Jesse Kraker

Less is More: Maximize conversion by removing website distractions

January 23rd, 2014

The old adage “less is more” holds true when it comes to website optimization. To optimize your website, you need to remember to stick to the goal of your site and not distract your visitors with links and other elements that can stop them from reaching that goal.

In this MarketingExperiments Blog post, we’ll review a recent test from one of MECLABS’ online retail Research Partners and how the team was able to achieve a 10% lift in checkout completion rate by simply removing distracting elements.

The MECLABS team recently ran a test within the checkout pages for the online retailer.


The goal of the test was to increase the checkout completion rate.

The team identified a number of elements causing friction within the checkout pages and likely distracting visitors from completing the checkout process. They tested a treatment that removed those elements.

(Editor’s Note: For the purposes of the MarketingExperiments testing methodology, friction is defined as “a psychological resistance to a given element in the sales or sign-up process.”)

The most drastic change was removing the static navigation bars – left navigation and top navigation – from the checkout pages.

This removed visually distracting elements from the pages as well as deleted possible exit points for visitors, keeping visitors focused on proceeding through the checkout process.

The team also took out a page within the checkout process that was simply confirming the visitor had created an account.

This step was unnecessary and forced visitors to make one extra click to proceed through the funnel, giving them an additional opportunity to abandon the funnel, and again, distracted them from the goal of the checkout pages.


What you need to know

By simply removing friction-causing elements from the checkout pages, the team was able to increase the checkout completion rate by 10%, which equated to a 19.95% increase in revenue per visit to the checkout process.

When optimizing your website, you should evaluate each page element and consider whether it is helping the goal of your site or distracting visitors. Any potentially distracting element is an opportunity to test how your pages perform with those elements removed.

Always remember that less is more when it comes to your website. Keep your pages focused and remove any elements that prevent visitors from completing your goals for the site, such as completing a checkout.


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Jesse Kraker

About Jesse Kraker

Jesse Kraker, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS Institute As a member of the MECLABS services team, Jesse works directly with MECLABS’ Research Partners to analyze and optimize their marketing efforts. Before MECLABS, Jesse worked in the printing industry as a project manager and marketing specialist. Jesse holds a B.S. in graphic media publishing from Rochester Institute of Technology, and is currently working towards his MBA at the University of North Florida. In his spare time, Jesse enjoys staying active and spending his time outside in the Florida sunshine as much as possible.

Categories: Analytics & Testing Tags: , , , , ,

  1. January 27th, 2014 at 10:52 | #1

    Excellent post. Less is more is one way of saying it, just what you need is another. Even a slight increase in conversions can translate into much higher sales and earnings. Thanks.

  2. January 27th, 2014 at 19:42 | #2

    Great post, too many times do I see websites far too crowded with various plugins and widgets. It’s just not needed and takes the users attention away instantly. Thanks for sharing.

  3. February 1st, 2014 at 12:17 | #3

    It definitely seems like the mantra for 2014 is less is more. Websites with all those bells and whistles were distracting and even took time to load. Both make me want to surf away to the competition.

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