“Save the Pixel” and “Convert” Author Ben Hunt on the Biggest Challenges for CRO Newbies

Editor’s Note: With Conversion Conference Chicago just around the corner, we thought it’s about time you get to know more about our speakers. From this day until the conference, we’ll be featuring a speaker and their answers to conversion and event-related questions.

You can join in and engage our speakers in pre-conference networking by sending in your own questions through email, Twitter, or our Facebook Wall. Big thanks to @In4mationHQ and @gtslawfirm for sending in their question (see question no. 2). Just like them, you too can have your burning questions for our speakers answered and featured here!

It’s not often that you get the chance to meet “the world’s #1 nerd on how to design websites that work.” So when the opportunity presents itself, you better grab it, right? Especially when that person is web design expert Ben Hunt, who authored “Save the Pixel and “Convert! Designing web sites for traffic and conversion.”

Fortunately, Ben is flying from the UK to Conversion Conference Chicago in order to do what he loves doing best: teaching others. Yes, one of his admirable qualities is that he could have made a fortune by establishing a web design agency – instead he choose the path less chosen: He turned his extensive knowledge of web design, SEO, and CRO into a unique course for web designer-wannabes. We’re not sure if he’s making a fortune out of that, but you can bet teaching ain’t easy!

We caught up with Ben to know what he thought was the biggest challenge faced by CRO newbies, his favorite color for conversion, and which speaker he’s thrilled to hear and meet at the conference.  Here he is:

1) What do you think is the biggest challenge encountered by folks who are new to conversion rate optimization?

Wow, there are so many!

  • What to test is the first big one. You have to analyze your funnels and figure out where the actual weakest links are.
  • Then, it’s what variations to test. It’s tempting to just mess around and test crap. But crap in, crap out. I’ve seen a lot of companies investing a lot in basically testing  tweaks, where they should be testing in broad strokes – appeals, messages, and big, hairy-arsed irresistible offers.
  • A new challenge comes while tests are running, which I call “Leaving the test the f*** alone“.


2) What’s your favorite color for encouraging conversion? Why?

Any positive, strong, striking hue. The exact choice depends on the color of the rest of the page. I have developed a button class that looks very similar to Amazon’s button style, just a bit nicer. I’m a big believer that UI controls are more likely to be clicked when they look familiar.

3) Which speaker(s) are you most excited to hear, beside yourself, at Conversion Conference Chicago?

Truthfully, it’s such a young discipline that I’ll be soaking up every session. Tim’s keynote sounds intriguing though.

4) What’s your favorite Chicago hangout? Why?

This will be my first time to Chicago, but I can confidently say it will have a lot to do with food. And beer.

Got a question for Ben that can’t wait till the Conference? Post it on the comments section below, tweet it to us, or post it on our wall and we’ll make sure he gets it.


About Ben

Ben Hunt has designed websites since 1994. He has designed websites and web-based applications for ISPs, start-ups and government agencies. He was one of the pioneering web designers who first applied direct marketing techniques to web design. Ben now teaches web designers and marketers how to craft websites that SELL.

Ben’s first book “Save the Pixel” has sold over 9000 copies since 2008 and is acknowledged the bible of simple web design. His second book “Convert!” (published by Wiley in 2011) has been described as “One of the most profound books on design and web marketing ever written.” In this ground-breaking handbook, Ben deconstructs the classic web site architecture and reveals a far more effective inverted approach, based on two key insights: “The Awareness Ladder” and “Multiplicity”.

See Ben Live!

Join Ben in his session on “End-to-End Conversion: From Acquisition to Repeat Customer” at Conversion Conference 2012 on June 25th and 26th in Chicago. See the full agenda and read more about this session. Follow Ben on Twitter to say hello and do some pre-conference networking.

P.S. Regular Pricing for Conversion Conference Chicago ends Friday, June 22, 2012. Don’t wait the last minute, register now to enjoy some savings while you still can (and before passes are gone!).


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