At the top of the conversion funnel is user acquisition rates relative to traffic. The majority of StudyMode's traffic comes via organic search (80%) and is a 50/50 split between users landing directly onto individual essays or onto subject pages which are canned searches indexed due to popularity and historic engagement. There is a 50% bounce rate off of top due to users either not finding what they need on first entrance to the site or a multitude of other reasons. Being that this is the first brand experience for the majority of users here are page goals for a first landing experience:
- Drive users into conversion funnel
- Highlight value of content
- Highlight brand and value proposition
- Provide an alternate path to additional content discovery
Legacy Document Page
The legacy document page was a combination of functional components, content, and CTAs with no visual hierarchy. Here we have elements conflicting for visual importance with our user acquisition CTAs being secondary to features not driving value. As an anecdotal example the saved documents module is persistent regardless of logged in state so first time visitors will always have that module present and to which it's skeumorpic design detracts from the importance of the read full document button driving the conversion funnel.
Testing, Testing and More Testing
A/B Testing is in the DNA of StudyMode and the core document page is the most tested elements outside of the payment funnel. Here we've tested endless variations of core layout design, supporting marketing copy, faked value propositions, etc which have all lead to incremental gains in conversion behavior as well as understanding of what resonates with our traffic profile.
Updated Essay Pages
Below is the latest production version of our document viewer page removes the cognitive load of elements to the page that users do not engage with in logged out states as well as focused CTAs to promote behavior. No longer are users provided a fractured experience but a clear motivation to sign up not only based on strategic presentation of elements but also enforced value due to subtle messaging around unique and high quality content.
The resulting success of this track of product development has been an increase of user acquisition rates by 71% thus gaining the company millions of additional users to which we can retarget and get a deeper understanding of their needs.