Proof that little design changes can make a big difference to conversion

A month ago I wrote that little design changes can make a big difference to conversion and now here’s the conclusive proof.

  • Cross linking
    Hero items
    Site search
    Proof of sales increases via search in Google Analytics
Cross linking, Hero items, Improved site search, Google analytics proof

Last week, on the JJB website I decided to make some small changes and of course every change was monitored by Google Analytics.

The Changes

Cross Linking

Firstly, I added some cross links to product categories for SEO purposes and also for usability. The idea being, that the site would have better links sitewide to terms like football boots and nike trainers but also that if a female customer found themselves on the men’s trainers page via SERP they could easily get to the women’s trainers section.

Therefore this, change has more than one benefit… hopefully: SEO & Usability.

Hero Items

The hero items are our supposedly best selling items. On our site it can be difficult to promote individual items in sub-category listings so our top instore selling items can get lost on page 5 of products listings and therefore never get seen nor bought. As most people don’t scroll we’ve found that putting the top sellers at the top of the page after just one customer click gets great conversion.

Obviously, we can’t prove that customers wouldn’t have found the product anyway but, we can see that nearly 20% of people who click on the football shirts main category clicked on one of our hero items (which is more than clicked on any subcategory) and a lot of purchases were made.

We hope this technique makes browsing and buying from the site much easier which, in turn should lead to repeat purchases and happier customers.

Improved Search

The search improvement can be seen in the example (to your right) which shows a site search for school brings back the most popular school shoes we have for sale. Not shown in the picture we also promote the best selling backpacks and school coats below the shoes.

The diagram above clearly shows, that although the actual number of searches decreased (mainly due to it being a Bank Holiday weekend in England and consequently all round less traffic) that the value of those searches went up by nearly 20% which is astounding. This is great for the business because it helps customers choose easier.

Also, we’re aware that our search engine is quite poor but the solutions to fix it completely are quite expensive and beyond my capabilities. So this fix costs nothing except the time to write the code (1 day) and the time for somebody every week to make sure the recommended products are in stock and correctly priced (2 hours a week).

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