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  1. Pavel Svec

    Interesting. My strategy is to show the core message and price span on the home page and to change the “shop window” frequently. Maybe I will have to change that. Isn’t there negative impact on google index in case of short home page?

    Reply
    1. Peep Laja

      Well you can’t put much text on a short home page, and hence its indeed tougher to rank for a competitive term. The solution would be to make other pages search engine optimized, and use your homepage as a gateway to your sales funnel. No point having a page with tons of traffic and little conversions – that’s a waste.

      Reply
    1. Peep Laja

      This kind of models and graphs are great for coming up with test hypotheses. Random testing is #fail.

      Reply
  2. aaron

    peep, love it…this point really hit home to me that I have way too many call to actions on my home page, ie cluttered. It goes hand in hand with your great eye-opening article about slideshows/carousels and why they suck (I always thought they were cool looking too!) Thanks for the informative post….

    Reply
  3. Keith

    I love the idea of testing conversion to see where or how any amount of lift can be secured.

    I am wondering however if there is any data to suggest organic traffic increases or decreases to these home pages based on there being less content? I can only balance a higher conversion rate if I don’t get a drop off in traffic.

    Reply
    1. Peep Laja

      Definitely less content affects rankings. There are lots of ways to improve conversions, just use other approaches. Tweak by tweak, eventually you’ll get there.

      Reply
  4. Caroline

    Great article. Very encouraging since I am trying to simplify our homepage. I really like the idea to make it short, clean and to the point.

    Reply
  5. From your testing it certainly seems that short home-pages are more effective at converting the visitors that do arrive. However, what I’ve seen is that by having long home-pages containing lots of text, the text gets more deeply indexed by the search engines. The home-page typically starts to appear for many more long tail keywords, so as a result you get an increase in less targetted traffic to the home-page. Typically we have found that increasing the home-page text increases the visits to the website, but with a lower conversion rate, but with a higher number of conversions over all. I imagine “it depends” on a case by case basis. I think over all I agree with your philosophy of keeping it simple. If adding a lot of text, the demarcation between the first fold call to action and the text below should be strong, so as to make it clear to the user what is really important.

    Another case for long pages on small business websites. Most of these types of sites don’t have many incoming links, as most of the links will be to the home-page, instead of to other landing pages. 90% of the links coming to the home-page is not usual from what I’ve seen on our sites, as users will simply point to the domain, not an interior page. As such, the home-page by default becomes the most important and linked to page on any small business website. As such, in order to take advantage of the page authority, to have lots of text on the home-page, so this text gets indexed for relevant keywords.

    Perhaps another case of search engine versus human user.

    Reply
  6. this is tricky.. !
    ultimately its the product itself that would make a difference..
    anyways.. great case study.. as always..

    Reply
  7. Loz James

    Great article Peep.
    How would you go about split testing a blog homepage where you have constantly changing posts? Would you split test a footer pop-up similar to the one you have below?
    Cheers! Loz

    Reply
    1. Peep Laja

      What do you mean exactly, what to test or? Dynamic, changing content makes no difference

      Reply
  8. Pete Nguyen

    Thanks for sharing this valuable data Peep! Could you explain your process of doing A/B test on home page?

    Do you create 2 versions (www.yourpage.com vs. http://www.yourcompage.com/homepage2/)? and then later on do a 301 redirect of page B to the homepage (in case some people link to page B) after the test have been concluded? Or do you use A/B testing software like Visual Optimizer or Optimizely.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Peep Laja

      Hey
      You should always, always use a split testing software (I use VWO, but Optimizely or Google Content Experiments are fine too) to get accurate results and save yourself a major hassle.

      The traffic should be split between versions equally during the same time period. If you want to test by showing version A during week 1 and version B during week 2, you’ll get INACCURATE data. The test needs to be performed with identical traffic.

      That being said, sometimes I use split URL testing (50% of traffic sent to url A, 50% to url B), sometimes testing different elements on the same page (VWO and Optimizely let you edit on page – you can change, add or remove elements).

      Reply
  9. Mark@ Make Them Click

    Very interesting results.

    What I find intriguing about the first test is that in the higher converting version, when people went to the Tour/Features page they presumably encountered more copy, probably even the same copy that was on the long version.

    In which case it may be more about how the information is presented rather than how long or short it is.

    Reply
    1. Peep Laja

      Actually the copy was different, there was always a distinct Tour page. We created a new “Why” page from the content of the long home page

      Reply
  10. The results may be true, but you should also check how much traffic is coming to the page because of the content. Long Pages may be much more effective to attract traffic as the search spiders crawl the content.

    Reply
  11. Chande

    After reading (and examining in much detail) case studies from Conversion Rate Experts I would say that their approach was detailed and methodical. Money couldn’t have to do much with it, rather user-objections and questions they have in the signup process. I would like to see that much details for the test you showed here. But, as with everything CRO, it depends from case to case. Great post anyway. Thanks for sharing it!

    Reply
  12. Hey Peep,

    I stumbled upon this post a few weeks ago and I thought cool, I’ll use these examples along with one’s where longer pages converted better to show to a client that we can’t just follow what others do all the time, we need to test ourselves!

    However I went to look at the DesignBoost site and they’ve now gone back to a longer page http://www.designboost.net/ and I wondered why…

    The common theme among these examples is that I think the metric used to measure ‘conversions’ is flawed.

    For DesignBoost they may have got more free sign-ups but perhaps it didn’t help conversions to the products where they make money? Hence why they went back to a longer page, I don’t know

    I believe that any change in the funnel should be measured all the way to the end of the funnel. The end of the funnel should be a point where the site delivers to the businesses core objectives. For DesignBoost this should be revenue or even better profit.

    Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Peep Laja

      DesignBoost: we’re running an experiment to use the home page as a long form sales page to sell bundles.

      Never stop experimenting!

      Reply

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4 Cases Where Short Home Pages Outperformed Long Home Pages