The Dos & Don’ts of Website Banners
Proper Vs. Improper Banner Use
Website banners are meant to highlight an important topic and then direct a user toward the content and details they need to know. Banners aren’t meant to house all the details for the user. A banner with a lot of text and images fosters a poor user experience and prevents users from clearly comprehending the message meant to be highlighted by the banner.
Let’s take a look at a topic that is often very important to a practice: a new office opening.
Example of a Good Web Banner
Clean and simple: the two key words of a great web banner. The image in the background is of the new office, but if it were shrunk or cropped on mobile it wouldn’t make a difference — it is an accent.
The text is live over the image and can both dynamically format for mobile and allow the text to be read by Google. A clear call to action can then direct users to a page with all the new office’s details.
Example of a Bad Web Banner
This banner is jumbled, crowded, and lacks a clear focus — but more importantly, all of this text lives in the image file, which means the user can see it but Google can’t, and anyone who is sight impaired won’t be able to use web technology to read what it says.
Key Takeaway: Website banners are not great content — they are a preview to great content.
Putting an End to Rotating Banners
Rotating banners were once considered one of the best things to put on a website — and many people still consider it a good idea. The truth is that rotating banners are no longer relevant (and haven’t been for a while).
A 2013 study on the University of Notre Dame’s website showed just how little a rotating banner does for your website. The study found that only 1% of website visitors actually clicked on a rotating banner. Of those who did click on a rotating banner, 84% clicked on the first banner, with the other 16% split among slides 2–5.
So, in short, if content isn’t in the first position on the slider, almost no one is going to see it.
Benefits of a Single Image
Single-image web banners are beneficial when working to make incremental improvements to your website. One banner allows for the testing of different imagery, headlines, and calls to action to see which works best in driving user conversions. When multiple slides are used, the ability to test dwindles because the website is pushing the user in too many different directions.
Create New Website Sections Instead of Sliders
Instead of making a slider to discuss four different topics, it is much more beneficial to add new sections to the home page of your website. Adding new sections provides much more flexibility and creates a better user experience by keeping visitors focused while moving down the page of the site.