Happy Birthday Google Website Optimizer! What’s New With You?


Google Website Optimizer just celebrated its 1st birthday this week. Tom Leung, Business Product Manager for GWS presented What’s New With Google Website Optimizer today at Search Engine Strategies New York.

This amazing FREE service lets users test different versions of their site and plays nicely with Google Analytics (also FREE) to tell them how it tests compared to the original. This makes it incredibly easy for website owners to improve the customer site experience.

Google Website Optimizer is focused on post-click optimization- what happens after the user has clicked the ad creative. It lets you dabble in “content experimentation” and see how it will affect your conversion goals.

How it works

  1. Visitors come to your site.
  2. The tool divides visitors to different versions of the site that you have created
  3. Analytics tracks goals you’ve defined (cart puts, filling out lead generation form, looking at video).


  • free
  • easy to use
  • does not impact SEO (content served thru javascript)
  • increases in conversion 35% not uncommong
  • discussion groups, tutorials, etc. (authorized consultants)


  • a/b testing
  • multivariate testing
  • followup testing
  • works with all traffic
  • statistical analysis
  • platform independent

Setting Expectations About Website Optimizer

  • You need more than the software to optimize your site. Content experimentation is a technology enabled marketer-managed process. You won’t have anything to test unless you know what you need to change. You can hire wonderful Google Website Optimizer consultants to help you.
  • Testing takes great alternate content, proportionate traffic, and discipline. (how much traffic do you have to have to make it work?)
    (garbage in, garbage out process). Need to think through why page might be performing poorly. is layout not usable? Start small.
  • You’re not going to see results immediately. Some people click LAUNCH for the test and immediately go to results. Need to wait a few weeks so you can get day of the week stats, and also so you don’t jump to conclusions.
  • The simpler the test, the better. Don’t think because you CAN do multivariate testing, you have to. For example, set up a test in which the cart is on the right, and one on the left.
  • It is possible to DOUBLE your sales with testing.
  • It’s not just for small businesses, can handle any size
  • Google can’t tell you what to test, it’s best to hire a consultant to help
  • It will work on static as well as dynamic pages
  • It doesn’t require a minimum adwords spend
  • It works without Google Analytics, but why would you?

What’s New

  1. 5 minute setup A/B tests
  2. You can create up to 10,000 versions of this page (you can, not that you SHOULD)
  3. You can allow agency to manage your experiments
  4. Track conversions that span sessions – cross session extended cookies
  5. Advanced algorithm enhancements
  6. New testing how-to articles, testing webinar series
  7. Website optimizer consultants

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