Sliders are generally poorly implemented by website owners in that they tend to be unfocused and lose track of what they want the user to do with them. Let’s imagine some best practices for a slider above the fold on a web page marketing a product or service:
- All the slides should be focused on the same core idea (like selling your service), but how often do you see a mishmash of different ideas being thrown at the user (latest blog post | recent products | like us on FaceBook).
- Auto-starting your slideshow works well to advertise the various aspects of your product or service. If you don’t have this level of focus in your slideshow, I would advise not to auto-start your slideshow as it will annoy visitors.
- Lazy load your slider images (only load them when the user requests them). If you have a 10 image slider and your plugin preloads all the images that going to effect your landing page’s load time and make some users bail before the page fully loads.
Make Your CTA Stand Out in Your Slider
Sliders can be great to stimulate engagement with your viewer, but just make sure that when your slides change your main call-to-action stays in place and anchors your message. Take for example two versions of Soliloquy.com’s homepage:
The different slides create engagement with the user but always present is the call to action button ready and waiting for when the visitor is finally ready to purchase. It just reinforces the notion that you have to have your visitors end result in mind: what do you want them to do? Look at what Amazon does for their “related items” slider:
There’s arrow bars on each side encouraging users to click and explore more items. You can bet plenty of research went into that design decision and it’s something you should use on your own site (it’s technically called “overflowing”, where you hint to the user that there’s more content and that they need to push a button to see it).
Should You Use a Slider on Your Product Landing Page?
Slider’s seem to make sense for a company that wants to draw attention to various product features. There is however increasing data that suggests that people are annoyed by sliders and skip over them without even interacting with them. You don’t want to throw up an element on your landing page just to have visitors skip right over it. The best thing to do is to test how often people page through your slider and make it to the end. A-B test that versus a traditional long-form landing page where your pictures form a longer vertical scroll (use something like CrazyEgg’s scroll map test to find where user engagement is dropping off).