A lot of people who can’t grasp online marketing, landing page optimisation and conversion optimisation will often ask for amazing, full width, high-quality home page sliders showcasing one thing or another.
They will say they met a bloke down the pub who thinks its a great idea or they have seen another site and it “looks nice”.
So let’s suck you back into reality and give you 4 reasons why Home Page sliders suck.
1. Website sliders slow down your web page
A full width 1920 x 1080 home slider, even I will admit, looks “pretty”, but the underlying negative effect it has on the load speed of your page is very significant.
Google’s preferred page size limit of a page is 1MB, so an unoptimised 1920 x 1080 jpeg image will come in at anywhere between 1-2MB which is already above the recommended 1MB limit.
Even if you run the image through photoshop’s fantastic image optimiser at 50%, the 1920 x 1080 will still come in at 150 – 200kb, so whilst that’s a good reduction in file size if you add say 5 sliders, then you are over the 1MB limit again.
2. You cannot lazy load home page sliders
If your home page slider is above the fold, after all, that’s where you want people to see it, then the slider assets need to download everything before the page will appear to the end-user.
Lazy load only works for “off-screen” images, so if your home page slider is above the fold, ie the first thing people see when they hit your home page, then lazy load cant kick in.
3. Visitors don’t hang around for a slide show
People come to your site for one purpose and that’s to view/buy your products so as soon as they hit your site, they are not waiting for all the pretty images to load and then scroll through each slider image one by one until they get to the end.
Visitors come to your site and either find what they want through the top navigation or scroll down the page to find the information they are looking for.
The only people that love home page sliders are website owners that have home page sliders and giggle with glee when they see their beautiful but defunct and pointless sliders.
4. Multiple calls to action confuse the visitors
Your goal with online marketing is[should be] to get someone to come to your site and commit to a specific action.
So if you have a home page slider with 3 slides, each slide has a different call to action, the user’s attention is split between the calls to action and the action time is increased causing the user to pause.
This pause can result in a decrease in conversions.
So, what’s a solution?
If you indeed want to make a visual impact on your home page when visitors land there, then, by all means, put up a 1920 x 1080 image optimised to a low file size related to your industry or products.
This will give the immediate “wow” impression to the visitor if that’s what you are looking for.
Put a single call to action on that image.
The visitor will then either use that call to action or they will find what they want on your navigation menu or scroll down.
Below is our own home page which is not a slider but a visual reference to what our business does and we offer a clear CTA along with other options.
We have other items on our home page but this is highly optimised for SEO and works.
Another example is the one below which gives the visitor the option to jump to properties directly.
Simple, yet visually effective.