Tuesday I attended SEMPDX’s talk given by Rand Fishkin title the “Mighty Nudge.” Rand’s presentation gave some credit to a book called Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Hapiness. Rand’s delivery focused on marketers making those subtle nudges that help convert visitors into customers. This is called conversion optimization. I briefly want to cover what my thoughts are on the presentation.


Marketers focus too much on getting visitors. Unless we are a publisher looking to increase revenue by readership we are necessarily in need of more visitors. In many cases what we need are people to convert at our website. If you could increase your sales by 100% while decreasing your traffic by 50% would you do it? In most case the answer should be yes. Just because there is traffic to a website does not mean that the traffic is qualified and will turn into sales. We may be already driving traffic but turning those visitors into paying customers is far more important than driving customers.


The only to find what works best to convert customers is to do testing. Amazon is known for their testing from page layouts to the checkout process. We think that the checkout is best designed as a single form yet Amazon’s testing has shown that a multilevel checkout actually converts customers better. Amazon has done this by breaking down the checkout process into individual decision from address, payment options, shipping options, etc. that people are more easily able to navigate through the checkout process. This leads me to decision making.


Decisions are hard for people to make when presented with too many options. A book published quite a few years ago title Don’t Make Me Think talked about web usability and consumers decision process. People when presented with many options sometimes take longer to decide and may forgo the purchase all together. The result was less choices can help drive better conversion or engagement with customers. A person can

In all the presentation was great. I wrote a post of my notes from the presentation so you can check it out at Notes from SEMPDX: The Mighty Nudge. Although some of this wasn’t new thoughts presented I did find it a good reminder that conversion is important. That testing can help deliver results and help consumers make decisions. Doing this is easier said than done and to those who do well done.

Did you attend this event and what were your thoughts?