You want your vet practice’s website to be the best it can be, with an attractive design, clean layout, and robust SEO. You want it to include attention-grabbing features; things that capture users and keep them on your website. An image slider, sometimes called a carousel, is an element that many websites utilize on their homepage. The slider cycles through a handful of images (often including snippets of copy), each slide promoting something different. On the surface, you might think this will give your website an edge over the competition, but that simply isn’t true.
In the following sections, we explain some of the more significant problems with image sliders and why we recommend against having them on your website.
4 Ways Image Sliders Can Harm Your Website
Image sliders are pointless at best, but at worst, they can put a dent in your website’s conversions and actually decrease the site’s overall performance. Here are some of the ways this can happen:
Sliders Create a Distraction
It’s common knowledge that when browsing online, the human attention span dwindles down to just a few seconds. It’s important to keep your viewers focused on your website, and interested in navigating further. One of the problems posed by image sliders is that they are distracting. The movement as one slide switches to another grabs the user’s attention, diverting them from their original purpose. This may only take a second, but sometimes a second is all that’s needed to nudge the user’s journey off course.
They’re a Detriment to Your SEO
SEO is a major driver of your practice’s success. It increases your website’s visibility in Google Search, which helps nearby pet owners find your practice.
Image sliders can take away from your SEO by:
- Making your website load more slowly
- Creating obstacles that hinder Google when it crawls your website
- Taking up space that could be used for keyword-rich copy
- Affecting the overall functionality of your website
Image sliders are not as functional on mobile devices
The more mobile-friendly your website is, the better it will perform. A majority of the people visiting your site are accessing it via their smart phone, and the presence of an image slider could hinder their experience.
Important copy is being pushed further down the page
Image sliders take up critical real estate that should be dedicated to helping you rank in Google Search and capture more clients. Calls-to-action and high-value keywords need to be included above the fold to help with this, as many people who land on your homepage will not scroll further.
The beauty of the Internet is that more often than not, people can decide what to look at and what to ignore. Sliders infringe on this ability, which can be annoying and uncomfortable for the user.
They Take Control Away from the User
Animated image sliders are somewhat similar to auto-play videos in that they function independently of the user, taking away their ability to fully control their website experience. The beauty of the Internet is that more often than not, people can decide what to look at and what to ignore. Sliders infringe on this ability, which can be annoying and uncomfortable for the user.
They’ll Probably Be Ignored
Internet ads are a pain and more often than not, you’re going to ignore them every chance you get. The problem with image sliders is that they can sometimes look like ads themselves, which means a lot of people are going to ignore them.
Along with being mistaken for an ad, your slider could also be cycling from one slide to the next way too fast. If someone does stop to read one of the slides and it suddenly changes to the next slide before they’ve finished reading, they’ll get annoyed and scroll or click away.
There is data to support the assertion that image sliders get ignored most of the time. A study from 2013 found that just a little over 1% of web users were clicking on sliders, and most of that number only clicked the first slide of the bunch. The Nielsen Norman Group also found that sliders (called “auto-forwarding carousels” in the article) were annoying to users and causing banner blindness.
How to Create a Better Experience on Your Website WITHOUT Sliders
An image slider will not make your website perform better. If anything, it will make your website perform worse, costing you conversions, patients, and revenue.
Below are a handful of crucial tips for improving your website’s performance and user experience:
- First ask yourself, “What are my conversion goals? What am I trying to accomplish with this website?” Your site should be built to answer these questions.
- Use high-quality static images only.
- Include important keywords in your page copy above the fold.
- Make sure your contact information and call-to-action are prominent in the header.
- Lead with optimized, well-written copy.
- Use complimentary colors to make calls-to-action stand out better.
No Image Sliders Here—Why InTouch is Your Go-To for Incredible Web Design
At InTouch, your success is our priority. Image sliders have no bearing on your success, and therefore have no place on your website. Our website designers and developers use the latest and best practices to build websites that engage, convert, and look great all at the same time.
Learn more about what we can do for your website.