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Aug 10, 2011
Case Study

Website Redesign: Customer surveys and testing help increase conversion by 21.6%

SUMMARY: Learning more about what your customer wants -- and how they want to get it -- will improve marketing efforts. Customer surveys and testing are two methods that effectively provide this information.

Read on to find out how an analytics company used both customer surveys and testing to completely revamp its website and immediately improve results across number of visitors, bounce rate, and most importantly, conversion.
By David Kirkpatrick

CHALLENGE

We all know the customer isn't always right. But, it's still a good idea to get their opinions when looking for ways to improve marketing efforts.

Customer surveys and testing are two methods you can use to learn more about what your customer wants from you, how they want to get it, and the best way of getting it to them.

Information from the customer can improve everything from pay-per-click (PPC) ad copy to entire website redesigns.

CrazyEgg, an analytics company that creates heat map data visualizations for websites, is in the business of improving website performance, and knew its site could use a makeover.

Neil Patel, co-founder of CrazyEgg, explained that the website was several years old with a somewhat dated design. The layout didn't provide enough information to help customers understand what they were buying, and it also didn't sufficiently feature the product.

Hiten Shah, also co-founder of CrazyEgg, added that customer feedback was giving the company information on how to improve its Web visitors' user experience and what those visitors wanted to learn about CrazyEgg's product.

CrazyEgg used that customer input along with testing to completely revamp its website. Find out how the company created a website that better met customer expectations and needs, and without any promotional efforts immediately began outperforming the old site.


CAMPAIGN

Several factors led to CrazyEgg deciding to completely overhaul their website:

o The existing site was several years old

o The existing site had been built in pieces with no overarching design hierarchy

o Visitors faced too many pages with no clear presentation of sought-after information

o The product demo wasn't prominently featured on the website

Being in the website optimization field, CrazyEgg looked at these factors and knew it could improve the marketing and sales performance of the site.


Step #1. Ask your customers what they think

Before jumping into the actual website redesign, CrazyEgg decided to obtain more organized and formal customer feedback through two sets of surveys: email and on the website.

- Email surveys

Emailed surveys provided the first round of customer feedback. CrazyEgg segmented its user base by the type of plan each user committed to over the previous three months. These users were questioned about future usage of the product, how they described the product, and how satisfied they were.

- On-site surveys

The second round of feedback involved pop-up questionnaires that appeared on multiple places on the website, such as the homepage or the pricing page. CrazyEgg even included survey questions in the online application to learn more information about the applicants, such as which products they've used in the past.

Some of the pop-up online surveys were specifically geared to the page where they popped-up. For example, a survey on the pricing page would ask what questions the visitor had to help CrazyEgg learn why some visitors weren't making a purchase.

These surveys provided information on a number of topics:

o Objections people had before signing up for the product

o How the most valuable customers described the product

o Features customers were interested in

o Whether or not customers knew about certain product features

o Net promoter scores to find the most satisfied customers

o Differences between satisfied and unsatisfied customers

This feedback was used to determine design elements for the new website, and influenced the content of the new site's copy.


Step #2. Take stock of the old site

A major design issue with old site was, because it had been built in such an ad hoc fashion, the layout was "cluttered," as described by both Patel and Shah.

"We had a ton of pages that no one was going to and they were reducing our conversions," explained Patel.

The old site had been simply added to over the course of several years, to which Shah said, "It got pretty crowded as we added new stuff. And we didn't really think about the design of these different pages."

After the user surveys, CrazyEgg had new ideas they wanted to try, and knew a complete redesign would improve the conversion issue.

The decision at this point was to provide visitors with more information presented on fewer pages; specifically, to put a lot of content on product features on one dedicated page, to fully explain the product and improve page SEO.


Step #3. Improve the hierarchy of the redesigned website

Because a major problem with the old site was a cluttered, pieced-together design, job one of the redesign was to present product elements in an easy-to-understand order for visitors.

Customer surveys helped to provide a road map of what CrazyEgg customers wanted to find on the site. This helped drive the points of emphasis in the new layout and the content presented.

One place this knowledge worked to CrazyEgg's advantage is when the website redesign vendor began building the new site's hierarchy, interactions and performance during the wire-framing period. The team was able to design the site around the new content instead of the more typical Web redesign outcome of shoehorning copy into the design elements.

- Testing design elements

Another place the new copy was applied was in testing some of the design elements.

For example, a generic call-to-action (CTA) button might be, "Get started" or, "Key plans and pricing." After listening to its customers, CrazyEgg went with a CTA button that said, "Show me my heatmap."

The button links to the pricing page. The CTA is also very specific to CrazyEgg's product and works with the flow of the copy on the page. Testing of the CTA found it had a positive effect on conversion.


Step #4. Feature the product demo

Through testing, CrazyEgg knew that there was a higher conversion rate for website visitors who actually viewed a product demo.

In the old website design, the demo required a click, and had to load whenever a visitor wanted to view the demonstration. The decision was made to prominently feature the demo on both the homepage and landing pages.

The resulting new website included three basic pages:

o A homepage with very little content beyond some navigation, brief product description and the large "show me my heatmap" CTA button, along with a very prominent and uniquely presented product demo.

o A "features" landing page containing succinct, but comprehensive product information and a similarly presented product demo.

o A pricing page that clearly lays out four pricing tiers, brief product information, and common questions. This page does not feature the product demo.

The demo itself is presented in a visually striking manner. The entire demo is on a vertical plane on the right side of the "home" and "features" pages, and is actually shows a slow fade between two of CrazyEgg's web analytic heatmap products.

There is also a clickable "view demo" button that allows the presentation to take over the entire page, alongside a full version of the demo.

Both Patel and Shah agreed that making the demo prominent and available on multiple pages was one of the key marketing decisions of the website redesign.


RESULTS


Though CrazyEgg didn't run any promotional campaigns around the site redesign, the new site is outperforming the old version:

o Conversions are up 21.6%
o Visitors are up by 6.1%
o Bounce rate is down by more than 13%

Prominently featuring the product demo has also been a success:

o 78% increase in visitors who viewed the demo
o 53% increase in the conversion rate of people who viewed the demo

Customer surveys, CrazyEgg's heatmap tools and testing were the driving force behind this successful website redesign.

"You don't need to guess how to improve [a website]," stated Shah. "Your customer actually knows the answer."

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Useful links related to this article

CREATIVE SAMPLES
1. Old website homepage
2. New website homepage

CrazyEgg

Digital Telepathy -- vendor for website redesign

SlideDeck -- vendor for product demo

Members Library -- Online Marketing: Website redesign leads to 476% increase in page views and 64% lower bounce rate

Members Library --

Members Library --
Website Redesign Leads to 34% Increase in Revenue

Homepage Optimization: No single metric will do

Optimization and A/B Testing: Why words matter (for more than just SEO)

Homepage Optimization: How a more logical eye-path led to 59% increase in conversions


See Also:

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