I was recently contacted by a local business, My Docs Online, about doing a few small tweaks to their website home page for better optimization. Fortunately for me, they had already done their homework and employed the very useful Google Browser Size Labs and Google Website Optimizer.
Google Browser Size Labs is a nice little tool you can use to visualize how much of your website is seen by your users within the browser window. As many web designers may know, it is very important to keep critical content and call to actions “above the fold” or viewable in the browser window without having to scroll. This tool will transparently display a colored grid with percentages over the web page of the url you enter in the field. From the tool, you’ll be able to tell what percentage of users can see a particular area of your site.
In the case of My Docs Online’s home page, they found that their call to action, a “Free Trial” button, was only viewable by 45% of their visitors (see above). This means that 55% of visitors had to scroll down in order to see the call to action! This is something that we easily corrected, but using this tool help them to diagnose the problem. By simply reducing the height of the photo banner area and moving the “Free Trial” button up and in the same area, so it was more prominent and “above the fold” they made their call to action more prominent to their users (98% of them).
Another tool that my client used was Google’s Website Optimizer. This free tool allows you to test and optimize site content and design. My Docs Online had set up different landing pages using different main images to test whether they had a different effect on their audience. They also did a comparison between the old home page and the newly optimized one created by Blue Turtle Graphics. The result (below) was that the new page had a 97.5% chance of outperforming the original.
Sometimes just a few minor tweaks is all it takes to make your website better for your users. Both of Googles tools explained above are free to use, so why not try a couple of tests on your site to see if there’s any room for improvement?