Not those sliders! Website Sliders. We’ve all seen them. If you are a designer, more than likely you have used them; probably more than a few times. Clients love them. Designer’s opinions are somewhat split. SEO experts, analysts and web back-end developers loathe the thought. So why use sliders?
Sliders are featured sets of text and image, placed at prominent locations on the website. Many are place at the top of the home page and utilize prime space above the fold area. From a designer’s perspective, sliders can enhance the overall feel of the website as well as setting the tone for the content within.
However, the artsy, colorful and well conceived image or content sliders can also perform opposite of its intent; harming engagement, performance, conversions and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Distractions – Studies by researcher’s show that user’s attention may be so focused on the images to the extent that they glass over the important content. The statistics show that 84% of the visitors remained on content displayed on the first slide if the slider is not automatically refreshed. This was the result of a study conducted by Erik Kunyon for the University of Notre Dame’s website.
Poor Loading – Even though load times have recently improve significantly. Images are heavy. More images equate to longer load time. This will affect the user experience and the website’s overall performance.
Poor Conversion – Many experts say that the use of image sliders lead to poor conversion. Many people fail to click on the slider, even though they may see it. A study conducted showed that visitors to a website failed to notice what is written on individual slides. And, yes, even if they are written in bold letters and an increase font size.
SEO – Standard SEO rules state that there should be one H1 tag per page and it should appear before any other tag. When a slider is used on a page, there would be as many H1 tags as the images; so every time a slide changes, the H1 tag would change. This would disturb the keyword distribution mechanism and thus, this affects the SEO.
And yet, image and content sliders moves forward. Experts give advice to avoid sliders if possible. If you are required to use sliders in your design. Use engaging, interesting and attractive content that is able to capture and hold the attention of your audience as long as possible. Do not put too much content and features on your slides. Try not to use more than three frames in any presentation.