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Conversion Optimization: The Art and Science of Converting Prospects to Customers Paperback – 14 Nov 2010

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Conversion Optimization: The Art and Science of Converting Prospects to Customers + Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions + Convert!: Designing Web Sites to Increase Traffic and Conversion
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (14 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449377564
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449377564
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 204,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Khalid Saleh is co-founder of Invesp, an ecommerce optimization company. He has more than 12 years of experience in ecommerce architecture, design and implementation, and is an in-demand speaker at industry events such as Emetrics, SMX, Conversion conference, DMA, PubCon and ACCM. Khalid is also the chief architect behind the first conversion optimization intelligence platform.

Ayat Shukairy is co-founder of Invesp, and focuses on website usability and online persuasion. She is a frequent speaker at industry events such as Search Engine Strategies and Web 2.0. Ayat is regularly quoted in publications including Internet Retailer, Retail wire, and Medill. Ayat is Invesp’s lead conversion architect helping companies such as HowStuffWorks, RHDJapan, and Home Gallery Stores generate an average 65% improvement in conversion rates and online revenue.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Mullane on 22 May 2011
Format: Paperback
The authors start with a failure, specifically an early project of theirs. The lesson drawn was too much time was spent on designing the uber-website and not enough time addressing and maintaining customer interest.
Due to this hard won experience and latter projects the authors have compiled a set of guidelines to make the standard commercial website more amenable to the average purchaser.
I found the writing clear and informative, with real world application to designers and business owners looking to optimize their web presence.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
For Web Professionals 19 May 2011
By John Chancellor - Published on
Format: Paperback
Far too many businesses focus on getting visitors to their websites. They seem to believe that once they have gotten the visitor to the website, their job is done. The conversion rate of visitors to most websites is dismal. Conversion is defined as getting a visitor to take some specific action such as buy, download a white paper, sign up for future messages. Unless the visitor converts, all the money you spent on the website and generating the traffic is wasted. More and more businesses are starting to recognize the need to apply the principles of conversion optimization to their websites.

While conversion rates vary by industry, product and specific business, most are in the single digit, some even lower than 1%. This means that well over 95% visitors that find their way to your website do not take the action you want them to take. This is a huge area for improving the ROI on your website.

According to the authors, "The purpose of this book is to help you create a strategy and provide you with tactics to sell more efficiently and effectively online." To accomplish their purpose the authors provide a logical framework for optimizing the conversion of a website.

The first three steps in conversion optimization are to understand your site visitors through personas. While most marketing professionals are familiar with developing customer profiles, the authors go into great detail describing how to develop your customer personas and how the different personas will react differently on your website. One size will not fit all. You must understand your customer personas and optimize your website to suit them.

The second step is to gain trust and confidence. The third step is to design your website for the different buying stages. Again, the authors go through the different buying states that most prospects will go through before reading a buying decision. You must know where a prospect is and speak to them where they are. Trying to convert a visitor when they are at the awareness stage (an early stage) will not work.

Then the authors lay out the next steps for the framework. You must understand the impact of FUDs (Fears, Uncertainties and Doubts) and work to eliminate them on your site. The next step involves how you use offers and incentives. Some incentives can actually turn out to be disincentives. You website must be engaging and persuade your visitor to convert.

The final step in conversion optimization is testing. Most marketers are familiar with A/B split testing. There has been a lot of discussion lately about multivariate testing. The authors spend a good deal of time talking about the positive and negative sides of multivariate testing.

According to the authors, "The science of marketing is about studying human behavior and how to influence it. Optimization done correctly starts with a full analysis of the target client and gaining deeper understanding of their business goals." It is dangerous and often unproductive to rely more on testing software than putting the brain power to really understand what is going on with the prospect and how they interact with the site.

The book is well written. They authors bring their real world experience to the book and share numerous examples of what works and what doesn't.

This book is for the website professional. While there is a lot of great information and insights that will help any web designer do a better job, the book is primarily for those charged with optimizing business websites.

You will come away with a much better appreciation of all the different things on any website which can be improved.

If you are in anyway involved in ecommerce, you would do well to read this book. You will have a much better understanding of why online conversions is so difficult and how you can improve your site.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The best there is 18 Feb. 2011
By Roy Bingham - Published on
Format: Paperback
I sat down on a plane yesterday evening with a two hour flight. I was tired and thought this book might help me sleep! Then I read the book cover to cover! I did skim a few sections and finished when the Captain told us we were about to land. Kept me fully awake with a lot of very valuable insight and a well-crafted explanation. I now have an extensive list of changes that I can't wait to test on our sites. Khalid and Ayat are true experts in their field. This is not consultant waffle, but rather hard facts based on real analysis and experience in the trenches. Congratulations I will be recommending your book to friends and colleagues
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great primer on conversion rates and how to improve them 9 May 2011
By Brian Smith - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a ways to improve the performance of your e-commerce website, there is no way you can read Conversion Optimization and not come up with some great ideas that will directly improve your e-commerce business.

I was contacted by one of the authors asking me if I would read the book and give my opinion on it. I believe he asked me because I am a frequent reviewer on What he did not know is I am also the owner of a small e-commerce website and I am fighting a down economy and the whims of Google changing their search algorithms. My website traffic has been steadily dropping, along with my sales due to the Google Panda update. I needed this book, NOW. Maybe you do, too.

Conversion Optimization offers a comprehensive plan to increase your conversion rates with a methodology that addresses all facets of getting customers who have found your site to "convert". For sites selling products, like mine, that means to buy something. For informational sites or lead generation sites those goals will be different. What I really like about the book is everyone from the large corporation who has their own staff of developers and a totally customized site, down to a mom and pop operation like mine that is running on a Yahoo! store, can find something in the book to help them out. Of course, there are some things I cannot do like the A/B testing, multivariate testing, extensive surveying, etc. But, I highlighted dozens of passages of things I can do and plan to do over the course of the next several weeks.

When it comes to increasing sales, you can bring more customers to your site or your can try to get the ones who are coming to your site to make a purchase. With conversion rates on ecommerce sites running at 2% for a decent site, even getting one more customer out of a hundred amounts to a 50% increase in sales. I have been running my site for 9 years now and I have always thought it cheaper, easier and more productive to try to improve my conversion rate than to go after new traffic. I have had so many SEO firms have called me up offering me ways to get more traffic. I am much more interested in how I can get the traffic I have already got to buy. Until I saw this book, I had not heard of firms that specialize in optimizing conversion rates. I always wished they existed. But, all of the solicitations I have gotten are from people offering me to put more people into my sales funnel, not helping me to close up the holes. As a sales guy with 25 years experience, I can tell you I would much rather be able to be more efficient at closing the leads I have than in getting a bunch more leads that I have to chase down, qualify and then try to close.

The book is full of real life examples, including screen shots of websites who have done things right and not-so-right. It is technical enough for a developer. But, it is accessible enough for a business owner. Whether you are a small business owner, a contract website developer or a large company, I think you will find this book well worth the price. As a website developer, the knowledge in this book will make you more valuable to your clients. I got the Kindle edition which has a great digital index so that you can actually look up the topic you are interested in and it links back to the relevant passage in the book.

I have already recommended this book to the development company that helps me with my Yahoo! store and I'm going to strongly encourage them to read it. I am hoping to implement many of the ideas immediately. In fact, today, as I was finishing up the book, I took a few minutes to rewrite the introductory paragraph on my home page to address the various personas of prospects landing there. Unfortunately, it'll have to be a hit-or-miss kind of implementation since I do not have the resources to go about it in the scientific, iterative way outlined in the book. However, I certainly expect that my conversion rate will be going up as a result of having read this book.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Informative and Relevant Book on Conversion Optimization 4 Jun. 2011
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz - Published on
Format: Paperback
In the early days of World Wide Web the mare presence of a webpage with the info about your products or content was considered sufficient for the promotion and success of your online business. However, most people soon realized that bringing customers or content viewers to the website was not enough to assure sales or other metrics of success. The exact layout, navigation, and other elements of the website architecture all need to be fine-tuned in order to increase conversion rates. In the early days conversion optimization was somewhat of a dark art, but over the past decade or so there has been an enormous increase in our understanding of what motivates consumers online and how those insights can be translated into desired actions.

"Conversion Optimization" is as close as one can get to a textbook on this subject. The book is extremely thorough, full of valuable insights, and it provides many useful examples and suggestions that can be easily implemented by almost anyone on their own. Conversion optimization is a data driven enterprise, and there is plenty of data and other useful information in this book that can best illustrate the points that are being made. The book provides a snapshot of most important website analytics concepts, tools, and measures. It highlights somewhat different definitions that are in use for the measurement of, for instance, bounce rates. The book emphasizes the importance of testing various different site designs, but it also shows the limits of this approach. Only the highly visited sites can gather enough information on user behavior that will be statistically relevant and informative for the purposes of conversion optimization.

Conversion optimization is still as much of an art as it is science, but informative, systematic and pedagogical books like this one go a long way towards shedding some much need light onto this field.
A must have marketing book for online marketers 29 Aug. 2011
By Reg Nordman - Published on
Format: Paperback
Guy Kawasaki says ,"this book explains both the geeky stuff and the soft stuff. " Too true. I though this was going to be dry tedious reading and was I wrong. From the first few pages I found this book to be refreshingly clear, well organized and eminently readable. I was very pleased to see how much the authors agreed with our own marketing framework and persona work of the Content Marketing course. If you sell anything on the web, this is a must have marketing book for your library - it will not grow stale or out of date in a hurry. There is too much in here for me to even attempt to summarize it.
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