Do you Really Need a Homepage Slider In Your Website?
A slideshow that contains both images and text is commonly known as a slider. They tend to force the user into navigating from a particular side to the other or have a timed movement from one slide onto the next. A homepage slider is used on websites.
Sliders are popularly used when displaying images. This is because they do not demand a click to view images but instead allow the audience to browse through designs or images.
People tend to get easily distracted when any long presentation is being made. This necessitates using PowerPoint presentations that use slides that demand attention from an audience.
They are to an extent visual aids. Sliders will, therefore, people to look at the site and make a decision in a suitable direction.
If the site needs to showcase any form of art that requires a portfolio, a slider comes in handy.
Why Use a Homepage Slider?
Using a homepage slider acts like an introduction to the rest of the content that is available on the site. It can be used to place emphasis on the key components of the website.
Videos can be placed on your homepage slider as they also help keep a visitor on the site.
Adding a functional and CTA will go further to promote conversion of the visitor from the images they are viewing that has caught their attention most.
When visitors that return to the site are high in number, dynamic content can be used on the slider to avoid having the page lose its attraction.
Static content on the slider can be gotten from the social media accounts that you use as they are well accommodated for visual content such as images and videos.
Software such as WordPress Slider Plugin and themes are able to assist in performing such functions on a WordPress Website.
There is an option of selecting an integrated slider that is accompanied by WordPress themes.
A homepage slider tends to occupy less space on a screen when compared to a gallery that displays images in the form of a grid.
Importance of a slider has been a topic that has been accompanied by constant debate. Some have taken to observing users and noted that they are not valued by users and are often ignored as the information they have is considered useless by many.
This has led to them being categorized as ineffective. Usability tests support this conclusion but they are devoid of data to support this.
Studies relating to slider usage have focused on particular areas such as; the rate of interaction with sliders and their overall effect on the conversion rate of a site.
Institution performed research has been done on a slider and it ended up with an extremely low click-through rate with those click-through rates being mostly limited to the first items that were placed in the rotation.
The study also did research tracking sliders of other sites with the results being in support of the first site that was reviewed.
Many others have carried out research on this area of study only to end up with similar results. In other cases, a study went an extra mile to show that there were more selections of a static image as compared to the slide that was present.
When it comes to certain websites, the static image was able to gain up to 3 times more clicks as compared to the slider.
There are examples of groups that have carried out research on the topic and below are their individual results:
University of York
This study showed that most of the clicks that were generated from the slider were gotten from the first image that was placed for rotation.
This research also generated the conclusion that a reduction in the number of slides resulted in more clicks of the slider.
This conclusion, however, went debated as the items used on the slide were different raising question of whether the increment was due to the altered images or the reduction in slide numbers.
This is a study that involved a number of e-commerce sites. The homepage of the site did not carry any slider but they were rather used on pages that had product detail such as the gallery.
Advancement on this sliders demanded a tap or swipe rather than choosing to move in a timed manner.
Interaction with the homepage slider improved in this case. Both the click of the slider and the selection of the subsequent images saw an increase.
This study showed that sliders could be of use and could prove more valuable in other areas of the site rather than the usual homepage.
Knowing the click rate is important but conversions are even more so. An A/B test can help with this.
An A/B test will negate other variables and show a version that carries a slider to half of the new visitors to the site.
On the second version, a homepage slider will not be in the other half. The test will then calculate conversion and online revenue from both versions before conducting a comparison.
Most who've used this test are reluctant to release their results but they've gone ahead to indicate that sliders are a poor representation of content on the homepage.
it has been further suggested that sliders are distractions that direct a user further from the important content.
Additional studies showed that there was an increase in clicks and conversions whenever the slide was removed from the page to be replaced by static image or not.
Others have been of the view that despite the disadvantages that accompany the use of sliders, properly used ones are able to improve a site’s results. There is data to support this view.
A comparison was done on a number of websites to compare the results from the use of static images against the results from slider use.
a shocking discovery, only a single site with static images was able to significantly rank better than those using a slider.
The rest had results that were almost equal. The results led to the creation of a slider for a page based on what they'd seen from the sites used for the study.
The created page was able to perform better than sites with static images. To find out the tips and guidelines that were used to optimize the homepage slider consult Lander online.
To determine what works best, it is important to try out a number of versions in relation to the set objectives set. Analytics can be set up to do the testing for the site whenever an A/B test cannot be done.
While using the slider;
1. Ensure the image with the highest performance is placed first. Many do not get to the second.
2. Provide adequate time for every item of the slide to allow viewing satisfaction.
3. For transitions, a soft fade is better when compared to animated horizontal slides that end up being distracting.
4. Ease the navigation. Have arrows that indicate ‘next’ and ‘previous’.
5. Use appropriate content for the slide. A slide is best suited to narrate, build a brand or support a particular concept.
Homepage sliders can prove quite useful. One should, therefore, conduct a test to see if it improves on a site or if changes are necessary.