Meet Tim Ash, a highly-regarded presenter and keynote speaker, conversion rate optimization expert and host of the Landing Page Optimization podcast on WebmasterRadio.fm and CEO of SiteTuners. At Affiliate Management Days SF 2014 (March 19-20), Tim will hold his traditional “Live Affiliate Landing Page Critiques” session.
* * * * *
Question: If you were to emphasize one important area or issue that every affiliate manager should be paying more attention to, what would it be and why?
Tim Ash: Conversion. Unless you actually have an absolutely unique product or service that people are willing to walk on broken glass to get to, the reality is that you are probably peddling something that has lots of competition in the minds of your audience.
Since you are reaching the ultimate buyers through an affiliate intermediary, you must influence and attract these middle-men. Since affiliates are all very practical mercenaries, you must have the best performing offers and pages.
The best way to lock in the loyalty of super affiliates is to relentlessly focus on your conversion rates and put more money in their pockets.
Question: What do you see as the main areas of opportunity for online (and especially affiliate) marketers in 2014?
Tim Ash: Mobile. For many businesses this already represents 25-50% of leads or sales. If you only have affiliates that are hitting email lists hard, you will miss out on this opportunity.
Do everything you can to attract mobile-savvy affiliates.
Question: Not too long ago, you released the 2nd edition of Landing Page Optimization . How is this book different from other tomes on conversion rate optimization?
Tim Ash: Actually there are no other tomes. Most of them are light-weight tactical guides. My book is significantly updated for the second edition. We have done massive reorganization, as well as added 150 pages of solid new content.
You can think of it as a college textbook that covers the theory and practice of conversion rate optimization.
Question: At AM Days SF 2014, you will be speaking on conversion optimization techniques for affiliate landing pages. I know it isn’t easy to fit your session’s content into a paragraph, but can you give Small Business Trends readers a few quick tips on how they can improve the performance/conversion of their online landing pages today?
Tim Ash: Less is more. Get rid of text, unnecessary visual distractions and conceptual complexity on your landing pages. Don’t expect people to actively engage with your content and wrestle the meaning out of your landing page.
Assume that they are busy and design your pages for maximum clarity and focus.
Question: If you were to leave online advertisers, merchants and affiliate managers with one piece of advice for 2014, what would it be?
Tim Ash: Go do mobile versions of your top-performing offers. By the way, that does not simply mean making a stretchable “responsive” version of your page. It should involve a fundamental rethink of what people want from you in a mobile context.
* * * * *
The upcoming Affiliate Management Days conference takes place March 19-20, 2014 in San Francisco, CA. Follow @AMDays  or #AMDays on Twitter as well as Facebook.com/AMDays. When registering, make sure to use the code SMBTRENDS to receive $500.00 off your two-day (or all-access) pass.
See the rest of the interview series here .