When testing to optimize a webpage, there are multiple metrics we track and a number of goals we strive to reach. However, the same two key performance indicators (KPIs) with accompanying goals always seem to pop up.
- Increase clickthrough – We want more people to like what they see on the page, click and go deeper into the funnel. People can’t convert if they don’t click.
- Increase conversion – We want people to absorb the information on the page and hope that it motivates them to ultimately convert.
An intuitive thought process follows that the more people click, the more people will convert.
In theory, if we optimize one KPI, the other will follow.
After a recent test we ran at MECLABS, however, I’d like to share with you how a decreasing clickthrough rate can actually be a good thing.
Setting the stage
Our early analysis also suggested this to be a necessary piece for the landing page, as the only prior way to find this information was to click through and hunt around the site.
So, in order to match user motivation for visiting the page, we designed some treatments that included adding the comparison chart to the landing page.
We ran the test, collected our data, and then saw the results.
Our treatments decreased clickthrough by more than 40%.
Almost half of the people who would have clicked on the control did not click on our treatments.
This was not good – until we looked at our conversion rates.
For all three of our treatments, conversion increased significantly.
By now, you’re probably wondering how a decrease in traffic was also met with an increase in conversion, given the two metrics often seeming reliant upon each other.
The decrease in clickthrough can be attributed to two words: curiosity clicks.
Curiosity can inflate clickthrough rates
What do I mean by curiosity clicks?
Clickthrough traffic to the control was being artificially elevated because of these “curiosity clicks.”
These clicks came from people who were looking for information. They were curious and clicked through to look further for the information they wanted. Curiosity clicks can be a good thing and they can get people where you want them.
However, if clicking through to the next page still does not give the visitor the information they are looking for, they may exit the funnel altogether.
Our visitors were curious, clicked and were then probably disappointed not to find what they were looking for. On our treatment pages, they saw the information they were looking for directly on the landing page.
There was no need to move further into the funnel if that information didn’t suit their needs.
Turn up the dial on giving users the information they need
Although we can attribute curiosity clicks to explain our decrease in clickthrough, what about our increase in conversion?
By providing the comparison chart directly on the page, we prequalified those who were entering the funnel. They knew what they were getting into and made an informed decision to enter the purchase funnel.
Because of this, they were more likely to convert.
Ultimately, this increase in conversion also meant more revenue, so we were able to move past the decrease in clickthrough.