The first thing you notice about the book is the care with which it was created. I bought the hardcover and it is packaged in a slipcase with a fixed ribbon marker (you will need more of these). The professionally designed interior, with loads of website design illustrations, photos, and other helpful visuals, matches the superb packaging.

(That’s my photo in the header image.)

You quickly learn that there is a reason for this. It’s a reference book you’ll want to keep handy and continue to dip into as you work on your website, or those for clients.

I wasn’t sure if the book would be relevant to my needs. My past experience is with large corporate websites but these days I’m more focused on my own small business websites in the book publishing space. But as the authors point out, their advice is as applicable to SquareSpace and Wix users as it is to Google and Apple (clients).

It is not a book about SEO, how to code a website, or online advertising. It is about CRO—conversion rate optimization. The content is divided into 3 sections followed by a detailed case study.

I thought I’d skip the first section, the introductory setup of why web design is done wrong and how to do it right. Instead, my attempt to skim it kept getting bogged down because this section forms the foundation for the author’s framework and methodologies to follow in sections 2 and 3. It is entertaining, useful and necessary.

The rest of the book is even more difficult to skim. You’ll find yourself dipping in and out of the 22 different approaches to diagnostics and the 14 problem solutions, i.e. what to do if your users aren’t persuaded by your benefits, and, as Avinash Kaushik, Google’s digital marketing evangelist points out in his foreword, step 7: what winning websites do to manage complexity.

This is a reference book you’ll find yourself turning to time and again. Why? Because of “Principal 3: For reasons that are subtle, the top companies make frequent, incremental changes, and rarely (if ever) have huge site redesigns.”