Google Website Optimizer
Here are some more helpful tips for online businesses and affiliate marketers, I have recently been utilizing Google Website Optimizer on a clients website to help stimulate more potential customers to make contact.
It is a fairly self explanatory tool for existing web designers but I thought I would go through the steps in a little more clarity for people who want to improve their knowledge of the technical side of things!
The first thing you need to do is create 2 different style pages, for example, my latest project was to create a different style contact form for the clients website. I looked at competitors sites and noticed they had a pop up lightbox form on their homepage but our homepage directed to a different page for the form.
I designed a new homepage with a pop up lightbox form and then proceeded to upload it to our hosting server but gave the file a different name from the existing index.html by calling it home.html.
A/B testing is the most obvious way of web optimization and Google Website Optimizer provides you with 3 different snippet codes to be placed in between the <Head> tags of your html files. I say 3 pages because you not only need the 2 variations but you also need to track when a visitor navigates to the 'success' page! In our case it was the 'Thanks' page that visitors see when they have sent us an application but for you it might be when they sign up to your newsletter or order a product.
Google Website Submission
You may wonder how searchers on Google will see 2 different variations of your page? If you remember the snippet code that was implemented earlier on in the process for tracking purposes and this also plays a role in displaying the different pages to visitors.
If a user on Google searchers for a keyword related to your page and it ranks high they will click on the Google listing and will be directed to either of your page variations. The Google snippet alternates the 2 pages equally when redirecting a visitor, this will not affect your ranking or SEO strategy.
I have tried to include some useful screen shots of inside my Website Optimizer account, they show you some of the features and reports you will see once you have set up A/B testing.
The first screenshot shows you the initial 'account' page where you can see each 'Experiment' which you have undertaken. Its handy because it keeps the statistics so that you can run the experiment again later on in the future to see if the page continues to perform at different times of the year.
Web Optimization tool is different from Google Analytics because it concentrates on the conversions made at your website and gives you the efficient interface for comparing, although you can look in greater depth at which sections of these pages receive clicks via Google Analytics> Content> In Page Analytics.
Unlike Analytics interface which only shows you traffic to your pages, the above screen shot from inside optimizer shows you graphs for how many conversions are made for each page.