Learn More: Which Elements Should be Part of Your Experiment?
Once you've decided where you want to run your experiment, think about which page elements you’re most interested in. You’re experimenting on this page because the data suggests there could be a problem here, so review your page and decide which action you want your visitors to perform. Is the corresponding page element prominent and easy to engage with? Is your page clutter-free, or are there competing demands for the visitor's attention? If people can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll navigate away and look somewhere else.
Start by looking at the body content. This is the core component of your page. Your most important content should be here. What’s most important for visitors to know? Is there anything else here that’s distracting from your messaging?
Don’t forget about breadcrumb content. The breadcrumb is made up of the increasingly specific category links that build at the top of your page as a visitor navigates through your site. Consider whether these categories are too broad or too narrow.
Of these elements, the most critical may be the Call to Action. This is what leads the visitor to do something you want them to do, such as adding an item to their shopping cart. Is your CTA too low on the page? Is it not prominent enough? Is it obscured by other elements, like an “other items you might like” feature? Is there so much happening on the page that visitors have a difficult time figuring out what your call to action actually is?
One frequently overlooked optimization option is the rail. The rail is a narrower column on the left or right side of the page that is not part of the Body Content. Is this distracting from your CTA, or does it help you focus on encouraging a desired behavior?
Media sites should run frequent experiments with page headlines. Is the messaging in your headline effective? Similarly, your value proposition is a key callout telling visitors why they should take action and convert on your site. Adjusting this messaging could have a distinct impact.
Your hero, or carousel, is the large image or series of rotating images at the top of the page, often on the main page of a website. How can you use it to inspire visitors to explore more?
Your navigation - or nav - bar is another area that could be prime for optimization. This is the space, often at or near the top of your page, containing navigational elements for your site. It’s easy to offer too many options in this area or leave off important elements, so it’s often worth experimenting to see if adjustments in this area are helpful.
A modal is a pop-up window that holds the visitor’s focus until the visitor takes action on that window - maybe by signing up for your newsletter, for example, or by closing the window. These should be used sparingly, as they can annoy visitors pretty quickly. If you’re seeing dropoff on a page with a modal window, you might actually consider running an experiment without it where you try to get visitors to take the desired action another way. This is especially true if the amount of time spent on the page is short, which suggests visitors are leaving when the window pops up,
B2B marketing and lead generation sites should experiment with forms and other points where you’re asking something from your visitors. Are the forms so long that they’re discouraging visitors from filling them out? Is there any information you can provide or fill in automatically, based on what you already know about your visitors to make the process easier for them?
As you start reviewing these elements, consider what your data is implying about what’s working and what’s not. How can you make it work better? How can you get out of your visitors’ way and help them get what they want from your site?