Google just launched a wildly-super-awesome-incredibly-cool FREE application, the Google Website Optimizer. Can you tell I’m in love?

The stand-up comedian Mitch Hedberg once said, “I have a cheese shredder at home. That’s a positive name for a cheese shredder. They don’t call it by its negative name, because nobody would buy it: ‘sponge-ruiner.'”

Ok, in the same vein, the positive name for the Google Website Optimizer is ‘free money’, because if you use it that is what you are going to get. See why I’m in love?

I set up a test using the beta version of the Google Website Optimizer for one of our client’s landing pages. The goal of this landing page is to have people opt-in to receive an educational white paper, since the client’s site is lead generation and not e-commerce. I tested 3 different headlines, 3 different images, and 4 different button text versions.

The best combination of the test variables resulted in an improvement of 221% over his original landing page. Let me just say that again – it resulted in an improvement of 221% over his original landing page!!

Now the pay-per-click advertising the client is bidding on to drive traffic to that landing page is 221% more effective than it was on the old landing page, and he doesn’t have to spend a dime more on his pay-per-click advertising for that sustainable increase.

What makes this really incredible is that this landing page was already converting at a pretty respectable rate. In December of 2006, this landing page was converting at 10.62%, and it just kept climbing from there once the Google Website Optimizer experiment began.

Perry Marshall makes a great analogy in his new book, “The Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords“, where he talks about the difference between how Samuel Langley and the Wright brothers worked on producing an airplane that worked. Langley built a huge engine to try to wrench his plane into the air by force and keep it up there.

His plane crashed into smithereens.

The Wright brothers put all of their effort into building and perfecting a glider. Once they got that working, they put a tiny engine on it which was built by the local bicycle shop machinist and the rest is history!

The point Perry is making with this (admittedly) brilliant analogy is that if you get something so streamlined that it can glide under its own power then any extra clout you add will get it to really take off.

Using the Google Website Optimizer is part of the process to making your site truly streamlined and efficient. Once you get your site to the point where it converts 5%, 10%, 25%, 50% and more of your visitors then you can really make the most out of every pay-per-click ad, every marketing promotion – any opportunity!