How to boost your traffic with “Related Posts”

Originally posted on Jetpack for WordPress:

Jetpack’s Related Posts feature scans all of the posts on your site (or blog), analyzes them, and shows your visitors other posts with related content that they might be interested in reading once they’re done reading the one that brought them to your site.

Most sites who activate this see an increase in traffic. On this site, Jetpack.me, when we compare pages with and without the feature enabled we see around 79% more visitors clicking through to one other post on the site.

related-posts-graphic-2

This data is based on a 6-month traffic comparison between blog posts showing related posts and pages with the feature disabled. Turning on the feature for us in essence means that almost twice as many visitors read something else besides the original post that brought them here.

How does it work?

The related content is automatically generated based on the content of the post and any tags…

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21 (More) Things to A/B Test

Optimizely published a list of 71 Things to A/B Test on their blog. It’s a pretty cool list. Here’s my additional 21 things you could consider testing if you’re hunting for inspiration:

  1. Wizards. For setup processes, checkouts or other long-ish flows, test a wizard-style UX vs one long ‘settings’ page.
  2. Surveys. If you’re running customer surveys A/B test different formats/lengths to find the best response rates before sending it to everyone.
  3. Symbols of trust. Split test landing pages that contain trustworthy symbols (such as industry affiliations, security checks, etc) to see whether the give your users more confidence in your product.
  4. Popups. Those things that pop up on the bottom right of your browser. Yes. They can be really useful for gathering feedback and subscriptions. Split test the content, visuals and time delay.
  5. Overlays. When clicking on a CTA test whether people will convert more if you take them to a different page or if you show them an overlay with the content/form they requested.
  6. Long-form vs. Short-form. Test out versions of your home page (or landing page) that are short and to the point vs. longer scrolling versions containing tons of content.
  7. Up-sell. When somebody’s about to check out or complete an action test out whether they’d be interested in a (relevant!) upsell. Eg, if I’m buying some bit of enterprise software I might be up for adding a premium support package. 
  8. Cross-sell. “People who bought this also really liked that.” Boom.
  9. Customer Support. If you offer post-sales product support try testing whether people convert more if you play it up on your landing pages or checkout process.
  10. Highlighted text. If you have long paragraphs try highlighting relevant parts in bold or a good background colour.
  11. Animations / Transitions. If things need to change on the page when the user makes an action (or moving to a different page) try using CSS animations to make the transition and experience smoother. If you confuse users less they might convert more.
  12. Rounded corners. Yup.
  13. Instantly Valuable CTA. OK, what I mean here is to try and deliver instant gratification to your users. For instance, Optimizely do a really nice job of this by asking you to simply plug in your website URL and without signing up or anything you can immediately start using the product.
  14. Shorter forms. Forms are necessary but the shorter they are the more likely your users will fill them in.
  15. Optional forms. Try testing making more items in your subscription forms optional.
  16. Phone numbers. Sometimes providing a prominent phone number gives customers the confidence that you’re a ‘real’ company.
  17. Company logo. We all want that branding but does it have to be that big? And colourful? :-) Try testing a smaller or monochrome version of your company logo to give more space to your content.
  18. Question CTAs. Try testing whether your visitors will convert more if you position your CTA text as questions. “Do you want to save money? <Yes!>”.
  19. Pricing. It’s perfectly ok to A/B test your product price to find the optimal price point at which people will convert.
  20. Features vs. Benefits. Are your customers in the market for a “backup and encryption tool” or “peace of mind”? Split test your message to find out which resonates more: features of your product or the benefits.
  21. Task vs. Goal. Let’s say you sell a live chat support product. The kind people embed on their sites for users to chat to a rep. Are you selling to your customers the “ability to integrate live chat easily” (task) or the possibility of “being in touch with customers 24/7″? This is subtly different to #20 but quite similar I admit. Anyway, just test it :-)

Feel free to split test me on Twitter.