Here’s a common conversation I have with clients when doing their online strategy and writing their website copy:
Me: What do you want your homepage to do for you?
Client: My web guy just put up this slider thing and it’s really cool. I’m going to get a designer to make some pretty slides.
Me: STOP. RIGHT. THERE. What’s the ONE thing you want your visitors to do when they land on your homepage?
Client: Sign up for my email list.
Me: So if the slider is switching images every two seconds showing different things your visitors can do how are they going to know to sign up for your list?
I know, I’m such a killjoy. Rain on people’s parade.
But you know I don’t sugarcoat sh*t. If something isn’t the best solution for you, you bet I’ll tell you just that.
If you think your homepage slider is pretty and makes you look cool, let me ask you this — how is it doing on conversion?
This whole discussion on slider and conversion has been going on for a while — Peep Laja of conversionXL started
talking screaming about it in 2012 and well, sadly, it’s still widely used and still sucks in 2017.
I’m going out on a limb to say that most of my peeps want they websites to convert — you’re not a rockstar that needs a website to just look badass.
To get people to convert — aka take whatever action you need them to take — you need to be crystal clear about what they need to do. Simple as that. Duh.
A slider is often the opposite of that. Read the blog! Sign up for the freebie! Work with me! Get in touch! Buy this widget! Take my e-course! Look, it’s a really sexy closeup of a piece of kale!
What the hell are your visitors supposed to do? BTW, only you, your mother, and your cat will sit through all the slides and deliberate which one to click on.
The rest of the world? They get confused and leave in 8 secs.
Sad but true, we have an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish. If you don’t tell visitors clearly what they need to do right away, they aren’t going to do that.
You have 8 seconds — are you leaving it up to chance what the slider serves up?
Showing 7 different things in one spot? That’s an excuse to give yourself an out to not make up your mind on what your homepage is about… or what YOU are about.
That lack of focus is diluting your message.
When you decide to ditch the slider, you’re also deciding what’s it is that you want to focus on.
What’s your priority? What’s your message? What’s the ONE thing you want to be known for?
You want powerful copy for your website? Stand for something. When you stand for something, when you’re really committed… why would you let it be diluted?
Note: I’m not against the technology, just the way we use it.
I use a “slider” thingie for displaying my testimonials below the fold on my homepage, at the point where people have passed the 8-second mark and obviously want to learn more. The testimonials are all pointing to one main idea with one main call-to-action (to work with me) and the intention behind the user experience is that I want visitors to see there are many people who are getting results working with me.
Don’t let bells and whistles drag you by your nose. Lead with intention, and craft a focused user experience to guide people through what’s truly important.
Ling Wong :: Intuitive Brainiac | Creativity Mentor | Copywriting Alchemist. Author of Copywriting Alchemy: Secrets to Turning a Powerful Personal Brand Into Content that Sells.
Through her unique blend of marketing coaching, Content Experience Design and copywriting process, she helps the maverick-preneurs uncover, articulate & transform their WHY into content that connects, resonates and converts — by way of an intuitive yet rigorous iterative process born out of her Harvard Design School training and 15 years experience in the online marketing industry.
Ling is Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, and Email Marketing certified. Through her writing engagements with various SaaS and marketing companies with the goals of driving organic traffic, building readership and increasing conversion, she’s well-versed in topics including online marketing, content marketing, eCommerce, conversion, UX, social media marketing, and more.
She helps coaches, consultants, service professionals, solopreneurs and small businesses apply these best practices to their specific business models and circumstances.
Ling is an avid cyclist with OCD (obsessive climbing disorder,) runner and chocoholic.
Join her Content Marketing in Plain English webinar series here.