Convert!: Designing Web Sites to Increase Traffic and Conversion Paperback – Feb 1 2011
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From the Back Cover
This advice can transform your web site's success
When web design expert Ben Hunt set out to quantify the difference between an ordinary web site and a great one, he expected to find the key in design simplicity. But when his team more than doubled the conversion rates for a wide range of sites, they identified simple yet powerful solutions involving design, copy, appropriate analysis, classic optimization techniques, and targeted testing. You'll find the fixes easy to implement, and they're all right here.
- Understand the essentials — your market, your proposition, and your delivery
- Create a site that is seen by the right people, provides a compelling experience, and generates the desired action
- Learn how to use testing to improve your site's conversion rate
- Discover the holistic nature of web site optimization and why multiplicity matters
- Examine dozens of simple techniques for building traffic, engaging your audience, and crafting effective calls to action
- Combine creativity with analysis for the best possible results
About the Author
Ben Hunt is Principal Consultant for Scratchmedia Ltd. He operates webdesignfromscratch.com, which provides tutorials and advice to over 120,000 web developers each month. Ben has been designing, coding, and producing web sites for clients worldwide for more than 15 years, and is considered a leader in the web usability industry.
Forewords by Ken McCarthy, founder of the System Seminar, and Drayton Bird, Drayton Bird Associates.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What I liked:
- Hunt acts as a consultant/advisor, not a theorist or artist.
- Hunt's "if/then approach makes his advice easy to grasp. No fluff.
- Photos showing the nuances and how little changes made big differences.
What I didn't like:
- LOL ... Nothing. I liked it all.
Take this book and Jakob Nielsen's "Prioritizing Web Usability" and you have a wealth of information for designing websites that bring results (read: $$).
Still, web design courses have focused on how a site LOOKS ("graphic design") or the technical aspects of building a site. Ben Hunt goes beyond that. He marries technical knowledge with solid marketing fundamentals in a clear and compelling way. And best of all he provides examples of sites he's redesigned, explaining the reasoning behind each revision.
If you design websites, if you do copywriting for websites, if you simply want to understand how "online marketing" is SUPPOSED to work - get this book!
I highly recommend this book to all online professionals of all backgrounds.
-Josh (Bend, Or)
Convert teaches a new approach. You start by asking questions like: "Who am I communicating with? What do they want? How can I attract them? And how can I get them to do what the site needs to do?"
The book has a very logical and straightforward method for teaching a new approach. In part one of the book, he gives the basic principles of how search engines work. Next he discusses the fundamentals of marketing.
Then he introduces the Awareness Ladder. In the past companies presented one marketing message. The Awareness Ladder concept starts with the fact that all prospects will not have the same level of awareness about the problem/solution your product/service offers. You need to engage with the prospect where they currently are on the Awareness Ladder.
Part two centers around specific design concepts to maximize conversions. Ben takes each step of the AIDA principle and shows how to apply it to website design. There are specific examples and case studies supporting each principle.
He goes into great detail about how to use Google Analytics and Google Web Optimizer.
The book is full of specific examples of what worked or what didn't work and why.
While the book is about web design, it is not necessary to be a web designer to gain benefit from this book. I am not a web designer but certainly learned some things that will be useful in having sites designed for me. Even if you are an experienced web designer, I feel certain that you will come away with a couple of new ideas that will greatly improve your services.
The book is based on years of experience by Ben Hunt and his employees. The writing style is very easy to read and highly engaging. It is not theory, but what works in the real world.
Alas, that is only the beginning. Recognizing that for a commercial website it is somewhat meaningless to talk about web design separately from market research, search engine optimization, advertising and copywriting, the author proceeds to provide an excellent, integrated overview of all of these subjects. The end result is what I suspect is the first successful attempt to articulate a unified theory of Internet marketing.
What is most impressive is the quality of the discussion on so many related topics. For example, although many of the points on copywriting are familiar from other sources, in my opinion the end result is a book with copywriting insight at least the equal of the excellent books on the subject by Bob Bly and Drayton Bird.
A couple of chapters are devoted to a discussion of the "awareness ladder," by which people climb through various stages of awareness of your product or service on the way to becoming a customer. While some might argue that this concept is not entirely original, I believe that the depth and clarity of the author's descriptions in this area break important new ground. Do some Google searches on the subject after reading the book and you'll see what I mean.
If you aren't familiar with the "awareness ladder" and think it sounds like a bunch of hokey marketing theory, think again. After reading this book you'll know exactly how to link the elements of your website together according to stages of awareness in such a way as to maximize conversions.
Page for page and dollar for dollar, you'd be hard pressed to find a better book than this one. This book deserves to be on Amazon's bestseller list, not number 200 thousand and something on the sales list as it stands now. It was just recently released so perhaps it's just a matter of time...
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