I’ve written in past posts about how to get all of the great GA data for each of your combinations in GWO.

A couple of months ago I ran an experiment that showed me why doing so isn’t just a “nice thing to have”, but a necessity.

I was comparing two significantly different versions of a promotion page (whole page split). You can see them here:
Old (control) Version
New Version

After a couple of weeks of testing, GWO was reporting that the new version was performing 7.03% worse than the old version. I was a bit surprised because of the radical difference between the two pages.

At that point I started looking at numbers GA provided as well. At first I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Then I took a look at the page performance segmented by visitor type (New / Return visitors) and my eyes opened wide.

For new visitors, the new version of the page was performing much better (over 40% improved conversion rate) and for return visitors the old version of the page was performing much better (over 20% better conversion rate).

Going forward, we now show new users the new version of the page and return users the old version. I have a few theories on why we’re seeing this behavior, but that’s a bit beyond the scope of this post. I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.

What this shows us is that while GWO is an excellent tool, it can be a bit blunt when used on it’s own. Very often the most valuable information is in the details.

– Ophir