loader image
Skip to content

Introduction

When it comes to running a business website one of the most important aspects is tracking and paying attention to the conversion rate. However, there is more to it than just the overall conversion rate of a site. Individual pages can have conversion rates as well, and those metrics can be impacted by a whole range of variables: the audience, the device type, the page design, the page speed, and plenty more. In this particular case study I am going to focus on the device type and page design and show how having a call to action above the fold for mobile users has a huge effect on a pages conversion rate. 

I recently worked worked with a company that had two landing pages. Each page was targeting the same audience through MailChimp campaigns, and had the explicit purpose to get users to fill out a form that would send them an email with a report. However, once page was performing significantly better than the other in terms of form submissions and their request was for me to find out why and then fix it. 

The Solution

Looking at the Analytics

Given the problem the first thing was to find out why one was performing better than the other. It made sense to start be getting the analytics of each page before forming any judgements or opinions. So I pulled up the analytics for each page over the same three week timeframe to get a snapshot of each.

Page 1

Form Submissions

37

Form Impressions

979

Form Conversion Rate

6.9%

Page Views

535

Bounce Rate

72.5%

Average Session Duration

1:45

Page 2

Form Submissions

63

Form views

986

Form Conversion Rate

22.4%

Page Views

281

Bounce Rate

78.6%

Average Session Duration

1:58

Initial Breakdown

So when you look at these pages over the same period of time we can see some metrics are similar and some are not. The pages have a very similar bounce rate, form views and session durations, but the page views, form submissions and subsequently the conversion rate are vastly different. Page two was essentially about to get almost twice as many form submission with half the page views. 

There is clearly something going on and different between the two pages to cause this difference.
Looking at the Pages

Now that we have looked at the analytics and have seen a clear difference between the pages from a numbers perspective, the next logical thing to do is look at the pages and see how they are different in regards to look, design, and form length. 

As it turns out, both pages have the exact same design, and the form was repurposed for both pages so the length and fields were the same on that as well. The differences between page 1 and two were different copy, which was expected, different images, and page two had a call to action button above the fold under the page title on mobile devices that would take users directly to the form, while page 1 didn’t have any CTAs.

Huh…Interesting (It’s almost comical how specific the difference was between the two and how perfect it was to demonstrate the value of CTAs and how they relate to conversion rates).  So, obviously some investigation needs to be done and compare the analytics of mobile and desktop users. 

Looking at the Audience

While at this point I am pretty confident that button is the game changer, I try to not jump on the first lead I see and look at some more factors that may be in play since it is rarely just one thing that causes the problem. So, I wanted to take a look at the audience that was targeted for each page.

As it turns out, the audience was the same for both. Unfortunately this company doesn’t have any user personas created and all their contacts were in one MailChimp audience list. Looking at the analytics, it looked like most of the traffic to both pages came from this list with some coming from social media and organic traffic, but not much. Now since I just started working with the company I don’t know enough about their audience to know if they should be using the whole list for each campaign. My gut tells me probably not and their contact list has more interest in page 2, but we can’t assume that. All we can do is note it and flag it as something that could have some impact on the conversion rate.

So we covered how the page works and now who is coming to it. At this point it makes sense to turn our focus on something we can actually change, test, and get measurable data on, and that is the button. 

Getting Analytics for Mobile &  Desktop Users and Breaking Down the Data

As mentioned above, the button was only visible for mobile users on Page 2 . So what I hoped to do was look at the form submissions and analytics for each page and break it down by device type. Unfortuanly, the company didn’t have tags set up so actual interactions from the form couldn’t be tracked so there was no way to tell the conversion rate of each device type. However, we can still look at the analytics and get a good feel for what is going on and form an educated opinion based on the data.

Page 1

Desktop Time On Page

4: 03

Desktop Bounce Rate

79.22%

Mobile Time On Page

1:29

Mobile Bounce Rate

83.33%

Page 2

Desktop Time On Page

1:59

Desktop Bounce Rate

81%

Mobile Time On Page

0:37

Mobile Bounce Rate

44.44%

So looking at those key points of data: desktop average time & bounce rate, and mobile average time on page & bounce rate we see some very interesting and telling information. It is important to keep in mind that bounce rate means any instance where someone came to the page and took no further actions as detected by google analytics. So if someone came to the page, stayed on there for 4 minutes, as is the case for page 1 desktop users, and then left, that would be a bounce. What is helpful on these pages is that the only actions for them to take are to interact with the global navigation bar or to fill out the form and submit, which takes them to a new page, so no form submissions would be considered a bounce. 

So looking at this data you can see that the bounce rate for desktop users for Page 1 and Page 2 are about the same, roughly 80%, and while we can’t assume that those 20% of non-bounced users interacted with the form and not the navigation bar we can see that they did it at the same rate. Now compare that to the mobile users. Page 1 had a bounce rate of 83% while page 2 had a bounce rate of 44%, a huge difference. Additionally, mobile users were only on Page 2 for 0:37 seconds.

So what does this tell us?

What this tells us is that desktop users more or less interacted with the page the same way and performed actions at the same rate on both pages, while mobile users had significantly more interactions and less page time on Page 2 over Page 1 on mobile. Given that the only difference between the pages besides the topic was the fact that page 2 had a button above the fold only visible to mobile users that took them straight to the form submission, we can safely assume that, regardless of the fact that the audience is the same, the presence of that button is generating engagement with users and causing a huge difference in the page’s mobile conversion rate. 

Conclusion (What this means for mobile conversion rates)

While it would have been nice to have tagging available to prove our point without a shadow of a doubt, rarely do you find cases that exemplify the effectiveness of above the fold CTAs so cleanly. For mobile users, generally there is a lot more scrolling that needs to be done to find content, and users in general are looking for something specific when they come to your site. So, while it may seem obvious, providing a user a button above the fold, so it is the first thing they see, that takes them directly to the item you want them to engage with (providing it is why they are on the page), will drastically improve the conversion rate of whatever your component may be. This goes especially for mobile devices where you can cut down on the need to scroll, where users generally tune out of your content. 

A parting note:

This case study is based off of landing page that are about a specific piece of content. If you are looking to increase sign-ups for your email list I am skeptical about how relevant this data is to that goal. My advice would be if you are adding a CTA above the fold, it should be targeting the content the user on the page is looking for. So keep your email sign up CTA’s as popups (if you must), at the bottom of the page, or scattered within the content of the page itself.