Carousels – great for marketing aren’t they?

Are carousels good for marketers

Carousels can be found on every other website.

They have become extremely popular because they can show multiple marketing messages and calls to action without breaking the layout.

They can be used for showing latest posts, latest deals, your latest promotion and much more.

But are they really worth it?

Are they actually working for your website and it’s visitors?

Are they meeting marketing goals?

Well, lets explore that a little further.

The Carousel

Typical goals for carousels are to drive visitors to particular pieces of information. This would normally consist of a landing page or recent content.

The carousel itself can normally be found on the homepage in the most prominent spot at the top, sometimes taking up a third of the screen.

This location and large size makes sense as each slide on the carousel has important marketing messages.

As it’s on the homepage, you also have the opportunity to keep your boss happy and display those marketing messages that they insist appears on the homepage.

The sad truth

On paper, a carousel is a marketers dream with the real-estate on a homepage to switch out content and have multiple promotions running at once.

In reality, only 1% of your visitors will actually click anything on that carousel – with 89% of those clicking the first slide.

So that’s one third of your homepage effectively wasted.

It’s not driving traffic, it’s not converting and worst of all, it’s annoying your visitors with that constant transitioning.

A glimmer of hope

If your website is content driven, you may find a very slightly different story.

If your carousel consists of recent posts, you will find that the carousel drives approximately 10% of visitors to that latest post.

This is good news if you can convert from your articles by using sign up forms or other calls to actions on the page, but it’s still only 10%.

Despite the figures being pretty bad for the carousel, it still does a brilliant job of bringing attention to a new product.

So if the marketing goal is simply to build awareness, then there’s no evidence to suggest it doesn’t do this well.

Lessons learnt

Carousels, despite looking and sounding like a great asset to any website, can often be a hindrance.

Instead of continuing with a carousel, why not determine what else could make use of the prime location on your website.

Remember every page of your website should have 1 goal. One conversion point.

Why would you go and add 5 or more – just because you can.

Try swapping it out for an email signup form and see if your conversions increase.

If you must have a carousel, then consider ditching the marketing messages for recent posts or content that your visitors will find useful.

Remember, every website performs differently. So test your changes and figure out what works for you.