Wouldn't it be nice to tell everyone on the team that they've got a spot on the homepage? It seems like carousels are a good fit to fulfill that need. In reality? They have disastrous effects on your conversions. Before implementing one, have all the options been weighed? Has the customer been taken into consideration? What about SEO performance?
We've gathered some data from multiple sources, and added in our point of view, all in hope to help you understand that there are much better alternatives to carousels out there.
1. They Are Horrible For SEO Purposes
Do you want your website to be found easily by search queries? Do you want your visitors to find relevant content? Don't use carousels on your home page!
Using carousels on your home page can mean alternating headings, poor performance, and content replacement.
Headings allow a search engine to know what your page is about, to better deliver content to your user. What happens when they alternate? The search engine finds more than one H1 tag, and in turn reduces the impact of each keyword your visitors might be searching for.
Performance translates into page load time, and correlates directly with user experience. Carousels slow down your page load time significantly, adding time to load the page, destroying your user experience, and your search ranking as well.
Content is what is featured on your page. It helps the user know what they should expect from the web page, and allows them to easily digest your offer in order to assess the relevance to them. When that content alternates, it's a recipe for disaster.
2. They Kill Conversions
You want your visitors to convert to customers, and the best way to do that is with relevant content. Sometimes, you've got more than one buyer persona, and you want to reach them all!
There's one big problem with that. Carousels kill conversions!
Sliding pictures that show multiple offers are simply distracting your visitors! Why would you want to do that? How is the visitor supposed to find out the offer is right for them when it switches out after a certain period of time? What if they didn't get a chance to properly look at the content offer? Most people don't even bother looking at carousels, since they are looking for something specific, and will not wait for the right images to load.
3. Can They Pass The 5 Second Test?
It has been proven time and time again that users need to understand 3 key things within 5 seconds:
- Who you are
- What you offer
- Why we should care
As described on the Kill Conversion Killing Carousels Now page, users only spend about 5 seconds trying to answer the 3 key questions above. However, carousels are known to fail the 5 second test, and so users bounce right off the page and look somewhere else. Pay careful attention to how you are going to communicate those three things to your customer, and make sure they are understood within 5 seconds.
4. Click-Through Rates Are Less Than 1%
When it comes to carousel images on your website, you might think: "Great! More than one thing for my visitors to click on!" Unless you are being sarcastic, it might be time to check out some stats on Click-through rates for carousel images.
One source says CTR are less than 1%, The other says less than 0.1%. Which one is it? Does it really matter? If less than 1% of your visitors aren't clicking on the pictures, what good could they possibly do to achieve your goal?
In other words, if you've got 5 different coworkers wanting their content on the homepage, you aren't helping them achieve their goals by using a carousel. If you need help dealing with this, take a look at some of the alternative fixes to carousels and pesky demands.
5. Too Many Messages At Once
When you use a carousel image, you're creating a megaphone effect, which is like yelling to your users to look at the pretty pictures on your front page.
Most of the time, the content in the carousel doesn't actually interest them. Why distract them from what they want to find?
Even worst, too many messages can confuse the visitor, lead them to lose interest, and leave the page. All the carousel has done is distract and divert potential customers to other locations.
Put Yourself In Your Visitor's Shoes
- Imagine walking into a store, and in the first few seconds, someone yells information at you.
- You want to ask them a question, but before you have the chance, they yell completely different information at you.
- You try to digest this second piece of information, and before you even understand what's going on, a THIRD piece of information is yelled at you.
What do you do now? Most would just walk out the door. Is that what you want your website visitors to do?
Of course not! So get rid of useless carousels!
Want to know how to fix the problem?