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Optimizing for engagement

Let’s look at some pathological optimization patterns.

Say you’ve got a B2B lead generation website. Most visitors land on your richly informative homepage. From there, some go deeper and learn about your offering. A handful go on to visit the Contact Us page and fill out a form.

Obviously you’d like to see that last step happen more often. If you could get homepage visitors more engaged you’d surely see leads go up.

So you study your primary CTA - the dreaded Learn More button, pointing to your How it Works page.

More people clicking on that CTA means more people engaged with the site, a lower bounce rate, and more leads. Surely.

You want to make a BIG impact, so you change the CTA to say “Click Here for $1,000 Cash.”

Over the weeks that follow, you see a huge spike in engagement. Bounce rates are down. Pages per session are up.

Your homepage heat map shows the CTA lit up like a volcano 🌋. You print it and hang it on the wall.

Did you actually improve the site?

    © 2024 Brian David Hall