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Original Research

Original UX research studies conducted by CXL Institute.

Guy reading a book.

What worked in SEO, content, and growth just a few months ago may not be effective today. Making things even more challenging, there’s so much noise. Is that top-ranked content on Google actually the best thing out there? Or is it the same “me too” content?

We identified top marketers based on some good-but-imperfect criteria (e.g., mentions on marketing sites, social media presence, recent presentations, etc.).

Then, we used that expert seed list to gather opinions on which people, sites, and books all marketers should listen to, read, or watch.

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No More "Double Dipping" on Featured Snippets—Does It Matter?

On January 23, Google announced that, “If a web page listing is elevated into the featured snippet position, we no longer repeat it in the first page of results.”

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Ecommerce UX Battle: Benchmarking 4 Beauty & Cosmetics Mobile Websites

Which popular beauty and cosmetics website has the best user experience?

This is a conversion-focused benchmark analysis of four competing beauty and cosmetics websites:

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corporate training session

U.S. companies spend billions on training each year. What about marketing departments? How much do they spend? What are they getting out of it? And what are they struggling to solve?

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How People Read Short Articles [Original Research]

When people read short articles and blog posts online, what percentage of the content gets actually read?  Do people read image captions? How many readers finish an entire article?

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Testing the Presenter’s Paradox – Do People Really Average (Not Sum) Object Values? [Original Research]

This study examines people’s tendencies to average, not sum, values of items in a list or presented as package deals.

We provide 3 perspectives: 1. we outline what products and lists two academic studies have tested, 2. we duplicate a product and list test with a larger sample size to try and replicate the findings, and 3. we then apply the test to six new products, three experiential products (travel package, hotel night, massage) and three physical products (camera, printer, kitchen mixer).

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Do Review Stars on Google Help Click-Through Rate? [Original Study]

You know when you search for something on Google sometimes you see review stars next to a search result?

Like here:

Does it work to attract more clicks?

Inspired by our study Which Types of Social Proof Work Best?, we set out to quantify review stars as a way to increase click-through rates (CTR) in search engine results pages.

What kind of improvement in CTR can we get from including review stars in search engine results, if any? What does that mean for application in your business? We attempt to answer these questions with hard data in this CXL Institute study.

Our research was performed in collaboration with Nitin Manhar Dhamelia from Belron® International, a automotive glass replacement and repair group.

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Price Perceptions of Products with Utility Vs. Hedonism Copy [Original Research]

Inspired by some great feedback on our Ecommerce Price Perception and Image Size Study, we wanted to explore price perceptions again, this time related to differing product descriptions.

Do consumers find more value in a blender that makes creamy smoothies and shakes, or a blender with 750 watts of power? What type of product descriptions depict a seemingly high-value product, hedonic ones or utilitarian ones? In this CXL Institute study, we test three different products to explore this question.

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How Users Read the NYTimes Website – 2004 vs. 2016 [Original Research]

We found an interesting, and rather old, eye-tracking study from 2004 and decided to try to replicate a part of it to see how it works today.

This study, conducted through CXL Institute, involved eye-tracking a couple homepages of the New York Times, one from this year, 2016, and one from 2004. Our primary goal wasn’t the comparison to the old study, rather it was to see what were the ‘priority viewing areas’ for how people process a news site and to see if ‘today’s users’ process the contemporary design differently than one from more than a decade ago.

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Internal Promotions vs Third-Party Banner Advertisements [Original Research]

We were asked recently about the effects of using internal promotions (e.g., a discounted product sold within the site) vs. third-party (from an outside business) banner advertising on web site clarity and visitor perceptions.

Our first study used the five-second test to examine whether ads on website homepages distract visitors from understanding a site’s purpose. This follow-up study looks for differences in user perceptions between ad types: internal promotions versus third-party ads.

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