Tips and advice, Websites

It’s just a slider

I am going to keep this blog post short and sweet this week as the whole point of slider text is to grab people’s attention and to get them to delve further into your website.

Just to clarify, many websites, on the homepage, have a series of banner images or photos which either change automatically after a few seconds or when an arrow is clicked.

They are a great way of grabbing people’s attention and are actually a really important part of your website if you have one, because they show ‘above the fold’. This means they appear on a laptop, tablet and even a phone screen without your website visitor having to scroll down. This means the imagery and copy work can work well for keeping website visitors, reducing bounce rate and getting people to find out more about your business – when it is composed well!

The reason I wanted to blog about the content contained on sliders and give some tips for improving them is because I see so many that use very generic text and also a lot of stock imagery. Make your website slider stand out by following these five tips.

1) Keep it short and snappy

Keep the text short. If your formatting allows, include a title and a subtitle, but don’t write too much as most sliders are meant to change very frequently, within a few seconds, and so only include what is possible to read in the time before the slider changes image.

Don’t be afraid to include very “salesy” copy here. The words need to pitch your business. They need to sell your products and services. They need to illustrate your experience. They need to highlight your unique selling points. This is a great place for slogans and tag lines too.

2) Cover your whole business

As I have said before, your website is the equivalent of your shop window. It is a way to show off the absolute highlights of what you offer. Although you don’t want 20 different images on your slider, four or five is absolutely fine.

Think about what you can include on the different slider images to really illustrate the breadth of your business. Consider what you already have in your main navigation menu (which can also often be seen ‘above the fold’) and anything else you have in a header and whether it is important enough to repeat or whether you can use the slider to illustrate further areas.

3) Draw your visitors in

It is common to use terms like ‘About’, ‘Services’ and ‘Contact’ in your main menu along the top of your website (as seen on a desktop view). Whilst I like unique menu headings, I also can see the advantage of using common terms that people are familiar with. However, your slider is where you can be more unique and creative.

It is important to be engaging and to draw your visitors to click on something in your slider to explore more areas of your website. A lot of sliders have the functionality to add a button or hyperlink so think about using a ‘call to action’, such as “Find out more”; “Learn more” or even “Contact us” or “Book now”.

4) Choose your imagery with care

Pick images which stand out, go together and match your brand

I see so much stock imagery on sliders. I appreciate that it is not always possible to include photos of your business, but think carefully about the images you are going to use. If you are going to use stock imagery think about how well the different four/five go together. Consider the mix of gender and diversity if you have pictures of people. Think about images which suit your brand. If you use images from free stock sites, be aware that these are used by 1000s of people everyday, so don’t pick the first one you see. Be selective.

5) Update regularly

Your website need to be kept fresh and updating your slider information is really important. I always recommend a regular ‘spring clean’!

Consider how you are going to do this. Perhaps single out particular services and feature them on rotation, add your latest blog post or include something seasonal.

Update the words and the pictures.

First impressions count

Seriously, people judge a book by its cover! First impressions count and your slider will be one of the first things people see when they discover your business via your website. Make it work hard for you and really grab your website visitors’ attention.

If you want help writing some attention grabbing copy for your website slider, get in touch with me – kate@thecontentconsultancy.com

Photo credit: Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash

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