You’ve probably heard enough from us about why you should always be testing your copy, images, page layouts, and site functionality. “Yes, Joanna & Lance, we get it. We should always be testing. What else do you have for us today?

Actually – despite your skepticism 🙂 – we have a test result that you’ll want to understand, especially if you embed videos on your site.

With all the video hosting options available — YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia — embedded website video has exploded. “Explainer” videos, product demos, and video blog posts are everywhere. It’s more likely that you’ll encounter a website that uses video than not.

The challenge with video is that it’s not easy to optimize. It’s not like changing copy on your website. With video, you’ve got to shoot the whole thing over or have a decent command of Camtasia.

With the time and dollar investment that typically goes into developing a website video, you want people to hit the play button. Once your visitors are watching, they’re hopefully receiving your message, becoming more interested and engaged, and moving one step closer to converting.

With so much riding on the video, it’s critical for you to choose the right frame to show your visitors. That single frame can make a huge difference to visitor behavior.

We’ve been working with a cool company that sells personalized nutrition and fitness coaching programs in a hybrid delivery model. They use a combination of software-as-a-service and 1-on-1 coaching to deliver the program to participants – to ensure that people are successful.

The company has managed to achieve a decent clickthrough rate to their men- and women-focused landing pages with their copy and testimonial video – but they wanted to optimize the home page and direct even more traffic to the landing pages.

So in a recent (and fun!) 10-way split test, we modified headlines, subheads – and, you guessed it, the display frame for their testimonial video.

Here’s the relevant section of the home page hero section we tested (default):


And here’s the challenger (Variation #9), with revised display frame:


As you can see, we isolated the change to a single variable.

Our goal was simple… to generate more clicks on those two blue buttons.

Any guesses as to the outcome? Is it obvious? Perhaps, but the magnitude of the results surprised us (and we’ve been doing this awhile).

The challenger version resulted in a:

1. 64% increase in clickthrough to the “I’m a Man” CTA (99.8% confidence)

2. 109% increase in clickthrough to the “I’m a Woman” CTA (100% confidence)

3. 48% cumulative increase in opt-ins to a free 5-day video course from the 2 gender-focused landing pages

The 3rd outcome was purely the result of sending more visitors to each of the landing pages. We changed nothing on the landing pages themselves.

To what would we attribute the gains?

  • The default video display frame does not evoke an emotional response
  • The default video copy competes with the “other” headline
  • The challenger video skips the “tell” and goes straight for the “show”

What do you think? Tell us below in the comments…

So what can our client do with this test learning?

Changing the display frame on embedded videos is a trivial task. This type of change can be quickly applied (and tested) on other key pages. The results have also re-focused the team on the importance of showing real results whenever possible. It may sound like an obvious thing to do, but there are a lot of things for business owners and marketers to think about. 🙂

If you have embedded videos on your site, this is a test you can have some fun with!