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#4.11: The “Web Pages That Sell” Issue

Enjoy a few lessons from the experts at Optimost, who test different versions of web pages to find tactics that generate the most sales.

1> Unclutter Your Key Action Areas
2> Rearrange Items On The Page
3> Experiment With The Mundane
4> Check It Out: Experiment With Optimost

1> Unclutter Your Key Action Areas

If there is a key area that you want people to click on from your homepage, make sure you remove any distractions around it that may divert their attention. Too much clutter can have a very material impact on conversion rates (how many visitors actually end up buying). Signups to a major web site’s mailing list rose by 93.1% simply by removing a search box that appeared on top of it. Interestingly, removing the search box didn’t reduce overall traffic from that page. Clutter can also become a problem with regard to the number of choices you offer for a specific product or service. Don’t assume that more options always lead to higher conversion rates. More options can also lead to more confusion. Another web site increased signups to their service by 50.1% simply by streamlining some of the choices offered to customers when signing up.

THE LESSON: Keep it simple so your customers don’t get distracted on their way to making a purchase.

2> Rearrange Items On The Page

Many people assume that there is one location in any table of promotions, ads, or links that always performs best. Some people find that being in the top right is best, while others find that being in the top left is best. The truth is — they’re both right. It very much depends on the specific situation, but you will almost certainly find that for any individual page, there are certain locations that, independent of content, will consistently perform best. These differences can be dramatic. In one carefully controlled test, Optimost found that when the exact same content was rotated through the top row of a table in each possible location, the click rate varied by 68.1% depending solely on where the piece of content was located. For the bottom row of the chart, the difference was an equally robust 38.9%. And importantly, the best position on the top was not the same as the best position on the bottom.

THE LESSON: The only way to be certain of the optimal layout is to systematically test by rotating each piece of content through every position.

3> Experiment With The Mundane

Don’t assume that the design of basic elements of your page, such as submit buttons and background colors, are unimportant. Many people treat these as “throwaway” design decisions, but they actually should be strongly evaluated. It is very clear from Optimost’s research that changes to the copy, location, size, and design of a submit button can have a very material impact on conversion rates. They recently had a case where the design of a submit button affected the completion rate of a form by 17.4%. The same holds true with background colors and designs. With another company, simply changing the background design increased conversions by 7.8% — a change that took seconds.

THE LESSON: Test everything. Unless you’re getting 100% conversion rates, there’s always room for improvement.

4> Check It Out: Experiment With Optimost

Optimost automates testing different versions of landing pages, registration pages, emails, ad banners, and more with technology that allows you to dynamically generate and systematically test virtually limitless permutations of copy, layout, and offers.


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