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STA Travel

January 19, 2012 Company News

Increased conversion on CTA buttons by 337%

STA Case Study: STA Homepage

About STA Travel

STA Travel is the world’s largest travel group specifically targeting students and young people. With operations in 92 countries STA provides cost-effective gap year and adventure travel specialising in round-the-world flights, bespoke tours, hostels and hotels. A continuing success in high-street retail, STA Travel also runs a hugely effective online business.

About the Test

STA discussed with the GlobalMaxer design team their ideas for a radically new version of the homepage. STA had decided to test their original design against a simplified, clean design that discarded the top navigation and instead used much more of the main page real estate to drive traffic to premium areas of the site. STA made use of GlobalMaxer’s in-house design and development team to build the page, which we did within GM’s web design WYSIWYG and html editor. The main metric was to increase clicks within the STA site- and thereby reduce bounce and site exits- with a secondary goal of discovering where the two designs drove visitors into the site. The test methodology used was straightforward AB Testing.

STA Case Study Homepage Graphic

STA Homepage Test: Design Comparison


The Results

The new homepage had a radical impact on immediate engagement with the STA site. Over the period of the test, Combination 1, the new homepage design was successful in generating a click somewhere within the STA site 65% of the time. This represented a reduction in page bounce of 33%. Furthermore, the new design started to focus where visitors clicked, and generated traffic to the premium areas of the STA site. With the original homepage design, the most popular downstream area of the site was the Flights search box with 43% of clicks, followed by RTW Flights and the Flights tab in the top navigation. The next most popular clicks were the Search box and Find A Branch.

With the new design, areas that previously hadn’t been getting much traffic but were premium areas for STA started generating traffic. After 53% for Flights and 9% of clicks for RTW Flights, the Deals and Discounts, Hostels and Destinations areas were the next most popular downstream clicks.


STA Homepage Test Results Table

STA Homepage Test Results Table



STA were delighted with the results of this test and in August 2011 a variation on this new design was made the new homepage. Rather than having a large amount of page real estate taken up with specific destinations of offers they had discovered that it was more profitable channelling visitors through the appropriate category pages. The additional traffic led to additional web conversions too, generating additional revenue and driving ROI, through getting better access to and purchases of some of their key product areas. Follow on tests included tests on their Tours pages, where changing the text of call to action buttons has a spectacular uplift including a 337% increase on base conversion rate.