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Color vs. Size: Which Text Link Got More Clicks — the Smaller Red Link or the Larger Black Link in the Right-Hand Sidebar?

WhichTestWon's Analysis: (Click back to see versions A & B)

Version A got a 37.3% higher conversion rate (clicks on the download link) than Version B.

Paras Chopra, a technology entrepreneur, used Visual Website Optimizer (see tech profile) to conduct this multivariate test on a free software download page on his personal website. He tested four versions of the “Download” subhead in the right-hand sidebar and three versions of the text link under the subhead. That created a total of 12 different versions of the page. The results between Versions A and B reached a 99% confidence level. Nearly all traffic to the page came from natural search or referring websites.

The only difference between the two versions was the text link under the Download subhead: Version A used red text in the same font size as the other links in the sidebar. Version B used a larger font, but in the same black color as the other links.

We think it shouldn’t be surprising that the red text link got more conversions. Although Version B’s link stands out because it’s bigger, it’s not obvious that it’s a hyperlink. In nearly 20 years since the development of the first browser, Web users have grown accustomed to looking for hyperlinks that are a different color than the rest of the text. Testing different treatments (like red instead of the typical blue) or placements for your links is highly recommended, but don’t forget to clearly to tell visitors “This is a link!” in the way they expect – by using different color text.

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Winning Version


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