in 25 Books in 2012

#22/25: Convert!

You should view design as the creation of a new solution to a problem.

  • What are your web site’s goals?
  • What is the value of each goal to your organization?
  • How many goals does the web site need to deliver in order to be a success?

Traffic x CR = Success, if either Traffic or CR is zero, then there's no success

  • Creativity is forward-looking, asking “What could we do?”
  • Analysis looks backward and asks “Did that work?”
  • Both combined are needed for repeating success

Instead of relying on a small number of generic pages, you will create a range of specialized landing pages, each one designed to be found by specific toes of visitors with their own specific needs


Keyword Research
You want keywords with:

  1. High relevance
  2. High traffic
  3. Low competition

Ultimate SEO

Make better content, which people want to share. You have to promote your articles first but you don’t have to do strange SEO tactics to get better traffic.

At its highest level, SEO actually becomes PR. If you create newsworthy, interesting and valuable things, then you just have to get your word out.

A man who goes into a hardware store to buy a quarter inch drill bit does not need a quarter inch drill bit – he wants a quarter inch hole.


All you sell are solutions to needs. What problems do you solve?


Instead of looking at the tool, describe how it solves a need or problem for the person who buys it. List as many problems as you can, and state the solution to each problem.


  • Proposition: gap between needs and solutions – translation of features into benefits
  • Internal (company) vs. external (customer) perspective
    • just because your company is organized in one way or another doesn’t mean that your website has to organized in the same way



  • It’s better to get 20 #1 for less popular terms than 1 #1 for a more popular one


Awareness Ladder


  • No Problem -> Problem -> Solution exist -> your solution -> Benefits -> Convinced


  • Everybody starts at “No Problem”
  • One buys only after “Convinced”
  • Each step has to be followed



  • What is the current level of awareness?
  • What will get their attention?
  • What is the next step from there?


Step 0: No Problem

  • The problem is education which is costly
  • You have to create a need first
  • Go where potential prospects are and educate them


Step 1: Problem

  • People want to learn about their options
  • Keywords are related to problems


Step 2: Solution exist

  • They look for solutions, maybe brand names


Step 3: Your solution

  • Address concerns about your solutions
  • Present benefits


Step 4: Benefits

  • Go deeper, talk about the future with your product
  • Use testimonials, press articles, etc.


Step 5: Convinced

  • Now you can go to the buying part


Semantic Matrix Method

  • Your solutions addresses several problems and maybe have different treatments
  • Start off with (Problems) x (Treatments) => Permutate
  • Depending on your solution, this can generate a wide range of content to create


How to create large amounts of content?

  • The assumption is that the knowledge is already in your company
  • Hire a journalism student / graduate, they should:
  • Arrange 30 minutes interviews with practitioners (in your company)
  • Record the interview
  • Ask them questions, prospects want to know
  • Write it down in an easy to read format


 Keyword / Adverts

  • Always look first at the highest step on the Awareness Ladder where you know there is market and which you don’t currently address
  • Competitions are a good way to get into a publication
  • Try to get in first into an interesting problem / topic
  • On step 0 banner-ads can work quite fine – just inform them about your new product + social media / forum participation


High exist rates (outside of support, etc.) can mean with low time on site

  • visitor didn’t know what to do next
  • wasn’t convinced
  • other random stuff


law of Multiplies – if you change the conversion rate on any step this will influence the CR in the same will


  • Always answer one question: “Am I in the right place?”
  • Every page is an ad for the next step – which can be anything
  • Consider the awareness ladder, you want to catch the immediate need of prospects
  • Proposition should be specific, you-oriented, be clearly beneficial and should offer a immediate solution



  • Your initial message don’t have to convince, it has to engage
  • should be
  • relevant
  • speak to self-interest
  • emotional
  • Try to group customers in your offering, e.g. moms with kids, farmers, etc.
  • If you advertise on a external platform, name its name, e.g.
  • “Exclusive for XY readers”You-oriented language – people want to hear about themselves
  • Differentiators should be binary. Don’t use “high quality” because no competitor would claim “low quality”



  • What can you say about your product that your competitors can’t
  • What do your prospects don’t know about you?
  • What delights your customers?


Promise to solve a problem

  • Triggers an emotional response
  • Reminds people of their concerns



  • Always look for emotional reasons that would compel a visitor to proceed
  • “Adding quote marks to a headline often increases believability and you can do it, too!”


Designing for Attention

  • Getability: I’m in the right place
  • Noticeability: Size, Contrast, Boldness, Color, Position, Space, Movement; Avoid these attributes on non-relevant elements
  • Navigation: Where you are and where you can go
  • Imagery: Use actual product images, Human faces work great,
  • Test:
  • Check headlines only
  • Remove all words on the page
  • 5 Second test



  • Affirm positive signs
  • People should imagine their life with your product
  • Stick to the facts
  • Use performance indicators


Resolve concerns & build trust

  • Answer “What if …” questions
  • Guarantees
  • Get feedback
  • Testimonials: Shipping page, near point of payment, with benefits & features
  • Talk like your customers


Build interest

  • Offer free useful information
  • Don’t try to sell now, wait till the customer wants to buy


Make it easy

  • Consistency
  • Be brief
  • Simple language
  • Readable text


Call to Action

  • Focus on CTAs
  • Low CR = a step is probably missing
  • Target the “maybe” crowd (no stays no, yes stays yes)
  • Sell without hesitation or shame
  • Show one clear path forward
  • Use you-oriented language in links
  • Use catch-alls, e.g. live chat, faqs, etc.
  • Ask only necessary details



  • Target early opportunities
  • Where do visitors leak?
  • Simplify as much as possible
  • Define your offering
  • Rate keywords by relevance
  • Create core content
  • Add more funnels
  • Generate traffic
  • Consider Step 0



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