Is your slider killing your SEO?

Sliders or carousels may seem like a good idea for the homepage of your website, but how does this affect your search engine ranking?

Slideshows: Are they harming your SEO?

Sliders are great, right? The perfect way to add a bit of user engagement to your website, make things feel a bit more dynamic. Who wants a static site, how old fashioned?

Let’s face it, carousels or sliders are everywhere, so many websites use them. So what’s the issue?

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Sliders and SEO

Sliders can be bad for SEO.

Page load speed

Let’s look at page load speed to start with. Most sliders come packed with a load of extra JavaScript that you don’t really need. Combine that with the multiple big images or even video content that make up your slider and you’ve got some serious speed issues. Slow load times = poor search engine ranking.

Alternating headings

Alternating headings can be another issue. You should really only have 1 H1 tag per page, but sliders often force you to have multiple headings, a heading on each slide. This devalues your keywords.

Shallow content

Sliders are often used as a replacement for content. The homepage of your website might feature a big fancy slideshow but then little or no content elsewhere. No content means no keywords, resulting in a very poor search engine ranking.

It’s not all about SEO though

True, it’s not all about SEO. Theres no point having a great ranking website that looks rubbish and doesn’t convert. The problem with sliders is that they don’t really do this either.

Research suggests that most people don’t actually engage with sliders, they find them confusing and often they don’t work at all! This is especially true on mobile. So not only are they potentially bad news for your SEO, they might not actually engage your users in the way that you might think.

This is not to say that sliders don’t have their place. Designed and built well with SEO and usability in mind they could have their uses. Unfortunately a lot of off-the-shelf slideshow plugins could do more harm than good.

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