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Original Research

Original UX research studies conducted by CXL Institute.

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The world’s best marketers don’t get to the top of their field by accident. They consume the right sources; they read the right books. They take what they learn and put it into practice. 

But with the daily demands of most marketing professionals, it’s often an uphill battle to take a step back and set aside time to learn new skills. All too often, that quarterly report or urgent client request takes priority, time and time again.

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The 2020 State of Conversion Optimization Report

It’s one of our favorite parts of the year! This is our fifth annual State of Conversion Optimization report. 

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Lies, Damned Lies, and (Some) Marketing Statistics

One of the most challenging parts of producing high-quality content is finding and sourcing accurate statistics and research. You’ll often go down the sourcing rabbit hole only to discover that a statistic is from 2012 or that the study’s sample size consisted of just a few people—and that’s only after you make an effort to dig deeper.

With many outdated and misleading statistics crowding the first page of Google, how do you know which stats are legitimate? How can you use research to strengthen your content rather than regurgitating the same old stats?

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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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What’s on my mind

Hi, I'm Peep Laja—founder of CXL. I'm a former champion of optimization and experimentation turned business builder.

I do a lot of thinking, reading, and writing around business, strategy, and optimization. I send a weekly newsletter with what's on my mind on this stuff.

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