Is Website Carousel A Bad Idea or A Good Idea?
Imagine a popular website marketing tool that converts at a mere 1%, slows website loading time, reduces SEO ranking, distracts visitors, raises the bounce rate, and that literally induces situational blindness in website users!
Some people think that carousels look nice and flashy.
Data shows, they’re a bad idea!
Homepage carousels may seem like they are getting the job done, but carousels actually have a pretty low conversion rate.
Nielsen’s usability study presented website users with some information in a carousel.
Even though it was on the most prominent slide on the web page, most of the website users did not notice it because of banner blindness. Most of them missed it; with only 1% finding the information.
Nielsen’s conclusion was that users ignore carousels.
Why Website Carousels Is A Bad Idea
Because they are so distracting, people who see them often develop banner blindness. Banner blindness is a subconscious tuning out of advertising content.
Website users are intent on achieving their goal which is to find some information they are looking for. They therefore will be focused on achieving their goal for visiting your website. This singular focus causes them to ignore ads.
Research conducted on sliders/carousels has confirmed that to most viewers, carousels – or sliders – are nothing but spammy advertising that they would rather skip.
The cause for this perception is the loud and inauthentic layouts and animation used on carousels, which looks a lot like banner ads.
Sliders make websites inaccessible
Accessibility is an important element of any modern website design project.
Websites with carousels are inaccessible for website users who are living with disabilities.
These websites will soon be in contravention of the American with Disabilities Act, which is being amended to accommodate elements of people with disabilities’ website user experience.
At the moment, carousels are generally not optimized to accommodate people with disabilities.
Sliders use small bullets or arrows to navigate the carousel. The bullets or arrows don’t have the best contrast with the background, making it difficult for visually impaired people to accurately navigate the web page.
Failing to comply with the requirement to deliver an equally accessible web user experience can potentially expose the website owner to prosecution.
Poor Click-Through Rates
Carousels are well known for having poor Click-through Rates (CRT). They lower your website conversion rate because people generally avoid responding to them.
According to a study conducted on the website of the University of Notre Dame, only 1% of people would click on something on a slider.
Carousels are not Optimized for Mobile
Today’s website users need fast loading websites that are optimized for mobile devices. Slow loading websites will have a much higher bounce rate and a lower SEO ranking. Higher site speeds are an integral part of a website user experience. If it takes more than two seconds for a website to load, then it is probably too slow.
Sliders – or carousel – slow down websites because they have several large images loading all at the same time.
These sliders become unreadable once the website is viewed from a smaller screen.
Carousels typically move so fast across the screen that website users don’t have enough time to decipher the writing, let alone understand it.
Carousels are Bad for SEO
Because carousels slow down your website, they have a negative impact on your SEO. Search engines like Google value page loading speed in their algorithms, and slow websites will appear further down on search engine results.
There is one more reason why carousels negatively impact your SEO ranking – they make your website less mobile friendly and search engines like Google don’t rank websites well when they are not responsive. Responsive websites rank better.
What to use Instead of a Carousel
Since carousel has a negative effect on user experience, web designers and business owners can consider alternatives that offer website visitors a more seamless and positive experience.
Use smart content to provide quality, personalized content for your website personas. Content created to cater for their interests and interactions with your website will delight the user.
One Single Offer
Avoid hitting your website visitor with too many messages, instead present one offer that should resonate from page to page.
A single message is more powerful than multiple messages and a single offer is better than multiple offers that will confuse most visitors.
In the same way that a single message is better than multiple messages, a single image is also better than multiple images.
A Better Way to Present Multiple Offers
A better way to share multiple offers with your audience would be to create different landing pages that users arrive at after clicking at a product or service that they’re interested in.
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