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March 19, 2008

Optimized Lunch with Google

Google_website_optimizer

While at SES NY 2008, I was invited to attend a luncheon, hosted by Google, and centered around Google's landing page optimization tool: the Google Website Optimizer.  Why is Google interested in PCO (post click optimization) you say?  They know that the better your campaigns perform (in terms of conversions), the more money you will want to spend with them.  Hence the need for a tool that looks at improving conversion, and lowering bounce rate numbers associated with both the landing pages, and checkout pages.

One of the most interesting things that came out of this talk was the impact of AB split testing (where you only test two different landing pages) vs. Multivariate testing (testing multiple changes to the landing page).  Google recommended starting with AB split testing, and even went as far as saying that AB split testing can get you the majority of the way there.  Multivariate testing is good, but going from AB testing to Multivariate typically won’t impact the conversion percentages as much as  going from no testing to AB split testing. 

Here are some key things to note about Google’s Website Optimizer:

  • It works with all traffic (organic, other search engines, direct traffic, etc.).
  • It cookies the user so that if they return, they see the same landing page (from your test).
  • Reporting is updated hourly.
  • After the test has concluded, Website Optimizer will conduct follow up testing by showing the best converting page.
  • You must be running Google conversion tracking.
  • Agencies are able to access a client’s Website Optimizer site through the Agency’s MCC.

ChannelAdvisor utilizes Google Website Optimizer as part of our service level offering for several of our enterprise CAManged Search clients.

For more information, you can go to:  http://www.channeladvisor.com/contact/ or http://services.google.com/websiteoptimizer/

written by Tim Walker -- tim.walker at channeladvisor.com

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