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Convert!: Designing Web Sites to Increase Traffic and Conversion 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470616338
ISBN-10: 0470616334
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Editorial Reviews

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 teaches web designers, developers and marketers how to make websites that work. Ben has been designing, coding, and producing web sites for clients worldwide for more than 17 years. He is considered a thought leader in web usability, web design and online marketing fields. His site webdesignfromscratch.com provides tutorials and advice to over 120,000 visitors each month.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470616334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470616338
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dan Bobinski VINE VOICE on April 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a small business owner who's been involved in several website designs -- and paid thousands of dollars to 'experts' on upping the conversion rates on web visits -- I say "read this book before you hire any experts." The reason? After reading this you may not see a need to spend thousands of dollars on 'experts.' In fact, I was in the middle of a website overhaul at the same time I got this book, and reading it saved me plenty of hours (read: $$) with my designer.

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: $$).
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I've been building websites for 12 years and have long believed that most sites are a waste of money; they look pretty but don't generate profits for the client. I tell prospects that if no one can find your site - and they don't do what you want (buy, donate, sign up, order) when they get there - it's money down the drain.

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!
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I've been developing web application for 10 years and the one area that I have always been weak in is reliable conversion rates for my clients. I can deal with the complexity of the software, but the presentation and flow of the message for the audience is a different animal all together. For those of you who work in the online industry, you are probably aware of the wide array of skillsets required to take a concept through the entire lifecycle to completion. I've only read through a portion of this book, but so far, Ben is conveying the right message for professionals in my field. Having to deal with servers, development frameworks, existing applications (cms/ecom), design opinions and copy can make any web project way more complicated than it has to be. The focus on simplicty in design, copy and analysis that Ben has put together will definitely help bring me into the minds of the visitor for a better conversion rate and ultimately successful projects.

I highly recommend this book to all online professionals of all backgrounds.

-Josh (Bend, Or)
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Format: Paperback
I read A LOT of marketing books, probably 20 or so in the last year. The two that stood out were "Get Rich Click" by Marc Ostrofsky and "Convert" by Ben Hunt. This book is much more than a list of things to do to optimize your website: it's an approach, it's a philosophy, it's a revalation (if not a revolution).

Is there such a thing as a "one size fits all" automobile? No. Is there such a thing as a "one size fits all" computer? No. So why do we think all websites should be?

That's what Ben does so well: to teach us that there's no such thing as a "one size fits all website" anymore. A website is a living thing that needs to be customized, optimized, and simplified for the different audiences it aims to attract.

I've rarely read a marketing book with so many "a-ha" moments that made me want to take immediate action with my own work, every single page contains usable, actionable insight. So much so, in fact, that I recently signed up for Ben's Web Design course, and I'm loving that too.

Kudos to Ben for understanding what a website is really about: not design, not text, not aesthetics, but a way to communicate and "convert" customers.
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For almost any business, having a website is as necessary as having a phone number. Unfortunately far too many businesses have websites that simply don't work. Most websites are designed using what Ben Hunt, the author, calls the "first best guess" method - that is the sites are designed based on someone's best guess. After being published, there is often very little updating. The websites remain static. These websites are generally poor at attracting traffic and poor at converting the traffic.

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.
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