As a contractor your website is more than just a virtual calling card for your business. It's an incredible opportunity to both attract someone's attention and create a positive first impression in a matter of seconds. Right now, your site is likely filled with images of projects that you've completed in the past—ones that you're incredibly proud of. Your website is an opportunity to show them off in a way that both establishes yourself as an authority and that allows prospective new clients to see how you may be the partner they've been looking for on their next big job.
At some point, you've probably considered showcasing a lot of those images as a slider on the homepage of your website. You may even be doing that right now. Sliders are a very popular design trend that essentially allows you to place a slideshow anywhere on your website. If you have professional photos of 10 different jobs you've worked on, suddenly you have a revolving carousel of compelling images that bring your portfolio to life for people, all without them having to actually do anything.
And, not to put too fine a point on it, you should get rid of it. As quickly as you're able to.
Sliders absolutely belong in the "it seemed like a good idea at the time" file because, while they are inherently attractive, they're actually not nearly as effective as people originally thought they would be. In fact, there are a number of compelling reasons why you should get rid of that slider on your contracting website sooner rather than later.
Sliders Over-Complicate Your Message
As a business owner, your ability to both stand out from your competitors and strike a chord with your potential customers depends on your ability to streamline your message as much as possible. Especially when someone is landing on your page for the first time, you need to quickly convey a few key pieces of information:
- What you do.Who you do it for.How you do it differently from everyone else.
But instead of simplifying your contracting business' messaging, sliders over-complicate things to a frustrating degree by promoting multiple things at the same time in rapid succession. Many people won’t even take the time to sit through all your slides. For those that do, it dilutes the heart of what you need to say in favor of flashy images that themselves don't tell the complete story that people need to hear. People may see the images, but the message will be ignored. Either way, your message is not getting through. When you are trying to stand out from the crowd, you only have a few seconds to do it.
Sliders Are Inherently Distracting
Another one of the major reasons why you should get rid of that slider from your contracting website is because they're nothing if not hugely distracting. When someone visits your page for the first time, the slider loads and starts rifling through images right away. The human brain is literally wired to detect movement, so that will absolutely be the first thing someone sees.
This means they're paying less attention to the actual words on your page, which again reinforce that core message. It means that they might have trouble figuring out which page they're looking for, leading to all sorts of different user experience issues. Remember that if someone can't quickly find what they're looking for on your website, all you're giving them is an opportunity to scroll up and click that "Back" button on their browser. At that point they're probably never coming back.
Sliders Are Horrible for Mobile Functionality
Speaking of user experience issues, sliders are also a major problem on smartphones, tablets, and just about any device with a touchscreen interface. Remember that as of 2019, roughly 37% of Americans now go online "mostly" using a smartphone—and that is a trend that shows absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon. That slider may look incredible on a fast desktop computer with a 27-inch 4K monitor, but on an iPhone it leaves a lot to be desired—especially as far as functionality is concerned.
Plus, sliders are often the No. 1 culprit in terms of slow loading speeds—another factor that will impact usability on mobile devices. Even a slider with just five full-quality images can impact your site's loading time dramatically, and, once you understand that about 53% of mobile users say they'll totally abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load, it's easy to see why you're not getting nearly as much as you thought you were from this particular technique.
Sliders Are Definitely Hurting Your SEO
Finally, sliders are absolutely hurting your SEO efforts during a time when you need to be reinforcing your search engine rankings as much as possible. The issue is that sliders take up a lot of room, to the point where they naturally push text-based content further down the page.
As of 2012, Google has expressly stated that pushing down content is harmful for SEO because it makes it difficult for users to find the information they're looking for.
So from that perspective, a slider won't just irritate your users—it may get you penalized by Google, too.
All of this is to say that even though sliders may look appealing on some level, they are absolutely not worth the trouble for your contracting business. As always, you should be focusing on providing high-quality, relevant content that offers something of value to the people who visit your domain. You should also be focused on creating it as often as you can.
If you're able to get to that point, things like SEO will no longer be a concern because they'll more or less take care of themselves. You can still include a full-quality gallery of all of those images of past projects that you're incredibly proud of to establish yourself as a true leader in your industry ...
Just make sure that you put them on their own dedicated "our portfolio" page where they belong.