An Interview with Ben Hunt

How to convert

Ben Hunt is a web designer and author who specialises in designing websites that convert. His books include Save The Pixel, Convert and his brand new book How To Be #1 (Your Complete Handbook to Niche Domination).

In this interview, Ben talks about designing websites for conversions.

For your chance to win a copy of Convert and How To Be #1 (Your Complete Handbook to Niche Domination) including 12 months support via a members-only website valued at a total of $217, simply leave a comment below and tell us the one thing you have done that increased conversions the most on your website.

Ben will announce the winner in a couple of weeks.

In this video, I also mention the following resources:

Ben Hunt’s Website
Modern Tribe
Canvas Theme from WooThemes (sorry it’s not free as I mentioned – it’s $70).
Venturi Web Design

NB: I do apologise for the poor quality vision of myself in this interview, the Call Recorder software I use from Ecamm for Skype had a bad day. It is usually outstanding.

PS. You should also check out this article by Ben Hunt about how 123reg almost ruined his business – it’s a lesson for us all.

36 thoughts on “An Interview with Ben Hunt

  1. Simple, uncluttered content that’s well structured, leads to a compelling call to action – everything needs to be built on this foundation.

  2. Hi
    So glad to have seen this interview massive amount of solid information. just wish I had seen it it earlier. About a month ago I decided to completely overhaul an old site which had been neglected for some years.

    I had started to read the Convert book on kindle and it really made me think about what I had. I realized I had over hundred pages/posts about the subject but virtually NONE of them were helping me to make money.

    What a waste of seven years in my time and effort!

    I started to create some better money pages in the funneling system and have already seen some improvements. Problem was none of the 100+ pages were pointing to money pages. I had been trying to hard to optimise info pages that would not help me make money.

    Can you believe it how could I be so stupid?

    So I am now going through each one and rewriting huge chunks of them to give me relevant internal links which fit inside the funnel concept.

    This will take several weeks full time work but I know it will be worth it. As I said earlier I wasted seven years making no real money on this site. Now thanks to convert it is creeping back up the search engines and producing money in my clickbank account. Thanks for that.

    My only regret about the kindle version of convert was the small size of screen and could not print it out to flick back to earlier chapters. Will need to get either ebook and print that or buy a already printed version on amazon. Then I can really work on it and pull out every gold nugget buried there for everyone to find.

    I just don’t believe how valuable information like that can be given away in this interview for free. I need to pass it to friends and make more friends by doing so.


  3. Hi Troy,

    Terrific interview. I’ve taken away a heap of information from Ben. I’m a big believer in creating great content targeted at a niche, and I’ve been working through the process of doing this within our own business. The trick has been working out that niche and defining the ideal customer. Having done that I have now found it fairly easy to target the content directly to that customer. So after a very haphazard and ill directed approach in the past I now have a very targeted approach that is already showing positive results.

    Having said that, the single best thing I’ve done to increase conversion has been to include an option to join our list. It’s badly executed, and will be improved shortly once we introduce a decent incentive to join the list, but nonetheless it has already increased our reach. We can now reach out to both potential and existing customers, and that’s powerful. Like Ben said, I only wish I’d done it years ago. The reason I say this helps our conversion is that it allows us to continue communicating with customers and being visible when they are ready to buy.

    I read Save The Pixel a year or so back, and just bought Convert – should have watched the interview first!

    Keep up the great interviews!

    • Nice work Dave. It sounds obvious but pro-actively asking people to join your list and offering an incentive makes a huge difference.

      Keep up the good work.

  4. I have A/B test all of my emails and also my hello bar.
    I’ve also taken a lot of feedback through my Uservoice helpdesk to make some UI changes to my membership site, and will be making more when my first spring session ends.

  5. Relevant, recent, and rewarding content is the only way to continuously increase conversions. Whether for-profit or non-profit organizations, long term success is gained by providing exactly what your target audience wants and needs. Simplistic, I know. But it actually works!

    Some great ideas in this interview:

    “If I was spending my money this is what I would do…” is a comment I also make to clients and prospective clients all the time. You need to remind your clients of this, often, at least weekly…

    • Right on Paul – I love that notion too… “If I was spending my money this is what I would do…”

      Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I took over a site that had been ‘copywritten’ by an SEO agency. It was littered with multiple keywords, repetition in the H1 and meta title and description and unnaturally keyworded links.

    We took out the unnatural links, rewrote the H1 and meta tags and rewrote the entire website in plain English, using some of the keywords, but adhering to grammatical rules.

    We basically UN-SEO’d it. What happened? The site moved UP in the SERPS, not much, but most importantly, enquiries increased for the simple reason that the new copy was much more readable, much more inviting, and website visitors ended up converting quicker, because bad grammar and bad copy was injecting some uncertainty into potential buyers.

    Search is only part of the story. You can get better conversion from fewer visits. What’s great about this approach, is that it’s sustainable over the long term and sustainable by the client. It doesn’t need an SEO to do monthly checks because it’s not doing anything that is ever likely to be penalised. That leads to lower costs for the client and greater satisfaction.

    • Good point Marc – it’s not about numbers – it’s about relevant numbers. More conversions from fewer visitors. I like it.

  7. Thanks for this informative interview. There were quite a few ideas here that I will put into practice.

    In addition to some SEO tactics, one of things that I have done to make my website and my clients website convert better is switching to the premium framework, Genesis.

    I noticed an increase in traffic too.

    • Hi Clara,

      What is it specifically about the Genesis framework that has helped do you think?

  8. I took the three top things that make money and made them the focus of the home page. I also created landing pages for each of these items. Lastly, I purchase domain names for landing pages when it makes sense for marketing directly to those pages.

  9. I took the approach of scraping questions from quora and then converting those questions to should asked questions and then extracting the most relevant keywords in excel and then from this we create the information architecture around this that is aligned with resolving those questions. By aligning real world questions with the right answers on your site your conversions will soar.

    Questions you should be asking before laying out each web page from a potential customer perspective;
    What are you selling?
    What does it cost?
    Why should I believe you?
    What’s in for me?

  10. So nice to see a video that touches on some of the core concepts we have been advocating. I would love to see the shift away from Web Design to Web Messaging.

    One of the biggest conversion practice we use is spending enough time interpreting what the client does and boiling it down to what the target audience is looking for online. How well we craft this message for the user is the largest conversion principal we can employ.

    It blows my mind how much money clients spend on Lead Generation – SEO/SEM and so little time on providing the content the user is actually looking for. Getting enough budget for content testing and creation is our biggest challenge as a web marketing company.

    Chris Gregory

    • Hear hear Chris. I like the idea of “web messaging”. That’s a great way to differentiate your self too.

    • Hey Chris,

      Congratulations! Ben Hunt picked you out as the winner of the competition.

      We will be in touch to let you know how you can claim your prizes.

  11. This was not a clients website unless you agree with me that I am my own client. my examples was a website I had set up in 2003 which ranked very high top five on page one of google in a highly competitive market (clean romance). However illness and other related issues prevented me from monitoring and maintaining the site properly through all the changes that have happened over last five years.
    I seriously thought about discarding it but but thought let me just see what happens if I decide to take an interest in it again and make some changes in design and more focused content.
    I switched themes and rewrote and recategorized some twenty posts so far and have seen some improvements already. Still not totally sure of the design but have gone in making small changes to css code and to functions.php (to create extra widget areas etc) for usability purposes.
    I am not a natural art/graphic type of person however and I still have a lot to learn about this area but I have already seen results in little areas. If I can learn more about the bigger picture I will see bigger results.
    Keep showing these helpful types of videos and we can all learn from your examples.

    Thanks again

    • Thanks for stopping by Ron and for your awesome story. It’s amazing how you get back what you put in. A little bit of focus can really help.

  12. Hi guys,

    Thanks so much for putting this together, great info, very motivating and surprisingly confirming I’m on the right path in some fairly specific areas.

    Couldn’t agree more on the Photoshop angle, now to wean myself off it and start producing design concepts directly from my modified base theme… As a designer, old habits die hard.


  13. When I first started my website, people who arrived to my website were not sure exactly what I was doing/selling. Despite the high resolution graphics and great taglines, the message was getting lost and the bounce rate from the homepage was very high.

    By focusing the message on the landing page (homepage as well as any page users land on when clicking through via ads), together with better SEO to drive the right traffic to the site, I’m able to convert at a much better rate.

    • Nice one Dhawal – it’s all about getting the message consistent and matched to what the market is looking for. Thanks for your comment.

  14. Thank you so much for the insight. I’m am really glad I watched this.

    Being from a graphic design background I have often been unsure about using prebuilt themes/graphics when approaching web projects.

    You have just changed my thinking and approach.

  15. In all industries we are guilty of speaking our industries language instead of English. For examples It people speak geek speak and designers pixel speak and lawyers.. who knows. But you get the point.

    The one thing that I have found really increases conversion is speaking simplified English and gently guiding the visitor along to the desired answer and destination. Ofcourse great design and layout really help facilitate this process.

    ……..simplify. 🙂

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