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Archive for the ‘Site Design’ Category

Website Optimization: Testing your navigation

September 11th, 2014 No comments

As we are testing our websites, we often focus on homepages, landing pages and funnels. These are the pages that “move the needle” and get results. However, there is one aspect of many sites that goes unnoticed by optimizers — the site navigation.

Site navigation is important because it gets your visitors where they need to be. Also, it’s usually one of the static elements of your site.

The navigation is visible on all of your pages and is often the one constant throughout the website.

It simply makes sense to focus your efforts on such a high visibility area that has such a great impact on your customers’ experience.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “What can I test in my navigation?”

To answer that question, I’ve constructed a short guide to help you start optimizing your navigation.

Potential navigation testing opportunities include:

  • Changing link names that may be confusing
  • Optimizing subcopy (if you give details in your navigation)
  • Changing hierarchies or organizations
  • Adding or deleting links
  • Optimizing visual features (icons)
  • Optimizing navigation indicators (hover and click functionality, lines, highlights, etc.)

 

Begin with goals and objectives 

It’s important to have clearly defined goals and objectives when testing your navigation.

While you want your site navigation to drive conversions, you should always remember that this is ultimately a tool for your site visitors.

It should guide them where they need to go in a clear, concise manner. So how do you measure your navigation’s success? What would be your primary KPI? In many tests, our KPIs are conversions or clickthroughs. However, much more thought must go into defining navigation KPIs.

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Test Your Marketing Intuition: Why did this treatment outperform the control by 53%?

January 11th, 2012 2 comments

In this world, there are systems that underperform. It is a fact of life. A quick look at the world’s distribution of wealth is all anyone needs for proof of that. It happens all the time on a macro level. And when a system doesn’t just underperform but is truly broken, it usually means you need to tear it down and start from scratch.

And while it may not be humanly possible to do that for the world’s economic system, it’s very doable with your website.

Our websites are simply little systems that should present enough pieces of our value proposition in the right sequence to our ideal customer so that they take the desired action. You can make many tweaks to your site to improve how well it does that … and in so doing, improve conversion.

But for some websites, the system is broken. A new approach is needed. At MECLABS, we call this a category shift.

 

How can I implement a category shift for my website?

To implement this category shift, you need a radical redesign.

A radical redesign is simply an experimental approach in which the experimental treatments are “radically” or “categorically” different from the control.

While definitions are certainly interesting, it’s probably easier to give you an example of a radical redesign. So here’s a radical redesign experiment we recently ran with one of our research partners to flesh out that definition. It also happens to be the same experiment we’ll study in-depth for today’s free Web clinic at 4:00 pm EST: Rapidly Maximizing Conversion: How one company quickly achieved a 53.9% lift with a radical redesign.

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Affiliate Site Redesign: How to drive qualified traffic to a merchant’s offer

November 11th, 2011 1 comment

Affiliate marketers have it tough these days. So many affiliates are attracted by the promise of building a business without having to involve themselves in the details of actually filling orders. With a marketplace so saturated, it’s difficult to get any kind of ROI out of affiliate campaigns.

So, how can affiliate marketers increase their ROI?

The same way a merchant would increase its ROI: by providing enough perceived value to guide the prospects to, and through, the offer.

Of course, increasing ROI is always easier said than done. And because that’s part of the job of our research analysts, Adam Lapp, Associate Director of Optimization teaches an optimization training class every Thursday here at MECLABS. In it, Chris Rochester, one of our research analysts, developed a treatment homepage for affiliate website Safari.com as a thought exercise.

 

Click to enlarge

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Now, before I go any further and show you Chris’ treatment, it needs a heavy disclaimer. Because Safari.com was submitted by one of our Web clinic audience members, we didn’t have any actual metrics for the site. In other words, Chris may not have made the suggestions he did in the treatment had he seen the real data behind the site.

Fortunately, our Associate Director of Optimization, Adam Lapp, developed some example metrics Chris could work from. So here’s some imaginary background for you…

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Hidden Friction: The 7 Silent Killers of Conversion

August 15th, 2011 25 comments

Friction is one of the greatest obstacles to your conversion process, and though most marketers currently have some idea of what Friction is, many are only seeing half the picture.

When asking marketers to identify the Friction associated with a conversion process, the response is often very confident. Usually, the number of form fields on a page will be pointed out first, the number of steps in a process next, and occasionally a third comment might focus on the length of the individual pages themselves. The overall consensus from marketers is that if you can eliminate these simple elements, then you can eliminate Friction.

However, our research suggests that most of the Friction in a conversion process goes undetected. Further, this “hidden” Friction often is the most lethal to conversion. So, in this post I wanted to lay out 7 of the most undetected ways that Friction might be threatening your conversion rates. I have dubbed these The 7 Silent Killers of Conversion.

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Website Redesign: Wondering what to test? Just ask your customers

August 10th, 2011 No comments

When planning a testing and optimization cycle, there are plenty of marketing elements to tackle — landing pages, pay-per-click ad copy, form fields and more. The question is: What test will provide the biggest impact?

A great place to start is to ask your customers.

CrazyEgg, an analytics company that creates heat map data visualizations for websites, did just that when beginning a complete overhaul of its website.
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Website Messaging: How clarity once again trumped persuasion to the tune of a 200% boost in conversion rate

May 23rd, 2011 No comments

“Clarity trumps persuasion.”
Dr. Flint McLaughlin, Managing Director (CEO), MECLABS

The above statement has become somewhat of a mantra around the MECLABS offices. Not only because it’s quotable, but also because of just how applicable it is across all facets of marketing. Whether discussing a simple print ad or a complex integrated campaign, at the end of the day our goal as marketers is clear – tell people what you offer and why they should buy from you. If you’re clear in your messaging, there’s no need for persuasive tactics that don’t directly support your value proposition.

Still, it’s somewhat ironic that simplifying a marketing message can be such a complicated process. In this post, we’ll be looking into a recent test conducted on the website of a large international financial services company, pointing out why even the most basic offerings were diluted by an overly complicated process and unclear calls-to-action. Read more…

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