What is the highest performing number of columns for your webpages?
The question is deceptively simple and difficult to determine unless you test your way to the optimal layout for your needs.
During a recent Web clinic, Jon Powell, Senior Executive Content Writer, MECLABS, revealed how a large tech company decided to test its column layout in an effort to increase sales from its branded search efforts.
So, let’s review the research notes for some background information on the test.
Background: A large technology company selling software to small businesses.
Goal: To significantly increase the number of software purchases from paid search traffic (branded terms).
Primary Research Question: Which column layout will generate the highest rate of software purchases?
Approach: A/B multifactor split test
Here’s a screenshot of the control which utilized a two column layout – one main column and a right sidebar – featuring separate content and CTAs.
In the treatment, the team eliminated the sidebar and focused on a single-column layout.
What you need to know
The one-column design increased branded search orders by 680.6% and revenue per visit by 606.7% when tested against the two-column design.
To learn more about why the single-column layout outperformed the two-column design, watch the free on-demand Web clinic replay of “How Many Columns Should I Use?” to see the results of an aggregate column research study you can use to aid your own conversion rate optimization efforts.
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That is astonishing. I know that split tests have yielded some amazing results with a few simple tweaks, but that is an incredible result.
I would have to test that to see if it worked for my site and my market, but I can tell you, that is going to shoot right to the top of my to do list in the next week. Thank you very much for sharing your results.
Surprising results! I appreciate large companies sharing their test results. Worth trying a simple A/B test on our own sites. Thanks for sharing.