: 28 April 2017 

Sometimes people are very persistent on what features they want added to their website. One of the most commonly requested features are sliders, otherwise known as carousels.  

It’s easy to see why companies want sliders on their websites. They seem to appear everywhere, even on the websites of the biggest brands, including Apple, McDonald's and Qantas, to name a few.

So if the biggest companies are using sliders, then why are we recommending that you don’t? There are lots of reasons why using a slider could damage your website and negatively impact your SEO.

Some of the biggest reasons why you shouldn’t use a slider are:

1. People don’t interact with them

The point of including a feature at the top of your website is to get people to click on it, right? If you’re going to include a slider, you would want it to result in conversions. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Only around 1% of users click on sliders. Of that 1%, 84% click on the first slide. If people aren’t clicking on the rest of the slides, then why bother having the rest of the slides on your website in the first place? People simply aren’t seeing the other slides, and aren’t taking any action. Instead, choose your best image and display that on the home page instead.  

2. Sliders aren’t mobile friendly    

More and more people are using mobiles, so you want to make sure your website is appropriately optimised. Unfortunately, sliders don’t always work on mobile websites. If it’s the main feature on your landing page, and it doesn’t work, chances are people aren’t going to continue browsing your website.

As a result of Google’s ‘mobilegeddon’ algorithm update, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you could see your search engine rankings drop. Not only will you have decreased traffic, but you’ll have lower rankings as well.  

3. Slow down your site speed

No one wants to sit there and wait for a website to slowly load. Instead, they’re going to leave your website, and you’re going to end up with a high bounce rate. Sliders dramatically slow down the speed of websites. This can negatively impact your SEO, as speed has been a factor in Google’s algorithm since 2010. If you’re adding a slider, you’re only going to slow down your website.

4. Unclear message

Sliders often have a different message on each slide, and link to different pages. This can confuse the user. What are you actually trying to communicate to them, and what action do you want them to take? By the time people have read all the offers in your slides, chances are they have forgotten the original one. If your slider automatically rotates, people often don’t get time to fully absorb the message and understand what you had to offer. Instead of confusing your customers, just chose the best image and offer instead.

5. Negatively impacts your conversions  

Your slider is generally the first thing displayed on your landing page, and takes up a good proportion of space. However, often people aren’t interested in sliders, as they are perceived to be similar to ads. People want to be reading content, not looking at ads. Using a slider means you’re missing out on potential conversions.  

If your slider is taking up too much space, you will be pushing down your content. This means you will be damaging your SEO. Back in 2012, Google announced an algorithm that centred around page layout. Users get frustrated when they click on a result and can’t see any content. If you’ve got a slider, it’s blocking your content, and your website could end up affected by this algorithm.   

So not only will you lose conversions from having a slider, but you will damage your SEO as well.   

Still convinced you need a slider on your website? If you want to achieve the best SEO and conversions rate, consider perhaps using one image and displaying one offer, rather than confusing your customers with multiple offers in a slider. If they’re not going to read it or click it, what’s the point of having it there anyway?

Ben Maden

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