should i use an image slider on my website?
Sliders are cool, right? Everyone loves those big, glossy hero images, auto-play videos and crazy animations flying in from all corners of the screen, yeah? We can feature all our special offers on a 3 second revolving carousel, that’s bound to bring in the sales, surely?
Well, actually. No.
Sliders are pure evil, and here’s a few reasons why.
what is a slider?
Sliders, or image carousels are a revolving series of images, video and text that often feature at the top of a web page.
We’ve all seen them. They’re everywhere. Clients want sliders because they look cool and they enable the site owner to feature multiple offers or CTAs in less space. But do image sliders really work?
why sliders are bad.
The whole point of an image slider is to attract visitors to a product, service or offer and convert into a sale. As we know, sliders are everywhere so they must be good at their primary function, right?
Not so. In a study conducted by Erik Runyon at Notre Dame University it was found that only 1% of visitors clicked on slider content. And when they did, it was usually the first slide. Damning stuff.
Sliders look like adverts. Site visitors don’t like adverts, in addition, as soon as a site visitor perceives website content as an ad, they ignore it.
Too Much Information
Image sliders cause confusion, they constantly force the user to switch the focus of their attention. Visitors tend not to like this.
Also, this usability study by the Neilson Norman group found that image carousels caused unnecessary issues for international users as well as those with low literacy or motor skill levels.
A great many image sliders just don’t scale well. Images get badly cropped, enlarged or misaligned across different devices.
Considering the majority of web traffic now comes from mobile, it’s essential your content looks good even on the smallest screens.
One thing sliders do really well, is push your content down beneath the fold of the page. Once again, Google frowns on this. Why hide your beautifully written content for the sake of content that doesn’t do it’s job?
At best, sliders are worthless for SEO purposes. At worst, they impact negatively. Aside from not converting leads, your slider could be harming your rankings.
but don’t just take my word for it.
Avinash Kaushik, Google
“Sliders please the owner of the site, but they deliver little to no value to the customers.”
so should i use a slider?
In conclusion, I’d recommend against using image sliders on your website. In my own split testing, my website performed noticeably better as soon as I binned the sliders.
My site loads faster, isn’t distracting and gets to the point straight away. Getting rid of sliders has also helped to improve my rankings in a short time.
So if you’re wondering what to use instead of a slider, Peep Laja, owner of Markitect and ConversionXL has this to say, “It’s extremely rare to see sliders work. You’re better off using static images and copy.”
Now, who would have thought that the best solution was also the simplest?