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BizReport : Internet : December 12, 2013

Top 5 elements brands should test

When it comes to online performance, websites are sometimes the culprits for disengaged or frustrated shoppers. Too-long checkouts and faulty landing pages are the tip of the iceberg. One expert shares his top five elements that brands should test for performance.

by Kristina Knight

Dan Siroker is the CEO of Optimizely, an online platform which helps brands identify problem areas through A/B testing. According to Siroker many a more engaging experience can be found by retailers and brands testing these five areas.

First, landing pages. Siroker suggests creating two completely different homepages, one focused on emotion and the other on credibility. In his experience, emotive homepages perform better, but brands should determine through testing which will help their revenue numbers.

Second, test the home page. Home pages should be optimized and offer a focused approach to shoppers.

"The home page is the most over-scrutinized and under optimized page. For example, imagine you're a consumer shopping on a retailer's website for a pair of pants. You arrive on the site and see a banner for a sale," said Siroker. "Just as you're about to click it, the experience changes to sweaters. Now you have to reorient yourself. The rotating carousel of images has proven to be a distraction to the user. While the art director might love this feature, I can assure you that the consumer does not. It is confusing and because it doesn't allow the consumer to focus, it kills conversion."

Third, test category pages. Just as you've tested landing and home pages, category pages should be tested for performance to determine if a brand's core shoppers prefer a specific kind of view (e.g. lists versus tiles).

Fourth, test the product detail pages to ensure the value propositions are strong, that the pages are relevant and clear to the shopper and that there are no distractions.

Fifth, test the calls to action.

"As the site-wide checkout entry point, your primary calls to action--like "add to cart" or "sign up for emails"--are critically important to test. These tests should clarify what precisely you want your website to accomplish and whether you are effectively directing shoppers to accomplish those goals," said Siroker.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: A/B testing, Optimizely, website analysis, website optimization, website testing

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