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Increase in conversion rate by challenging the status quo.

CK-Matthew 10-06-14

Increase in conversion rate by challenging the status quo.

[ Edited ]

Case study on recent layout test.


Client Background 

Fire Recruitment training is an E-book author and merchant which assists people be better prepared when training and taking the highly competitive acceptance test to become a firefighter. They approached us, as their traditional online sales method was not generating the desired results so wanted to see if we could implement our methodology to improve results.


As with many clients who reach out for CRO as all other options have failed, FRA needed the CRO activity to return a quick and positive outcome. FRA needed us to not only create a better performing website, they also needed more cash in their bank account and fast!


So why were their conversion rates not firing up? Digging down into their online visitors behavior, the top-line reasons became instantly apparent and gave us the evidence to adjust their generic sales strategy and make it more relevant for Fire Recruitments visitors.


What were the problems?

1.Accessibility – Users could not access the site in a timely fashion nor see the appropriate information


2. Sales process – Once a user added something to their cart, the process to check out was loosing over 80% of prospects Note: We ended up dissecting the entire website based on customer journeys through for this post I will explain how we dealt with problem number one, accessibility.


Bounce Rate 

With 54% of traffic coming from Google/CPC (Cost per click) it was alarming to see the bounce rate for this channel was 86.05%! Which meant that although FRA was paying $0.25 per click to Google, it was actually costing them $1.78 for an engaged user.






In regards to the speed issue we identified the site had been developed in a way where the entire page would load at the same time, coupled with it being hosted from a low-end service provider off shore, resulted in a below average load time of 14.92 seconds, compared to the standard 3 seconds.




User Behaviour

The online sales method which FRA employed was to build value before seeing the offer, price or product. Which meant that customers were exposed to extensive sales copy before actually realising the purpose of the website, let alone being presented the option to buy their Ebook. Once we administered Crazy Egg on the site we quickly identified approximately only 15% of users were scrolling down far enough to reach the intended call to action.





So let’s say you are one of those users who click through from an ad on Google, you wait the 14.92 seconds for the page to load, then you’re one of those 15% who scroll to the bottom of the page, only then to be confused with myriad of cross sells, upsells and offers before having the option to buy the Ebook. It even took myself a number of minutes to understand what to do.


Understanding the customers

With a slight adjustment to the Google Analytics code and onsite terms and conditions we were able to extract the user demographic information to find that the main customer segment was males between 18-34. These users typically have a shorter attention span so the high level of friction on this page was not helping.


What were some of the solutions?


Our hypothesis.

Based on the identified issues, we created a number of questions which would serve to prove or disprove our hypothesis, below is one example;


Test Type


Expected Outcome


Will increasing the visibility and simplicity of the offer increase the conversion rate?

We expect that as the user will better understand the offer and the call to action be more prominent, there will be an increase to the conversion rate.


Note: We would normally isolate each change into its own test (Visibility AND Simplicity) however FRA needed an immediate result which meant combining the two tests into one. *Typically in this situation we would use a multivariate test however the traffic levels on this site were not high enough to execute this option.


Test: Layout




The control page is an incredible 284 centimeters or 112 inches of scrolling length.





With the product only being seen after users have scrolled 209 centimeters or 82 Inches down the page.




What did we test?



Variation 1:

Variation 1.png



What we changed

  • Sub Heading – As the speed to the page loading was out of our hands we needed to ensure once the page finally did load, the benefit was immediately released by the user – how the Ebook would help them become a firefighter. We did this by adding the sub heading “Fire Recruitment Training Guide”.
  • Layout – We moved the book to be positioned above the fold, directly underneath the introduction video to enable users to see the offer and call to action “Get it Now”
  • Sales Copy – Adding the word “Only” in front of the price was designed to give the impression of value and create urgency.
  • Simplification – Making the offer more succinct and easier to understand meant removing the other options, up-sells and cross-sells, replaced with their main offer - “Fire Recruitment Training guide”.


What else did we try?

  • Variation 2: Removing the video
  • Variation 3: Placing the video below the book offer


Variation 1 proved to be the most successful based on conversions.


What was the outcome?

After running our series of variations, we found Variation 1 was the most successful which increased the purchase conversion rate by 70.93% (1.32% to 1.92%)


Next Steps:

This test has proved, by moving key content (Product / Call to action) above the fold did have an increase in conversions. With the site currently being rebuilt, FRA should implement the findings from this test and ensure that users are getting key information fast










Leanne 10-10-14

Re: Increase in conversion rate by challenging the status quo.

Thanks for sharing, this is really interesting!
Level 2