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Conversion Conference – Live Blog Monday June 25 PM

Conversion Conference Live Blog AM Session Notes

Moving The Needle: Test What Matters

Keith Hagen ConversionIQ
Keith Hagen, Conversion IQ


Big corporate background meant Keith got to play with lots of traffic and cool tools paid for by others. ConversionIQ focuses on the site not campaign tuning.

4th goes here

Insights are what drive business.

Most people start to optimize their website with analytics not people. Testing is about PEOPLE. Testing focuses on making money. Tests that help gain insights are helpful. Great places to gain insight, from people:

  • Sales conferences
  • Talk to drivers or delivery people
  • Customer Service people
  • Heat maps (so people indirectly)
  • Analytiics ** Aside People don’t want to give their address **
  • User Testing
  • Feedback tool
  • Session Recorder (Keith doesn’t like screen recording because it lacks context)

Insights is the REASON to test. Test without knowing WHAT to test is cart before horse. Mechanics can be tested, but better to test based on insights (what you want, what you are). Don’t test stupid stuff.

Testing online now are complex, so time and effort to set up tests is significant. Can’t afford to test dumb things. Test the things that matter not the things that can be tested.

Helmet City being used as an example. 184% bump because insight showed people couldn’t find what they wanted so confidence was lost by the time they got to the cart.

#1 Rule of Selling = CLARITY, persuasion comes after clarity.

**** Keith agrees 90% of rotation banners are bad. There can be an example of a good rotation such as  User testing showed people didn’t trust Keith decided to put the most important information on the second slide (2nd slide is most important in slider). That is where Keith put the Safe and Secure message to see 71% gain.

Get a Free Estimate BEAT Schedule Service Now for got 15% increase in leads by changing form to Mrs.

Radical Golf Carts saw Free Shipping $49 BEAT $99. Keith discovered that people expected to spend $80 so the higher commitment earlier pushed people out the door. 284% lift Show Offers beat Check Availability in their CTA button. 84% lift when changed Get Started Now. Keith tested 4 different buttons. Get A No Obligation Quote Now won and produced an 84% lift. Based on a poll that said people’s main objection when filling out the form was they didn’t want people to come to their house (yet), so button change eliminated the stress and increased conversion.

Ask if something is WORTH testing. Test because you have insight, something raised a good question.

CLARITY must be there before PERSUASION.

Convert by Ben Hunt

End-To-End Conversion:
From Acquisition to repeat customer

Ben Hunt


Conversion Conference Bio

Also by Ben:

Ben applied direct marketing techniques to websites. Going to talk about traffic and content marketing in relation to conversion.


Ben is going to share a model to get more conversions. Conversion is what matters. Conversions comes from TRAFFIC x CONVERSION RATE.

TRAFFIC is an essential part of conversion. Traffic also impacts testing (more traffic quicker the test). Quality of traffic is essential. Bad traffic can’t help. Ben’s Ten Best Designed Websites has been viewed 300,000 times. PPC click for best designed websites is $3.00. The market value means that page is owrith $71K traffic at Google adwords rate. Ben has received $1.4 million in traffic for that post. He did no SEO. About 5,000 a month searches for Best Designed Web Sites.

#1 Listing = 33% and #2 16% (of clicks). Got to be in top 10 for something **** KEY IDEA HERE **** MUST MUST MUST BE IN TOP 10 SEO FOR TERMS (Long tail or not). #1 Listings On Something BEAT 1,000 listings on anything.

Best Designed Websites generate semantic search on many terms that are widely related to  Ben’s Best Designed Websites

Most traffic comes from semantic web long tail terms. Ben’s 4 hours work has generated pageviews worth $1M. Ben believes in keyword research. He is building a tool to do key word research better.

The answer to SEO = GREAT CONTENT.

Best way to get Google to award you AUTHORITY status is LINKS. What matters is what other people think of your page. Published BEST and MOST RELEVANT CONTENT.

6 pages account for 50% of Ben’s traffic on his 300 page site.
Be sympathetic to Google’s mission to deliver relevant content and you get more visits that lead to more shares and visits and so on to infinity. Produce great content and then let the web’s natural forces to do the rest of the work. The easiest way to get LINKS is to write great content. Most link building is artificial. Link building is black hat.


Black Hat link building. Ben just said something near and ear to me:


Best SEO is No Seo on ScentTrail Marketing (the first article)

I think we are stuck in a pre-Internet mindset. We think advertising is expensive and that has set our minds. Publishing web pages is not expensive. We should be publishing really good stuff. The downside is it takes SKILL, TIME and EFFORT. Ben admitted he


The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is now.

Publish great content and let Google do its job.

Why do we think SAME works for everyone? Imagine you have an ice cream cart. You read a book about conversion. You do a test. You ask favorite flavors of those visiting your cart. Survey says only sell Vanilla, but that is wrong.


Can we get the best of both worlds (Marketing sites and content sites). Great ladder of the problem. **** Put slide here tonight ****

Ben has found the rub between PEOPLE and Marketing sites. He suggests taking your content and creating a trunk, a trunk of a tree. On top of the trunk is a canopy.

What are all the questions people ask for which we are the solution? THIS is the key journey, the key to discover the right content to write. BEN is pitching my favorite topic – THE POWER OF Q&A CONTENT.

Noting how can win organic even though they have crap. Focus on WHAT ARE PEOPLE ASKING is better. Ben’s pages are ANSWERS to questions like How you can leave college debt free. He varies the pitch and ANSWER in order to address different segments.



**** put Ben’s flow diagram of how he segmented How To Learn Web Design Here tonight ***

What should you do next?

Conversion is not joined up. It is not end-to-end. Why optimize pages WHEN the key idea is to create an engine to publish great content and let Google do its job. Everything starts with traffic and appreciating the tapestry of what we have to do to be GREAT!!!

Ben is closing the doors of his agency. Ben built a $250,000 business by himself in a year. Closing his consulting business and take on 10 clients only.

Susan Weinschenk 100 Things book

Top 10 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People

Susan Weinschenk, User Experience Institute


Other Books: Neuro WebDesign
100 Things Every Presenter Needs To Know About People

Susan’s Top 10 Favorite Engagement and Persuasion Facts From her books. Susan is conducting an experiment with many pennies. Only one is correct. People guess other non-correct answers.


Reason we can’t distinguish between bad pennies is because we only pay attention to salient characteristics. Your unconscious brain knows what to pay attention to and what not to. So most mental processing is unconscious.

9. CHOICE paradox = want lots of choices but we convert on less.

People like a lot of choices Art of Choosing book reference. Another related book is Paradox of Choice by Schwartz.

8. Fusiform Facial Area (FFA) makes us pay attention to human faces. Visual cortex is largest so we are “visual animals”. But we have another portion of the brain dedicated to recognizing people’s faces. This part of the brain is in the emotional part of the brain. Resides in amygdale.

Faces on websites = GRAB ATTENTION and CONVEY emotional attention. BEST = Looking out right at visitor. FFA is active in 6 hour old newborn they prefer to look at faces.

FACES = be careful. Can get creepy fast.

[ Susan is giving us a test showing letters jumbled up]

7. Human Memory Fallible And Smal – Susan is testing PROXIMITY by using cross talk. She said numbers while we were trying to remember. Susan is noting the acronym paradox. Same letters that are separated are hard to remember. Once they become an acronym they are easier to remember.

We ask people to remember too much in the products we design. Susan is myth busting the idea people can only remember 7 +/1  two. The real number is THREE TO FOUR. MORE THAN 3 TO 4 items people won’t deal with it. Chunk data in 3 to 4.

6. Speaker and Listener Brains Sync
Susan is going to talk about why online VIDEO is such a powerful medium. Stevens compared brain activity of speaker and listeners synced. Means when people are listening to audio they process that in a deeper way than if they are reading text. Our brains are not synced. Part of the reason VIDEO so powerful has to do with the syncing created by the audio.

Susan is talking about Video Genie. Testimonials and Ratings are POWERFUL. Video testimonials even more powerful due to the syncing.

5. Central vs. Peripheral vision.
Peripheral vision is more accurate and fast than central vision. Larson, Adam and Loschky 2009. Peripheral vision is the source of scenttrail. Am I in the right place. Peripheral vision picks up FEAR faster.

Susan is not a big fan of eye tracking studies. If you are using eye tracking Susan warns BE CAREFUL. EYE TRACKING CAN BE VERY MISLEADING BECAUSE IT IS ONLY CENTRAL VISION. Doesn’t tell you if someone actually SAW.

4. Song, H. & Schwarz (2008) Research on Fonts
Fonts communicate how hard things are by how it is presented. This is the “nonverbal” communication idea that is a favorite of mine. Websites communicate in overt and covert ways. Font does matter. LARGE enough and not hard to read.

[Susan is conducting another experiment asking how we can get warm water out of a facet showing old time HOT and COLD faucet handles]

3. People have mental models about how things work. What YOU think is not what WE think – We see the world through our eyes and experience. There is a fair amount of variability. This is the MADE TO STICK think. Using things with context makes anything new easier. Take advantage of the mental model, but mental models may vary by population.

People imprint on technology around the age of 8 and 12. Susan finds it typical that people who do design fall in the 30 and 50. We all know the boomer generation is a huge group of people. The millenials are a larger demographic than boomers. The in between group 30 to 50 are doing most of the design and it is dangerous because things that makes sense to the smallest cohort (the in between group) can make it hard if the product is being used by boomers and millenials.

Boomers = TV

Millenials = Desktop

This generation = tablets

These imprints effect, for the rest of your life, the expectations we have for technology. Boomers won’t customize. They won’t be interested in customizing. They will wonder why something doesn’t

2. There are Weak Ties and Strong Ties
Robin Dunbar. What is the optimal size for tribes? 150 = optimal size for a social community assuming it is a STRONG tie community. Weak ties just means we don’t understand all the connections. People are using social communities as a STRONG tie community, some as WEAK. If you are designing community need to think about if it is STRONG or WEAK. The types of interactions are different. Google is trying to address with circles (feels STRONG as opposed to weak).

1. People Expect Technology To Follow Human-To-Human Interaction Rules.
We have unconscious expectations about how people interact and we want machines and technology to conform to those rules. We do a lousy job at this. Sometimes we spend so much time at the large level that we don’t pay attention to the mico-interactions yet that is where we decide if our technology is following human to human interactions.

Susan has a pet peeve with error messages. People expect tech to interact like people.

Next Steps
Read more (Susan’s books good place to start). Susan also suggests taking a look at your site from a psychology / human point of view.

Tim Ash General Session – Landing Page Review
Tim reviews landing pages making notes about what can get better.

I don’t think you have a call to action. Eye tends to fall below the stripe at the top (the menu bar). Hero is also not looking out at the audience.


Tim says move navigation into the body of the page instead of a giant rotating hero. Too many menu bars. Too much cognitive load. Too complex (5 menus). No one cares. Lazy, impatient and wants clear choices. This doesn’t work for reptile brain.

Tim Ash – Rotating banner ads SUCK.

  • Large File Sizes = slow site.
  • Reptile brain can’t process.
  • Calls Away From CTAs
  • Abdicate curation of hierarchy because throw it out and ask visitors to figure it out.
Great CTA, but greedy marketer syndrome because NO idea about what we are signing up for. Where is the trust, the explanation. Email signature software doesn’t exist. How does it work. Why do I need it. Who is buying it. Sign Up Now is way to immature. Good stuff below the fold that answers these questions.

Tim suggests a Tagline (email signature management). **** This is a favorite tactic of mine too since that space below the name is HOT and a great place to put an elevator pitch.

Production quality is decent, but there is nothing else that makes me TRUST YOU. There isn’t enough TRUST here to create trust. Tim suggests trade associations, seals, badges and press coverage to make this new idea and company more trust worthy.

Blue Man Group Landing Page
This is an example of graphic designers run amuck. The giant head is distracting. “Do you need the giant head if you have the little head (chuckles). Boy I walked into that one,” Tim Ash. No button above the fold. Can’t break the gaze because that dude means me harm. Fight or flight engaged in lizard brain.
Lacks social proof. 30,000 downloads would be Tim’s lead.
Have large brands but don’t mention those brands on their landing page. “You have Coke as a client and you don’t want to tell me about it,” said Tim.

You have to establish trust on the landing page. Need 1. Social Proof 2. Testimonials especially from trusted sources 3. Trust is the anti-bounce. Tim grey’s his trust marks out so they are present but not clickable.


Anything that creates TRUST (i.e. not you talking about you to you).
Rolling banner kills the page. CTA was clear and above the fold. Would like to more trust stuff. They have more than 100M users. Why is that not on the page? Lack of social proof and trust is a common problem. Tim is asking, “who do you want to be when you grow up,” of this grab bag of a page with the TIGER that makes the lizard brain want to RUN.

Tabs are low contrast and rarely clicked. Better to have three smaller sections with less detail. Running into the LESS IS MORE rule too.
Take rolling banners OFF landing pages. Tim is asking the room to commit. The Teva homepage looks like a branding site. Not showing full range of stuff Teva sells. Breaking ecommerce convention here is NOT a good thing. The product manager wants real estate on the page doesn’t make it right. The main part of the page needs to be your categories.

FREE SHIPPING is #1 requested promotion followed by FREE RETURNS.

Shop Men, Women, Kids are good segments. Better example is their SHOP page where categorization is better, but time insists the images are too dominant. I don’t want your email I want specials and promotions. Remember to talk to ME.

Much harder to read ALL CAPS and avoid scripty fonts. Fonts that are hard to read send the we are hard to work with message.

Dr. Sinatra
Motion of Free Shipping draw eye (for better or worse). Is Dr. Sinatra known? Not really. Where is Dr. Sinatra? If he is a big authority where is his picture + testimonials. Picture doesn’t have to be large but some presence of Dr. Sinatra (in a white coat) would be a good idea. Offers require too much math. Not easy to compare because the options aren’t in a good table. Options pushes add to cart button out of the pictures. Proof badges would help create legitimacy.

Tim suggests education as a middle step. 7 Best Omega Attributes or How To Buy Omega.

Form below graphic is good but too spread out. Better if there was a CTA Free Ebook, pull the form up, make the image smaller. Reduce the ask on the form (fewer is always better). Every field you add to a form lowers the conversion rate. What is the minimal information needed to download an ebook? NOTHING!

Is this information necessary to complete the current transaction. Seth Godin in Permission Marketing said ASK FOR LITTLE, GIVE A LOT.

Non Required fields get better results. If they are required why tell me? PEOPLE DON’T READ. Reduce the text. Testimonials must have full credit. Also, must have the “changed my life” moment in testimonials.

FEAR or GREED = 7 Biggest Mistakes When Doing DCS Migration.
7 Deadly Sins = FEAR and you want to know all 7 (the power of numbers as any woman’s magazine proves monthly).
Tim hates the grey on grey navigation. Don’t just decorate with pictures. Pictures can pull you away from CTA. Reverse text is a Tim Ash pet peeve. MAKE FREE SHIPPING PROMINENT.

ADD TO CART – Tim sees the PayPal Buttons below the main CTA as dangerous.

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