Conversion Science: Your Website Redesign Will Fail (Unless You Read This)

On a recent If You Market podcast, co-hosts Sky Cassidy and Karla Jo Helms speak with Brian Massey about website redesign and why your redesign will likely fail. Massey’s company, Conversion Sciences, was one of the first agencies focused exclusively on website optimization.

Businesses looking to redesign their websites without examining data and conducting AB testing (more on that later) are at risk of financial loss and launch delays, according to Brian Massey, the founder of Conversion Sciences, an agency focused on website optimization backed by scientific data. Both affect a business’ bottom line and can be avoided with the proper preparation. Frequently, a business perceives some flaws or weaknesses in its website functionality and seeks a redesign based on what is trendy or in fashion at that time, neglecting the reality that what is cool and trendy today will almost certainly not be several years down the road. Experts say that emphasis on what is trending from an aesthetic or contemporary perspective is not a useful tool; Testing is. Examining data is.

“If (the business) is asking you to pick a design, the response today should be, ‘I don’t know, collect some data and tell me which one of these is going to win,’” said Massey on the B2B marketing podcast, If You Market. “Most of our business comes when (a company) has just finished a redesign, their conversion rates went down and now they’re coming to us like, ‘We did this, now can you come help us get out?’”

Karla Jo Helms, CEO of JOTO PR DisruptorsTM and co-host of the If You Market podcast, was out of town during the taping but is very familiar with the help-me-put-out-the-fire mentality that Massey’s clients have. “As a crisis PR professional, fixing things after they go wrong is my area of expertise, so I agree with him on that front. Plus, website optimization is especially crucial for good PR; badly designed websites negate consumer trust.”

In fact, industry insiders say many marketers make bad decisions about their websites in large part because of “incorrect bias confirmation.” That is, a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, which leads to statistical errors. They select content or design based on what they think their customers will like rather than conducting AB testing to verify what they like or trust. (AB testing is an experiment where two or more variants of a page are shown to users at random, and statistical analysis is used to determine which variation performs better for a given conversion goal.)

“The data is cheap, it’s easy to collect, the tools are amazing and they’re getting better every day,” said Massey. “We’re in this golden age (where) you can do all sorts of ‘science experiments’ without leaving your desk. There’s not a good excuse not to be testing.”

“Every industry responds so differently, the audiences respond differently,” said Sky Cassidy, CEO of MountainTop Data and the Host of If You Market. “What one audience responds to, another will be disgusted by.”

Massey said redesigns should be done slowly when possible, as opposed to redesigning a site from top to bottom and then launching it and then hoping it works. Redesigning incrementally is recommended.


“Conversion optimization is website redesign; we just do it very slowly. The beauty of it is we start getting increased conversion rate within a couple of months as opposed to having to wait six or 12 months to push the whole thing out and then hope that the number of good decisions you made outweigh the number of bad decisions you made during the design process.”

Three additional tips from Massey include:

1.    Use traffic wisely; put calls-to-action around your content; 
2.    Target your ads toward a customized corresponding spot on your landing page; 
3.    If you have a call center, optimize the mobile site by placing a “call” button on the form.

Testing is the lab-coat proven of website redesign and why businesses will fail without it.

About the If You Market Podcast 
Meet If You Market podcast host, Sky Cassidy—an accomplished B2B marketer. And his co-host, disruptive PR evangelist Karla Jo Helms. Together they talk with industry experts to analyze B2B marketing tactics in a cocktail hour atmosphere.

The podcast airs on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and TuneIn Radio.

Sky Cassidy is also the CEO of MountainTop Data. MountainTop Data, based in Los Angeles, CA, provides data and data services for B2B marketing. Karla Jo Helms is the CEO and Anti-PR Strategist of PR agency, JOTO PR DisruptorsTM, based in Tampa, FL. Visit them via

About Conversion Sciences 
Conversion Sciences was founded in 2007 and is the most measurable CRO consulting agency you will ever work with. Their focus is to provide actionable insights that boost conversions through the entire Profit Funnel™. With eleven years of conversion rate optimization work they’ve uncovered THE formula for generating more qualified leads and sales. Learn more here:

Brian Massey, the founder of Conversion Sciences, on the If You Market podcast.

Massey says redesigns should be done slowly when possible, as opposed to redesigning a site from top to bottom and then launching it and then hoping it works. Redesigning incrementally is recommended.