14 Conversion Experts You Should Be Following in 2014

by 37 12/03/2013

What works in digital marketing today?

There’s no easy answer to that question. The truth is, what works today may not work tomorrow, because the rules change on a daily basis.

So if you want to improve your website’s performance, you need to keep up with the newest developments. And to do that, you need to put 14 people on your radar.

These are today’s leaders in Conversion Rate Optimization, people who don’t just talk the talk but put their theories to the test on a daily basis. You’ll do well, not simply to read their books and blog posts and to follow them in Twitter, but to follow all their recommendations too.

And as a special bonus, each of these guys has also given me their top tip for better bottom-line results in 2014. Check in tomorrow to get a 14 hard-boiled tips that will make you a better marketer in your field.

Who are the conversion experts you need to follow?

Here they are, in no particular order…

Neil Patel

neil patel Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics and QuickSprout

@neilpatel

In addition to running two successful software companies, Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, Neil has worked with clients of all size in pretty much every industry, getting results in some of the most competitive online niches—car insurance, for instance. He’s an expert in traffic and conversion and shares his personal insights on his blog, QuickSprout.

Neil is consummate teacher. Follow him for some of the best content on the Web, including deep insights learned from personal experience and free ebooks on just about everything related to digital marketing. In his social streams, you’ll enjoy his daily doses of inspiration.

Brian Massey

brian masseyConversion Sciences

@bmassey

Brian is the Conversion Scientist at Conversion Sciences and has the lab coat to prove it. He has a rare blend of technical talent and marketing vision and has built a reputation for solving complex problems.

Brian is the author of Your Customer Creation Equation. In it, you’ll get a great introduction to conversion optimization, plus five website formats proven to get results. Brian explains when, where and how each format should be used, so you know which one is right for you.

Brian is best known for transforming websites through a steady diet of visitor profiling, purposeful content, analytics and testing.

Ian Lurie

ian luriePortent Interactive

@portentint

Ian is one of the world’s top experts on Internet, search and social media marketing. He is founder and CEO of Portent Inc., an Internet marketing agency that has provided Internet marketing, including search, social and analytics services, since 1995.

He co-published Web Marketing All-In-One for Dummies, writing the sections on SEO, blogging, social media and web analytics. He also wrote Conversation Marketing: Internet Marketing Strategies. In addition, he writes regularly for the Portent Blog.

Ian gives you a rare blend of humor, deep insight and actionable advice that’s well worth your time.

Tim Ash

tim ashSiteTuners

@tim_ash

Tim is one of the early pioneers in the discipline of website conversion rate optimization, having been at this since the mid 1990s. He is best known for his expertise in user-centered design, persuasion and online behavior, and landing page testing.

The CEO of SiteTuners, Tim has helped a number of major US and international brands develop successful web-based initiatives, including Google, eHarmony, Facebook, American Express.

He is the author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization. He is also founder and chair of the international ConversionConference event series, now in it’s fourth year with 2014 events scheduled in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Paris, London, and Berlin.

Tim’s deep understanding and innovative perspective can definitely help you raise the bar on your marketing.

Oli Gardner

oli gardnerUnbounce

@oligardner

Oli is the resident landing page expert at Unbounce, where he uses design and interaction theory to improve customer experiences and business conversions.

Read his conversion-centered design and landing page optimization articles on Unbounce’s conversion blog, as well as other top marketing blogs such as Moz (previously SEOmoz).

Oli’s Twitter bio says he’s seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet. Be sure to follow him for his keen insights.

Chris Goward

chris gowardWiderFunnel

@chrisgoward

Chris Goward was one of the first people to look at online content and say, “You Should Test That!”

From that revelation he founded WiderFunnel the full-service marketing optimization agency that pioneered landing-page and conversion-rate optimization methods for companies such as Google, Electronic Arts, Iron Mountain, and BabyAge.com.

He has developed that idea into a highly refined Conversion Optimization system that delivers consistent conversion rate and revenue improvement for all industries, for all audiences and from any location. He is also author of, You Should Test That!

Michael Aagaard

michael aagaardContentVerve

@ContentVerve

Michael is a self-confessed split test junkie, copy fanatic and content evangelist who’s obsessed with finding out what really works in online marketing.

Since 2007, he’s spent most of his time thinking about or working with content, copy, and conversion rate optimization, and has helped retailers and businesses of all sizes improve sales and conversion rates.

He’s shared his knowledge at Marketing Experiments/MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Optimization Summit in Denver and on blogs like KISSmetricsCopyblogger, and Marketing Experiments.

Peep Laja

peep lajaConversionXL

@peeplaja

Pronounce his name ‘Pep Laya’. Hailing from Estonia, Peep lives mainly in the US these days.

He’s the face of ConversionXL and is an entrepreneur and conversion optimization junkie. He also runs a unique conversion optimization marketing agency called Markitekt.

Peep shares actionable conversion rate optimization advice based on scientific research and in-depth industry knowledge. If that’s what you’re looking for, you don’t want to miss his book, How to Build Websites that Sell: The Scientific Approach to Websites.

Bryan Eisenberg

bryan eisenbergwww.bryaneisenberg.com

@TheGrok

Bryan is an internationally recognized authority and pioneer in online marketing, improving online conversion rates, persuasive content, and persona marketing.

He has been recognized by eConsultancy members as one of the top 10 User Experience Gurus, in addition to being selected as one of the inaugural iMedia Top 25 Marketers, and a Marketing Edge Rising Star Award winner in 2010.

And if that isn’t enough, he’s a sought-after speaker/teacher and the co-author of the bestselling books, Call to Action, Waiting For Your Cat to Bark? and Always Be Testing.

Joseph Putnam

joseph putnam5 North Marketing

@JosephPutnam

Joseph founded 5 North Marketing to help more startups with their digital marketing. He noticed that businesses were struggling with how to get people to their site and realized that they were often trying to retro-fit another brand’s strategy to their own marketing.

Joseph believes every business is different and deserves a custom marketing plan that meets their needs.

He’s written for popular marketing blogs like Copyblogger and KISSmetrics, as well as here on CrazyEgg. Recently he co-authored The Definitive Guide to Copywriting with Neil Patel.

Justin Rondeau

justin rondeauWhichTestWon

@Jtrondeau

Justin Rondeau is Chief Evangelist & Editor of WhichTestWon and leads the editorial and training workshops for what is arguably the top publication in conversion optimization.

More than 75,000 marketers visit WhichTestWon each month to research its extensive Case Study library featuring creative samples and results data for more than 200 A/B and multivariate tests.

A trainer with hands-on testing and conversion optimization in both B2B and ecommerce, Rondeau’s goal is to inspire and educate more marketers to optimize their email campaigns and web sites via testing.

Ian Rhodes

ian_rhodes_headshot_200RhodesConsultancy

@irhodes

Ian has been marketing, blogging, and successfully selling online since the early days of the Internet—without spending a dime on advertising. And quite successfully, I might add: In 2006 he was rewarded the “Fender Europe Top Dealer Award.”

Then in 2007, he sold his business and opened a consultancy to help other businesses achieve success online. He helps businesses understand their online audience and creates conversations through content. More to the point, he creates conversations that win business.

Ian feels that too many companies look at Digital Marketing as a fall-back option, or a conquest. He views it as a culture that embraces transparency and complete openness online. As Gary Vaynerchuk summarizes, “Everything is Exposed.”

Rich Page

rich pageRich Page: Website Optimizer

@richpage

If you’re going to specialize in conversion optimization, it helps to have a name like Rich Page.

Rich is a self-confessed website optimizer junkie. He’s been analyzing, testing and optimizing websites for more than 10 years, working with everything from the biggest Fortune 500 websites to small e-commerce websites.

Rich is called on most often to increase client website revenue and conversion rates. His process? Analyzing, targeting and testing key web pages and content, and emphasizing web usability and user feedback to improve visitor engagement and return frequency.

He is author of  Website Optimization: An Hour a Day and the co-author of the 2nd Edition of Tim Ash’s popular Landing Page Optimization’ book. And he recently launched a Conversion Rate Optimization Toolbox that you don’t want to miss.

Perry Marshall

perry marshallPerry Marshall and Associates

@PerryMarshall

Perry isn’t on your usual list of conversion specialists. But what else would you call him? As a consultant, he’s helped online and brick-and-mortar companies generate sales leads and web traffic, and maximize advertising results.

Entrepreneur Magazine says, “Perry Marshall is the #1 author and world’s most-quoted consultant on Google Advertising. He has helped over 100,000 advertisers save literally billions of dollars in AdWords stupidity tax.”

He’s the author of The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising, and most recently, 80/20 Sales and Marketing.

Follow him for rubber-meets-the-road tactics that will generate real results in your marketing.

There you have it

14 the top conversion rate experts in the industry. Follow them and learn from them, and you’ll see the results in your own web pages.

And check back tomorrow for their top tips for 2014.

About 

Kathryn Aragon is editor of The Daily Egg and publisher of the C4 Report. She is committed to helping businesses communicate, connect, convert... and capture their market. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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37 COMMENTS

Jules Taggart

Wow. Not one woman in the entire lineup?

December 3, 2013 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    I had the same thought, Jules. I’m actively looking for women I can add to my list.

    December 3, 2013 Reply

      Joanna Wiebe

      I’m gonna self-promo! :) I’m a woman, and I optimized the Crazy Egg home page with Hiten this summer. We got a sweet lift. Case study coming to your very blog soon. …So maybe include this chick??? :) Yes, I totally did a ‘selfie’ text-style…

      December 3, 2013 Reply

    Talia

    Was just thinking the same thing. We need more women in this field.
    At the risk of sounding “self-promotive”, you’re welcome to follow my blog at http://www.conversioner.com/conversion-optimization-blog/, I’d love to get your feedback and thoughts.

    January 15, 2014 Reply

      Kathryn Aragon

      Thanks for chiming in, Talia. SO nice to know another female CRO expert. I’m looking forward to reading your blog.

      January 15, 2014 Reply

      sean vosler

      nice! lovin the content :) keep it up!

      April 8, 2014 Reply

Oli Gardner

Thanks for including me in this awesome list Kathryn! Great company to be in for sure.

December 3, 2013 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    Your welcome, Oli. I’ve enjoyed reading and learning from your posts.

    December 3, 2013 Reply

John

Is there not a single female conversion expert in the industry?

December 3, 2013 Reply

Ian Rhodes

Honoured to be included alongside some of the smartest minds in conversion, Kathryn!

December 3, 2013 Reply

Justin Rondeau

Thanks for including me in the list Kathryn! Huge fan of the work you do here.

December 3, 2013 Reply

Rich Page

Thanks so much for including me on this list!

And as for another very smart conversion expert female, we shouldn’t forget about Linda Bustos who is the author of the Get Elastic blog… definitely worthy of being on this list too.

December 3, 2013 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    Your welcome, Rich! And thanks for the lead. I’ll put Linda on my list straight away.

    December 3, 2013 Reply

Tom Bowen

Glad to see a couple I should have been following all along! And I’m happy to say I’ve been following women like Linda Bustos, Angie Schottmuller, and Susan Weinschenk for a long time!

December 4, 2013 Reply

Heather McLane

I’m sorry to pile on the crticism, Kathryn, but I admit I’m disappointed to see another “you should follow these experts” list that is comprised mostly of white males.

That being said, I’m so happy to see people speaking up about it in the comments, and to see an influencer like Joanna Wiebe speaking up for herself. This post has helped spark an important conversation that needs to be had, and that’s a good thing!

December 4, 2013 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    No sexism was intended, Heather. These are simply the 14 people who top my list. Who knows, maybe I’ll create another list that features women.

    December 4, 2013 Reply

Tim Ash

Hi Kathryn,

Thanks for including me. You might also update my entry to include the fact that I founded and chair the international http://ConversionConference.com event series. It is now in it’s fourth year with 2014 events scheduled in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Paris, London, and Berlin.

Warmest Regards,

Tim

December 5, 2013 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    Your welcome, Tim. Thanks for the update. The conference sounds fantastic!

    December 6, 2013 Reply

Ashley @ madlemmings

great stuff as always Kathryn
I do not really have a list of these types of experts, so this will go up on the wall, so to speak.
thanks for collating such a great reference
ashley

December 6, 2013 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    Hi Ashley. Glad to help! If you’re like me, you’ll get a lot of benefit from following them all.

    December 6, 2013 Reply

Steven J Fromm

Here is an off the wall question: Have you ever checked your family tree to see if you are related to Karthyrn of Aragon? She was a very amazing woman.

December 7, 2013 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    hahaha Nope. We’ve never done the research. I’m just happy to have such a fantastic name. ;)

    December 7, 2013 Reply

Jamal

Thank you for the great content.

I am shocked however that Heather could spin this into a racial issue. Maybe you should leave out the pictures next time, so readers focus on the excellent content and not ways to support prejudice.

December 7, 2013 Reply

Dave

Good to see egobait still working well! :)

@conversionhacks

December 9, 2013 Reply

Angie Schottmuller

I’m disappointed to not see a single woman on this list. I’m all for giving credit where it’s due, but there are some major oversights. As a conversion optimist, I’d have to say the list should absolutely include: Linda Bustos (GetElastic), Anna Talerrico (Ion Interactive), Anne Holland (WhichTestWon), Amy Africa, Brooks Bell, Noran Shinnawy, and Sandra Neihaus.

December 17, 2013 Reply


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