Tag Archives: url

A Handy Guide to UTM Codes: Know Which of Your Campaigns Really Work

Our traffic bounces all over the place. We have social. We have email. We have paid ads. There’s more sites, platforms, and networks than we could possibly hope to run our campaigns on. How do we keep track of it all? How do we know what’s working and what’s not? We use UTM codes. What’s a UTM? UTM stands for Urchin tracking parameters. They’re little pieces of data that we add to our URLs in order to see where different traffic comes from. They were introduced way back with an analytics tool called Urchin, the tool that was bought by…

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A Handy Guide to UTM Codes: Know Which of Your Campaigns Really Work

How to Optimize Your Website for Google’s Mobile-First Index

We know that Google’s Mobile-First Index is coming. As is the norm with Google, we’re just not sure when. The latest reports from SMX Advanced in Seattle back in June saw Gary Illyes quoting early 2018 as the rollout date, but we can expect a fairly soft roll out on this one. It’s also likely that Google will be providing webmasters with a lot of guidance as this is a huge move with the potential to cause havoc to a lot of great websites if they get it wrong. With that timeline in mind, there are things you can be…

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How to Optimize Your Website for Google’s Mobile-First Index

The Top 10 Most Common AdWords Mistakes (And How To Fix Them)

Top 10 Google Adwords Mistakes

AdWords can be an incredibly powerful platform for growing your business, but the truth is that most businesses are wasting thousands of dollars every month due to poor account management. If you feel like you could be generating more revenue from AdWords, chances are that you’re making some of these ten common mistakes that are inhibiting your performance. In this post I will be showing you ten common AdWords mistakes that I’ve seen literally hundreds of advertisers make. And, more importantly, I’m going to show you exactly how to fix them, so you can take next steps towards creating an…

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The Top 10 Most Common AdWords Mistakes (And How To Fix Them)

Get your website testing-ready with the Technical Optimizer’s Checklist

Reading Time: 9 minutes

If you were planning to race your car, you would want to make sure it could handle the road, right?

Imagine racing a car that is not ready for the surprises of the road. A road that is going to require you to twist and turn constantly, and react quickly to the elements.

You would find yourself on the side of the road in no time.

A well-outfitted car, on the other hand, is able to handle the onslaught of the road and, when the dust settles, reach the finish line.

Well, think of your website like the car and conversion optimization like the race. Too many companies jump into conversion optimization without preparing their website for the demands that come with testing.

Get the Technical Optimizer’s Checklist

Download and print off this checklist for your technical team. Check off each item and get prepared for smooth A/B testing ahead!

By entering your email, you’ll receive bi-weekly WiderFunnel Blog updates and other resources to help you become an optimization champion.

But proper technical preparation can mean a world of difference when you are trying to develop tests quickly, and with as few QA issues as possible. In the long-run, this leads to a better testing rhythm that yields results and insights.

With 2017 just around the corner, now is a good time to look ‘under the hood’ of your website and make sure it is testing-ready for the New Year. To make sure you have built your website to stand the tests to come, pun intended.

In order to test properly, and validate the great hypotheses you have, your site must be flexible and able to withstand changes on the fly.

With the help of the WiderFunnel web development team, I have put together a shortlist to help you get your website testing-ready. Follow these foundational steps and you’ll soon be racing through your testing roadmap with ease.

To make these digestible for your website’s mechanics, I have broken them down to three categories: back-end, front-end, and testing best practices.

Back-end setup a.k.a. ‘Under the hood’

Many websites were not built with conversion optimization in mind. So, it makes sense for you to revisit the building blocks of your website and make some key changes on the back-end that will make it much easier for you to test.

1) URL Structure

Just as having a fine-tuned transmission for your vehicle is important, so is having a well-written URL structure for your website. Good URL structure equals easier URL targeting. (‘Targeting’ is the feature you use to tell your testing tool where your tests will run on your website.) This makes targeting your tests much simpler and reduces the possibility of including the wrong pages in a test.

Let’s look at an example of two different URL targeting options that you might use. One is a RegEx, which in JavaScript is used for text-based pattern matching. The other is Substring match, which in this case is the category name with two slashes on each side.

RegEx Example

Products to include:

  • www.test.com/ab82
  • www.test.com/F42
  • www.test.com/september/sale98

Products to exclude:

  • www.test.com/F4255


  • RegEx: (ab82|F42|sale98)

Substring Example

Products to include:

  • www.test.com/products/engines/brandengine/
  • www.test.com/products/engines/v6turbo
  • www.test.com/products/sale/september/engines/v8

Products to exclude:

  • www.test.com/products/sale/september/wheel/alloy


  • Substring: /engines/

In the first example, the company assigned URLs for their product pages based on their in-house product numbers. While writing a targeting rule based on RegEx is not difficult (if you know JavaScript), it is still time consuming. In fact, the targeting on the first example is wrong. Tell us why in the comments!

On the other hand, the second example shows a company that structured all of their product URLs and categories. Targeting in this case uses a match for the substring “/engines/” and allows you to exclude other categories, such as ‘wheels’. Proper URL structure means smoother and faster testing.

2) Website load time or ‘Time to first paint’

Time to first paint‘ refers to the initial load of your page, or the moment your user sees that something is happening. Of course, today, people have very short attention spans and can get frustrated with slow load times. And when you are testing, ‘time to first paint’ can become even more of a concern with things like FOOC and even slower load times.

So, how do you reduce your website’s time to first paint? Glad you asked:

  • Within the HTML of your page:
    • Move any JavaScript that influences content below the fold to the bottom of the body, and make these sections load asynchronously (meaning these sections will execute after the code above it). This includes any external functionality that your development team is bringing from outside the basic HTML and CSS such as interactive calendars, sliders, etc.
    • Within the head tag, move the code snippet of your testing tool as high as you can―the higher the better.
  • Minify* your JS and CSS files so that they load into your visitor’s browser faster. Then, bring all JS and CSS into a single file for each type. This will allow your user’s browser to pull content from two files instead of having to refer to too many files for the instructions it needs. The difference is reading from 15 different documents or two condensed ones.
  • Use sprites for all your images. Loading in a sprite means you’re loading multiple images one time into the DOM*, as opposed to loading each image individually. If you did the latter, the DOM would have to load each image separately, slowing load time.
Load all of your images in sprites.

While these strategies are not exhaustive, if you do all of the above, you’ll be well on your way to reducing your site load time.

3) Make it easy to differentiate between logged-in and logged-out users

Many websites have logged-in and logged-out states. However, few websites make it easy to differentiate between these states in the browser. This can be problematic when you are testing, if you want to customize experiences for both sets of users.

The WiderFunnel development team recommends using a cookie or JavaScript method that returns True or False. E.g. when a user is logged-in, it would return ‘True’, and when a user is logged-out, ‘False’.

This will make it easier for you to customize experiences and implement variations for both sets of users. Not doing so will make the process more difficult for your testing tool and your developers. This strategy is particularly useful if you have an e-commerce website, which may have different views and sections for logged-in versus logged-out users.

4) Reduce clunkiness a.k.a. avoid complex elements

Here, I am referring to reducing the number of special elements and functionalities that you add to your website. Examples might include date-picking calendars, images brought in from social media, or an interactive slider.

This calendar widget might look nice, but is it valuable enough to merit inclusion?
This calendar widget might look nice, but is it valuable enough to merit inclusion?

While elements like these can be cool, they are difficult to work with when developing tests. For example, let’s say you want to test a modal on one of your pages, and have decided to use an external library which contains the code for the modal (among other things). By using an external library, you are adding extra code that makes your website more clunky. The better bet would be to create the modal yourself.

Front-end setup

The front-end of your website is not just the visuals that you see, but the code that executes behind the scenes in your user’s browser. The changes below are web development best practices that will help you increase the speed of developing tests, and reduce stress on you and your team.

1) Breakpoints – Keep ’em simple speed racer!

Assuming your website is responsive, it will respond to changes in screen sizes. Each point at which the layout of the page changes visually is known as a breakpoint. The most common breakpoints are:

  • Mobile – 320 pixels and 420 pixels
  • Desktop and Tablet – 768px, 992px, 1024px and 1200px
Each point at which the layout of your page changes visually is known as a 'breakpoint'.
Each point at which the layout of your page changes visually is known as a ‘breakpoint’.

Making your website accessible to as many devices as possible is important. However, too many breakpoints can make it difficult to support your site going forward.

When you are testing, more breakpoints means you will need to spend more time QA-ing each major change to make sure it is compatible in each of the various breakpoints. The same applies to non-testing changes or additions you make to your website in the future.

Spending a few minutes looking under to hood at your analytics will give you an idea of the top devices and their breakpoints that are important for your users.

Source: Google Analytics demo account.

Above, you can see an example taken from the Google Analytics demo account: Only 2% of sessions are Tablet, so planning for a 9.5 inch screen may be a waste of this team’s time.

Use a standard, minimal number of breakpoints instead of many. You don’t need eight wheels, when four will easily get the job done. Follow the rule of “designing for probabilities not possibilities”.

2) Stop using images in place of text in your UI

Let’s say your website works in the many breakpoints and browsers you wish to target. However, you’re using images for your footer and main calls-to-action.

  • Problem 1: Your site may respond to each breakpoint, but the images you are using may blur.
  • Problem 2: If you need to add a link to your footer or change the text of your call-to-action, you have to create an entirely new image.
Avoid blurry calls-to-action: Use buttons, not images.

Use buttons instead of images for your calls-to-action, use SVGs instead of icons, use code to create UI elements instead of images. Only use images for content or UI that may be too technically difficult or impossible to write in code.

3) Keep your HTML and CSS simple:

Keep it simple: Stop putting CSS within your HTML. Use div tags sparingly. Pledge to not put everything in tables. Simplicity will save you in the long run!

No extra  tags! Source: 12 Principles for Keeping your Code Clean
No extra div tags! Source: 12 Principles for Keeping your Code Clean

Putting CSS in a separate file keeps your HTML clean, and you will know exactly where to look when you need to make CSS changes. Reducing the number of div tags, which are used to create sections in code, also cleans up your HTML.

These are general coding best practices, but they will also ensure you are able to create test variations faster by decreasing the time needed to read the code.

Tables, on the other hand, are just bad news when you are testing. They may make it easy to organize elements, but they increase the chance of something breaking when you are replacing elements using your testing tool. Use a table when you want to display information in a table. Avoid using tables when you want to lay out information while hiding borders.

Bonus tip: Avoid using iFrames* unless absolutely necessary. Putting a page within a page is difficult: don’t do it.

4) Have a standard for naming classes and IDs

Classes and IDs are the attributes you add to HTML tags to organize them. Once you have added Classes and IDs in your HTML, you can use these in your CSS as selectors, in order to make changes to groups of tags using the attributed Class or ID.

You should implement a company-wide standard for your HTML tags and their attributes. Add in standardized attribute names for Classes and IDs, even for list tags. Most importantly, do not use the same class names for elements that are unrelated!



Looking at the above example, let’s say I am having a sale on apples and want to make all apple-related text red to bring attention to apples. I can do that, by targeting the “wf-apples” class!

Not only is this a great decision for your website, it also makes targeting easier during tests. It’s like directions when you’re driving: you want to be able to tell the difference between the second and third right instead of just saying “Turn right”.

Technical testing ‘best practices’ for when you hit the road

We have written several articles on testing best practices, including one on the technical barriers to A/B testing. Below are a couple of extra tips that will improve your current testing flow without requiring you to make changes to your website.

1) If you can edit in CSS, then do it

See the Pen wf-css-not-js by Ash (@ashwf) on CodePen.

Above is an animation that WiderFunnel Developer Thomas Davis created. One tab shows you the code written as a stylesheet in CSS. The tab on the right shows the same animation written in JavaScript.

JavaScript is 4-wheel drive. Don’t turn it on unless you absolutely need to, ‘cause you’re going to get a lot more power than you need. CSS effects are smoother, easier to work with, and execute faster when you launch a test variation.

2) Don’t pull content from other pages while testing

When you are creating a variation, you want to avoid bringing in unnecessary elements from external pages. This approach requires more time in development and may not be worth. You have already spent time reducing the clunkiness of your code, and bringing in external content will reverse that.

The important question when you are running a test is the ‘why’ behind it, and the ‘what’ you want to get out of it. Sometimes, it is ok to test advanced elements to get an idea of whether your customers respond to them. My colleague Natasha expanded on this tactic in her article “Your growth strategy and the true potential of A/B testing”.

3) Finally, a short list of do’s and dont’s for your technical team

  • Don’t just override CSS or add CSS to an element, put it in the variation CSS file (don’t use !important)
  • Don’t just write code that acts as a ‘band-aid’ over the current code. Solve the problem, so there aren’t bugs that come up for unforeseen situations.
  • Do keep refactoring
  • Do use naming conventions
  • Don’t use animations: You don’t know how they will render in other browsers


DOM: The Document Object Model (DOM) is a cross-platform and language-independent convention for representing and interacting with objects in HTML, XHTML, and XML documents

iFrame: The iframe tag specifices and inline frame. An inline frame is used to embed another document within the current HTML document

Minification of files makes them smaller in size and therefore reduces the amount of time needed for downloading them.

What types of problems does your development team tackle when testing? Are there any strategies that make testing easier from a technical standpoint that are missing from this article? Let us know in the comments!

The post Get your website testing-ready with the Technical Optimizer’s Checklist appeared first on WiderFunnel Conversion Optimization.


Get your website testing-ready with the Technical Optimizer’s Checklist

Mastering eCommerce Conversions with VWO and Demandware

Shopping Cart and Conversion Optimization platforms together have been making lives simpler for eCommerce business owners. With its latest release, VWO adds Demandware to its kitty of third-party app integrations to allow easy configuration of VWO SmartCode on Demandware stores. In addition, eCommerce stores using Demandware can also track their store revenue and configure custom URLs to run tests.

Using the plug-in, Demandware users can now directly add their preferred type of VWO SmartCode (Asynchronous or Synchronous) to all pages on their shopping website and get cracking with their A/B testing campaign. The plug-in also allows eCommerce websites to track revenue conversions in their preferred format, using different combinations of tax and shipping charges along with the actual value of each order.

A key outcome of this integration is that businesses running Demandware can enable custom URL tracking. This tracking allows running test campaigns on SEO-friendly URLs that don’t have a common pattern. In a typical eCommerce store, URLs are often morphed to match frequent search queries. However, the changing nature of these URLs makes it difficult for marketing platforms to recognize their page types. VWO’s custom URL tracking allows users to easily classify URLs into different categories such as Product Page, Category Page, or Checkout Page, and then run test campaigns on a specific group of pages together.

How Does it Work?

Installing the VWO code on your Demandware store is a one-minute process. Simply download the VWO plug-in and import it into your Demandware studio. Now, follow these simple steps to configure the VWO cartridge for your store with your preferred settings.

In simple words, there is no need to individually add the VWO code to all pages on your Demandware store. The VWO plug-in does all that for you in no time! Also, don’t forget to configure your revenue tracking with VWO and enable custom URLS for running targeted campaigns.

VWO Free-trial CTA

The post Mastering eCommerce Conversions with VWO and Demandware appeared first on VWO Blog.


Mastering eCommerce Conversions with VWO and Demandware


How VWO Affects your Site Speed

A recent post published on the ConversionXL blog highlighted a study conducted to find out how different A/B testing tools affect site speed. VWO was among the tools compared and we feel the results of the study are not an accurate reflection of our technology.

In this post, we are going to highlight some aspects of the study that had a large impact on the results and also elaborate on how the VWO code affects your page load time.

Sub-optimal Test Configuration with ‘DOM Ready’ Event Conditions

In the research conducted by OrangeValley, the test campaign was configured with sub-optimal settings within VWO. This means that rather than using the recommended WYSIWYG Visual Editor to change background image and text, a custom JavaScript code was used to make the changes. In addition, the code was configured to fire after the page had loaded (in JavaScript this is called a ‘DOM ready’ event). This impacted the result in two ways:

  1. The inclusion of the ‘DOM ready’ event made the VWO code wait for the entire page to load before it could display the changes made in the variation. The web page used in the study had a page load time of around 2.7 seconds.
    Here’s a snapshot of the campaign code from VWO settings (while the code waits for ‘DOM ready’):Sub-optimal way, waiting for DOM ready
    Here’s another snapshot of the campaign code (using the optimal way, without ‘DOM ready’): Optimal way, without waiting for DOM ready
    Executing after the DOM ready event will invariably increase the experienced loading time. Here’s the general case for it.
  2. To counter flicker and ensure a smooth loading experience for visitors, VWO hides all the relevant elements before they start loading on the page and only unhides them once the VWO code has swapped them with the variation changes. All this happens within a span of 110 milliseconds on average. If the campaign had been configured using the optimal manner, the flicker effect would have automatically been taken care of by our SmartCode.

Asynchronous v/s Synchronous Code

As clearly noted in the blog post, “Most A/B testing software create an additional step in loading and rendering a web page”. This happens because many A/B testing tools use synchronous code. VWO, with its asynchronous SmartCode is an exception to this.

With its unique asynchronous code, VWO ensures there is no delay in the load time of the page. VWO’s asynchronous code does not block the rendering of parts of the page and does not impact the page load time.

Asynchronous V/S synchronous Code Comparison

What is asynchronous code and why does VWO recommend it?

Simply put, asynchronous means that the code will contact VWO’s servers in the background, download and process the test package while the rest of your page continues to load and render in the browser normally.

With synchronous code, the browser has to wait for the package to download and then process it before loading the rest of the page. If for any reason the tracking code can’t contact its servers then the browser will wait, usually for 30 to 60 seconds, until the request times out. If your tracking code is in the tag, then your entire page won’t load and your visitor will be stuck with a blank page. Asynchronous code does not have this critical problem. If for any reason, the asynchronous VWO SmartCode can’t contact our servers your page will still download and render properly.

Private and Dynamic Content Delivery Network (CDN)

VWO has invested years of engineering effort to ensure that we build the best-in-class technology and infrastructure for our customers. An important part of this is setting up our own private CDN which uses Bare Metal Servers from IBM SoftLayer’s state-of-the-art global data centers. This ensures that we always have a server close to your visitor’s location and there is minimum latency, reducing critical download time.


VWO’s CDN is also dynamic which caches not just the static code required to run tests but also generates dynamic test variation data. This has an edge over regular CDNs since they only cache static data. By dynamically generating test packages only the relevant variation data is sent to each visitor depending on the URL they are on.

Small Size of VWO’s Test Packages

Another factor that significantly impacts page load time is the size of test packages, which determines how long it will take for the browser to download it. VWO ensures small package sizes through two methods: by intelligently understanding and recording only the precise changes that you make to your page, and individually packaging tests for a visitor to deliver only the relevant content for the URL they are on.

Let us suppose you edit the HTML of your product page template to make two changes; increase the font-size of your text and insert a ‘recommended’ icon. VWO compares your changes to the original code and detects the precise edits – the change made to the CSS property “font-size” and the insertion of a new graphic. Other systems will save the entire block of code which will also convert the dynamic content into static content and will end up showing the same description across all product pages.

Small size of VWO’s test packages

VWO’s CDN is custom built for optimal A/B testing performance. It unbundles the payload to make smaller packages for each individual test and URL. Some A/B testing tools bundle all the data for all tests running on a domain into one large package. We’ve seen package sizes of up to 3MB when a website is running many tests, which obviously increases page load time. VWO, on the other hand, only sends the data required for the test running on a particular URL to make a small, tidy payload which downloads quickly. This is especially advantageous when you’re a power-testing team running multiple tests on different parts of your domain.

VWO - Small size of test files

Having said all this, we are confident that VWO’s best-in-class technology coupled with optimal campaign settings will ensure that your website never slows down. We would also like to invite OrangeValley to work with us on setting up their campaign correctly so that they can present a true comparison of all the tools in their study.

As always, if you still have any doubts or clarifications to seek in this regard, please feel free to reach out to me directly at sparsh@wingify.com.

Happy Optimizing!

The post How VWO Affects your Site Speed appeared first on VWO Blog.


How VWO Affects your Site Speed


100+ Essential CRO Terms to Help You Conquer Conversion

Keeping abreast of conversion optimization trends and technologies can be tiring. Even more so when the terms/keywords used by conversion experts are going over your head.

This post aims to help you by bringing all popular CRO terms — basic as well as advanced — at one place.

To make the list comprehensive, the terms have been compiled from a wide range of conversion optimization disciplines such as A/B testing, Website Design, Online Ads, SEO, and more.

(Note: The following terms have been defined in context of CRO)

You can click one of the letters below to directly reach the letter you want.

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    L    M    N    O    P    R    S    T    U    V    W


A/B TESTING (SPLIT TESTING): It is an experiment where two versions of a web page are compared to see which one produces more conversions.

A/B testing
Graphical representation of an A/B test.

Here is a complete guide that tells you all about ‘Why to A/B test?’ and ‘What to A/B test?’

ABOVE THE FOLD: It is the portion of a web page that is visible without scrolling.

It is advisable to display a website’s offering and differentiators above the fold.

Related Post: This is how a website leveraged above-the-fold space to boost customer engagement.

AFFILIATE: It is a website that promotes another company’s products or services on its space, and earns commission from it.

This practice is known as Affiliate Marketing.

ALT TEXT: It is an HTML tag, where description of an image can be inserted.

When a visitor chooses ‘don’t display images’ for a website, the alt-text of an image is shown in place of the image.

ANCHOR TEXT: It is the clickable text on a hyperlink.

Best practices for SEO advise that anchor text should be closely related to the web page it links to.

AUTHORITY SITE: The websites that search engines consider to be of high-quality, are called authority sites.

AOV: It is an acronym for Average Order Value. As the name suggests, it is the average value (typically in dollars) of all orders processed by an eCommerce store.


BACKLINK: It is also known as an inbound link. Suppose website A contains a hyperlink that directs to website B. For website B, that hyperlink is a backlink.

A website having backlinks from authority sites will rank better in search engine results.

Tweet: Glossary of 100 Conversion Optimization terms. Find at https://vwo.com/blog/100-conversion-optimization-terms

BANNERS: They are rectangular segments (of various dimensions) on a website that are generally used to display ads.

These are some of the typical banner sizes used across the web:

web banner sizes

BANNER BLINDNESS: It is a phenomenon where website visitors consciously or subconsciously ignore banner ads or any other banner-like graphic on a website.

BASELINE: Baseline conversion rate is the existing conversion rate of a website, which an A/B test attempts to improve.

BAYESIAN: Bayesian is a probability concept which interprets probability as a degree of belief.

In A/B testing, bayesian probability offers an absolute level of a test result’s validity.

BEHAVIORAL TARGETING: It is an advertising strategy where websites present their visitors with ads that are specifically related to their interests and preferences.

Websites do this by tracking a visitor’s shopping and browsing history.

BELOW THE FOLD: It is the portion of a website that is not above the fold.

BOUNCE: When a visitor arrives on a website and leaves without viewing other pages on the website, it is called a bounce.

BOUNCE RATE: It is the percentage of visitors that end up bouncing from a website.

It is often used as a measure to check a website’s effectiveness.

A website’s higher bounce rate reflects its lack of ability to engage visitors. Tweet: Glossary of 100 Conversion Optimization terms. Find at https://vwo.com/blog/100-conversion-optimization-terms

BREADCRUMB NAVIGATION: It is a set of navigation links on a web page that tells the exact location of the web page in a website.

This is how Flipkart, an eCommerce store, uses breadcrumb navigation on its website.

breadcrumb navigation


CALL TO ACTION (CTA): A Call to Action is an instruction given to website visitors that provokes an immediate response.

Any action that a website wants its visitors to perform is carried out using a CTA button.

A CTA button is the doorway to conversions. Tweet: Glossary of 100 Conversion Optimization terms. Find at https://vwo.com/blog/100-conversion-optimization-terms

And hence, it is one of the hottest website elements that is A/B tested.

Related Post: Read this interesting case study about an A/B test involving CTA variations.

CANONICAL URL: If there are multiple URLs through which a web page can be reached (like https://example.com/ and http://www.example.com/index.html), search engine picks up the preferred URL defined by the webmaster.

This preferred URL is know as a canonical URL.

Want to read more on it? You can start with this fine article on canonicalization from Moz.

CART ABANDONMENT: Cart abandonment occurs when eCommerce website visitors initiate the purchase process of a product but don’t buy it at the end.

It is one of the biggest pain areas for eCommerce players.

However, cart abandonment can be alleviated using certain onsite practices.

One of those practices is ‘Website Checkout Optimization’. This infographic illustrates how to do it.

CHURN RATE (ATTRITION RATE): It is the percentage of customers of a service that discontinue to use the service in a specific interval of time.

A high churn rate often indicates that a company’s services are not satisfactory.

CLICKBAIT: It refers to the sensationalized low-quality content on the internet, whose main purpose is to attract visitors and generate revenue from ad clicks.

Below is an example of clickbait content.

clickbait example

CLICK TO CALL: It is a CTA button on a mobile website/application that allows visitors to directly call a phone number.

CLICKMAP: Clickmap shows the number of clicks for each link on a website.

CLICKSTREAM: It is the list of links that a visitor clicked on, during their stay on a website.

Clickstream is used to determine the interests and site preferences of a visitor.

CLICKTHROUGH RATE (CTR): It is the percentage of clicks on a button or a link, out of the total number of visitors who saw it.

CTR is used to determine the success rate of a campaign or a web page.

CLICKTHROUGH PAGE: It is a web page that is placed before a website’s main action-page (like a shopping cart page for an eCommerce website).

Its purpose is to prepare visitors for a conversion on the next page.

CLOAKING: Content cloaking is the act of showing different content to search engine bots and actual human visitors.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL: It is the probability that a variation in an A/B test won not because of chance.

CONFIDENCE INTERVAL: The range in which the result of an A/B test lies is known as confidence level.

CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: It is a web-based application that allows people to easily (without any coding involved) add/update text and multimedia content on a website.

CONTENT MARKETING: It’s the practice of creating and popularizing text and multimedia content for a business to attract and retain customers.

CONTROL PAGE: It is the website’s existing page that is pitted against its variation(s) in an A/B test.

CONVERSION: It is the action that marketers want a website visitor to take.

Newsletter signups, account registrations, and product enquiries are generally considered as micro-conversions.

A monetary transaction is generally considered as a macro-conversion.

CONVERSION RATE: It is the percentage of visitors who have completed a conversion.

CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION (CRO): It is the practice of continually improving a website’s ability to effect conversions.

21 CRO Best Practices for eCommerce

COOKIES: Cookies are small files that are stored within a web browser of a computer. Cookies have information related to a user’s visit to specific websites.

Cookies are used to track users’ browsing history and site preferences.

Website cookies funny image

COST PER ACQUISITION: It is the total cost of converting a website visitor into a paying customer.

COST PER CLICK (CPC): It is a payment model for online ad campaigns.

CPC is the amount that an ad owner pays every time when a visitor clicks on their ad.

CPM: It can be extended to Cost per Thousand Impressions. CPM is the amount that an ad owner pays when the ad is displayed for a thousand times.

CRAWLERS (SPIDERS): A web crawler is an internet bot that browses the entire world wide web and indexes websites into a directory.

CRM System: CRM is an acronym for Customer Relationship Management.

A CRM System is an enterprise software that contains the history of company’s interaction with all its customers via multiple channels.

CROSS-SELL: It is the act of selling complementary products to existing customers.

Cross-sell example

It is a popular practice among marketers because selling to an existing customer is a lot easier than selling to a new prospect.

Related Post: Learn how Upselling and Cross-selling can boost eCommerce revenue.


DIRECTIONAL CUES: Visual elements of a website that are used to direct visitors’ attention to a specific area on the website (a CTA or an information box) are known as directional cues.

Related Post: By optimizing directional cues towards its CTA button, a company achieved 8% increase in conversions.

DYNAMIC CONTENT: When a website serves distinct content to different visitors (based on their demographic attributes), the content is referred to as dynamic content.


EMAIL MARKETING: It is a practice where businesses use email as a medium to nurture their leads and retain their customers.

Sending personalized and value-packed emails help push conversions.

EXIT POPUP: It is a popup that well, pops up on the screens of website visitors as soon as they show an intent to leave the website.

Exit popups generally carry some sort of incentive for visitors, encouraging them to engage more with the website.

This is an exit popup that VWO used for one of its campaign:

Exit popup
(Click on the image if you want learn these principles.)

EXIT SURVEY: It is a small set of questions that ask visitors about their website experience, when they try to leave the website.

EYE FLOW: It is the study of visitors’ eye movement while browsing a website.

Eye flow helps to track areas that visitors view or discard the most.


FORM TESTING: When forms on a website are A/B tested, it is referred to as form testing.

FRICTION: Friction is caused by elements of a website that confuse or distract visitors, resulting in a loss of conversions.

Friction-causing website elements can be complex navigation links, cluttered boxes, CTAs with lack of visual contrast, etc.

FUNNEL: Conversion funnel is a marketing model that illustrates all steps taken by a customer towards purchasing a product from a website.

FUNNEL TESTING: Funnel testing involves executing A/B tests across all web pages of a website funnel.

Related Resource: Find out how VWO lets you do funnel testing with ease.


GAMIFICATION: It is the practice of introducing game-style offers to potential/existent customers.

The idea is to encourage them to complete more transactions — in a fun and engaging way.

Loyalty programs are examples of gamification strategies.

GEO-FENCING: It is the practice of targeting users based on their location.

It involves using GPS/map technology to create a virtual boundary around a physical location, and sending targeted messages to users when they enter the area.

GROWTH HACKING: It is the use of low-cost and innovative marketing techniques combined with search engine optimization, website analytics, content marketing, and A/B testing to increase a business’ popularity and conversions.


HEATMAP: Heatmap is a graphical representation of most-clicked areas of a website.

A typical heatmap looks like this:

Heatmap example

Related Resource: Create your own website’s heatmap, using VWO’s heatmap tool.

HERO IMAGE: It is the most prominent banner or image present on a website.

Hero image is usually the first visual of a website that visitors encounter.

7 Secrets of Hero Shot Images That Drive Epic Conversions - Webinar Recording


IMPRESSIONS: The number of times an ad is displayed to online visitors is counted as impressions.

INTERRUPTION: It is a practice of providing attention-grabbing content to website visitors that purposely breaks their usual website navigation experience.

Exit popups can be considered as a form of interruption.


LANDING PAGE: It is the web page that visitors are directed to when they click on an ad (or a link from a campaign).

A landing page can be a lead generation page or a clickthrough page.

The possibility of a conversion depends heavily on the quality of a landing page.Tweet: Glossary of 100 Conversion Optimization terms. Find at https://vwo.com/blog/100-conversion-optimization-terms

Related Resource: Use this free tool by VWO to test the effectiveness of your landing page.

LATENT CONVERSION: When visitors complete a conversion on their follow-up visit to a webpage (and not on the first visit itself), it is known as a latent conversion.

LEADS: They are potential customers for a business who have already shown interest by providing their contact information — permitting the company to contact them.

LIFETIME VALUE: It is the total profit that a business is expected to earn from a customer over their entire future relationship with the company.

LINK BUILDING: It the process of earning more backlinks to a website.

LIVE CHAT: It is a real-time chat-based customer support service that websites provide to their visitors.

LONG TAIL KEYWORDS: These are search phrases that usually include more than three words. Long tail keywords describe a search query comprehensively.


META TAG: It is an HTML tag that allows webmasters to insert text description of a web page.
The meta description for web pages appear with their links in search engine results.

The image below illustrates how meta description of a link is included in search engine results:

meta description on SERP

MICROSITE: It is a small website — usually different from a company’s main website — that has succinct content and is related to a specific campaign.

MULTIVARIATE TESTING: When multiple variations of a webpage are tested — for more than one element — to determine the version offering the highest conversions, it is known as multivariate testing.

Related Post: This case study demonstrates how multivariate testing can result in higher conversions.


NULL HYPOTHESIS: The hypothesis that an A/B test tries to disprove is called null hypothesis.

The null hypothesis states that the conversion rates of control and variation(s) are the same.


ORGANIC: The traffic coming to a website through non-paid search engines results is called organic traffic.

OUTBOUND LINKS: The hyperlinks that a website uses to direct visitors to other websites, are called outbound links.


PERSONALIZATION: It is the practice of customizing web pages (or any other digital content) to individual visitors’ interests or preferences.

PROXIMITY: It is a web designing practice that directs a webmaster to group similar or related website elements together, and place unrelated or dissimilar elements apart.


RESPONSIVE WEBSITE DESIGN (RWD): A website with responsive design adapts its layout to that of the viewing environment (mobile, desktop or tablet) to provide an optimum viewing experience to visitors.

Below is a basic graphical representation of a responsive website.

Responsive website design

RETARGETING: When website visitors are shown ads/banners about the things they earlier browsed but didn’t convert, it is known as retargeting.

Retargeting is used to push those visitors for a conversion who have already shown some interest in the website.

REVENUE PER VISITOR (RPV): It is the average revenue that a website earns from each of its visitors.

RPV is considered as the most appropriate metric that is used to measure an eCommerce store’s performance. Find out why.


SAMPLE SIZE: Sample size in A/B testing is the set of visitors that determine the conversion rate of different variations of a website.

SCARCITY: It is a psychological tactic that marketers use to push visitors towards a conversion. Scarcity takes advantage of the human fear of ‘shortage’.

“Only 5 items left” and “Sale only till 8 PM” are some instances where scarcity marketing is used.

SERPs: It is an acronym for Search engine Result Pages.

The ultimate goal of SEO strategies is to make websites appear on the top of a SERP.

Below is an SERP example:

SERP - Search Engine Results Page

SITEMAP: It is a list of all web pages within a website, displayed in a hierarchical manner.

SOCIAL PROOF: Customer testimonials, product reviews and trust badges make up the social proof of a website.

A few social proof elements have been highlighted in the screenshot below:

Landing Page Image Outperforms Video, Increases Monthly Revenue by $106000 2015-08-03 16-17-00

Visitors trust a website more when they are presented with social proof. Tweet: Glossary of 100 Conversion Optimization terms. Find at https://vwo.com/blog/100-conversion-optimization-terms

Related Post: Find out how a website performed better with social proof elements.

SPLIT TESTING: It is an umbrella term that covers both A/B testing and Split URL testing.

Related Resource: Know how Split testing improves your website’s performance.

SPLIT-URL TESTING: It involves testing multiple versions of a webpage that are hosted on different URLs.

Split URL testing is best suited when there are major design changes on the web page.

STANDARD ERROR: The degree to which the result of an A/B test can be apart from the actual figure is called standard error.

STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Statistical significance determines the validity of an A/B test.

Related Resource: Find out the significance of your A/B test results, using VWO’s free statistical significance calculator.


TEST HYPOTHESIS: It is a tentative assumption that changing a specific element(s) of a website will lead to higher number of conversions.

Establishing a test hypothesis is the first step towards executing an A/B test.

How to Create WInning A/B Tests through Stronger Research

TITLE TAG: It is an HTML tag — a part of meta tags — that defines the title of a web page.

A web page’s title tag is displayed above its meta description in SERPs.

TRUST BADGES: Trust badges are small logos or icons that convince visitors about the safety and credibility of the website.

These are a few popular trust badges across the internet:

Trust badges

Related Post: Check out how adding trust badges improved conversions for a website.

TEST DURATION: It is the specific time period over which an A/B test is run.

It is imperative to determine the minimum test duration of an A/B test for reaching a conclusive result.

Related Resource: Unsure about how long to run your A/B test? Use this free tool by VWO.


UNIQUE VISITORS:  It is the number of distinct visitors of a website out of its total traffic.

Unique visitors are tracked using cookies.

UPSELL: It is a practice of offering a higher value (and usually more expensive) product/service to an existing customer.


USABILITY:  It refers to the ease of use of a website.

The usability of a website can be tested by hired experts, who thoroughly analyze the website and provide suggestions for improvement.

Related Post: Check out the detailed usability review of CharmingCharlie.com.

USER GENERATED CONTENT (UGC): It is content in the form of text, images and videos that is submitted by users to a website as a part of some campaign.

This was one of the UGC campaigns run by Universal:

ugc campaign

Here is an interesting post on 10 effective UGC campaigns by Hubspot.

USER INTENT: It is the end goal that a user wants to fulfill through submitting queries on search engines.

Understanding the user intent is imperative for ranking well in search engines.

This is how the focus in SEO is changing from keywords to user intent.

USER TESTING: When the usability of a website is tested with the help of real people, it is called user testing.

User testing can be done in the following ways:

  1. By inviting potential users to use your website, and observing the problem areas in usability.
  2. By evaluating a website based on the behavior of real visitors — using tools like clickmaps and heatmaps. (The users are not aware that their website usage is being tracked for analysis.)


VARIABLE (VARIATION): In A/B testing, variable is the challenger web page that is pitted against the control.


WEBMASTER: The person who is responsible for maintaining a website is called a webmaster.

WHITESPACE: It is a design strategy which involves using blank spaces for directing attention towards a valuable website element such as a CTA.

What can be a better example of the use of whitespace design than this:

Google 2015-07-31 18-38-06

WIDGETS: They are small application boxes that typically fit in one of the side banner areas of a website.

The use of widgets vary in a range of functions like providing navigation links, submission of forms, and more.

In fact, you can see widgets on the right side of your desktop screen right now.

Use this glossary to move one step closer towards becoming a CRO expert. If you have any other terms to add to the list, please post it on the comments section below.

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The post 100+ Essential CRO Terms to Help You Conquer Conversion appeared first on VWO Blog.

Original post:  100+ Essential CRO Terms to Help You Conquer Conversion