9 Great Reasons to use Google Website Optimizer

- March 5, 2010

I’ve made it a point in 2010 to expose as many of my colleagues and clients as possible to Google Website Optimizer. Anyone looking to improve conversion rates, Ecommerce revenue, customer satisfaction and web site user appeal really needs to sign up for a Google Website Optimizer account today and begin testing.

Surprisingly, Google Website Optimizer, and the concept of A/B or Multivariate testing is a tough sell. It’s not as easy as tagging each page of your site with Google Analytics, or creating a quick Ad Group with keywords and ads like you can with Google AdWords. With Google Website Optimizer, you have to bring in team members from different departments, or possibly, different vendors or organizations to plan, create / design images, write alternate text, tag pages, launch the experiment, analyze the results, and take appropriate action. This doesn’t include avoiding hurting the feelings of the person who designed the site or page and getting their cooperation (suggesting an experiment to improve a page or a site is not an easy psychological barrier to break down).

So I’ve put together a list of 9 solid reasons why you should use Google Website Optimizer on your site. If you want to use it on someone else’s site, use these reasons to convince them that it’s a great idea:

1. It’s Free, and there are no obligations. Let’s say you may become disatisfied with Google Website Optimizer. No sweat: simply remove the tags off of your site, and your involvement ends immediately. Let’s say that you love it and your conversion rates have sky-rocketed: you’ve spent $0 to get there (not counting any design work or man hours, obviously). You simply cannot beat “free”.

2. It focuses on Conversion Rate Optimization: The point of Google Website Optimizer isn’t to bring more traffic to your site. It’s to increase your conversion rates and improve your ROI from your online efforts. That means more money in your pocket.

3. It lets you create an unlimited number of experiments: Are you an “idea machine”, who constantly thinks of things to test or experiment with on your web site? Do you have multiple websites that you’d like to experiment with? GWO let’s you create as many experiments as you desire.

4. It’s extremely easy to install. Do you have six minutes? If so, you can create and launch a GWO experiment from start to finish. Simply copy and paste the few snippets of JavaScript code on your experiment pages, one snippet of code on your conversion page, and you’re done. Yes, it’s simply a copy and paste, something even I can do on a WYSIWYG editor.

5. It can handle robust multivariate experiments. Last year, YouTube ran a Google Website Optimizer experiment on their homepage with 1,024 different combinations. To date, that is the largest multivariate experiment ever created. Got ideas for a bigger one? GWO won’t disappoint you.

6. It automatically handles the experiment distribution. A frequent question that I receive is “Will I need to edit anything or change anything?”. Other than installing the basic snippets of code, the answer is no. No manual settings, no editing your destination URLs, no fancy programming. Just sit back and enjoy the results!

7. It displays your experiment to all sources of traffic. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to run a Google AdWords campaign in order to use Google Website Optimizer. All traffic – paid, organic, direct, or referring – will be exposed to your A/B or Multivariate experiment.

8. It features easy to read, downloadable reports. You don’t need to own a degree in Mathematics or Statistics in order to be able to interpret the results and take action based upon your results. You can also export your reports in a PDF, XML, CSV, or a TSV file format if you wish.

9. It allows “on-the-fly” experiment creation via an API. Google Website Optimizer is robust and offers its users an API that allows you to push experiments live without having to log-in to the Google Website Optimizer interface.

Bonus Reason:

10. It settles debates, squashes egos, and gives priority to the voice of your visitor. Google Website Optimizer is many great things as you’ve just read about. It’s also a fair and unbiased judge of your website’s pages. Don’t let inter-office disputes, arguments, or power plays dictate what your visitors receive on your site. Let your website visitors tell you what appeals to them and what they don’t like via the actions that they take. Do visitors convert at a higher rate when you use a green “Add To Cart” button versus a red “Add To Cart” button? Go green! Does your revenue increase when you use “15% off” instead of “Mail-In Rebate”? 15% off for everyone! More sales with a blue background, and less sales with a white background? Blue it is!

Do yourselves a huge favor in 2010 and begin using Google Website Optimizer to improve your conversion rates!

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