Optimizely – Your Next Guilty Online Pleasure

May
12
2011

by

Website experimentation is the most under-rated, under-valued, under-used way to improve your conversions or your sales online. With a small amount of effort or cost, you can multiply your leads and add to your bottom line, while at the same time improving your customer’s level of satisfaction with your brand.

So why is it that most web sites are not actively running an experiment? Check the source code of every web site you visit today – can you find any tags for Google Website Optimizer or SiteCatalyst Test & Target? You may find them once a day, if you’re lucky.

Is the lack of actively running website experiments on the web due to technical challenges? Is it attributed to a lack of education to the masses? Are there simply not enough options available to choose from to run experiments?

The latter of those questions is something I can help you with today, because there has been a lot of buzz in the analytics community about Optimizely - and for good reason. Optimizely is an A/B website experiment tool headed by two ex-Googlers (but not a Google product), and is giving the established website experiment players in the marketplace a run for their money.

Optimizely is fast (only a few minutes to configure), light on technical specs (one small line of JavaScript on your experiment pages), and you get as close to seeing real-time results as you can (you don’t have to wait hours or days to see experiment data).

Other Optimizely features that you may want to ponder (full feature list on this page of Optimizely’s website):

- Automatic Goal Tracking: No need to configure specific conversion points
- Multiple Goals, Simultaneously: Track more than one conversion for an experiment
- Multi-Browser Testing: Screen-shots of your experiment on the major browser platforms, pre-launch
- Advanced Editing Option: Perfect for those who are comfortable editing HTML and / or JavaScript

And, while those features are great, the greatest thing about Optimizely’s service is that you can preview what your experiment will look like, even before you open an account or install tags! In fact, you can mock-up an experiment for any website on the internet! This is why Optimizely will become your next guilt pleasure (online). Which leads me to sharing with you something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time.

I always wished that Google would insert an “Analytics” link on their top navigation menu on their homepage. This would obviously increase the visibility of the Google Analytics product, while providing an even faster way to access a Google Analytics account. So, I made it happen in my fantasy world through Optimizely’s experiment preview. First, at the bottom of Optimizely’s homepage, I entered in the website’s URL:

opt-01

Then, I began to work my quick magic. I simply hovered over the row of links on the top-left of Google’s homepage and started editing the text:

opt-02

Within less than one minute, I finally re-created what I’ve always wanted to see – even if it was in this temporary, intangible capacity:

opt-03

Is that cool, or what?

(Full disclosure: you should know that Optimizely is not a free service. You can use it for experiments on your web site from as low as $19 / month. However, Optimizely does offer a free 30-day trial).

One Response


  1. Postcard printing Said on

    This is a wonderful summary. Thank you for putting this together! Great posts

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