CNN

5.81% Increase in CTR by removing auto-rotating feature from homepage sliders

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About CNN

Founded in 1980, CNN is a global cable and satellite television channel. A groundbreaker in TV news, CNN was the first television channel in the world to provide 24-hour news coverage. The most watched news channel internationally, CNN can be seen in more than 260 million households in more than 200 countries and territories through a network of 38 satellites.

Increasing CTR on Homepage Sliders

A website’s homepage is where visitors get their first impression of a site and decide whether they will stay longer to engage with its content. Sliders are considered to be a valuable component of homepage real estate as they enable businesses to present different topics, saving space. But that’s only half the story.

Auto-rotating sliders may be useless for creating a compelling user experience since they take the control away from visitors. Most of the information on sliders can be missed as slides rotate too quickly, making it impossible for visitors to read all of the information they include. Auto-rotating sliders may lead to banner blindness as they interrupt a visitor’s experience, distracting them from the surrounding content and potentially having a negative effect on conversion rates.

CNN has been using an animated slider on their homepage, delivering their latest topics in one place. The business was looking for a way to increase its click-through rates (CTR) on this section of their site.

Eliminate Guesswork from Marketing Strategies

Whether you think that auto-rotating sliders are a bliss or they are the evil spell and conversion killers; it is the data which has the last word. The successful brands are those which have a data-driven approach, adopting an experimental culture. The built-in A/B/n testing capability of Insider personalization platform empowers marketers to optimize their content strategy.

A/B/n testing enables reaching reliable conclusions as it provides testing different decisions using a control group. This way marketers can eliminate guesswork from their marketing strategies and decide which works better for their business in order to reach their goals, being it achieving more sales or increasing click through rates.

Implemented A/B/n test

Based on the hypothesis that auto-rotating sliders may interrupt the user experience, Insider helped CNN test the effectiveness of its home page slider. The auto-rotation feature was removed from the sliders, giving users more control over their content consumption.

Results

The animated sliders lost the battle against their static counterparts. A/B/n testing proved that static sliders improve user experience and CTR for both the sliders themselves and the subhead news placed above them. CNN saw a 5.81% increase in CTR for sliders and a 2.15% increase in CTR for subhead news.

“Using Insider’s personalization platform has been a very positive experience for us. Insider not only allows us to discover valuable information about our users, but also gives us the ability to use that information immediately to drive more engagement and generate sizeable conversion rates.”

Umut Katırcı, Content and Business Development Director

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