What to Test – Part 6

Welcome to the latest edition of our new weekly blog series, What to Test. Each week, we will introduce a new test idea. We’ll explain why it’s important to test it, what you might learn, how to carry out the test, and what to measure in order to determine a winner. Last week we tested Headline Copy.

The Test = Navigation Titles


First, let me explain what I mean. Your website likely has either a top or left side navigation list. This is how people can quickly get from one page to another on your site. So when I say navigation titles, I mean the actual wording or phrasing of the navigation items.

Often, we start with the names of the pages or categories that they link to. But the goal of the navigation should be to get people to the page that they want to go. So a simple change in wording might encourage more people to click. And if you know which pages are more likely to get people to purchase from you, you might want to highlight those pages over the others.

In a recent test, I wanted to find out if a change in phrasing might get more people to a lead submission form. So instead of “Learn More”, I tried “Get Started”, “Apply Now”, and “Free Info”. I thought that more direct, actionable language would lead more people to click on that navigation item. And I was right. “Get Started” worked to generate more clicks from the homepage of the site, and a higher overall conversion rate from all website visitors.


Start with your website analytics. Research what click paths on the site lead to more conversions. What pages to people go to that help them convert into paying customers vs pages that lead to higher exits or bounces.

Next, ask yourself if your navigation is helping or hurting that conversion pathway. Should you be sending people to pages that lead to fewer conversions? Can you highlight more of the pages that lead to more conversions?

Then you can decide how to test. You can either test one navigation item against another by replacing one page or category with another. You can test rearranging the navigation items to see if more people get to the pages you want them to. Or you can do what I did, and test different wording for the same navigation items.

In all cases, you want to measure clicks to each navigation item and the ultimate conversion rate of the site. You can do all of this with Google Analytics and a simple optimization test tool like the one I always recommend, Optimizely.

The goal is to get more of your visitors to convert. Highest conversion rate wins.

Anything to add? As always, use the comments below or Twitter #whattotest to keep the conversation going!