The ROI Revolution Blog

IRWD Recap and Some Inexpensive Website Tools

March 17, 2011

irwd-2011.pngIn my desperate search for the perfect web analysis and optimization toolbox, I can't help but be drawn to new tools and gadgets whenever I get a chance. Of course some disappoint, and some are amazing - but it always comes down to the question of value.

Back on Valentine's day, I had the wonderful opportunity to present some of the results of my curiosity to a great crowd at the 2011 Internet Retailer Web Design and Usability Conference in Orlando, and I'd like to be able to share some of the tools I discussed with you, too.

Hopefully you'll be able to find at least one tool that can help you gain a little insight into what your users are thinking when they visit your site and give you some great ideas for analysis and optimization.

Here is the summary of all tools, tips, and resources we covered in our presentation, which was called Measure and Optimize your Web Site Without Going Broke.

Due to time limitations, I've had to leave many great tools out. For example, Crossbrowsertesting.com is a fantastic tool for developers and designers - you may be surprised to see how your site looks in different browsers (including mobile ones)!

If you have used another great free or inexpensive tool and would like to share it with everyone, please leave a comment!

Finally If you want to read more about the presentation, here are two articles (the first one's worth it just for the horrible photo of me):
Low-cost web tools can unearth a treasure trove of data
Free analytics tools offer big help to retailers with small budgets

Learn More About Us:

Want Higher Landing Page Quality Scores in Google? Here's How:

June 23, 2010

Google Recently rolled out a new series of advanced tests for their Google Advertising Professionals program, and in some of the study material they explain what affects advertiser's landing page quality score.

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Here are three areas Google wants you to focus on to help ensure your website receives a decent quality score:

Two Simple Ways to Boost Customer Value for Subscription-Based Companies

March 30, 2009

money-people.jpgWith the ever increasing competitive nature of Google AdWords, businesses that rely on recurring revenue from a membership or software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription model need advanced marketing tactics to stay alive. But merely staying afloat shouldn't be an option -- your goal should be total market domination!

Yet there are unique marketing challenges subscription-based companies face when acquiring new customers. First, it's common to offer a free trial to get new members. Money isn't collected for weeks or months. When marketing bills are due before revenue is collected, this can cause serious cash flow problems.

When you finally do start collecting money from your customers, each monthly payment is only a fraction of the lifetime value of the customer. If you don't have smart marketing or exceptional cash reserves, your custom acquisition will be needlessly hamstrung. All things being equal, those who can afford to spend the most up front to acquire a new customer will dominate their market.

The following two tactics are relatively simple to implement and will dramatically boost your average customer value which will put you in a position to out-market your competition.

10 Words Or Less: Put Your Unique Selling Proposition To The Test

March 17, 2009

standout.pngIn today's competitive market there are thousands of decisions that people make on a day to day basis. A number of companies seem to blend together when it comes to meeting each of your potential customers business needs. What makes your company different? Why should people buy from you?

A Unique Selling Proposition is a statement, usually 10 words or less, that tells your potential customers why they should hire or buy from you instead of your competitors. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or Value Proposition (VP) should be stated right away on your website to let visitors know who you are and why they should remain on your site. This should be a statement regarding why your company is the better choice, and what makes you unique. Not only should this statement be clearly expressed on your website, but it should be something you build your business around. Keeping this all to about 10 words or less can get tricky, but clarifying what you do best will allow your visitors to qualify themselves for your offer.

Some companies have become known for their value propositions, such as:

FedEx: "When your package absolutely, positively has to get there overnight"

Domino Pizza: "We deliver hot, fresh pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed."

So how should you develop yours?

Website Optimizer Wednesdays - Google Website Optimizer and Google Analytics Renew Their Vows

November 19, 2008

woacrings.jpgMore than a year and a half ago, my co-worker Shawn Purtell and I were on a red-eye flight to Raleigh. We had just spent two days at the Googleplex immersed in Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer and our minds were reeling. While I tried unsuccessfully to get some much-needed sleep, Shawn kept going on about combining the multivariate experiment data from Google Website Optimizer with the more detailed metrics in Google Analytics.

I'm pretty sure that I slept most of the weekend (I don't take jet lag very well), but Shawn went straight to work on figuring out the GWO JavaScript and getting to the bottom of the combination algorithm. He returned to the office on Monday with the whole thing pretty much figured out. After a few days of testing, Shawn shared his method for inserting Google Website Optimizer combination data into Google Analytics reports:

Google Website Optimizer uses a single metric, conversion rate, to determine which combination of variations is king. But what about other metrics that may be just as valuable, like Page Value, Avg. Time, Conversion Rates for multiple goals, Bounce Rate, Exit %, and Full Navigation Analysis? What if you want to segment your traffic or filter out internal hits? Well, now you can find out just about everything you want to know about combinations by using Google Analytics.

He raises a great point. Google Website Optimizer is all about conversion rate, but in many cases, that's not the best metric for the job. Since posting his script back in April of 2007, we've had thousands of downloads. It's clear that others agree with Shawn. So does Google, it appears, because they've just made it a lot easier to integrate Google Website Optimizer and Google Analytics.

Read on for more about official updates to the marriage between Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer.

DEADLINE APPROACHING: Register for the FIRST EVER Google Website Optimizer Seminar for Success

Optimizer.jpgJust a brief reminder that there is still time to register for the FIRST EVER Google Website Optimizer Seminar for Success, where we share our Website Optimizer knowledge with you in person!

Coming to Washington, DC.

When: Thursday, December 4th

Where: Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
5000 Seminary Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22311
1-703-845-1010

Cost: $249

Agenda: The seminar will be a full day from 9am to 5pm with a one hour break at 12pm for lunch. Morning and afternoon refreshment provided.

Topics Covered:

Landing Page Principals
* Testing Basics
* Selecting a Test Page
* Developing Your Value Proposition
* Minimizing Friction and Combating Anxiety
* Design and Layout Principals

A/B and Basic Testing
* Introduction to Google Website Optimizer
* Types of Testing
* A/B Testing Strategies
* Setting up an A/B Test (Live Demo)

Multivariate and Advanced Testing
* Multivariate Experiments
* Setting up a Multivariate Experiment (Live Demo)
* How to Read Results
* Advanced Testing with Google Website Optimizer
* Advanced Tools and Techniques

Audience Question & Answer ALL DAY LONG and much more!

--Deadline--
Register By Thursday, November 27th, 2008 to qualify for the $50 AdWords Credit. (Only 8 days away!)

Sign up quickly as seats are limited due to space and supplies, so click over to register today for the Google Website Optimizer Seminar for Success!

Website Optimizer Wednesdays - Choosing the Right Page to Test

November 12, 2008

testcow.gifSo you've decided that testing is the way to go.... now what?

Here at ROI Revolution, we don't want to just tell you that testing is awesome and then leave you at the altar, we want to help you develop a process so that you can test effectively and efficiently.

That process starts with understanding your traffic and choosing the best page to test. It may sound easy, but if it's not done right, you could end up wasting time and resources.

I've gone ahead and outlined a three-step process you can use to help pick the best page to test:

Website Optimizer Wednesdays - Landing Page Relevance

November 3, 2008

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Last weekend I was at Barnes & Noble looking for a book on editing RAW format photographs in Adobe Photoshop CS3. The very first book that caught my eye was titled "Photoshop CS3 RAW: Get the Most Out of the Raw Format with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Bridge." I excitedly picked up the book and began paging through it, only to be disappointed to find that the focus of the book was weighted more towards Camera Raw and Bridge and had very little to offer in terms of Photoshop.


This same situation is far too often paralleled in the world of paid search traffic. For almost any keyword imaginable there exists any number of seemingly relevant ads that reflect the logic behind the search term, but often only a select follow up on the ad with a relevant landing page. Not many users will stick around on a page without immediate relevance, especially when armed with increasingly easy to use back buttons and hundreds of other advertisers to choose from.

Website Optimizer Wednesdays - Optimize Your Call to Action!

October 28, 2008

allbuttons.jpgNothing is more frustrating when browsing a web site, than deciding to purchase the product and having to hunt around to find out how to purchase the product! This is something that many web designers overlook when making decisions about the layout and design of their site.

Always remember that the call to action is probably the most important aspect of your page. It's the action your want your visitor to take when they visit your site. It could be anything from purchasing a product to filling out a contact form or signing up for a newsletter. Here are a few quick tips to increasing your conversion rate just by changing a few things about your call to action.

Website Optimizer Wednesdays - Excluding Internal Traffic

October 22, 2008

Google Website Optimizer experiments use 4 different types of scripts. In a nutshell:

  • Control script - Determines which combo to serve up
  • Section scripts - Determines which areas to swap out
  • Tracking script - Registers visit
  • Conversion script - Registers conversion

To exclude ourselves from the reports, we only need to modify the tracking script and the conversion script. By only modifying these sections, we can see the page exactly as our visitors see it without skewing our test results.

Here's the way your tracking script looks "out of the box":

If we're already using Google Analytics, we'll want to properly integrate our Google Website Optimizer code with our Google Analytics Tracking Code. Check out Shawn's excellent post on the subject if you want to know exactly how to do this. For simplicity's sake, we'll use the above code as our base.

Now let's say we are excluding our own traffic by setting the user defined value to "internal". When we do this, the user defined value is stored under a cookie name "__utmv".

Using regular expressions, we can check for the existence of this cookie and its value and only run the Google Website Optimizer tracking script when the cookie exists with the correct value:

Note that our conversion script should be the same as above, only replace "/test", with "/goal".

Now if you have a static ip address, you can also exclude based on that ip address, but this will take some server side code. We'll use php as an example:

This would exclude all traffic from Google Website Optimizer tests coming from the IP address 12.34.567.890.

As a footnote, these same ideas that we explored above can be used to do even more with our Google Website Optimizer experiments. We could, for example, modify the scripts so that only AdWords traffic shows up in our Google Website Optimizer reports. For a heavily AdWords-driven business, this would help tailor experiments to more closely match the most often used Google Analytics reports.

To learn more useful testing tips sign up for our Google Website Optimizer Training Series starting January 8th. This two session training series will encompass landing page principles, an intro to testing and advanced testing. Join us for the GWO Training Series!

Want more of Website Optimizer Wednesdays? Check out the rest of the series!

Exclude Internal Traffic from GWO | Optimize Your Call to Action | Landing Page Relevance | Choosing the Right Test Page | GWO and GA Renew Their Vows

What's New with Google Website Optimizer?

September 15, 2008

disable2.pngLast month, Google announced the release of several new features for Google Website Optimizer. If you are new to Google Website Optimizer or are unsure of what it is, it's Google's free testing tool that allows you to test and optimize your website pages. To learn more about Google Website Optimizer check out the Google Website Optimizer blog.

Google Website Optimizer's newest features include:

Experiment Pruning - a feature that lets you disable one or more of the experiments that are running. For example, if you have an experiment that is performing very poorly, you now have the ability to prevent that combination from appearing to visitors for the duration of the experiment.

A/B Offline Validation - allows you to validate pages that may not be accessible online. This is also useful for those who are currently using the ga.js version of the Google Analytics Tracking Code along with their Google Website Optimizer experiments.

Reporting interface color updates - which prevent you from jumping to conclusions while looking at the report data. Previously the colors used in the reporting interface occasionally suggested that a combination was winning and often times people would end experiments before a sufficient amount of data had collected. The colors are now yellow until a clear confidence winner is found, and the colors become green for winning combinations or red for losing combinations.

To learn more useful tips plan on attending the Google Website Optimizer Seminar for Success in Washington DC on December 4th. This full day of training will encompass landing page principles, an intro to testing and advanced testing. Join us for the GWO Seminar for Success!

Landing Page Magic: Top 3 Tips

May 14, 2008

As many of you know, your landing page is the page that visitors see after clicking on one of your ads, such as a Google AdWords ad.

This page could be part of your website or a special page you created just for this purpose.

Your landing pages are a core ingredient that can make or break the success of your advertising.

Why? Because your advertising doesn't exist in a vacuum. On average visitors spend less than 10 seconds looking at a landing page to decide if they want to read more, or click that 'back' button and leave.

With the rallying cry "Landing Pages Forever!" behind us, we came up with 3 tips for stirring a little magic into your own landing pages.

1.) The Ad And Landing Page Should Match.

This may seem like common sense, but in reality you often don't see this. If your ad holds out the tantalizing promise of 10% Off, make sure that same promise is reflected in the landing page headline and content.

When a visitor is searching for something, they know they have a whole page full of search results just one click away. If your ad-to-landing-page-progression doesn't make sense to them they are just going to move on to the next result.

2.) Focus On Getting Your Visitors To Do 1 Thing

While I'm surfing the internet, I often see landing pages that go to either extreme - they don't tell me to do anything, or they try to get me to do a million things. Both of these tactics are confusing and will water down the power of your landing page.

The key is to decide the one key action you want your visitors to take on this landing page, and then TELL them. Don't make them guess or hunt around!

Your visitors aren't stupid. Few people give 100% of their attention to reading your landing page. They're also busy worrying if they left the coffee pot on this morning or that big report the boss wants them to finish by the end of the week. Your landing page has to make use of the narrow slice of attention you get and be crystal clear about what they should do.

3.) Include A Prominent Subscription Form Or Checkout Option

This ties in to #2. Once you have decided exactly what you want your visitors to do on your landing page, don't make them click around on a massive treasure hunt to do it.

Make sure they can follow your instructions easily right on the landing page itself. Part of making something easy is making it prominent - don't make the form tiny, or bury it all the way at the bottom of a 10-mile-long landing page.

ROI Revolution used the Google Website Optimizer Tools to set up an experiment for a client's landing page. After intensive research in his field, his competition, and his ideal customer, we designed a Google Website Optimizer experiment where we tested 3 different headlines, 3 different images, and 4 different button text versions.

The best combination of the test variables resulted in an improvement of 221% over his original page.

Now the pay-per-click advertising he is bidding on to drive traffic to that landing page is 221% more effective than it was on the old landing page, and he doesn't have to spend a dime more on his pay-per-click advertising for that sustainable increase.

Using Website Optimizer with Google Analytics NEW!!

May 12, 2008


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You may remember that back in April of '07, I came up with a way to get your Google Website Optimizer multivariate experiment data to show up in Google Analytics. While useful, there were a few drawbacks that I'm sure some of you have noticed, and it wasn't the easiest thing to implement. After getting a lot of great feedback from users, I've come up with a new script that has many advantages over the old method:

  • Uses easier implementation
  • Works with both ga.js and urchin.js (make sure you use the right instructions below for Step 2)
  • Includes error-handling so that a JavaScript error no longer occurs if an experiment is not yet running or is paused, stopped, or completed
  • Features automatic page name tracking - no more changing the Google Analytics code on the page
  • No longer replaces regular page reporting

As a refresher, the whole point of this integration is to allow you to make the most of your experiments. While Google Website Optimizer by itself can give you a quick look at which combination is best at improving conversion, it tells you nothing about transactions, revenue, micro-conversions, navigation, segmentation by source, and bounce rate. If you integrate Google Analytics into your Google Website Optimizer experiments, you will get much richer data, and be able to get a true idea of how your test is doing.

Again, this integration is designed for multivariate experiments only - you do not need to use any special tools to be able to get A/B test data from Google Analytics.

The first thing to do is find out if you are using ga.js or urchin.js. Depending on which version of the Google Analytics code you are using, you'll want to use different instructions.

Google Website Optimizer Graduates from Google Beta

April 16, 2008

Google Website Optimizer GraduatesThey grow up so fast, don't they? Today at ad:tech in San Francisco, Google announced that its multivariate testing tool, Google Website Optimizer, was coming out of beta and getting its own digs. Here's the official announcement.

Up until recently, the only way to use Google's free tool to test and improve your website's content was through a tab in AdWords. Now that Google Website Optimizer has moved on to the big leagues, it has a new standalone website independent of AdWords, where you can log on and start running tests right away.

Here's a look at the new multivariate walkthrough:

Google Website Optimizer Screenshot Thumbnail
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Google Website Optimizer Screenshot 3 Thumbnail

Read on for a list of new improvements and support options...

Live with Tom Leung of Google: Gaining the Edge with Google Website Optimizer

August 31, 2007

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Learn how Google Website Optimizer tests can take your site to the Next Level in this New Webinar Being Hosted LIVE!

Featuring special Google guest Tom Leung!

Tom Leung is Google's Business Product Manager for Google's Website Optimizer. Previously, Tom was a Product Planner at Microsoft and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

On Tuesday, September 11th at 2pm ET (1 pm PT) ROI Revolution is hosting a *no charge* live Webinar presentation on how to use Google Website Optimizer.

This free Google software service allows you to test various components of your website to determine what will best increase your conversion rate. Learn from Tom, the Google Website Optimizer genius, which tests can best help you gain the edge over your competition.

This 60 Minute Free Webinar on Google Website Optimizer Will Cover:

  • How to overcome the odds -- continual website improvements you can do to slingshot past your competition.

  • How to set up a test with Google Website Optimizer in 3 simple steps.

  • 6 tests to run on your site with easy to follow example layouts.

  • Key questions to ask yourself in order to use Google Website Optimizer for valuable improvements.

So register today for this *totally free* live session. Space is limited.


Website Optimizer Integration in the New Analytics Interface

June 5, 2007

Content.gifYou may have read my previous article on the subject of combining Google Website Optimizer with Google Analytics. With the new Google Analytics interface, of course, there are some changes I'd like to address.

First things first, the integration remains unchanged. You can refer back to my previous post for these instructions.

Finding the information, however, is now a little different. Since there is no more Dynamic Content report (*sniff*), finding the data takes a couple steps. But don't fret, it's not too bad.

Here's how:

Bryan Eisenberg Interviews Tom Leung about Google Website Optimizer

April 16, 2007

TomLeung.jpg
Nice interview here by Future Now's Bryan Eisenberg of Tom Leung, the Google Website Optimizer product business manager.

Tom discusses how Google's free tool helps to overcome the guessing prevalent in most companies as it pertains to how webpages get designed (I like to call it the HIPPO syndrome...Highest Paid Person's Opinion):

Let's say you had a bicycle Web site, and you sold bicycle accessories online. The way you'd design some of those pages is that, for the most part, you'd work with a Web designer. They come back with a few design mockups, and you kind of point at the one you think would work best. You would base that largely on your gut feel, or opinion. In some cases, whoever is the most senior person in the room will just tell you, "I like that one," and you go with it. This scenario is wrought with a lot of guessing and opinions. What we're doing is trying to change that with Google Website Optimizer.

And what the tool does:

What the tool does is allow you to instrument the page so that you can test a whole variety of ideas. So you aren't limited to picking just one of a few design mockups. You can literally test hundreds, if not thousands, of versions of a page. When a visitor arrives at your site, we'll show them a specific version, and it tracks whether or not they convert, whether it's purchasing a product, or signing up for a newsletter, or whatever you decide is a successful conversion. Then, it will report back to you which combination worked the best. It takes the guesswork out of marketing by letting customers tell you what works best for them by letting them vote with their clicks. You can constantly test new hunches, new ideas, and turn your Web site into a living laboratory.

I have had the pleasure of interacting with Tom as a part of the Website Optimizer BETA since almost the day he joined Google in December, 2006 (Tom worked previously at Microsoft). Tom is super fired up about Google Website Optimizer and completely committed to making the Internet a better (converting) place.

Google Website Optimizer and Google Analytics: A Perfect Marriage

April 4, 2007

*Update May 12, 2008: This article is OUT OF DATE! The good news is that there is a brand-spanking-new version that is much easier to use! Click here to check out the new version!

gagwowed.jpgAlright everyone, you may want to grab a drink and a comfy seat before we begin - this article's a whopper. So you may have heard about Google's new Website Optimizer tool that is available through Google AdWords. Google Website Optimizer uses a single metric, conversion rate, to determine which combination of variations is king.

But what about other metrics that may be just as valuable, like Page Value, Avg. Time, Conversion Rates for multiple goals, Bounce Rate, Exit %, and Full Navigation Analysis? What if you want to segment your traffic or filter out internal hits? Well, now you can find out just about everything you want to know about combinations by using Google Analytics! We're still just starting to understand how powerful this method is, but I can say that I'm extremely excited about it (hopefully not just because I developed it).

So kick back and read on to find out how...


Google Website Optimizer: Finally, it's for Everyone!

4th_02.gifWhew! 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:

FREE MONEY! (a.k.a. Google Website Optimizer)

Google just launched a wildly-super-awesome-incredibly-cool FREE application, the Google Website Optimizer. Can you tell I'm in love?

The stand-up comedian Mitch Hedberg once said, "I have a cheese shredder at home. That's a positive name for a cheese shredder. They don't call it by its negative name, because nobody would buy it: 'sponge-ruiner.'"

Ok, in the same vein, the positive name for the Google Website Optimizer is 'free money', because if you use it that is what you are going to get. See why I'm in love?

Top 7 Landing Page Strategies

March 14, 2007

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So you've gotten your Google Analytics account, it is all set up, and you're tracking your paid search advertising. Your results are good, but you want them to be GREAT! What's the next step?

Getting your landing pages in top form, of course! Here are 7 tips to help start you on the path of better landing pages.

1. Make sure your ad and your landing page are closely correlated. The guys over at grokdotcom.com call it a 'scent trail'. These are the same brilliant people who brought us such books as Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? and Call to Action. People need to be able to follow the scent trail and find what they are looking for.

"If we interrupt our scent trail, we leave our customer stranded. The path she was following becomes a dead end. Where's she supposed to go? Do you really want to trust that she's motivated enough to continue on her own? When it comes to scent trails, dropping the ball is one of the leading causes of site abandonment!"

2. Set a measurable goal: What do you want people to do on your landing page? Having a measurable goal will help you to quickly and easily determine how well your landing page is working. Your goal could be to have people buy something directly from the landing page, download a report, sign up for a mailing list, etc.

This way, you can track the performance of your landing page with your Google Analytics account.

Marketing Frame of Mind

January 30, 2007

Bryan%20Eisenberg.jpgOne of my favorite quotes that sums up online marketing is from the book Call to Action by Bryan & Jeffrey Eisenberg:

"Trying to increase sales simply by driving more traffic to a website with a poor customer conversion rate is like trying to keep a leaky bucket full by adding more water instead of plugging the holes."

I love that! It summarizes the reality of marketing in such a great, visual way. When you put it like that, everybody can see it's such a commonsense approach. Focus on your ROI (return on investment) and conversion rate, and the rest will fall into place easily.

Google Optimizer Test

November 2, 2006

multivarientSiteImage.jpgOk, so we've used our analytics software to pinpoint problem pages of our business website. But where do we go from there?

  • Do we patiently perform hundreds of separate A/B landing page tests?
  • Do we hire a third party to conduct expensive multivariate testing?
  • How can we be sure that the ugly red button in the middle of our page isn't scaring away our customers?

Well, as it turns out, I just finished implementing a tool on our website which answers all of these questions and more. Quite simply, our visitors should be the ones that determine the content of our website using multivariate testing, and Google's new Website Optimizer seems primed to tackle any website testing problem.

Google's Brett Crosby Announces Google Website Optimizer Beta!

October 18, 2006

BrettCrosbyAnnouncement.jpgThis rocks! Just moments ago at the eMetrics Summit in Washington, D.C., Google's Brett Crosby (Senior Manager, Google Analytics) announced the launch of a new tool, the Google Website Optimizer, designed to help Google AdWords advertisers test different website landing pages in order to determine which ones drive the most conversions--whether they are online sales, sign-ups, or downloads.

I've been here in Washington, DC at the eMetrics Summit since Saturday evening, and there is no doubt that Brett's announcement completely stole the show, generating a buzz of excitement over many of those in attendance.

So what's this new tool all about and why does it matter?

Google Analytics, and now Google Website Optimizer, are both designed to help Google AdWords advertisers and website owners make smarter business decisions and to increase the return on their marketing investments. The new Google Website Optimizer gives advertisers the power to improve the content on the pages within their websites in order to generate more conversions with the same or less advertising spend.

multivarientSiteImage.jpgSpecifically, Google's new multivarient landing page testing and optimization tool, Website Optimizer, enables marketers to test different ideas for variations of headlines, promotional copy, or images and provides easy-to-read graphs showing which variations resonate best with their website visitors. Through the step-by-step interface, you can quickly and easily plug in the different versions of each page section you wish to test.

Google Website Optimizer automatically applies these versions to create every possible different combination of landing pages, and randomly displays each combination to your users as they come in from your Google AdWords campaign. You simply set up the experiment, plug in your variables, and read the comprehensive reports as the experiment progresses with each click.

Brett covered that the beta launch of Google Website Optimizer is a limited release that is offered to Google AdWords advertisers on a sign-up and acceptance basis (i.e. your application for the beta must be approved in order to qualify for the use of this tool during beta)...but once you are accepted into the beta, the use of it is free.

We were able to take a sneak-peek into the vast wealth of information you will have at your fingertips with Google Website Optimizer.

Here's what we learned:

The (Fantastic) Reasons for Not Overlooking Abandonment Rates

August 28, 2006

AbandonmentRate.jpg What a good point! Avinash Kaushik recently posted in his blog, Occam's Razor, about the importance and the possible impact of abandonment rates.

Think about this: have you ever seen somebody load up their cart with groceries at the supermarket, wheel up to the checkout lane, wait in line, make it up to the cashier... and just walk away? Just leave their cart full of groceries sitting there in the checkout lane and walk out the door?

I sure haven't! But that is almost exactly what happens with online shopping cart abandonment. In the online world it is a little more complicated, but putting an item in a shopping cart still indicates a serious interest in purchasing that item.

Kaushik points out that "depending on the cost of items you sell on your website each percent point of abandonment could represent tens of thousands to millions of dollars per month in revenue."

And it's true!

When people abandon their shopping cart that is money left on the table. That makes optimizing your checkout procedure (or lead capture process, download process, or any other online process) for reduced abandonment an immensely rewarding practice!

The Free Google Analytics Webinar we host has an entire section dedicated to tips on how to reduce shopping cart abandonment (We call it the 'Pure Profit' section, because that's what you'll earn more of when you reduce your abandonment rates). If you are interested in receiving some tips in addition to those Kaushik outlines in his article, stop on by and sign up for our free webinar today!

Nagging Problems with Home Page A/B Testing

July 21, 2006

In past articles, such as Profitable Content network bidding in Google AdWords using the new AdWords Analysis report, we discuss how to use Google Analytics to conduct A/B split tests.

Google Analytics defines A/B split testing as "Testing the relative effectiveness of multiple versions of the same advertisement, or other content, in referring visitors to a site."
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An excellent article was recently written by Matthew Roche in Conversion Chronicles, "Do Your Home Page Tests Flop? We Know Why...", which outlines the four major obstacles to getting your A/B split tests on your homepage to work correctly.

The fact is that most companies make their first foray into live testing by showing two versions of a home page (often one for a week, then another). And sadly, many of these folks find that both versions perform equally well (or equally poorly).

Avoiding the Dreaded One-Page Visit

February 27, 2006

Getting to the top of the organic or even the pay-per-click search list isn't the end of the battle - it's only the beginning. Think about the way you search online; you type in a phrase in the query box, and you click on the most promising result on the first page. Once you hit that first page, if it isn't immediately apparent that you have found what you're looking for, then you hit the back button and try the next result. So how do you get people to stop at your site, and not hit that back button for the next result?

Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment

January 23, 2006

If you have set up your goals in Google Analytics, then one report that can provide some incredibly useful information is the 'Defined Funnel Abandonment' report. If you need some help setting up your goals, take a look at an earlier article, "How To Set Up Goals In Google Analytics". This report tells you what percentage of visitors that begin a defined funnel process abandon it.

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