I was reviewing 2018 and the tests that were successful for me to see if there were specific areas that I could recommend for testing. I wouldn’t suggest that you simply roll any tests out without researching your audience, as with all CRO it is important to focus on your customer behaviour on your site rather than best practises. If research were to point in this direction I would recommend exploring these approaches.
1. Across numerous split tests I conducted this year I saw the value of header testing. There are a number of ways to trial this:
- mapping sitewide navigation to user monetisation and intent (this is a perennial winner for me)
- showcasing value propositions more effectively
- showcasing communication options (e.g. customer service numbers) more clearly
- size of search bar and its relative prominence
- sticky header
With regards to the sticky header this could be used to add a consistent site search (very useful for ecommerce), key navigation or even to reiterate a value proposition. Here you’ll see how we’ve used it on the Now Novel blog to keep the key messages front and centre (this doubled content marketing signups when we integrated it)
2. The power of iteration in testing. Having a hypothesis backed up by evidence is crucial for your testing process, but its only by validating your assumptions through testing that you’re going to see improvements. However once you have a result (win/lose) that isn’t the end of the process, the most important part is the validated learning that comes from this, and how it informs future testing.
If it wins then how can you exhaust the hypothesis further? How can you make your test more extreme? By running follow up tests you can really start to learn more about the problem. Similarly if it loses, how could you tweak your execution to validate the hypothesis (my record is 8 iterations on a product page test before I got a win, luckily a double digit increase in revenue per visitor)
3. The importance of value proposition testing. Value proposition is often thought of as this nebulous marketing concept when its actually a tangible testable piece of communication. The definition I like the most is: ” In the mind of your ideal prospect how are you differentiated from your competitor”. Through research and competitor analysis you can find which attributes are unique to you and resonate with your user.
With iterative testing (see above :)) you can find out which messages are impactful on which pages of the site and test and improve on these. Value proposition testing isn’t a silver bullet immediate winner, unlike fixing a UI, it will take some iteration as you finesse your copy and placement. Similarly different pages will have different challenges (i.e. visitor concerns on the basket page are different to concerns on a product page), but by testing you will uncover the right message for the right position.
The benefits of value proposition testing are huge because once you uncover a lever that shows how you are different you can roll it out onto different channels and all your acquisition and retention activities will benefit.