Sales Page SEO – A Case Study of a Case Study

Increase Conversions

One of my favorite promotional techniques is the use of webinars. I find that actually showing people what they can learn and do works significantly better than telling them in many cases. It’s always nice to hear from the attendees of the webinars about the successes they had while using the tips they implemented.

When online marketer Geoff Hoff and I ran into each other at the last NAMS conference, he pulled me to the side to tell me he was on a recent webinar of mine.  He went on to say that he’d seen good improvements using one particular strategy I taught.  I asked him if he’d be willing to create an article of his experiences to share with you and he was glad to do it.

I’ll turn it over to Geoff to give you the gist of what worked on his site to more than double his profits. Take it away Geoff…

I hear stories online all the time about how making one or two little tweaks brought about a huge change in the performance of a web page.  Personally, I’ve always been a bit skeptical about such tales… that is, until I put some of Karon Thackston’s suggestions to the test.

On December 21st, I received an email from my friend and mentor Connie Ragen Green about a replay of a webinar she had done with Karon. The webinar was about the 3 most common mistakes people make with their website conversions.

I had – just that week – put up a site for a new eCourse.  There were two options on the sales page. The first was a basic level that just included the course book and bonuses which went for $17. The second was a gold level that included all that and eight videos reviewing some of the technical things talked about in the book in more detail. The gold level was priced at $37.

On my launch day, and for a few days after that, I had slightly over a 3% conversion. Nothing too very exciting, especially with friendly traffic. (I had only let the people on my email list know about it and they like me, so my sales pages don’t usually have to be great for them to buy what I have to sell.)

Late on the 21st, I decided to take Connie up on her advice to watch Karon’s webinar replay. During the webinar, she used a case study detailing the changes she made with one of her client’s home pages and the dramatic increase that made in sales. One of the things they had changed was how they presented the offer, which also had two levels. Karon set them up in two columns so it was clear what the options were and how they compared to each other. When it was that clear, she said, most people actually went for the higher priced option.

Immediately after the recording ended, I went to my site and looked at it as if I’d never seen it before. It was really, really confusing. Then I looked at it as if I were me and it was still very confusing. Besides that it wasn’t clear in the actual copy that there were two levels and why, there was a single order area with two order buttons, one for each level. The less expensive one above the more expensive one. If I’d wanted to make a choice between the two, even I’d choose the basic one. Either that or I’d leave in frustration. That wasn’t good at all.

So I restructured how I made the offer. Just under the guarantee, I put the sentence, “Just choose which option you prefer.”

Under that, I created two columns, each with a small headline, “Basic Level” and “Gold Training Level”. Under each of those was a short paragraph of what the level included, then the order area. Of course, what was listed in the order area under the basic level was shorter than what was listed under the gold level, and it was clear what each level had in it.

The next morning, I sent out another email about it. Over the next few days I also sent other traffic to the page. My conversion rate went up to just under 4%, which isn’t a huge jump, but the traffic I was sending wasn’t quite so friendly. The most dramatic thing, though, was that, with only one exception, everyone who has purchased since I made that one change has bought the gold level, which means I made more than twice as much money on each sale as I would otherwise have. I like that a lot.

Since that initial tweak, I’ve also done some of the other things Karon suggested in that webinar, but the magic of that one change was pleasantly mind-blowing.

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About Karon Thackston

For over 25 years, web & SEO copywriter Karon Thackston has created optimized copy and content that has increased conversions & search rankings. Find out more about Karon on Google+.


  1. It was interesting to visit the actual site to see what the changes entailed or how the finished product looks…I have added to his traffic numbers (but not his conversions). The problem for me is that I have now seen so many eBooks, blogs, webinars, and what have you that I am skeptical about spending a nickel on any of it. The sample site is so ‘in your face’ I would have veered off before the end of the first screen…but I had to get down to the bottom to see the 2 columns!
    I was all excited when Ryan Deiss did his live eBook marketing thing last fall, but I have since seen an eBook he put out that was poorly done and full of hype. To hook a ‘fish’ like me must require a much softer sell over a longer time, and I have to be convinced that 1. the bait is going to taste good, and 2. it has the nutrients I need at the moment.
    Following your blogs now for some time and finding some good value is improving your credibility with me, but seeing a real example makes me wonder if hype is always a vital part of the effort. Can you show a softer sell?
    Tom Schultz recently posted..Preparing the third eBookMy Profile

  2. Hi Tom! I completely understand your skepticism. It’s very common because (unfortunately) many marketers simply stretch the truth or completely over promise what is actually possible. A real shame.

    No. Hype is not always part of copywriting. Did you watch the webinar mentioned in the post? It was a case study for a product that helps daycare centers. It was low key. The communication style of the copy, the length, the offer, etc. are all very dependent on the target audience. Obviously, majority rules and the copy has to be written in a style that converts the most people.

    I included Geoff’s article because he approached me to tell me that one particular bit of information in the webinar helped with his site. I don’t know who wrote the copy for Geoff’s site. I’m assuming he wrote it himself.

    So, out of curiosity, what from Geoff’s site do you consider to be “in your face” and what would you prefer to see?

  3. Lots of things have gone on in the day or two since I viewed it. (If my fresh opinion is important, email me again) As best I can recall, the size of the type and the color were part of the negative feeling, but it seems to me there were all sorts of claims of what his course would do for you and why you needed it…and it went on and on for many screens. The final price was not at all impossible, but it sounded too much like other ‘courses’ that had lots of hype prior to, in those cases a several $100 price tag. Perhaps starting with the information that he was promoting his course which cost “only $$” would give an up-front feel to it. Instead of leading me on to the inevitable attempt to close the sale, try starting with what you are selling and then go on to say you are going to give details about what it offers and who should and who should not consider buying it.
    I’m probably a bad example because I have been so turned off and do not make enough to justify spending even $.
    Tom Schultz recently posted..Preparing the third eBookMy Profile

  4. Thanks for your feedback, Tom. I completely understand that some people take longer to make a buying decision than others and require different information to get to that point. I am always fascinated by consumer behavior and the ways different people perceive marketing.

    Just to point out, I have not bought and am not associated with Geoff’s product. However, just for the record, I do know Geoff personally, and he is an upstanding and trustworthy person.
    Karon Thackston recently posted..Without This, Your Entire PPC Campaign Will FailMy Profile

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