Tim Ash

Tim Ash

Tim Ash is the author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization, and CEO of SiteTuners. A computer scientist and cognitive scientist by education (his PhD studies were in Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence), Tim has developed an expertise in user-centered design, persuasion and understanding online behavior, and landing page testing. In the mid-1990s he became one of the early pioneers in the discipline of website conversion rate optimization. Over the past 15 years, Tim has helped a number of major US and international brands to develop successful web-based initiatives. Companies like Google, Expedia, Kodak, eHarmony, Facebook, American Express, Canon, Nestle, Symantec, Intuit, AutoDesk and many others have benefitted from Tim’s deep understanding and innovative perspective.
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Designed to Kill

In e-commerce, your homepage is who you are. It’s prospective customers first impression of you. Visitors will decide to either do or not do business with you based on their experience with your homepage. Considering that the homepage usually gets a disproportionately larger amount of traffic than any other page on your website, it would…

The Brains Behind E-Commerce

Our brains evolved for survival and largely work on auto-pilot. Instead of using deliberate conscious thought, we often make impulsive decisions that show a number of consistent biases. Cognitive biases are shortcuts used by the brain to speed up decision making. They’re the reason that we have near-automatic behaviors for certain tasks. If you want…

Separating Hype From Reality

Responsive web design (RWD) continues to be one of the biggest hypes for digital marketers. If you don’t already have a responsive site, chances are good you’ve at least thought about making this a priority, especially if you’re in the e-commerce space. However, as is true for most trends, getting caught up in the excitement…

‘Writing’ a Wrong

The right approach is to think of content from the outside-in perspective. This means you take your online prospects exactly where they are right now, and guide them towards the solution of their own problems (some of which will ultimately result in financial benefit to your company).

Looks Matter

You’ve slaved over your product or service; you’ve done creative marketing campaigns that drove results; you’ve researched and established a fair price. Your job as an online marketer is done, right? Actually, you’re missing a key part of the conversion picture. Price presentation can have a huge impact on your conversion rate.

3 Usability Issues That Keep Visitor Groups From Buying

E-commerce web usability is a game of probability, not possibility. If you try to allocate the same weight to elements that attract product-oriented purchasers as you do comparison shoppers and casual browsers, your site will fail all of them. You need to review which groups of users you have the most of, then allocate your site's real estate to serve their needs. Web analytics is your friend here. Once you spot the patterns and know what kind of primary and secondary visitor groups you have, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work prioritizing changes to your website.

If You Need More Darned Clutter on Your Site ...

You've probably heard this one before: When you're trying to get a visitor to your site, you should be screaming for attention. While they're on your site, you should quietly let them shop. The shouting stops at the entrance. Nobody wants a bazaar while browsing. At least, in theory, nobody wants a bazaar.

Avoid 3 Common Technology Traps and Boost Conversions

Technology is your friend. That's what marketers say after they employ a largely tech-driven tactic that provides some lift. Unfortunately, that's rarely the end of the story. Often, things that look simple — e.g., implementing pop-ups to capture email addresses for remarketing or enabling promo codes — can have unintended consequences. If you don't think through the usability impact or downstream conversion effect, technology-driven improvements will often cause tough-to-diagnose pains down the line.

Are Tablets Hurting Your Site’s Usability?

Tablets are, in many ways, a nightmare for a lot of retailers. Don't get me wrong, smartphones ultimately made the expectations tougher for everyone. However, optimizing for a four-inch screen is ultimately very different from optimizing for 19 inches and up. Say what you will about how difficult it is to create a good smartphone experience, but the tasks for mobile phones are often different enough from desktops that the changes you'll often need to make are obvious.

Local Optimization Drives Conversions, But Your Local Page Won’t

Local was already in play before the iPhone changed the online marketing game in 2007, but the mobile shift has raised business capabilities and, more importantly, visitor expectations. Some of the things you need to learn to cope will be brutal, especially if you have limited resources, but it's time to start allocating some of that budget to local optimization now.

4 Neuroscience Insights That Can Increase Conversions

In marketing, we often get so caught up with technology that we fail to focus on the insights we can get from learning more about decision making and psychology. We forget that the human brain hasn't really evolved in the last 50,000 years. So while technology changes, what we're mapping it on does not. Below are four things about the brain and how it works that retailers can apply to increase marketing effectiveness:

3 Things Every Retailer Should Know About Mobile Visitors

Even as smartphones, tablets and wearables become ubiquitous aspects of consumers’ daily lives, digital marketers continue to struggle to figure mobile out. Doubtless, you've probably already heard a lot of advice around mobile and the best ways to approach and utilize it. So this post won't list "it's harder to type on mobile devices" or "apps are better for mobile marketing." You already know the former, and the latter isn't always true (but you'll find these ideas on tons of marketing sites anyway). That said, there are things you should strive to know about mobile visitors, and with the right mind-set and tools, they'll allow you to really focus on what matters. 

Best Practices for Promoting Your E-Commerce Website

Q: "I recently started my own e-commerce website selling natural health products, and I'd love some best practices around how to better commercialize the website to increase sales. Thanks!" — Angela Garcia, team leader, NHT Global

Are Smartphones Bad at Conversions?

Tablets are winning. At least that's what it looks like if you've been keeping score. Adobe and Monetate generally agree on about a 1 percent conversion rate on smartphones, and an over 2 percent conversion rate on tablets. The idea is that smartphones, with their slower connections, more restrictive screen size and (currently) underpowered hardware, are at a distinct disadvantage compared to desktops and laptops, or even to their cousins, tablets.