While marketing analytics typically conjure up thoughts of website traffic or social followings, the truth is analytics can be used to not only measure what has been or is currently going on, but also measure trends. This is an even more valuable set of data since it allows you to realize things you should be doing, and just as importantly, those you should not.
Remember when flip phones were cool? Then, someone started analyzing the excruciating amount of time it took for the flip to take place, and data revealed phones could be used soooo much faster by eliminating the flip part. A sad day, for sure. Well, we hate to break it to you, but another trend that continues to pump out all sorts of negative data is likely going to bum you out just as much: Those pretty sliders – also referred to as carousels – on your homepage might look great and allow you to share multiple messages, but they come with a host of damaging consequences.
For starters, sliders and SEO do not mix. Like oil and water or a blind date that goes horribly bad, sliders just don’t get along with search engine optimization. They notoriously slow your site’s loading time down and don’t work well on mobile – two strikes against a user-friendly experience as well as two solid SEO no-nos.
In addition, when you have carousels at the top of your home page, relevant content gets pushed down, making it not only harder for visitors to find, but also search engines whose algorithms are programmed for finding content above the fold.
The result? Poor search rankings and worse, a decrease in conversions. Sliders on your site are actually working against your goals!
Sure it can be tough to prioritize your messaging, but if you can’t focus on what’s most important to say, you cannot expect your visitors to focus on anything either! In fact, analytics have revealed that many people are confused by the multiple messages sliders send, and often don’t stick around long enough to see more than one anyway. Only 1% of people actually click on a slider and it’s almost always the first one. That means if the first message on your carousel doesn’t resonate with a visitor, guess what? Poof! They disappear as fast as the trend of actually using your phone to talk.
In addition, data has shown that many people simply skip over sliders because they assume they are banner advertisements. Some studies have even concluded that carousel messaging can trigger a modern-day condition known as “banner blindness” – seriously, it’s a thing! It’s when people become programmed to unconsciously and automatically just ignore sliders. (Common symptoms include apathy, confusion, leaving a site quickly, and negative feelings toward brands.)
Just say no!
The cold hard truth is analytics provide us will all sorts of information, but not all of it is stuff we want to hear. We love a good slider just as much as the next guy, but data continues to show the adverse effect sliders have not only on visitors to your site, but the ability for those people to find you in the first place. So what now?
Well, the good news is, there are a few options other than simply eliminating your beloved slider like you did your flip phone years ago. For instance, we altered our slider to randomly load with a different static visual and message each time someone visits the site. Instead of automatically rotating, an arrow allows visitors to click to the next message if they want to – people, as it turns out, like having control.
And if you just can’t part with your carousel, sticking to 2 or 3 messages tops has shown to be less detrimental to your SEO.
You never know, maybe someday the slider trend will be cool again. No one would have guessed acid wash jeans would make a comeback, right? But until analytics prove otherwise, if your website uses sliders, it’s time for an intervention. Give us a call. We’ll help you say goodbye to, or at least decrease the negative effects sliders have, and help you say hello to more conversions.