When someone clicks on your URL, he will end up on your website’s Home page. The first 6 seconds after a visitor lands on your Home page is crucial. In that space of time, he will decide on whether to explore your content or click out.
Of course, you want him to stay. The longer the time spent on your website, the better the chances of achieving your goal. He could read your blogs, find out more about your business on the About Us page, or check out the list of products available on your e-commerce portal.
The question is: How can you make the visitor stay longer and generate more website engagement?
One simple hack to get more website engagement is to add a slider to your Home page.
What Is A Slider?
It’s sometimes referred to as a “carousel” or a “slideshow” because a slider is in a constant state of motion. A slider runs a series of images that give the visitor an idea of what the website is about.
Images that are well-conceptualized and thought-out are effective vehicles for your message. Visuals, whether static images or videos resonate faster to the viewer compared to text.
For this reason, a slider is located at the Home page which is the primary landing page of your website.
To find out more about a slider, read our article “Why a Slider Image on Your Website is More Important Than Your Logo”.
What Kind Of Slider Would Deliver Best Results For Your Website?
Visit any website with a slider and you’ll see different ways in which it’s used on the Home page.
On an e-commerce website, a slider is used to present a number of its most popular products. Click on a real estate website and you’ll see the houses that the agency is offering on the market.
A business that deals in a service such as consulting may have testimonial videos on the carousel.
At Mountaintop, we recommend the use of a slider on the Home page. It will definitely capture the attention of the visitor and get him to stay on your website longer.
We have done different types of slides for our clients. Based on analytics, the slider has definitely helped our clients achieve their marketing goals.
However, there is one type of slider that works better than others.
Our One Simple Hack To Get More Website Engagement
To get the best results and generate more active visitor engagement, your website should only use one image for its slider.
You can easily get over-excited with the idea of running a carousel that features a lot, if not all, of your top-selling products. The more the merrier, right?
Not when it comes to website functionality and marketing purposes.
Clients often give us a puzzled look when we advise them that one image on the slider is all they need to generate greater website engagement. We understand their viewpoint because they have different products to offer.
However, based on our experience and on the performances of clients who followed our advice, one slider is all you need.
Why does one slider work the best for your website?
1. Multiple Slider Images Will Slow Down Your Website
High-resolution images are more compelling and enticing to website visitors. However, high-resolution images consume a lot of bandwidth and will slow down your website.
Likewise, if you use large-sized, high-resolution images then scale them down, this can lead to the webpage increasing unnecessarily in size and slow down your website’s speed.
Rather than have 3 to 6 high-resolution images rotating on your slider, just have one high-resolution image. According to Yoast, website visitors tend to click on the first image only. Thus, having multiple images may not carry out their intended purpose.
2. Multiple Images Create Multiple Messages
The header plays a very crucial role in your website. It’s the first thing the visitor sees when he lands on your website.
The header is located at the top of the webpage. On your Home page, the header includes the logo and the categories of the pages on your site such as “About Us”, “Contact Us”, “Blogs”, and “Products and Services”.
But the key function of the header is to captivate the visitor with your website’s Brand Value Proposition. With only a few words, the BVP can tell the visitor who you are, what your business is about, and why you offer the best solutions to his problems.
A slider is an effective way of reinforcing the message of your BVP. As you know, how images are interpreted is a matter of perception. Thus, having multiple images can create multiple interpretations that deviate from the main message of your BVP.
At Mountaintop, we go over all the images with our clients and choose one image that best represents the business and captures the BVP on the header.
3. Multiple Sliders May Affect Your Site’s Search Rankings
From a professional web designer’s perspective, having multiple images on your slider can create havoc on the webpage.
The position of the slider and the amount of real estate the images occupy tend to push content further down the page. An image slider can be so big that it can occupy the entire space of your webpage.
A site visitor may not come across content until after the fold and this may lead to a no-so-pleasant experience. Likewise, image sliders may not set up well on mobile screens and affect its level of responsiveness.
As you well know, Google is big on user experience and if your site presents functionality problems, the search engine giant may penalize you in the search rankings.
4. Messaging Is Clearer And More Focused
We touched on the value of clear messaging briefly in #2 but we feel it’s important to devote a section about the key role your header plays on the website.
When you’re at the newsstand, what compels you to choose one newspaper over another? The headline, right? A headline that’s catchy and enticing enough to make you want to read through the entire newspaper will influence your choice of publication.
The decision-making process only takes mere seconds.
The same can be said about the header of your website. If you have an e-commerce website, your header should compel the visitor to buy your products. If you have a business website that offers consulting services, you want the header to entice the visitor to hire your company.
A person clicks on your URL because he thinks your website may offer the answers he needs. However, if all he sees on your Home page is a collection of text that has no meaning or relevance for his purpose on clicking on your URL, he will leave.
The header must offer the visitor something clear and tangible. What will the visitor get if he decides to choose your business? That is your BVP – clear, resonant, and will not cause the reader to second guess.
The slider can support your header – if the image is aligned with the message of the BVP.
For example, you own a bakery that sells freshly-baked Red Velvet cupcakes online. Your header has the following BVP:
“Order Now For the Best Oven-Fresh Red Velvet Cupcakes You’ll Ever Have.”
Now, if your slider ran images of cakes, croissants, pies, salads, and Club sandwiches along with the Red Velvet cupcakes, the site visitor may get confused and distracted from your message.
Will he buy your other products? Probably not because he clicked on your URL for your cupcakes.
The best approach would be to use one slider image – that of the signature Red Velvet cupcake – and offer a pullout menu for the other items you sell.
Despite the opinions of its naysayers, the slider is an effective addition to your website. Have it placed on the Home page to support the BVP on the header and watch your website’s engagement levels blow up!
The keys to the effectiveness of the slider are to use only one high-resolution image and to make sure the image is relevant and best represents your site’s BVP.
If you’re thinking of using a slider for your website, give us a call and we’ll give you more insights on how to make it work wonders for your business.
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