Here’s a question I get asked all of the time: “I’ve seen image carousels on other websites. They look really cool. Why shouldn’t I put one on my website?”
My answer is always the same.
Image carousels are a bad idea for almost every business. First, let me explain what an image carousel is.
Image Carousel Definition
An image carousel is a slideshow that automatically cycles through a series of images. Image carousels are also called image sliders, image rotators, and image galleries. If you’ve ever been on a website and seen a slideshow that automatically changes images, that’s an image carousel.
There are a lot of reasons why you should avoid using an image carousel on your website. Let’s start with the most obvious one.
Image carousels are almost never read
The average website visitor spends 5 seconds on a website. That’s it. 5 seconds. That’s not a lot of time. And that’s why businesses need to think about what their most important message is and make sure it’s easy for visitors to find that message. If a website visitor has to search for a message, that visitor will almost always move on to another website.
Image carousels are bad for your conversion rate
Image carousels are confusing.
With an image carousel, your website visitors don’t know where to focus their attention. The carousel rotates between images, so your website visitors are constantly left wondering what exactly it is you’re selling. The result of that confusion is that your website visitors leave, and you miss the opportunity to make a sale.
Image carousels are distracting.
Again, the problem with image carousels is that they’re constantly changing. They’re very visually stimulating, which means your website visitors are distracted from the task at hand. In other words, they’re distracted from converting.
Image carousels don’t give your website visitors enough time to digest your message.
The average person needs to see something around seven times before they’re able to memorize it. But most image carousels only show each image for a few seconds before moving on to the next one. That’s not enough time for your website visitors to digest your message.
Image carousels are difficult to maintain.
You might be thinking, “I’ll just update my image carousel every few months.” But here’s the problem with that. You need to keep an eye on your website to make sure everything is working properly, and you need to keep an eye on your conversion rate. If you’re not paying attention, your image carousel could be driving away potential customers.
Image carousels are frustrating for mobile users.
With an image carousel, your website visitors have to scroll through a lot of images to find the one they want to see. That’s very frustrating. And with more and more people accessing the internet from their mobile devices, it’s important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Image carousels are bad for your search engine optimization.
Google loves images. In fact, they encourage you to add images to your website. But with an image carousel, it’s very difficult for Google to index your images. That’s because Google can only index the first image in your image carousel. The rest of the images are effectively hidden from Google.
So, there you have it.
There are a lot of reasons why you should avoid using an image carousel on your website. If you want to increase your conversion rate and improve your search engine optimization, then you need to avoid using an image carousel on your website.