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Help optimize this Chicago Tribune landing page!

Amanda 08-20-14

Help optimize this Chicago Tribune landing page!

[ Edited ]

I know you are all full of valuable testing tips! Can you help out a fellow marketer optimize her website? 


What are your testing ideas to optimize this page and increase purchases? Please provide an explanation for your ideas. 


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Please remember to write your suggestions with respect and love so we can help another optimizer provide a delightful user experience to her customers. 



JohnH 08-20-14

Re: Help optimize this Chicago Tribune landing page!

A few ideas:

1) Where are your visitors typically coming from? Also, are you storing any information about a visitor's preferences? I would imagine that personalizing this page based on Ad type would greatly increase conversions since the content is relevant to the visitor.


2) When I arrive at the page, it's not clear to me what to do or what options are available. I'd change the CTA to "Browse all ad options" or something to that extent.


3) The hero image is not compelling to me. I would adjust this to be a really strong hook CTA about what you can accomplish through advertising on the Tribute. 


4) Have you thought about layering in engagement to get an email address up front? Once you have the email address, you can continue building a relationship and selling to the visitor. 


Level 2
ryanlillis 08-21-14

Re: Help optimize this Chicago Tribune landing page!

What a fun challenge! I would second some of JohnH’s questions about visitor context - the more we know about who your visitors are and the context they have (or don’t have) when they arrive on the page, the more relevant our suggestions are likely to be. That said, here are a few thoughts.


Start with Fundamentals

Answer some fundamental questions first. For example, is the “Most Popular” content helping or hurting conversion? (Test a variation that removes that block entirely.) Where will the “5 Simple Steps” block be best noticed - at the top of the page or below the hero block where it currently is? Start with these simple tests before getting too nuanced. The great thing is that many "fundamental questions" tests are ones that only take a few minutes to set up.


A Few Specific Ideas

  • The CTA, “Try it Now” doesn’t stand out for me. It could be the color or the fact that it blends in with the entire content block it sits in. Test a brighter color, larger button and/or removing the gray gradient background. It may also work better immediately following the “5 Simple Steps” content.

  • The text “Most Popular” initially made me think it was Chicago Tribune editorial content, not ads types to purchase. Change the headline to read “Popular Ad Types.” (Note that this may be too subtle a change to see a massive impact. But if it seems to help slightly, test combining this small change and several others in a test against the true original and the sum of their small impacts may prove very meaningful!)

  • The “Buy Now” button is so prominent it makes it hard to see the “More Info” link. This may give the impression that the user must buy from this page. If your analytics show that these “Buy Now” buttons don’t get that many clicks, test swapping “Buy Now” and “More Info.” Remember that return purchasers may love this “quick buy” functionality but new users may prefer the opposite. I’d recommend setting up some Audience groups to understand these potential differences in user behavior. 

Those are just a few ideas to get you started but I'm looking forward to seeing the iterative evolution of this page!

nolanmargo 08-22-14

Re: Help optimize this Chicago Tribune landing page!

[ Edited ]

1) I'll second John's comments regarding the hero. Not knowing what I would find, I clicked through believing that I might end up in an ad-placement decision engine (which might be cool), but I was kind of let down when I saw the exhaustive list.

With that said, what's the feedback been like from prospective ad buyers, are they generally lost (i.e. not knowing what type of ad they want) and need hand-holding OR do your arriving visitors generally know what they want before they land? Knowing these factors may help you to better carve out your main CTA.

What might be cool is adding a dropdown of your ad options to the main hero, using a CTA of “What type of ad would you like?,” and instead of the slightly awkward Alphabetic list, trying grouping the ads by your categories, “Real Estate”, “Announcements”, “Local Retail” etc… which in turn, on click through, will select the category for the user.

2) I like your visual Steps to getting the word out. I was a bit turned off by the registration and as I found out I didn’t have to register to learn! Maybe try ‘Discover your ad options.’ While this is too small of a change to notice any serious improvement, it may help to clarify the next steps.

3) I found myself completely distracted by the ‘Most Popular’ section ... again this could be my naivete, but it took me a moment to really understand the messaging behind the giant images and descriptions.

What do your scroll depths look like on this page? Further, what do your analytics say about click-through conversions from the most popular section, are these really speeding up your user's pathway OR providing another roadblock to conversion? I agree with Ryan’s suggestion to test the removal of the Most Popular section, see how this improves throughput and retains the focus on finding their ad, not just browsing for the sake of ‘learning.’