Improving Homepage Conversions 28.6% by A/B Testing


During our analysis of a client's website performance, we realized that homepage conversion was a problem. The primary purpose of their website was signing up new users for their web app, and we thought we could improve the conversion rate for this process.

The current website was built on an outdated Wordpress template. It was narrow, non-responsive, and felt too corporate. The images felt like stock images, and there were 5 call-to-actions immediately visible.

We redesigned the homepage to feel wider, newer, and responsive for mobile devices. Instead of stock images, we added high-quality photos that felt natural and authentic. And we removed distractions, simplifying the site down to 1 primary call-to-action.

Our hypothesis was that these strategies - simplifying, modernizing, and defining the message - would increase conversion rates.

We decided to test the new page concurrently with the old in order to prove our hypothesis. We set up Google Analytics experiments (you can access this by going to Reports > Behavior > Experiments) to set up an A/B test. The old page's home was on the original link, and the new page's home was on a new URL (not indexed by Google) called /homepage.

As of March 2017, Google has released a new free analytics tool called Optimize. We're excited about using it in our upcoming analysis projects.

We set the experiment to run 2 weeks. We directed 25% of the site traffic to our A/B experiment. Of these, half were shown the new page and half the old page. Then, after seeing good results in the first 6 days, we started sending 50% of the site traffic to the new page.

Experiment: March 2 - March 16, 2017

With the initial 12.5% of total site traffic being sent to the new page, we saw these results in the first 6 days:

- The conversion rate for the new home page is 101.22% higher than the old one;
- Bounce rate improved by 44.71%
- The average number of pages people visit per each session improved by 11.03%
- Top CTA (Call to action) click through rate on the homepage improved by 25.63%

After the first 6 days, we started sending 50% of total website traffic to the new page. By the end of the 2 week experiment, results stabilized and we saw these final numbers:

- The conversion rate for the new home page is 28.6% higher than the old one;
- The bounce rate is 19.8% lower;
- Time on page is 6% higher;
- Users are 15.4% more likely to click on the CTA (call-to-action) on the top banner.

We were happy to see these results for our client. We made a few small adjustments for search indexing in the content of the page, and published the page live for 100% of visitors. The result has been a drastic increase of product signups for the client.

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