website redesign

You’ve decided it’s time to undertake a website redesign. Should you focus on improving UX (user experience), or should CRO (conversion rate optimization) be your priority?  Are they mutually exclusive?  Is there a time when one is more important than the other?

Sarah Jabeen from DiscoverSTEAM tackles this issue with Brian the Conversion Scientist in a UX vs CRO (replay).

You’ve probably guessed that Brian has CRO in his corner; Sarah will be leading with UX.

Watch the discussion.

You’ll still walk away with valuable information you can incorporate into your site redesign including:

  • Do you have to choose one or the other between UX and CRO?
  • When should you focus on UX, and when should you focus on CRO?
  • How does CRO inform UX?
  • What do you do when tests recommend bad UX?
  • What are the similarities of the two processes?
  • What are the differences between the two processes?

Watch the replay. I hope I have you in my corner.

How a B2B eCommerce company used a stepwise strategy for their website redesign and got 250% more leads before they were done.

We recently began the split-testing process for a B2B eCommerce company. This is only remarkable because we signed this deal over a year ago. What happened to delay testing so long?

A website redesign.

The four-month redesign turned into a six month redesign and then into a 14-month redesign. This is not unusual in our experience. The new design has launched and, after all this time, the conversion rate and revenue per visit remained about the same.

We see this as good news. Too often, redesigns actually decrease site performance for a period after launch. There are storied website redesign disasters, such as FinishLine and Marks&Spencer.

Nonetheless, the conversion optimization testing was delayed. They can never recover the revenue or the lost testing time. Let’s see then how this website redesign got 250% more leads before it was finished. Step by step.

How to Make More Money During Your Website Redesign

Conversion Scientists look at websites quite differently. You may see a valuable online revenue engine. We see a laboratory for growing sales in petri dishes, and then scaling that to business-changing proportions.

When Wasp Barcode came to us, our vision fell on the ears of a brave and daring team. The approach allowed them to grow the number of live demos by more than 200% in just a few months.

We started with our Conversion Catalyst, a six-month process designed to grow revenue quickly and permanently. We started by getting Wasp setup for website optimization. This included setting up the digital lab, a set of tools that includes analytics, click-tracking, session recording and split testing.

Download and Read the entire case study: This Website Redesign Got 250% More Leads Before it Was Finished-Wasp Barcode

Then, we went to work in a very unusual way.

Wasp Barcode sells inventory and asset tracking solutions. Their most profitable offering is a complete inventory- or asset-management system that may include software, scanners, and labelers for the things businesses need to track. The most effective way to help their prospects choose the right system is with a live demo. During this demo, a sales person will walk the visitor through their software and answer any questions they have.

Our main goal was to increase the number of visitors filling out a form to request a live demo.

We did a stepwise redesign, in which all of the assumptions about the new design were tested to ensure that they had a positive or at least neutral impact on demos. Our approach was this:

Step One: Test Things that Can Be Used in the Website Redesign

Our first step was to find the calls to action that would move more visitors to request a demo. This was a series of tests to find out what language should be placed on buttons. For example, we learned that language offering “Free Live Demo” or “Free Consultation” generated more clicks to the demo landing page and more completed demos.

Step Two: Test the New Page Design on a Portion of the Site

Their design team integrated what we learned into a redesign for one of the site’s product category pages. We tested this new design against the existing category page, the control.

Our tests showed that the new design did a great job of getting more visitors to the Demo Request page. By driving more visitors to this page, we had more resources to test lower in the funnel.

Step Three: Optimize the Demo Landing Page

We then went to work on the Demo Request Page, a page on which the prospect can complete a form requesting a Live Demo.

Our tests here revealed that removing video and adding a product shot increased form completions significantly.

This key landing page went through several tested iterations to reach a high-converting design.

This key landing page went through several tested iterations to reach a high-converting design.

The redesign was just getting started, and we had already begun generating significantly more demo requests for the business.

Step Four: Move to Another Section of the Site and Repeat

The Wasp design team designed another category page for the next section of the site. They integrated elements that visitors were clicking on frequently, such as feature lists.

While the visitors in this section of the site behaved somewhat differently, we saw a positive lift in visits to the Demo Request page. This page was optimized, and delivered more demo requests to the sales team.

The step-by-step Wasp Barcode website redesign sped up.

The step-by-step Wasp Barcode website redesign sped up.

The Wasp design team then took what we had learned and redesigned the home page. This drove a significant increase in visits to the high-converting Demo Request page.

250% Increase in Demos over Six Months

Most website redesigns would still be sitting on a staging server. Wasp has enjoyed significant increases in demos during their first six months. Together, we rolled their redesign out step by step, testing along the way to ensure each change had a positive or neutral impact.


Breaking the Rules of Website Redesign

Designers and UX people may be rolling their eyes. It is an old truism that a visitor should have a consistent experience across a site, or they will feel lost.

During our stepwise rollout, we violated this rule. But when we have completed the process, providing this consistent experience, we can expect another increase in demos.

This approach also allowed us to change the design for different sections of the site. Those visitors looking for Inventory Management solutions are fundamentally different from those looking at Asset Management tools. One design would not have worked well for both.

Not everything we tried increased the conversion rate, and the Wasp team made adjustments accordingly.

Let Us Guide Your Site Redesign

Your website redesign doesn’t need to be an “all in” gamble. Find out if your website would benefit from a stepwise redesign with a free consultation.

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Raise your hand if you’re considering a website redesign.  Pretty much everyone, yeah?  Well, before you undertake such a massive project, there’s a lot you should consider first…namely the effects such huge changes can have on your conversion rates.
Some businesses will pour millions of dollars into a fancy and beautiful website redesign only to discover that their customers no longer know how to interact with (ahem, buy things on) the site.  In other words, a double loss.  If you think the design of your site is keeping visitors from spending money, consider an approach that’s a bit more slow-and-steady.
Brian suggests taking a scientific approach:  he’s a scientist, after all.  It has probably been some time since you’ve had to think much about the scientific method, so here’s a recap:

  1. Research
  2. Form a hypothesis
  3. Create an experiment design
  4. Run tests
  5. Tabulate results
  6. Analyze results

Do some research then come up with some small changes you can make and measure the effects of.
It’s a cycle that often ends with a surprise. Our visitors just don’t behave the way we think they should. There are great resources out there to help understand these people we call visitors, like Crazy Egg and Google Analytics.  Brian goes into a bit more detail in the webinar, but the bottom line is, don’t fret:  there are absolutely resources out there to help you get the job done.
Here’s where I could say “You know your customers best,” so you should be able to come up with a solid list of hypotheses with which you could experiment, but I won’t.  You should still come up with a list of ideas based on research, but you should be prepared for surprises.
And remember, he’s serious when he says to keep it scientific.  Isolate a single variable as much as possible so that you know for sure what is driving changes in your site visitors’ behaviors.
Watch Brian’s webinar to get an even clearer picture of where you can start on your redesign project.
Image licensed through Creative Commons by Kevin Dooley & adapted for this post.

Get out your number 2 pencils and practice your small circles. We fill in some bubbles for you to help you redesign your home page.

What if I told you that, when a visitor reaches your homepage, to them it’s just like taking a multiple-choice test? They have a question and you offer choices.


 Full column with charts and graphics

Does your homepage design punish visitors if they make the wrong choice? This is the purpose of those standardized multiple choice tests we’ve been taking since high school: if you guess, you are likely to get it wrong.

We don’t want to punish our visitors for guessing. We can attempt to eliminate the guessing, though.

In 8 Ways Your Home Page Is Like A Multiple Choice Test we explore the rules for designing multiple choice questions provided by the Scholastic website, and then see how these apply to our home page question: “Why did you visit our website today?”

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks to Skyrocket Conversions

21 Quick and Easy CRO Copywriting Hacks

Keep these proven copywriting hacks in mind to make your copy convert.

  • 43 Pages with Examples
  • Assumptive Phrasing
  • "We" vs. "You"
  • Pattern Interrupts
  • The Power of Three
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Many business websites have to change with the holiday seasons, but you don’t redesign with each holiday.

We’ve been pretty busy here at Conversion Sciences. No complaints at all.
However, other parts of our lives suffer. In my case, it was decorating for the Christmas Season.
And in an unexpected way, this relates to your website.
I found myself with Christmas getting near and my Halloween decorations were still up. Before you laugh, isn’t this the same way you feel about your website? It’s needed a redesign for a while, but other priorities keep getting in the way.
That’s exactly how I felt.

There is little that can be done with Halloween decorations when preparing for Christmas... or is there?

There is little that can be done with Halloween decorations when preparing for Christmas… or is there?

This is not a traditional Christmas image.
But, since I was short on redecorating resources, I decided to redesign my decorations the way I would redesign a website: a little at a time.
I used small steps in my decoration redesign. I found some Christmas doll sweaters to put on my skeletons. Here’s the result.
This may seem a disturbing choice for Christmas decoration, but what does the data say?

This may seem a disturbing choice for Christmas decoration, but what does the data say?

Your first reaction may be that this isn’t much better. Honestly, that was my first reaction.
But I tested it against the most skeptical (and most important audience) I could: my 17-year-old daughter and her teenage friends.
The response was resoundingly positive and unprompted.
Go figger.
It’s unexpected, unique and didn’t require a decoration redesign. This is the same approach we recommend for your website.
You may think your site needs a re-do. You may feel it’s dated, familiar, or too old. As we like to say in the business, “Your opinion doesn’t matter.” It’s the opinion of your visitors that matters, and they may not see your site with as critical an eye as you. They may even love it as it is.

The Right Reasons to Redesign

There are two really good reasons for a redesign:
1. Your brand is changing completely.
2. Your site is not maintainable and needs a new foundation.
If you aren’t facing one of these two situations, consider a stepwise redesign.
We’ve been able to modify a site completely using testing tools before the business committed to the redesign.

We were able to test a complete redesign for this ecommerce site before committing it to code.

We were able to test a complete redesign for this ecommerce site before committing it to code.

We found with this test that the redesign would not be expected to have a negative effect on revenue.
Test the navigation design.
Test a revised value proposition on your home page.
Test a new layout for each of your important pages.
Test a new checkout process.
Test a new ecommerce category page layout.
Test a new mobile layout.
Piece by piece, you’ll learn what improves your bottom line and what doesn’t. We call this data-driven creative.

Faster Results than a Redesign

Doesn’t this testing process take more time that a redesign?
We’ve accompanied several clients through redesign. A website is a complicated piece of software. We’ve rarely seen a redesign come in in less than twice the time predicted.
So, no, we think our approach is faster.
And, as you find wins, you get to enjoy higher conversion rates, higher revenue and more leads as the site is redesigned.

Enjoy Your Holidays and Your Redesign

Don’t take our word for it. Author and optimizer Rich Page cited a Hubspot study that found one third of companies who implemented a redesign were unhappy with the results.
This doesn’t have to be you.
Having the resources to make your website a better place for your visitors is a great advantage over your competition. Let the competition spend months on one big shot.
Meanwhile, you can learn what your visitors want and deliver more of it month after month, until you possess a site that the competition will have trouble keeping up with.
Merry Christmas from everyone here at Conversion Sciences.

Our data-driven wish for a happy holiday.

Our data-driven wish for a happy holiday.


The folks at have put together a very complete infographic on mobile advertising.
We like articles and infographics that support their findings with research and case studies.
One thing we’d like to put a fine point on is this:

Formula: Number of mobile site visitors divided by the number of actions taken, all multiplied by 100 to give the conversion rate.

Responsive vs. Dedicated Mobile Site

We are seeing in the literature more evidence that responsive designs suppress mobile conversion rates. The primary culprit is load times. We are currently recommending the Native Mobile Website approach for phone-sized screens.
Furthermore, many sites are displaying mobile sites on tablets and phablets that have the resolution to show more. This may be suppressing conversion rates as well.
Everything You Need to Know about Mobile Ads - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog