I recently had the opportunity to present ideas on conversion strategy for the American Society of Appraisers. Thank you to Bharat Kanodia for asking me to be a part of an incredible lineup that included Leo ManzioneRebekah Wildman, and Robert Gillette.

Change 1: Target a Single Customer

This goes back to the basics of business — know yourself and know your customer. Stop trying to talk to everybody. Be something special to a specific set of people.

If you need help identifying your target customer, I put together this nifty little form. It has 30 questions you should be able to answer about your customer.

Change 2: Legibility

Don’t sacrifice legibility for design. I get that the image you have on your site looks amazing, but if people can’t read the text on top of it, all you do is cause anxiety. Anxiety increases friction. Friction is what causes people to not work with you.

Change 3: Use the Right Call-to-Action

The best piece of sales advice I’ve ever received was “sell to the next step.” Your site needs to do this same thing. Maybe the call-to-action shouldn’t be “Buy” or “Get Started.”

Maybe it’s “schedule a call” or “download this guide.”

After you’ve identified your target customer you should learn more about their intent. To understand what they want to do when they arrive at your site. Then use your call-to-action to help them do that thing.

Change 4: Communicate What You Do

Make it easy for someone to understand exactly what you do. Avoid starting your site with witty tag lines or rhetorical questions. Instead, start with one sentence that tells someone what you do and why they should work with you.

If you’re having a hard time listing out reasons someone wants to work with you, we should probably talk.

Change 5: Write for sales

Stop starting sentences with “we”, “our”, or your company name in the third person. Instead, start those sentences with the word “you.” By doing this, you frame the sentence for the reader. Now, you’re telling them what they get.

And that…that’s why they are on your site to begin with. They don’t want to hear about your past or your accomplishments. They want to know “what’s in it for me?”

Change 6: Have empathy

Remember that it’s a real person on the other end of your marketing efforts. Writing for search engines is absolutely recommended but not at the expense of mis-communicating with the people we’re trying to convert.


If you’re interested in having this presentation at your group, you can email me@hijoemartin.com to coordinate details and a time. To learn more about the concepts presented in this video, check out my article about using trust & personalization to improve your website.

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Using Trust & Personalization to Improve Your Website

It doesn’t matter how great your website looks. What matters is if it helps turns website visitors into paying customers. Known as converting, this approach is rooted in sales, psychology, and using data-driven decision making.