While not one of the eternal questions of our time, what screen resolution to build your landing page is nevertheless always a key design consideration. Many factors weigh into this decision. What are the browser resolution settings for the majority of your users? How does the page appear on different resolution setting (e.g. where is the call to action)? Or the worst one of all, what does the design or style guide permit?
Recently, we worked with a client whose existing landing page designed at 800×600 was performing very well. I had the idea that building multiple landing pages optimized for different browser resolutions and then targeting the pages to match the user’s resolution might improve conversion rates further. However, before we went about creating this layer of personalization we needed to test and validate this assumption. In the interest of time and resources we built one new page in 1024×768 (rather than three that would include the higher resolutions). We created performance segments for each of the four popular screen resolutions and put the pages to the test. The results are quite interesting.
At the lower resolutions the results are counterintuitive to my targeting hypothesis. Visitors with 800×600 actually converted at a significantly higher rate on the 1024×768 page. Those with 1024×768 resolution performed better on a page that was built in 800×600. Hmmm…
For the higher resolutions the effect was more expected. 1280×800 visitors converted at an almost 2% improvement on the 1024 page. Moving up to 1440×900 the improvement factor for conversion rate was over 6%.
What does this tell us?
800×600 Visitors: Since both versions of the landing page were designed to have the headline, fields and call to action visible without scrolling in 800×600 we can hypothesize that the larger presentation on these key landing page factors on screen accounted for the over 5% lift in conversion for the 1024 page on visitors.
1280×800, 1440×900 Visitors: Our original hypothesis remains strong in the higher resolutions. The larger resolution on landing is clearly has an increasing factor as you move to these levels. A follow up test would be creating pages optimized for these higher resolutions. There were many visits from laptops and work environments with these resolutions. Understanding the factors of higher resolution browsers more fully will be very beneficial.
Does it make sense to target the landing pages?
Sure does. Targeting these landings should yield a compounded conversion rate increase around 13% based on our initial testing. Additionally we’ve validated a fundamental design change for our client and continued testing as mentioned above will likely yield continued improvement.
What should I do?
Create pages in different resolutions and test! Screen resolution is a fantastic high impact segment. Nice lifts in conversion and other performance metrics can be easily gained by targeting the most basic (and most important) user experience variable, screen resolution.