Feed Readers Effect
Before i started this test i had calculated the feed reader stats which showed that in a period of 7 days i had a increase of 146 feed readers which was around 21 readers gained every day. Now if i look into the current stats for the past 3 days the feed number gained from 14,885 to 14,981 which means that there was a gain of 32 readers every day which is 150% of the normal increase. At that speed i can expect 1000 Feed Readers every month but that would again give the normal blog readers a simple look and not the standard magazine based style. Overall in this category the simplicity worked out, made people subscribe to the blog more and help me gain more readers hence the Simple Blog Design gets a vote here.
Magazine Theme – 21 New Feed Readers EveryDay
Simple Theme – 32 New Feed Readers EveryDay
Blog Loading Speed
This point already has the answer because we are comparing a high graphics blog theme with a simple theme which is totally running on CSS Files and has the lowest possible graphics in it. Hence the Simple Theme loads real fast but thats the 50% part because the other 50% covers advertisements which take the same amount of time in loading since they are hosted on different servers are these take up some time in loading and there is no solution for the same.
Real Estate Utilization
The magazine themes are always perfect but still there are chances that you are left with atleast 20-30% of area on your blogs which are totally blank and you are not utilizing this area in any means. While in Simple Designs you can try to push up everything here and there and make sure that everything is listed next to each other because we are targeting on Utilizing the complete screen area rather than the looks. If you can compromise with the design a little bit then for sure you can stuff everything in the available Front Fold area of your blog and make sure that you can monetize on everything possible.
The Simple theme didnt work out well for me atleast with a loss of 20% overall in advertising income because the Click-Through-Rate went down by 2% which is a real big change and supported by this the CPM also went down drastically. Even though there was a increase in the Page Views, i had to revert back because this was a test on overall performance and no one ever complained on the regular blog theme, hence there is no issue is reverting back. For me this point was most important because no one would opt for a real simple look which pays less and can slow down your total business.
Iam still tracking the Visual Heat Map in order to find out whats going to be the best area to keep the advertisements and make sure that the revenue just inclines towards the North and not towards the south. Did you guys ever perform these kinds of tests? What kind of results did you get?