The new Google Website Optimizer, which I’ve had the pleasure of using in the past few months, is now available to the public… which means that all Adwords advertisers can now conduct testing with this new Google tool.
The Google Website Optimizer uses a method called multi-variate testing, which allows multiple sections of a web page to be tested at the same time, so that you can identify the combination of factors which produces the highest conversion rate for the site.
Let me explain this further…
Let’s say you have a landing page with various factors including the headline, the sub-headline, the call-to-action, the ‘submit’ button and an image.
With multi-variate testing you can test multiple options of each factor… with an example multi-variate test being laid out as follows:
Factor 1 – Headline (3 different options)
Factor 2 – Sub-headline (2 different options)
Factor 3 – Call-to-action (4 different options)
Factor 4 – Submit button (2 different options)
Factor 5 – Image (3 different options)
Multi-variate testing will then rotate each of the different options of each of the factors to identify the best combination of factors that produce the highest conversion rate.
When we first used the Google Website Optimizer with our online marketing activities we were very excited about the possibility of running so many variations simultaneously so we setup a test like the one outlined above…
But we found that to make a statistical conclusion on what the best combination of factors were required a very high amount of traffic (in excess of one million visitors) because the number of variations of each test is a multiple of the number of options of each factor (I know… this is starting to get a bit confusing). In other words, for the test outlined above you would be testing 3x2x4x2x3 variations or 144 variations, instead of the two variations for a regular split-test.
After trial and error we found that the best way to utilise the Google Website Optimizer is for simple split-testing, where you test two options of one factor (two variations). If you have higher amounts of traffic you can even test two variations of two separate sections of the website (four variations), such as the headline and the call-to-action.
One of the best features about the Google Website Optimizer, apart from the fact that its free, is that instead of having to setup two separate pages for each test, you simply rotate various parts of the website using special code provided by Google. This means that regular split-tests can be done with multi-page websites which, in the past, were more complicated to split-test with multiple variations of each page.
Web Profits will definitely be utilising the Google Website Optimizer for its own websites and for the websites of clients.