Are Homepage Sliders Effective?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

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Sliders are popular additions to homepages as they help in the sharing of products and services with visitors in a seemingly convenient way. Sliders make it easy for visitors to see in quick succession what your business has to offer. While it may seem as though sliders are effective in grabbing attention and increasing sales, it can have the opposite result. The following explains why homepage sliders aren’t effective and why they should be avoided:

Usability Issues

The usability of your website makes a big difference to whether your company will succeed in generating sales or not. As mentioned, it may seem like showing all of your products on your homepage in a carousel makes sense in bringing awareness to your visitors about all of your products. Unfortunately, it can have the exact opposite effect. If a visitor happens to see a product they’re interested in, chances are it has passed by before they can click on it, causing them to have to scroll through the carousel to find it again. Depending on how many slides there are, the visitor may get fed up and stop trying. Worse, they may leave your website altogether.

By using a homepage slider, you also run the risk of dividing your visitor’s attention and distracting them from what they originally came looking for. Imagine that someone visited your website with a purpose. They know exactly what they’re looking for and they know you offer it. Once they arrive at your homepage, they are inundated by more options that confuse and overwhelm them. In a situation like this, they may end up leaving without making a purchase.

SEO Impacts

A homepage that has image sliders is naturally going to take more time to load than one that doesn’t. This will not only impact usability for visitors who don’t have time to wait for the page to load, but also your SEO efforts. Search engines want to promote websites that offer good usability. This will result in losing traffic either through visitors leaving because they give up or through not being exposed to your website via the search engines.

Sliders also make your text content less visible to visitors as it will be pushed farther down the page. This is not good for SEO. Content that is placed below the fold will undo any SEO efforts you’ve made up to this point. If you opt for sliders over any content or even shallow content, your SEO will suffer because content is required for keywords. The result? Your search engine results won’t be as high as you need them to be in order to be found by users.

Banner Blindness

Sliders can appear a lot like banners or advertisements. When trying to get the attention of visitors, this is actually a bad tactic. Most users automatically ignore anything that looks like an advertisement when visiting a website. While they are meant to grab users’ attention, they’ve become so commonplace that they have the exact opposite result. If visitors come to your website with something they are looking for specifically, they may intentionally ignore your slider and search for what they want instead.

As you can see, whether visitors to your website view your homepage slider or decide to ignore it completely, the result seems to be the same: your slider doesn’t get the attention you hoped it would. It will either overwhelm the visitor who leaves without making a purchase or it is ignored completely by a visitor who knows what they want and won’t be stopped.


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