Growth & Marketing

2 simple changes to our website that dramatically boosted sales

by David Tendrich

The Reliable PSD website is now in its 4th major version. The more we grow and learn and understand, the more we change, and each time, our results greatly improve.

I’m working on another post that will show you the major differences from the 1st version to now… so stay tuned for that in the next week or so 😉

But for now – I wanted to share two simple changes that have already produced a really noticeable result.

Our most recent “site overhaul” launched January 19.

In the last 13 days of January (from the 19th to the 31st), we got 51% of our total inquiries for the month from that new version.

sites

That means in 13 days, the new site accomplished what it took the old one 19 days to do.

Now, to be fair, let’s scrap January 1-2 because people were likely still on vacation for New Years.

But even then, in 17 days the old site did what the new site took 13 days to accomplish. Not bad.

But it gets better. In February, where we can assume people weren’t on vacation any more and things are back to normal in the workplace… we’re averaging 62% more inquiries per day so far – while spending LESS on advertising.

Here are the two changes that are “spearheading” these results.

One / Navigation tweaks

Previously we had a “slide out” JavaScript navigation which we thought was really cool. We figured Reliable was attracting web designers, so we could get away with “fancier” things like that.

nav2

While that site performed really well – we noticed in our analytics that time on site and bounce rate could be much better.

The 2 greatest causes of poor time on site / bounce rate are: 1) Bad traffic. The people coming to your site aren’t fit for what you’re selling. Or 2) The traffic is good – but people are frustrated by a lack of “instant accessibility” of the information they’re looking for.

In addition, despite testing the menu on every device imaginable – we still got reports from time to time of people saying it wasn’t working for them. Which reminded us of another important lesson:

Never hide important content behind JavaScript.

JavaScript can be used to enhance content – but it shouldn’t be relied on to display it because there are too many factors at play that could be blocking it.

We decided to make the menu as accessible as possible, as well as our contact information.

Our hypothesis was that this in and of itself would improve time on site, bounce rate, and visitor engagement.

Here you can see how everything is laid out now:

nav2

But we didn’t stop there.

We had another theory that led us to implementing something I’ve never seen anywhere else.

Our theory was that when someone is browsing through the navigation – that’s all they’re interested in in that moment. So, in that line of thinking, if elements on the website distracted them from this task, they might get frustrated and leave. This led us to another hypothesis:

If we removed those distractions while they were browsing the menu – they’d be more likely to visit another page.

As you can see here, we implemented JavaScript that puts a transparent overlay over the website whenever someone’s mouse enters the navigation:

nav3

We’re finding that visitors are in fact visiting more pages, and staying more engaged on the site for longer. So it looks like our theory that the info just wasn’t as accessible as it needed to be is panning out to be true. And it seems our overlay is encouraging this as well.

Two / The bouncing arrow

We have very important info about our brand and what makes us different / unique below the fold (if you’re new to that term – it just refers to info you have to scroll to see).

But heatmap and Google Analytics data on our previous home page showed us that people didn’t really spend time sorting through it.

So we decided to give people a “nudge” to scroll. We animated this arrow and made it bounce:

arrow

The result? Heatmap data shows us that this arrow is one of the MOST CLICKED elements on the entire home page. Which is great, because when people click it it automatically scrolls them to the first section of content. It’s tied with the “pricing” page in the nav bar.

heatmap1

The data also shows us that people are staying engaged all the way until they hit our footer, at which point they click to view another page.

This shows us that the info we have “below the fold” is relevant and important to our users – we just had to do a better job at letting them know it was there.

It also confirms the age-old wisdom we copywriters know that everyone else always challenges:

People really will read “all that text.” As long as it’s relevant and useful to them.

We have quite a bit of copy below the fold. In fact, there are over 1300 words in total below the fold. Yet our data shows us that people really are reading it.

Below you can see a heat map from the very end of the home page:

heatmap2

So say everything you need to say on your website. Don’t shy away from it because you’re afraid there’s “too much text.” It’s more about how you present it, and whether or not it’s relevant, that truly matters.

So there you have it. 2 simple changes that greatly improved our site’s performance.

I hope you were able to gain some cool insights from what we’re testing and trying.

Questions? Thoughts? Arguments?

Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you have to say. Really.

Discussion

  1. Preston says:

    February 10, 2016

    Really fantastic. Not sure what software you’re using, but it’d be really interesting to see a scroll heatmap as well on those 1,300 words. I use hotjar and also love their user-by-user screen recordings. They say a lot. Sorry, not really a plug. Great article loved it. Congrats on the results.

    1. David Joseph says:

      February 15, 2016

      Hey Preston! Thanks man. Glad you liked it!

      We’re using SumoMe right now to also test out some of their list-building features at the same time. The heatmap is pretty cool but as we get more advanced we’ll probably switch over to hotjar or crazyegg. User-by-user sounds pretty awesome!!

      And by all means – plug away if you think something rocks! Nothing wrong with a good recommendation 🙂

      Thanks again! Talk soon,
      David

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also like:

close

Join over 2,000 designers, agencies & entrepeneurs
getting our weekly posts about design & conversions:

Thank you! We look forward
to seeing you around the blog :-)