A few weeks ago I wrote in my Google Optimizer wish list the ability combine Google Analytics and Website Optimizer. I was actually in the process of creating a solution myself when it was brought to my attention that someone just created a solution:
Google Website Optimizer and Google Analytics: A Perfect Marriage
Kudos to Shawn Purtell from ROI Revolution for beating me to this 🙂
I cannot emphasize strongly enough how much this adds to GWO.
Almost every metric available in GA can now be broken down based on what combination the user saw.
His solution uses the combination as a query parameter. I was originally thinking of using the user defined visitor segmentation for combinations, but after thinking about it, his solution seems better. The only situation I can think of where using user defined segmentation would be better is if you are doing advanced stuff like multi-page tests or full page testing (yes this is possible – more info to come soon).
One small note – when using the solution from ROI Revolution, be sure to call the new GA code after the GWO code. Otherwise you won’t be recording first time visitors to the page.
The official Google Website Optimizer group just changed status from “announcement only” to “general discussion”.
If you’re looking for a place to ask questions or share your experiences, it’s a great place to start.
I’ve been using Google Website Optimizer (GWO) extensively since it started beta around November 2006. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post with some of my ideas on Google Website Optimizer Suggestions. Since then I’ve been doing some testing and research on how to get the most out of GWO. If you’re brand new to the whole concept of split testing or if you’ve never used Google Website Optimizer before, I suggest you first check out their site. For the rest of this posting I’m going to assume you at least viewed their flash tutorial.
First of all, some basic concepts about how GWO works at the technical level.
UPDATE (May 28th, 2007): It seems some of my suggestions have already been implemented. I based my wish list on the functionality that was available when I started the beta (Nov 2006). I wrote a followup article with some Google Optimzer tips and tricks. Kudos to Google!
As I said in a previous post, we’ve been using Google Website Optimizer (I’ll call it GWO) for a while, and overall I’m pretty impressed.
Still, there are a few comments and suggestions I have to make it even better:
The past couple of weeks I’ve been using Google’s website optimizer as part of their beta test.
Overall, I’m very impressed. From a business perspective this make so much sense. Anything that can improve a site’s conversion rate is a true win-win for Google and the advertiser. We get more sales, our cost per sale goes down and then we can afford to bid more on words that already work and convert marginal keywords from the loosing money to the making money pile.
Google is already providing excellent tools to help advertisers improve the performance of their AdWords campaigns. As always, they are ahead of the everyone else, by understanding that in order for them to succeed, they needs their customers (AdWords advertisers) to succeed.
I’m impressed with their implementation of the tool itself. I’ve used other split testing tools before, like vertster.com, but I really, really like Google’s solution. I encountered one of their initial bugs which was very annoying at first, but it’s been fixed. They’ve also recently improved the integration with Google Analytics.
I do have a couple of “gripes”.
First and foremost, they should have named it something other than “Google Website Optimizer”. The name is too generic. When I did a search for Google Website Optimizer (no quotes) most of the results I got deal with optimizing your website for Google. A search with quotes got me better results, but ultimately, I think they should have gone with a name that’s unique enough so searches will return relevant results. For example, AdWords, AdSense and Gmail are all unique names.
I can’t think of anything really good for a new name, but here are some ideas:
OptiGoogle (scratch that, sounds to much like OptiMost, a different split testing service)
GWO (scratch that to, sounds to much like GWB (George W Bush).
I have some inside secrets that I’d like to share but I need to confirm with our Google rep. before I can talk about it 😉
If you have any questions about Google Website Optimizer, please feel free to ask.