Dan Schaefer

Content Writer, Programmer, Marketing Consultant

February 13th, 2014

Take This Shortcut and Save Yourself Months of Website Conversion Testing

Marketing Tools, Website Conversion, by Dan Schaefer.

I hate to admit it, but I’m always looking for the shortcut. This is against the teaching in my formative years, when I was told that shortcuts not only cheat others but also cheats myself.

Sorry Mom and Dad, but I learned a few things since then. The business world encourages the copying of someone else’s work – especially when it can be done with no consequences. In fact, you can often get in trouble for wasting time doing things yourself when it’s faster to simply copy the fruits of someone else’s hard work.

Take the ShortcutAll this explains why I’m particularly excited about a recent post on the Digital Marketer website, where Mr. Ryan Deiss listed 43 recommendations that emerged from running thousands of split-tests on websites. These results can really give you a boost – indeed, a shortcut – when designing your own websites for conversion.

Some of the split test results were not too surprising. For example, you shouldn’t run any audio on your webpage automatically. Nothing can be more embarrassing than surfing the web at work (when you’re supposed to be working), and suddenly loud music booms out your speakers, telegraphing to all your coworkers that you’re goofing off.

But there are a number of other results from the split test that I found to be quite surprising. For example:

  1. Serif fonts are out. The best font is Arial 12, or larger.
  2. Tiled backgrounds can hurt you. (Oops. I need to talk to my webmaster!)
  3. Control-less and borderless videos of 12 – 24 minutes are optimal.
  4. Table widths of 700 pixels are optimal. No more, no less.
  5. Headers: Smaller is better.
  6. Professional product images help, unprofessional images hurt.

The Digital Marketer site lists a total of 43 split test results. Many of these results pertain to B2C businesses, but there are a number that could apply just as well to B2B businesses.

While I wouldn’t take the Digital Marketer report as a final authority on website design guidelines for conversion, it does present a good starting point. You could easily spend 3 – 6 months trying to figure all this out on your own, but now you don’t have to! You can use the guidelines as a starting point and continue your split and multivariate testing from there. You’ll be that much further ahead of the game.

It’s like playing a board game where you get to take the shortcut and skip the first ten spaces!

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