Whew! The announcement of Google’s new Website Optimizer tool now gives us the opportunity to spill the beans about our experiences with the Beta test, and tell you about our free webinar for those of you who are looking for more information about the tool.
My experience with the Website Optimizer has been a little up and down, but I’m happy to admit that I’ve ended on the upswing. The limitations and annoyances that were present in the tool at the very beginning of the Beta have since been either removed or fixed, leaving only an extremely powerful and easy-to-use tool that no website owner should be without.
Here’s the scoop:
The potential power of the Website Optimizer tool is pretty amazing. You can test everything from the color of a button to entire pages by following a few easy-to-understand steps. That’s not to say everyone will be able to just pick up the tool and use it. If you have a very complicated site design, or if you are using a picky CMS, you may run into a few problems. For the majority of sites, the implementation is pretty painless and the options for testing are virtually unlimited.
The developers over at Google have done a great job soliciting user feedback to make the tool better and better over the course of the test. Installing the testing code is now very easy and the implementation for people who are already using Google Analytics on the site has been made simple. They’ve added features that let you copy reports and bypass some previously picky validation steps. They’ve allowed for testing of dynamic content and for pages that use query parameters. Heck, you can now even test an entire sales funnel at once!
There are so many things you can do with this tool – it’s not possible to cover them all here. Just like with Analytics, there will be challenges and interesting tweaks for certain situations. We’ll be sure to keep posting in our blog with any developments or neat things we find out.
For example, you can test the effectiveness of a site-wide change using Google Website Optimizer. You can do A/B split testing. As mentioned before, you can even test an entire sales funnel at once (although this is not necessarily the best course of action – the point is it’s possible).
My only complaint with the tool was that it only takes one metric – conversion rate, into consideration when determining a winner in an experiment. That is, however, no longer a limitation. I have developed a way to see an experiment’s data within Google Analytics. I’m currently still testing the method, but you can be sure that I’ll blog about it soon if it works. The preliminary results are very encouraging.
If you are spending any money on advertising for your site, it would be silly to not take advantage of this powerful tool. It’s a free way to increase the revenue from your campaigns. You’d be amazed at what kinds of things may be holding your site back.
So don’t be in the dark any longer! Start using it right away!