29 Resources for Getting the Most out of Google Website Optimizer

 

Google Website Optimizer is a free tool that allows you to run various tests on your web products including A/B and Multivariate tests.

For Beginners

If you’re unfamiliar with Google Website Optimizer the following list of resources will help you get started and get up to speed to take advantage of this great tool:

    1. Google Website Optimizer Tour – A brief video introduction to what Google Website Optimizer is and how it works from Google.

  1. A Beginners Guide to Google Website Optimizer – A thorough introduction to Google Website Optimizer.
  2. Top Myths About Google Website Optimizer – Google dispels some of the confusion surrounding Google Website Optimizer
  3. 5 Common misconceptions about the Google Website Optimizer – Dispels some of the more common misconception about Gooogle Website Optimizer.
  4. 10 Minutes to Testing with the Google Website Optimizer (PDF) – A PDF that lives up to its title.
  5. Google Website Optimizer 101: A Quick-Start Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization – While this page reads like its full of marketing hype it still serves as a good introduction to why you should be testing.

A/B Testing

A/B Testing allows you test two or more pages against each other to see which one is the most effective at meeting your desired goal. Google Website Optimizer makes it easy to set up A/B tests. The following resources will help you get the most of your A/B tests and Google Website Optimizer:

    1. What is A/B testing? – This video serves as a great introduction to A/B testing using Google Website Optimizer–sort of a “testing for dummies” if you will.
    2. What A/B Testing is & How to Use It – 5 minutes that will teach you everything you need to know about A/B testing, multivariate testing and page optimization.

  1. How to Document an A/B Split Test for Better Conversions – The author briefly discusses the importance of documenting your A/B tests and then provides a visual mind map, “to create better processes in documenting the results of your split testing.”
  2. The ABCs of A/B Testing – This post from the Google AdSense blog walks you through the process of setting up and completing and A/B test.
  3. A/B Testing: Too Little, Too Soon? (PDF) – A fairly in-depth whitepaper from Future Now, Inc. that discusses what A/B testing is, what all the hype is about and how best to utilize A/B testing.

Multivariate Testing

Multivariate Testing allows you to create fairly complex tests that compare several different elements on a page. For example, you can create a multivariate test using Google Website Optimizer that compares how effective various headlines, copy and images are at meeting your desired goal. This list of resources will help you get the most out of multivariate testing and Google Website Optimizer:

    1. Start Multivariate Testing: 7 Critical Questions – A set of Q&A regarding how to get started with multivariate testing.
    2. Multivariate Experiments with Google Website Optimizer – This video from Google walks you through the details of creating Multivariate tests using Google Website Optimizer.

  1. Multivariate Testing: What is it? – This posts aims to help you understand just what Multivariate Testing is.

Case Studies/Examples

Sometimes the best way to learn about something new is to see some real-world examples of how it works. The following resources provide links to posts that show how people are using Google Website Optimizer:

    1. Google Website Optimizer Test: We Didn’t Implement the Winner – A fairly detailed case study of using Google Website Optimizer and a real-world discussion of why they didn’t decide to use the “winner” of the conversion test.
    2. Website Optimizer: Creating and Launching Experiments – Tom Leung, the Product Manager for Google Website Optimizer, gives users a more advanced overview of Google Website Optimizer. This video compliments the introductory video we linked to above under “For Beginners”.

  1. Google Website Optimizer Tool: I Told You So – SitePoint walks you through their process of A/B testing a banner on their site.
  2. Writing Decisions: Headline tests on the Highrise signup page – The 37signals team shares their results from using Google Website Optimizer to test conversion rates for various headlines on their Highrise signup page. This is a great real-word example of how Google Website Optimizer can be used to help you figure out how to increase conversions.
  3. Conversion Rates Up By 500% – A brief overview of one persons tests using Google Website Optimizer that resulted in an increase in conversion rates.
  4. Optimizing Conversions with Website Testing: Google Website Optimizer Integration – A slide presentation (with audio and accompanying transcript) given by both Google and Magento that discusses Magento’s native implementation of Google Website Optimizer. Even if you aren’t using Magento, this presentation contains a lot of great examples of how to use Google Website Optimizer.
  5. How we increased the conversion rate of Voices.com by over 400% – Conversion Rate Experts breaks down how they increased a company’s conversion rate by 400%.

Tips & Plugins

The following resources will help you discover various tips on using Google Website Optimizer. There is also a link to the Google Website Optimizer plugin for WordPress as well as a link to the book that claims to be “The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer.”

  1. Google Website Optimizer Plugin for WordPress – The title says it all.
  2. Insider Tips for Using Google Website Optimizer – A brief interview with Google Website Optimizer Product Manager, Sandra Cheng. Sandra offers some advice from Google’s experience testing pages as well as some tips for what to test on your pages.
  3. Website Optimizer Tips for Tracking Complex Conversions – This post demonstrates how to track conversions for videos & demos, link clicks and ajax forms.
  4. Google Website Optimizer: 7 Powerful Tests – A brief set of notes from one of Google’s webinars on Google Website Optimizer that describes some of the various tests that are possible with Google Website Optimizer. While brief, this post is great because it take you beyond just A/B and Multivariate tests.
  5. SES Chicago: Lesson in Google Website Optimizer – The video interview isn’t very useful, but the 5 brief tips for getting started with Google Website Optimizer that follow are.

 

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