This is a part of a post from Ryan Deiss
Note: this was back in 2014 and I believe they have now switched back to the sleeker sites. This info is only intended as intresting info do not get bent out of shape over it.
All the best
When it comes to testing, I’m a big believer in testing BIG!
In other words, if something isn’t working, don’t make a minor tweak…go to the opposite end of the spectrum and work back to the “middle” or you’ll wind up doing test after test with little or no change in result.
So that’s just what we did…
We swung the pendulum all the way from clean and minimalist to cluttered (and as some have told us) downright UGLY!!
More specifically, our new site design included a lot more content on the home page. There are multiple columns, tips, popular posts, and even banner ads.
Crazy as it sounds, this cluttered design beat the crap out of the slicker, cleaner version…it wasn’t even close! Almost immediately, we began to see our key metrics tick upward.
- Time on page was up.
- Pageviews were up.
- Even our unique visitor numbers began to rise because the increase in pageviews led to an increase in social engagement, which actually brought us FREE TRAFFIC!!
After multiple tests across multiple sites in many different markets, our research suggests that a slick, minimalist site layout – like the ones virtually all major ad firms recommend – can drive engagement down and cause your readers to devalue your content and site as a whole.
I know this isn’t what people want to hear, and I know I’ll get a huge backlash from the design community. But data doesn’t lie, and neither do bank accounts.
So I have a question for you…
“Would you rather have a high-traffic, high profit site or would you rather be ‘cool’ and win design awards?”
Choose your answer carefully, because you may not be able to have both…
This one was a biggie, but believe it or not this next change had an even bigger impact on our site…