Making Websites Win

Authors: Karl Blanks, Ben Jesson

Book Summary (in 3 Sentences)

Making websites win is all about creating an engine of conversion. The first step to create an engine of conversion is to diagnose the problems. The next step is to continually A/B test solutions to the diagnosed problems and repeat.

How I Discovered It

I think this was a free Kindle Unlimited read that I discovered serendipitously as I was browsing for books about website conversion. It ended being the best book I have ever found on the topic.

Who Should Read It

Do you own a website? You should read this.

How the Book Changed Me (life, behavior, thoughts, ideas have changed)

This book changed my perspective on website optimization. I used to start with a brainstorm of things I might test on a website (button colors, microcopy, etc.). After reading this book, I learned the importance of starting with analytics and conversion funnel data before prescribing an ideal solution to test.

Top 3 Quotes

  1. “If you are a marketer or designer, ensure that you follow the three success principles: Design pages that fulfill their primary purpose, measure and test everything you create, and minimize your work-in-progress.”
  2. “The biggest mistake people make when optimizing their websites is what we call “meek tweaking.” They set up A/B testing software, then they make daft changes. They change button colors and shuffle items around the page, just because they read that it worked for someone else. They do the Garbage In → Garbage Out thing.”
  3. “The best marketers create funnels that counter each objection at the exact moment that the visitors are thinking it. And the only way to do that is to understand the visitors well.”