Many MSP websites and MSP marketing companies make the fatal business mistake of using a slider (carousel) on their homepage. While I disapprove, I do understand the logic behind it: a slider allows you to feature more content than you what you can fit in a static page, right?
Well, that is true. A lot of content can indeed be stuffed into a slider. But more content is not what the average visitor is looking for, at least not in the very first thing they see on a site. A shifting whirlwind of different images and pieces of text is too confusing and unclear to pique anyone’s interest. Sliders are often ignored, while clean and static designs are proven to be much more effective at grabbing a visitor’s attention.
If that’s not enough to get you to stop using sliders, I’ve got 3 more reasons that will convince you:
Reason #1: Waste of Prime Real Estate
There is no single part of your website more important than the first fold, which is the first thing a visitor sees when they go to your website, the homepage without scrolling down. It’s your chance to make a good first impression and convince the visitor to delve deeper into your site instead of dragging their cursor up and left to the back button.
The University of Notre Dame provides valuable insight as to just how ineffective sliders are. Norte Dame tracked their website’s activity for a 6-month period in 2013, and they found that of their 3.8 million visitors over that span, only 1% actually clicked on any of their slider images.
It makes no sense to fill up your first fold with something that an overwhelming majority of users are going to ignore. It’s like having a banner ad, except that you’re not getting paid for it.
Also, sliders, with all their high-res images and animation, will make your site take longer to load. Many visitors out there will become impatient and leave, especially if they’re dealing with a less than stellar internet connection. Featuring a slider on your homepage invariably results in more bounces from your site.
Take a look at NFL.com. This is a site brimming with content, but instead of a slider it chooses to showcase a single, particularly relevant piece to catch the visitor’s interest. The site loads and you’re presented with a blown-up picture of Adrian Peterson and learn a U.S. District Judge has overturned his suspension from the NFL… that topical story draws you in, and before you know it an hour has passed and you’re still on the site, reading in detail about the draft needs for each of the 32 teams.
That’s how you do it, folks.
Reason #2: Not Mobile-Friendly
More than half of all web usage is now conducted on mobile devices, and that figure is only going up. The obvious logic follows that if your site is not mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a huge demographic.
Sliders are not mobile-friendly. We already went over how they make it harder to load your website on a desktop or laptop, and this is an even bigger problem with the less powerful processer of a smartphone or tablet.
The small screen of a smartphone also destroys whatever slim aesthetic appeal a slider may have. Sprawling slider images that impressed on a desktop are shrunk down and reduced to abstract smudges on a smartphone, and text that was already small is now too small to even read.
Reason #3: Never the Right Speed
Another annoying feature of sliders is that they never seem to be set at the right speed. Many sliders move too fast and the captions can’t be read before the next image and caption slides in and interrupts. It’s frustrating enough to make many visitors leave your site immediately.
This problem is not always solved with a slow slider. In that case, if a visitor does get drawn in at first, they often think the slider is a static image. They move their cursor over and just before they click it switches up on them like a cruel joke, a twenty dollar bill rigged with invisible-thin fishing line that gets yanked away when they bend over and reach down to pick it up.
It’s a little like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: one slider is too fast, one slider is too slow… but there is no third bear to be found with a slider that scrolls just right.
The bottom line is that sliders make it harder to convert visitors into clients. A simple and bold static homepage design will make the most out of the visitors you’re able to attract to your site.
Looking for an amazing MSP website that draws in new business opportunities? Reach Out to Ulistic at 716.799.1999 x101 or by email at email@example.com.
Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL and Fort Erie, ON-based Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.