In mid-June, we shared how video and live steaming perform on our Cisco.com homepage, particularly during Cisco Live. Well, since then we’ve continued to test and learn along the way on our Cisco homepage. It receives more than 2.5 million average monthly visitors and it’s truly a melting pot with 58% of visitor traffic coming from outside the US, so it’s a great place to innovate.
Here’s my latest top 5 insights about the Cisco.com homepage:
1. Big is not always better. We like to call our large banner ads on the homepage our “ hero” ads. They make a big bold statement and the hero ad in the number-one carousel spot receives the highest traffic on the page. That said, after analysis for several months, our smaller “feature” ads toward the bottom of the page actually receive more traffic and engagement overall per month. They seem to drive more value and are perceived as less marketing-oriented, at least that’s our theory for now.
2. Geo-targeting drives relevance. We’ve got a global audience coming to Cisco.com so we started providing geo-targeted homepage ads for visitors. Average click-thru rates for these ads are indeed higher than those for non-geotargeted ones. Here’s an example of one:
3. Image is everything. We do a lot of testing around the types of images that drive greater engagement. Images that contain products front and center, are clean and fresh, and don’t feel too generic work the best. The copy also needs to have a clear call to action and a single, focused idea. Images with people and generic “stock” concepts don’t work as well.
4. Go for entertainment value. We’ve been experimenting more with humor and other techniques lately and it can work well. The key is to use it sporadically and in a smart way while staying true to our Cisco brand. This ad below is an example of that testing, and was our #7 most popular “hero” ad in the last year.
5. Innovate to stay ahead. We spend a fair amount of time benchmarking company homepage best practices and comparing ourselves to others. In many ways we are leading–and we lag in a few areas too. But the point is we know where we are and we will continually strive to push the envelope.
We’ll continue to test and learn this year — so stay tuned for more lessons learned on the Cisco.com homepage.