Website Sliders Are A Bad Idea | Blog by Web Designer Gethyn Jones

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Website Sliders Are A Bad Idea

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This may come as a surprise to some people but for me it's logical. Sliders, sometimes called carousels, are a distraction and they're bad for SEO and most people think they're banner ads. For most websites they should be avoided.

I'm not alone in thinking this - because the slider moves, users automatically assume that it might be an advertisement, which makes them more likely to ignore it, according to UK researcher Jakob Nielsen.

Michiel Heijmans is a respected SEO specialist working for YOAST and he puts it slightly differently to me! "Sliders suck! Please realise that it's making you use a feature that has no value for SEO. A feature that is probably slowing down your site by loading extra JavaScript. And prevents your user from reading the good stuff (your content)".

For years, many studies have shown that sliders should be avoided. Here are some of the findings according to Michiel:

  • Only 1% of the people actually click on a slide, which is usually the first slide
  • Sliders confuse people, as you're sending multiple offers they may or may not be interested in at once
  • People simply ignore your slider, because it causes banner blindness
  • On that same note, visitors just don't get the message because they will skip the messages in your slider as they consider it advertisement or promotions
  • They slow down your site, negatively impacting your SEO and conversion rate
  • Sliders don't always work well on mobile devices
  • They push down your main content below the fold*, which is not smart
  • It's far more effective to use just one image instead of putting all that effort into slider plugins and images

So those are some pretty convincing negative comments about sliders but there's more:

Know Your Service or Product

Using a slider means that you really don't know which product or picture you should put on display on your home page, so you just put up 6 of them! If you really don't know what to choose, how would your visitors or clients?

You should know what your own business is about and what product or picture deserves that front page spotlight.

By focusing on the right (static) image or message, you will give people a far better feel of your business, and you as a person, than a slider ever could. Not in the least because sliders, as we've said twice now, are simply ignored in most cases. And a message that's ignored hardly ever comes across (notice the sarcasm).

SEO and Conversion Rate Optimisation

Sliders push down your main content, plain and simple. In fact, most sliders these days are big enough to fill out any screen. This means the main content won't even be visible above the fold. And this backfires on your SEO efforts.

There's not a CRO expert that will disagree: sliders kill your conversions.

Visitors haven't come to your site to watch a thrilling movie designed by bored web developers who are running out of 'wow' ideas.

If you've found this article interesting you may like to look at Content Marketing.

Call me for full details on 07748 631277 or 02392 587335 and discuss any queries you may have.

* Below the fold = The term refers to the portion of a webpage that a user must scroll to see.