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Archive for the ‘Landing Page Optimization’ Category

Landing Page Optimization: Radio buttons vs. dropdowns

March 13th, 2014 4 comments

Radio buttons or dropdowns?

The question is arguably on the borderline of arbitrary, but as we discovered, this choice is far more important that one might think.

During a recent Web clinic, Austin McCraw, Jon Powell and Lauren Pitchford, all of MECLABS, revealed the results of an experiment that put button options to the test.

So, let’s take a closer look at the research notes for some background information on the test.

Background: A large people search company catering to customers searching for military personnel.

Goal: To significantly increase the total number of subscriptions.

Primary Research Question: Which subscription option format will produce the highest subscription rate: radio buttons or a dropdown menu?

Approach: A/B single factorial split test

In Treatment 1, the research team hypothesized that the length of the radio button layout was a source of user friction in the form.

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 signup process.”

 

 

In Treatment 2, the team tested a dropdown style option selection to reduce the perceived friction in the display.

 

  Read more…

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LPO: How many columns should you use on a landing page?

February 6th, 2014 2 comments

What is the highest performing number of columns for your webpages?

The question is deceptively simple and difficult to determine unless you test your way to the optimal layout for your needs.

During a recent Web clinic, Jon Powell, Senior Executive Content Writer, MECLABS, revealed how a large tech company decided to test its column layout in an effort to increase sales from its branded search efforts.

So, let’s review the research notes for some background information on the test.

 

Background: A large technology company selling software to small businesses.

Goal: To significantly increase the number of software purchases from paid search traffic (branded terms).

Primary Research Question: Which column layout will generate the highest rate of software purchases?

Approach: A/B multifactor split test

 

Here’s a screenshot of the control which utilized a two column layout – one main column and a right sidebar – featuring separate content and CTAs. 

 

In the treatment, the team eliminated the sidebar and focused on a single-column layout.

What you need to know

The one-column design increased branded search orders by 680.6% and revenue per visit by 606.7% when tested against the two-column design.

To learn more about why the single-column layout outperformed the two-column design, watch the free on-demand Web clinic replay of “How Many Columns Should I Use?” to see the results of an aggregate column research study you can use to aid your own conversion rate optimization efforts.

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LPO: 2 types of security seals that can help you reduce customer anxiety

December 12th, 2013 4 comments

Anxiety is one of the key elements in the MarketingExperiments Conversion Heuristic. In our Landing Page Optimization Online Course, anxiety is defined as “a psychological concern stimulated by a given element in the sales or sign-up process.”

 

 

Essentially, anxiety is a negative element on your landing page that reduces the likelihood that a potential customer will take a desired action.

It’s no big surprise that experiments with our Research Partners have found third-party privacy and security seals help reduce customer anxiety and improve conversion.

So, let’s take a look at two types of seals that can help you reduce customer anxiety.

 

SSL Security Certificates: The lock and key

Secure sockets layer (SSL) security certificates use cryptographic keys to protect the data exchange between users browsing on a company’s website. Once a company installs a certificate on its Web server, it activates the padlock and allows a secure connection from a Web server to the users’ browser.

The basic idea behind an SSL security seal is that the website is taking basic security measures to protect your personal information.

When I asked Steve Beger, Senior Development Manager, MECLABS, how SSL certificates reduce customer anxiety, he explained SSL offers a token of reassurance for customers concerned with data vulnerability.

“It offers a comfort factor that gives customers a reassurance that their personal information is not fully exposed to exploitation,” Steve explained.

 

Privacy Seals: The watchdog

Privacy seals, also called trustmarks, are based on third-party regulatory programs that review a website’s customer data handling before a certificate is issued to the applicant.

Privacy seals offer an added perk for consumers because they can file complaints with the certificate’s issuer if any problems with privacy should surface.

When I asked Steve how privacy seals differed from SSL certificates in terms of reducing anxiety, he explained that compliance vetting by the seal issuers made them a little more of a challenge to gain, but with the increased difficulty comes increased anxiety mitigation.

“The idea here is that because privacy seals are a little more intensive to acquire, given a company has to undergo a certification process that reviews internal their data collection policies and process, then the perceived third-party credibility with users here is probably going to be a little higher.”

  Read more…

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Landing Page Optimization: 3 template design changes to help you serve multiple customer types

November 14th, 2013 No comments

Optimizing your landing pages for multiple buyer personas becomes a difficult undertaking when conversion optimization principles often call for a focus on a single customer type.

So, how do you optimize for customers with a variety of needs and interests?

In a recent Web clinic, Jon Powell, Senior Manager of Research and Strategy, MECLABS, addressed that question by presenting three key design changes that impact conversion on pages that serve diverse customer groups.

According to Jon, to clarify the offer for multiple personas, he recommended a focus on these three types of page template adjustments:

  • Number conversion paths
  • Availability of subheadlines and headers for instructional guidance
  • The sequence of content

“If you have the ability and power to make changes to your pages, then there are three types of page template adjustments that we’ve discovered that can really make a difference,” Jon explained.

 

Design Change #1. Number of conversion paths

 

In the control pop-up, the MECLABS research team hypothesized that using a single conversion path for the different customer types was not optimal. 

 

In the treatment, the team increased the number of options to three and took the same value copy in the control and distributed it across those paths to appeal to the different customer types.

The team also utilized the header as an instructional headline that attempted to appeal to all three customer paths. The overall redesign resulted in a 25% increase in clickthrough rate.

 

Design Change #2. Availability of subheadlines and headers for instructional guidance 

 

In this experiment, Jon explained the MECLABS research team also hypothesized the number of conversion paths was not ideal based on the commonalities among the different customer types.

 

In the treatment, the team decreased the number of conversion paths and added a subheadline to help explain the process and support the value copy.

The design changes in the experiment resulted in a 32.4% increase in conversion.

 

Design Change #3. Sequence of content

 

For this experiment, Jon explained the MECLABS research team hypothesized that the content’s initial positioning was impacting engagement. 

 

For the treatment, the team moved the content higher up on the page, added a subheadline to help explain the process and support the value copy, and made changes to the color design.

The changes in the experiment netted the team a 181% increase in clickthrough.

 

What you need to know

Testing these changes can help you discover the optimal number of paths, the ideal subheadline and best arrangement for your content.

But, what they also do for your marketing efforts is give them clarity, or as Jon explained, “The marketer’s goal is not simplicity; the marketer’s goal is clarity.”

By keeping landing page messaging, design and layout simple, it makes it easy for that visitor to understand what action you want them to take on the page.

To learn more about how category pages impact the sales funnel, you can watch the free on-demand MarketingExperiments Web clinic replay of “Optimizing for Multiple Personas.”

 

Related Resources:

Online Testing: How a pop-up chat test increased conversion 120%

Landing Page Optimization: 6 common traits of a template that works

Landing Page Optimization: Color emphasis change increases clickthrough 81%

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Online Testing: How a pop-up chat test increased conversion 120%

October 7th, 2013 2 comments

In a world where content is king, sifting through Internet clutter postured as content is generally accepted as a daily task for many of us.

The perpetual endeavor of distinguishing actual valuable content in the minds of an apathetic populace numbly navigating the Internet landscape without any concern for your KPIs can feel overwhelming at times.

Due to this harsh reality, many marketers turn to the pop-up window to solve the issue of engagement.

Their hope rests on the notion that an interruption will somehow distinguish their content as valuable, often with the opposite effect as content is likely to be ignored the second a pop-up is triggered.

Yet, the use of the pop-up window has proliferated across the Web and has become an often valuable tool for many skilled marketers. However, analysis of this webpage element yields one fundamental question:

“Is the pop-up window an effective option when attempting to gain a visitor’s attention?”

 

Don’t speculate, test

Consider a recent test performed by MECLABS. The team attempted to optimize a landing page of a well-known Fortune 500 B2B company. Traffic for this landing page was driven by paid search, PPC ads.

The landing page’s objective was to build the value of a free trial offer in order to increase the amount of leads submitted by visitors.

 

Control page with pop-up 

 

The page provided visitors with three options which they could use to speak to a qualified representative:

  • Click on a chat box, which automatically pops up after an incremental amount of “time on page”
  • Fill out a lead capture form which notifies a sales rep to contact them
  • Call a phone number

Because the chat box converts at a significantly higher rate than the other two options, the MECLABS research team was tasked with optimizing the page to increase the amount of chat clicks.

In order to accomplish this, we set up a test where the pop-up was replaced with an actual static image of a chat box placed on the right side of the page.

 

Treatment page with static chat box 

(*Please Note: We have anonymized the landing pages to protect the competitive advantage of our Research Partner. – Ed.)  

 

Visitors were encouraged to click on the image of the chat box, which then opened an actual chat box in a new window.  Other variables that changed on the page were:

  •  Value copy associated with the process of contacting a representative was added above the form fields
  •  Location of the lead capture form on the page, which was pushed farther down the page  to accommodate the increased value copy)

Would a static page element that doesn’t actively vie for a visitor’s attention perform better or worse than a pop-up?

Read more…

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Landing Page Optimization: 6 common traits of a template that works

August 26th, 2013 10 comments

What are some common characteristics successful people share in common?

Is it having a natural curiosity fused with a creative wild spark?

Or perhaps, it’s the end result of dialing into just the right mix of leadership and perseverance to see things through when the going gets tough?

It’s difficult to point to one particular trait that determines success, however you can look for some patterns.

For example, in a recent Web clinic, Jon Powell, Senior Manager of Research and Strategy, MECLABS, asked the audience to look at these before and after screenshots of control and treatment pages from a few experiments to see if they could find any patterns. 

 

“What are the patterns you’re seeing across all these different experiments,” Jon asked.

 

From pattern to framework

Jon also explained if he were to try and capture the patterns displayed across the experiments and place them into a wireframe based on their commonalities, that wireframe it would have the following traits:

 

Trait #1. A clear headline and sub-headline 

 

The first trait Jon mentioned is a clearly visible headline and sub-headline communicating the value of continuing to the next step.

 

Trait #2. Supporting image

 

A primary supporting image that’s instantly recognizable and support the value on the page is also be present.

 

Trait #3. Primary information column 

 

Jon also suggested including a primary information column to “help create linear flow through the page and minimize confusion.”

Read more…

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