Are sliders helping or hurting you online? - Showtime Digital

Are sliders helping or hurting you online?

03 May 2016 Read 1437 times
Elevator pitch - ‘a succinct and persuasive sales pitch’.

Have you ever tried your elevator pitch on someone and used 5000 words to explain yourself? How do you think you’d go? Do you think you might have overcooked it? Do you think the other person might run the other way?

Interestingly plenty of companies do it every day and they do it online with sliders.

What’s a slider? It’s traditionally an image with a message which slides across the page, normally from right to left, to be replaced by another message.

Why do we use sliders? It was the website fashion of the day and as I’ve mentioned many times before, to follow website fashion is folly. Consumers pay the bills so follow them.

If a picture says 1000 words on a landing page you’ve said too much.

Powershop has no less than 5 sliders on its website. Now if a picture says 1000 words that’s 5000 words!

We’re going to analyse what we believe to be a really great strategy which was executed badly. Our goal here is to make some suggestions on improving the strategy and potentially increasing convertibility. We’ll pull the strategy and the pages apart, analyse them and put the campaign back together in a format which will target consumers more effectively, retrieve more valuable data and have a high potential for increased convertibility.



The website we’ll analyse is Powershop, an electricity supplier. These are the 5 sliders on the Powershop business page.


Powershop - Slide 1
Slide 1

Powershop - Slide 2
Slide 2

Powershop - Slide 3
Slide 3

Powershop - Slide 4
Slide 4

Powershop - Slide 5
Slide 5


Wow, that was way too much information for one page.

But we understand why Powershop has done this. Each slider has a really great video of why each client chose Powershop and the experiences they’ve had. But in all the excitement they’ve thrown all the lollies on the one page. It’s like the 4 year old who has to show you all their toys when you go over to your friend’s house. So while Powershop is very proud of their achievements, and they should be, it’s too much for the consumer to take in.


Why shouldn’t you use sliders?

Dilution equals distraction


Slide 1 Slide 2 Slide 3 Slide 4 Slide 5
We do this As well as this ...and this Oh, and this too Did we tell you about this as well?
I’ve got buyer intent I’m sort of interested What was I here for? Consumer visits competitor site .........


A consumer only cares about what’s in it for them and when they’re on your page they only want to see information relevant to their interest.

Sliders dilute consumer interest and your message.

The major reason why sliders are used is to be as relevant to as many of the target market as possible. You don’t want your website to become like a convenience store where the consumer is distracted by everything but the one thing they came in for. If they want milk just sell them the milk.

Your knowledge bank remains bankrupt

The biggest internal challenge when using sliders is the marketing department won’t know which slider consumer’s loved or hated. Let’s say over the next 3-4 months conversions are poor, where do you go?

You’ve made a cake with every ingredient you could find but which ingredients were the one’s which put a bad taste in the mouth of the consumer? You don’t know and you either have to deconstruct the page or you throw it all in the bin and start again.

What if conversions improve markedly, to what do you contribute its success? You won’t know. And you won’t want to touch anything. If it isn’t broken don’t fix it...

You’ll have increased revenues in the short term but you won’t have learnt anything about your consumers. The next campaign you launch will have no knowledge base to build from, you will have built no momentum and you start from somewhere close to zero...again.

You can’t control image strength

One of the beautiful things about landing pages is you have total control of the environment, it’s like a bubble of excellence with as little distraction as possible. This allows you to pinpoint with great accuracy how a page is perceived and what elements and attributes contributed to a page’s success or failure. To do this everything needs to be pixel perfect. We’re not being flippant about this either, good landing page design is where everything is considered and nothing happens by chance.

There’s no such thing as coincidence in landing page design.

The challenge with using multiple images is they’re like 5 little children who run off in every direction at the fair. You’re trying to appropriate each image into the static elements on the page (hard coded elements). Each image can alter and distort how the consumer takes in the logo, the phone number and call to action button and these are critical components in the sales process.


Powershop - Slide 1 perception map


For example in Slide 1: Broadsheet, the hero image establishes the page as a business offer. There’s also a good amount of attention directed to the testimonial and the copy below the image (which is really strong).


Powershop - Slide 4 perception map


In contrast to this the image in Slide 4: Salon Brown has no visual connection with being a business. It takes a huge amount of attention away from the other more important elements on the page such as the testimonial and the blurb just above the page fold.

Are you curious about which elements consumers see on your own webpage? Get a free report here.


Landing page design is a science


Page Visibility Emotional engagement Totals
Slider No. Company Clarity Logo Submit button Switch button Testimonial Excitedness
Slide 1 Broadsheet 78 63 39 24 50 84 170
Slide 2 St Ali 70 62 31 15 22 81 119
Slide 3 Bikram Yoga 77 70 38 19 21 77 148
Slide 4 Salon Brown 68 43 20 6 29 83 83


Above are the values of each slider generated from our favourite eye tracking technology. We’ve graded them for their visibility and their ability to emotionally connect with the consumer. What we want to see is high values for the visibility columns and a lower value in the excitedness column.

The formula is Visibility (x5 values) – Excitedness = Total

The reason for the lower excitedness score is the target audience is business owners who are generally practical and considered in their decision making.

We want to see values in the visibility columns higher than 50 and ideally we want the testimonial to achieve this more than any other value because consumers must be able to process the ‘why they should care’ part of your offer. The only page which achieved this was Slide 1 Broadsheet. In comparison to this the total score for Slide 4 Salon Brown is the underachiever of the bunch. However Slide 4’s testimonial will gel with a younger audience. For us we feel Slide 2 St Ali also has a strong testimonial but the visibility it receives is unacceptable. While Slide 3 Bikram Yoga achieved the second highest total but the testimonial was left wanting.

The point here is we have separate images, testimonials and videos fitting around the hard coded elements of the page. We’re effectively fitting a round shape into a square hole. It’s a balancing act and the best way to push the campaign in the right direction is to create separate landing pages for each page.


What would a landing page look like?


Powershop - landing page


The existing Broadsheet page is pretty good. As a landing page the only thing we’d change is the ‘Submit’ button, no one likes to submit, especially business owners, and we’d recommend deleting some of the ‘leaks’ at the top of the page. There are too many next steps on the page as well but the consumer data you receive would inform you on the weakest performer.


Powershop - landing page perception map
New LP - As a landing page this is how the Broadsheet page would perform?

Powershop - slide 1 perception map
Existing slider - This is how the existing slider performs visually in the first 3 seconds.


Page Visibility Emotional engagement Totals
Slider No. Company Clarity Logo Submit button Switch button Testimonial Excitedness
Slide 1 Broadsheet 78 63 39 24 50 84 170
Landing Page St Ali 80 68 46 26 51 84 187


When we look at specific elements and their metrics the visibility for consumers has improved by 10%.


Conclusion - How can you manage sliders?

Step 1 - Get rid of Slider 5 and work with the 4 sliders which you’ve invested so much time and money into.

Step 2 – Run an experiment using all 4 sliders as separate landing pages. This allows each page to perform on its own merit.

Step 3 - You would then monitor their performance for 3-4 months to find one or two which had statistical significance.

Step 4 - Retire the other pages and repurpose those assets.

You may also find specific pages do well over different online channels and keyword searches. For example Slide 1 and 2 may best target the corporate and SME market within 10 kms of the central business district whereas Slide 3 and Slide 4 may suit a younger Facebook audience.

Some pages may convert better via the call centre while consumers who are served others pages may prefer doing everything online. It’s here where you may find which age groups, genders or industries equate with each page.

The key point is to let the consumer decide. Once you’ve got your winner you’ll have a much better understanding of the preferences of your consumers. This type of in-depth information will help inform the next campaign.

This has been fun and we’ll do it again. If you want to know more about creating landing pages which convert you can download the eBook here.

Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer is the Joint Founder and CEO of Showtime Digital. Steve has been in B2B sales since 1997 but influencing people and behavioural science has been a long-term passion.

The magic he brings to his clients is in knowing how to engage their audience. His goal is to help businesses understand the deeper reasons of why consumers convert online with them.