It seems that website sliders are everywhere. Open up the homepage of a modern website or try to buy a new WordPress theme that doesn’t include sliders and you may have trouble. There’s one major problem though. Sliders, or carousels, are NOT effective. If your law firm’s website features a slider, or you are looking at building a new website, here are 5 reasons to reconsider this feature.
5 Reasons Why You Need to Ditch Your Website Slider
1. Sliders are Distracting
When a user lands on your website, an automatically moving slider is distracting and unnecessary. Our eyes are wired to detect movement, a vestige of humankind’s early days in the wild and being able to see predators early on was life-saving. Now that we are ensconced in houses with fancy laptops, any movement is distracting. When we see movement on the screen, such as a popups, sliders, and automated graphics, it detracts from the overall experience instead of adding to it.
If your slider is photos, it distracts users from reading your content and can cause them to close the website. If your slider features ads, having multiple ads is less effective than having one. Choosing one allows users to focus on one featured ad, instead of trying to read multiple slides as the carousel changes automatically (not giving them a chance to fully read each ad). Hands down, sliders bring UX down.
2. Sliders Lower Your SEO
A featured slide takes up a lot of space on your homepage. This is valuable real estate on your website! The distracting slider requires a lot of space for a feature that only 0.22% of users click on. Instead of wasting space on the slider, you could move your valuable content and CTA higher on the page.
If your law firm website features a slider, it’s possible that most of your content is pushed down below the fold. Google has stated, since 2012, that pushing down content is harmful for SEO. When users search for something and click on a website, they are frustrated when the content is not readily available. Having to scroll past a slider lowers UX and Google may penalize accordingly.
Many sliders feature a different H1 tag for each image. This is confusing for the user and lowers the effectiveness of your keywords. Changing the H1 tag with an automatic carousel is harmful for SEO efforts.
3. Sliders are bad for Mobile
Web designers use desktops to create websites. What looks great on a desktop may not translate to mobile. In 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was on mobile phones, and that number is expected to continue to climb. If your website is not responsive in mobile, you are losing potential clients before they get a chance to even look at your site. Sliders can have a big impact on site performance. They can delay speed so the site takes too long to load. Mobile users frequently bounce from websites that take too long to load on their screen.
Sliders are also prone to breaking in mobile, so the images do not appear correctly. A broken feature on your homepage makes the site appear unprofessional and can be a deterrent for users.
Lastly, a slider is going to appear differently on a mobile phone than a desktop. If a user has to scroll past image after image to get to the content they are looking for, they may end up frustrated and leaving the site before they even get to your CTA.
4. Sliders Aren’t Accessible
Every website should be as accessible as possible for all users. Sliders are notoriously difficult for screen reading software and other adaptive technologies. It is difficult, if not impossible, to make sliders accessible. They are so frustrating that a longtime advocate for accessibility created this website shouldiuseacarousel.com to showcase the frustration and distraction sliders cause.
5. Sliders Don’t Convert
The main reason your law firm shouldn’t have a slider on your website? They do not convert! All the factors we’ve talked about effect user experience, and ultimately whether users follow through on your call to action. If a slider causes a user to leave your website — due to distraction, frustration, broken features, etc — then they never have the chance to complete your CTA.
The point of your website is to get potential clients to call your firm or fill out an online inquiry form. Sliders not only don’t add anything positive to your website to prompt users to action, they negatively impact user experience and SEO.
Your law firm website does not need a slider. There are other ways to engage users that will increase user experience and SEO efforts. High-resolution images and relevant content continue to provide a better website experience than automatic carousels. If your law firm needs assistance creating a professional, engaging website without using sliders, contact Conroy Creative Counsel.