Test prioritization: elements
Once you’ve prioritized the pages you’ll be testing on, it’s time to look at individual elements on the page. This is way trickier! But there’s some data you can collect that will help, and some rules of thumb you can follow.
Before testing individual elements
If you’re testing on a page for the first time, or the first time in a while, stay zoomed out and do a whole page “wildcard” redesign test. (See this post for an example with visuals.)
After you find a winning design, try a test that simply rearranges or hides elements on the page. Sometimes removing content increases conversions - and it saves you from even considering an experiment on that section.
You’ll be more motivated, and get better results, optimizing elements from a winning experience. You’ll also gather data that will help you later on.
Data you can use to prioritize
If you ran a show/hide/rearrange test, you’ve already got a good sense of what elements are the most valuable. If removing it hurt conversions, it’s valuable. If moving it up on the page improved conversions, it’s valuable. You can go a step further, though.
During your full page tests, collect heatmap and scrollmap data - and be sure you can segment this data by “visitors who converted.”
This info can’t tell you everything, but it will give you some guidelines. If a scrollmap indicates that hardly any visitors view a particular element, it’s probably safe to skip testing it. If everyone’s clicking furiously on a particular section, it’s probably worth optimizing.
In both cases, make sure to consider your converting visitors’ behavior. Imagine that out of 100 visitors, only 10 scroll to the bottom of the page, and only 3 click on the ‘Learn More’ button in the last section. Sounds like a low priority element 😴
But imagine that all 3 of those clickers ended up converting. We just learned that this bottom section is involved in the majority of the revenue generated from the page. We just went from “ignore it, maybe remove it” to “move it up? 🤔 make it bigger?”
Rules of thumb
In the absence of compelling data, here are some logical guidelines for elements to optimize:
- Interactive elements, like forms and buttons and sections that contain them
- Prominent elements located above the fold or taking up the whole screen
- Repeated elements that appear on multiple pages, like navigation and widgets
Now that you’ve found the pages and elements you’re looking to optimize, it’s time to look at the types of changes you can make. We’ll dig into that tomorrow 👋