Book Review: Landing Page Optimization by Tim Ash

Certain types of advice go without saying; eat your vegetables, listen to your mother, look both ways before crossing the street. In his new book Landing Page Optimization, Tim Ash reminds us of fundamental landing page design concepts that seem simple. But we all (at least occasionally) fall into the trap of forgetting them when designing a page.

Landing Page Optimization starts and ends with a very simple premise: you are not the expert in designing an effective landing page — your customers are. You may feel that you have pegged the perfect message, the right layout and the simplest form. You reason you derived all of these elements from an exact understanding of who is visiting the website and why. Truth is, you haven’t. Your design most likely rests on how you see your product or service, how you structure your company, what your CEO likes, or any number of other things that have little or nothing to do with the customer’s needs. Swallow your pride, trust your customers to tell you what they want through their actions, and give it to them.

Tim asserts the basic principle that your page must appeal to the emotional responses of the visitor. Make them feel welcome, safe and connected to your site. Unfortunately, you don’t have the time to explain to them why they should trust and commit. Visitors devote only a few seconds to your landing page, and you must make the most of these seconds. Assume no one wants to read your lengthy descriptions. Communicate quickly with images and bulleted lists, with your overall goal of maximizing conversions constantly in mind.

Tim has delivered a must-read book for every level of an organization that wants to make its website and online marketing efforts successful. Far from being a book for any one job title, Landing Page Optimization gives everyone in an organization a solid foundation for how to think about customers, how that relates to design, and how to test sites with maximizing conversions in mind. Each person involved in landing page design must think about how each element on the landing page helps or hinders a visitor’s ability to understand immediately who the site owner is, conclude there’s a solid benefit for them, and trust the site owner with their information.

After describing a method for deciding which elements of the landing page need testing, Tim gives practical examples of the tools used for evaluating tests. He also provides some simple background on statistical methods for comparing results (for those of us without a degree in statistics).

In all, Landing Page Optimization provides a valuable look at the factors we should consider when evaluating the effectiveness of any landing page. This excellent read will leave you saying, “I knew that! Why haven’t I been doing this all along?!?” Book rating: 9 clicks on a 10 click scale.