Website theme platforms such as https://themeforest.net/ have great themes that anyone can use to create a website with good conversion rates. Unfortunately, even with great themes, some web designers do not always know the best practices, and thus you are likely to find yourself with design aspects that kill your website’s conversions.
One of the top conversions killers that you are likely to come across in most websites is image slideshows found on the home page. Luckily, there are several alternatives that you can use, which will not only make your website appealing but also improve the conversion rates.
Why are Home Page Slideshows Bad for Conversion?
There are a number of reasons why some web designers use home page slideshows:
• They are visually appealing and are considered cool by some website owners and users
• They help to display more information in a smaller space
• The moving images can grab the users’ attention
However, despite these benefits, homepage slideshows can be huge conversions killers (http://torspark.com/why-carousels-destroy-your-conversion-rate/) due to their several drawbacks, which include:
• When the slideshows are moving, they “hide” important information that the brand wants to get across to the users
• User engagement can be problematic, as some people might find it boring or annoying when the images move, hiding the information they were reading. This is especially the case with auto-rotating slideshows, where the user has to wait through the whole slideshow to access the information again.
• Some users can mistake the slideshows for advertisements (due to the image movement) thus causing them to ignore them
• Slideshows are quite heavy, which can negatively impact the website’s performance, especially on mobile devices.
These drawbacks can affect your website’s conversion rates greatly, causing you to lose out on hundreds of potential customers. However, with the right alternatives, you can be able to improve the conversion, thus helping your brand to engage more with potential customers.
Alternatives to Homepage Slideshows
Instead of using sliders and killing your website’s conversion ratings, there are several other design features you can use to engage customers when they land on your home page and landing pages. Below is a look at these alternatives:
1. Static images
Static images are one of the best alternatives to homepage slideshows. The images can be stand-alone, or you can combine their visual appeal with overlays and text to send the brand message. And when the need arises, the overlays and text can be changed to match the desired brand message. Another advantage of using static images is that you can combine them with call-to-actions, thus increasing user engagement and improving your website’s conversion rates.
Static images are better than slideshows as they do not move about, and thus the brand message is not hidden. They are also smaller (memory size), and thus don’t negatively affect the website performance. On top of that, they are less distracting, which guarantees a better chance of user engagement.
A good example on the use of static images on the homepage is Netflix’s website (https://www.netflix.com) where there is a static image used in the page’s background, and which is accompanied by text message and a call-to-action button.
2. 3D graphics and effects
3D graphics and effects are another alternative to homepage slideshows and other visual conversions killers. The graphics and effects are visually appealing, which helps to catch the attention of the users. They also promote interactivity with the website and the brand – for example, most 3D graphics will require the user to move the cursor around in order to produce the effects. This interaction turns an otherwise boring task of browsing a website into a fun activity, which, in turn, helps the user to become interested in the brand.
On top of being visually appealing and engaging, 3D graphics can be combined with text information to put across the brand message. They are also smaller compared to slideshows, which helps to avoid performance issues.
A great example of the use of 3D graphics and images is the Albion Marketing Agency’s website (https://www.albion.one/). The homepage features simple but visually appealing 3D graphics, which move around as you move the cursor. Sure, it lists the main selling points of the agency but it does so without hiding important details on slide 2, 3 and 4 – which simply don’t exist.
3. Headings with a contact form
Contact forms are great design features for improving the conversion rates of your website. A contact form will grab the attention of the users, and lets them interact with your brand by introducing themselves. You can even increase their attention-grabbing and user-engagement ability by combining them with headers. The use of headers will also help to put across the brand message.
The act of filling a contact form keeps the user on your site long enough, thus increasing chances of successful conversion. They are also simple to use, which helps to make the site more user-friendly. On top of that, the information filled in by the users can help you vet potential customers for more engagement. Unlike headers and other home page conversions killers, contact forms have a simple and non-distracting design. They are also small, and thus do not cause any site performance issues.
A good example on the use of contact forms and headers is the theSkimm’s website (https://www.theskimm.com/) which features a simple homepage design with a conspicuous header, text information for the brand message, and a simple contact form requiring you to provide your email to sign up for Daily Skimm newsletters.
4. Video background
Video content is becoming quite popular, and it is proving to be better at grabbing the users’ attention than most other visual stimuli. When the video is playing, the user’s attention is focused only on the video, which helps to put the brand message across. On top of that, you can opt for video in the background, and combine it with overlays and text that holds the brand message.
What makes video a great alternative to homepage slideshow is that there is only one moving object, which helps to keep the distraction at a minimum. Also, videos, unlike sliders, are interactive, give the user more control – the user can pause, rewind, forward or stop the video at any time.
A good example of the use of video in the home page is the website for Fix Asphalt (https://www.fixasphalt.com/), an asphalt, concrete, and pavement solutions company based in Delaware, New Jersey. On the site’s home page, there is a video playing in the background, which is accompanied by headers and text (for the brand’s message) and call-to-action buttons for increased user engagement.
Slideshows are a conversion killer, many WordPress site designers and marketers know this – despite many of their client’s being ignorant of this fact – and are suffering from the lack of conversions generated on their homepages. This is especially the case if you are using automatic sliders. Luckily, you can undo the damage and improve your website’s conversion rates using the above alternatives.
As many attendees of WordPress conventions and seminars know, not only will these alternatives increase conversion, but they will also make your client’s sites more user-friendly and lead to more user engagement. We here call for a reduction in generic slideshows displayed in the most popular themes that can be bought online. Will this change in the coming years? Probably not.