The Next Generation of Visual Website Optimizer is launching on 29th April 2014 See What's Coming

A/B test shows how distractions hurt conversion rates

Posted in A/B Split Testing on October 18th, 2012

Visitors to websites are a lot like travelers on a journey. Some want to look around and explore a place (like tourists) while others have a specific destination in mind that they want to reach as quickly as possible without any trouble (like business travelers).

Photo by Adam Jones

Adding a conversion optimization twist to this analogy, it is the important that you allow the tourist to easily soak in the information and experiences your website offers, and at the same time provide clear directions to business travelers on how they can reach their goal quickly and without fuss.


This case study is about removing distractions from the path of the business traveler. MoneYou is an online service provider that specializes in  savings, insurance, loans, investment and mortgage products. The company, a 100% subsidiary of ABN AMRO Bank, focuses on simplifying financial products for its clients. They optimize different elements of their product funnels almost on a constant, on-going basis. This test was done on the Savings product landing page.

After observing the heatmaps and clickmaps, they felt that the click through rate, engagement and final conversion ratio of people signing up for accounts could be optimized by trimming or removing any extra information.

The Test

What was thought to be unnecessary and distracting information was removed in the Variation and the “O” was capitalized in “opneembaar”.

Control – With extra tabs and information

Variation – Extra tabs removed and clutter trimmed

The Result

Tracking click through rate from the “More Information” CTA button (Meer informatie), engagement and final conversion rate of visitors opening accounts, the results were:

  • CTR increased by 7.65% (from 31.62% to 34.04%) with 99% significance
  • Engagement increased 4.98% (from 38.49% to 40.41%) with 96% significance
  • And here’s the real kicker: conversion rate for visitors signing up for saving accounts increased by 14.86% (from 9.69% to 11.13%) with 95+% significance


The most important takeaway from this test is this: Clear the path for visitors looking to buy and give them just the required amount of information. In fact, here’s a TED talk on how information overload affects decision making.

Photo taken from OregonDot

Some of your visitors may want to look around first, but once they’ve made up their minds, they should find it very easy to complete their goal without any extra information to distract them. This situation is also very similar to real-world, offline sales: once a prospect has said “yes”, the savvy salesman will stop trying to convince her further and quickly move to the paperwork.

Your views?

What do you think about this test? How have you encountered information when surfing the web and how does it make you feel? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Siddharth Deswal

I do marketing at Visual Website Optimizer.

The Complete A/B Testing Guide

Know all that you need to get started:

  • What is A/B Testing?
  • Is it compatible with SEO?
  • How to start your first A/B test?
Show Me The Guide


October 19, 2012

For the CTR I make it 7.65% increase not 7.75% as you mention

Siddharth Deswal
October 19, 2012

True. Thanks for pointing it out, it’s been changed:)
How did you spot the error?

Kristian Deiborg
October 23, 2012

Would have been interesting to see what the only capitalizing of the “O” in “opneembaar” had changed…

Siddharth Deswal
October 23, 2012


Thanks for dropping by. Changes that are no so easily noticed don’t usually result in changes in customer behavior. Why do you think the capitalization would matter?

October 29, 2012

Interesting but i think i would have tried to include the “more information” button in the box including the pig first :)

Siddharth Deswal
October 29, 2012

Francois-Olivier, so that it’s contained within the box and doesn’t take away attention from the “Open Account” down below?

November 5, 2012

Seems like the primairy en secundairy CTA’s haven also been changed slightly.
Do you think that maybe to many variables have been changed in order to make a clear conclusion?

Leave a comment
Required - not published

8 × = forty eight

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

I ♥ Split Testing Blog

Stay up to date

Recent Posts

Write for this blog!

We accept high quality articles related to A/B testing and online marketing. Send your proposals to