Conversion Tools of the Master Craftsman — SES New York 2011

After lunch. Three sessions to go. Energy fading fast. Coffee in hand.

Still no bagels.

Okay, lets get right to this.

  • Moderator:
    Anne F. Kennedy, SES Advisory Board, International Search Strategist, Beyond Ink USA
  • Speakers:
    Tim Ash, CEO,, @Tim_Ash
    Bryan Eisenberg, SES Advisory Board and NYTimes Bestselling Author,

SES: Conversion Tools Panel

There’s so much star power on that stage, it’s blinding. I hope they’re giving away (to me) the books…oh it’s a raffle. Bother.

Tim gets to start and he’s going to rove. Great. thanks. He also says we’re going to go at 78 rpm. I guess that’s a…record player thing?

Your visitors think your site is awful and painful. And it’s your fault.

Ugly baby

How to make it less ugly:


In-page Web analytics

  • Mouse heatmaps
  • click confetti
  • link click overlay

See who is clicking on non-clickable images
screen size behavior changes

Seeing the usage patterns is helpful.

These are not quantitative tools, they’re all qualitative.



In-page Web analytics & user monitoring. — sort of a beefed up version of CrazyEgg

Use the conversation report to analyze your conversion funnel on a very granular level. Find where the breaks are.

Use the Time Report to find where people are spending their time and which form fields take the longest to fill out. See if they’re hesitating on something.

Blank field report: See how many people leave a field blank


SES: Conversion Tools Session


Who has a testing lab with all sorts of setups and monitors and configurations? Not most people. Use this instead. How does your page look on linux firefox blah blah?

Why aren’t you adjusting for different monitor sizes? Why are you wasting the white space?



Who uses wireframes to design? If you don’t, raise your hand and say ‘I am ashamed’

The first thing you need to do is figure out if the page layout works. Don’t get trapped in arguing about that purple button with the blue font. You need the page to function first.

[Tim: [mocking Ed Hardy] I’m bored and I want another Xanax.]

OMG, Tim just did a flying leap of joy while mocking Ed Hardy. You guys wish you were here.

Free or $59 per year

Tim’s product. Trial for $.01

  • Attention heatmaps of pages
  • live and mocked up designs
  • No actual page visitors required
  • instant results

Use it to declutter your page. Add calls to action block. Many of your problems are at the crude visual level.



Now get off your butt and when you get back to the office, use crazyegg or clicktale on one of your important landing pages, mockflow a new one to fix the problem, use attentionwizard to analytize it and test it with crossbrowser testing.

Great presentation.

Now to ramp up the energy even more. Bryan Eisenberg will be up next.

(If you want more Bryan, read ClickZ or one of his many books.)

99 Free/Low Cost tools to improve your website

Tools: Insights, creating pages, testing, personlization, campaign and automation

People: Insight, Management, Creative execution, Test Setup, Implementiation, Outsource

Process: Planning and creating new ads & content, optimizing old ads and new

Conversion rates are still only 2-3%

Sites are better designed, people are less resistant to buying online, so why aren’t we making more money?


Because we suck, basically.

Don’t do slice and dice optimization. Most changes rank very low on the “who gives a shit? meter”

How many times have you loved a product, it’s been exactly what you want but you didn’t buy it because the button was the wrong color? Yeah, never.

Fine-tuning is great when stuff is really rocking. But if your conversion rate is below 10%, test fast, find what works and move on. Otherwise, you’re just putting lipstick on a pig. It might be prettier but it’s still not kosher.

Testing is about understanding people’s motivations.

Most people don’t have a structured approach to improving conversion rates. 48% of people think that htey have no control oiver their conversion rates.

61% do less than 5 tests per month. (In this room, it’s more like 90%)

Do more tests.

You need to have an analytics program. Omniture, Google Analytics. Something.

You must have something for form analytics

Voice of the customer – 4q, kampyle, something to get information back from the customer

Call tracking. Get. Call. Tracking. Track it down to the keyword level. If not, you’re waving your money away.

Speed check – how fast is your page? ( You want it to DL at 8 sec on a 56k modem. Yes, a modem. – makes your images smaller

Use video for products.

People don’t like reading really long pages. Make a video with that info instead. – automated voice over videos of your products with automatic submissions to video sites which then get you ranked. Nice.

Dynamic Video Sitemaps – PPC Test – $75 (he gives out a coupon code but it’s not for sharing.)

Get Premise – Creating landing pages in WordPress. Sweet. WP plugin. Even if you don’t DL it, go read the GetPremise landing page anyway. Learn it, live it, love it.

Different people have different motivations, why are you treating all of them the same?

BTBuckets – FREE – segmentation software.

Optimizely – A/B testing

Monetate – high volume testing – 35 tests or more a month

5 thing that will give you lift:

Badging – conversion up to 55% impact – “Tim’s favorite”

Message Consistency – Average conversion improvement range of 5-20% (as high as 100%) – keep the scent

Tax Free – Conversion improvement as high as 12%

International – Conversion improvement as high as 100% (we ship outside the US or whereever)

Email Acquisition – acquisition improvement as high as 1000% – get them to sign  up for something! – who loves writing and rewriting PPC ads? Yeah. Use this one to outsource it. $90

Bryan: It’s not the tool man, it’s how you use it

Tim: That’s what she said.


Take classes at MarketMotive. Bryan’s got classes there.


Susan Esparza is former managing editor at Bruce Clay Inc., and has written extensively for clients and internal publications. Along with Bruce Clay, she is co-author of the first edition of Search Engine Optimization All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.

See Susan's author page for links to connect on social media.

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2 Replies to “Conversion Tools of the Master Craftsman — SES New York 2011”

This was my favorite session. Excellent, vibrant speakers and a terrific round up of tools and resources.

Hi Susan,

Thanks for the great liveblogging coverage of the session. We were going pretty fast. And yes 78-rpm is a record-player thing…

Warmest regards,

Tim Ash – Chair,


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