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Have you ever wondered what could be the difference in visitor retention or improved conversions? If you want to test and measure different elements to charge up the performance of your website, the most impactful one-two punch would be to use Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer together. With Digital Analytics you find out what visitors are doing on your site. With Website Optimizer you run tests of alternative versions of your page elements and even whole pages to improve your results.

The power of these 2 tools is to enable you to test and measure simple A/B split test or even multivariate experiments.  The whole point of this dynamic duo is to allow you to make the most of your elements and experiments. While Google Website Optimizer by itself can give you a quick look at which combination is best at improving conversion, it tells you nothing about transactions, revenue, micro-conversions, navigation, segmentation by source, and bounce rate. If you integrate Google Analytics into your Google Website Optimizer experiments, you will get much richer data, and be able to get a true idea of how your test is doing.

The hallmark of a success implementation of Google Website Optimizer with Google Analytics lies in these factors:

  • Configuration: It’s essential that your Google Analytics account is properly set up, including configuration and function of goals. Know what to count whether it be an ecommerce sale, time on site or download as the finish line, and is one of the elements to test success.
  • Analysis: With your GA team at your side, determine what parts of the site or pages are most agreeable to seeking improvement. As part of the variable testing, review the Analytics account information such as bounce rates, exits pages and time on site to find insights on where you are losing visitors.
  • Hypothesis: If / Then. In focusing on one page at a time, one element at a time, outline what the goal of the test is (i.e. improved conversion) and then determine what you want to test to seek the desired improvement. It could be as simple as testing out 1 headline over another (A/B), many elements such as photos, colours, copy, etc….
  • Test: With the test elements clearly outlined, it is necessary to insert detailed code required to run a successful Google Website Optimizer tests. If you are not comfortable with html, work with your GA team to set up the tests so that the tests and code are properly configured and set up for quality assurance.
  • Review & Analysis: Time and numbers are what are required for a successful test program. Together with Google Website Optimizer and Google Analytics you will have the data (i.e. lower bounce rates, higher time on site, more page view per visit, higher sign up or sales conversion rates) as the analytics trends, conversions and factual information enable you and your GA team to formulate conclusions on the success of the tested elements.

Now that you have more quantifiable data, you can then use those new successful elements as the basis for a new test case and again harnessing the power of Google Website Optimizer and Google Analytics you’ll be reaping the rewards of improved site quality and a better user experience that can impact the bottom line.