Casa Mineira is a real estate company operating in Brazil. They have eight physical offices spread in different locations in Belo Horizonte, one of Brazil’s largest cities. Apart from a strong physical presence in the city, they also have a website to attract customers online.
The original homepage of the website had a neat and somewhat minimalist design above the fold. The headline, pointing towards a search box, asked people to find a property in Belo Horizonte. This is how the search box on their original homepage looked like:
To improve the conversions of their website, they hired Supersonic, a CRO consultancy in Brazil. Supersonic started by doing email surveys, on-site feedback (using Qualaroo) and exit-surveys to really understand the visitors. One thing that prominently came out from these was that the visitors really needed to perform their search quickly and easily.
Rafael at Supersonic, decided to test a variation and see the effect it will have on conversions. He replaced the standard search box with 2 boxes containing drop down menus. The first box had a drop down list labelled as Type (of apartment) and the second consisted of locations to choose from. Since Casa Mineira operates in one city and all major locations could be easily covered in a drop down menu, they decided to put this new search bar to test using Visual Website Optimizer.
This is how the search box on the variation looked:
A split URL test was set up and close to 7,500 visitors became a part of the test. The hypothesis was that increasing the usability of the search box by giving users clear choices will lead to more people giving their email ids to be contacted by one of the brokers from Casa Mineira. The conversion goal that was being tracked in VWO was the number of emails collected from each variation.
The variation outperformed the original homepage and brought the company 57.25% more leads. Here’s a quick comparison image showing the search box in the original and the variation side by side.
Why the Search Box with Drop-Down Menus Won?
The drop-down search gave visitors a clear path of action
With a standard search box, the visitors had to be sure about what they were looking for. Since the scope of a standard search box is limitless, they could type in anything to refer to what they were actually looking for. By covering all the locations and types for the visitors, in the drop down search box, the website made it easier for people to choose from the menu. Additionally, this design avoided the chance of typos and users typing in something and not getting any results when the keywords didn’t match with any listing on the website.
The drop-down made it possible for visitors to search for various combinations of apartment types and locations
In the variation, visitors could select multiple locations and apartment types in one search. In the standard search where visitors had to type keywords, there was no clarity if users could type in multiple locations at one time and how would the search respond if they wanted to look for more than one type of apartment in different locations. By selecting one or more of the choices from the drop-down menu, visitors’ expectations were set right.
What do you think about the new search box on the Casa Mineira website? And how do you think they can optimize their home page further? Share your views in the comments section and together let’s make the web more optimized!