I attended a webinar yesterday called “Maximizing Magento Webinar: Optimizing Conversions with Website Testing.” It was a nice and informative hour-long webinar with Google and Magento team speakers that provided us some really useful information.
First of all, you should know what Google Website Optimizer is. It’s a powerful tool that allows you to test various page concepts directly on your visitors and see which of your ideas works best in practice.
The idea behind Google Website Optimizer is “You should test that.” If you have an idea you don’t know will work—or whether it will increase you conversions—Google has created this tool to help you test it.
Google Website Optimizer is easily integrated in Magento. You can test various changes on your product pages and see which ones work best for your visitors. Only product page integration between Magento and Google Website Optimizer is made for now, however according to Roy Rubin, we can expect integration with our shopping cart and checkout pages soon.
What Google Website Optimizer does is serve different variations of your site to the visitors so that you can test which one converts best. You can set up easily “A-B compare” where you serve half of your visitors one page variation and half of your visitors another. Then all you have to do is compare results or set up multiple page variations. The Optimizer gives you nice, clean reports where you can see how are your page variations performing. To learn more about conversion rates, read how to improve your web shop conversion rates.
- Run the tests for at least a week or a sample of 10,000 visitors or more. You can’t know if the page variation is actually good if your test sample was too small.
- Do the big changes first, then fine-tune later. This one comes from the Google and their experience with Website Optimizer. You should first try to make big differences and see in which direction has the response you want, then refine the pages for optimal conversions. If you can’t see the change in first five seconds of viewing the page variation, the change is too small.
- Beware of HiPPO! This one also comes from Google. HiPPO stands for Highest Paycheck Person’s Opinion. When you have powerful tool such as Google Website Optimizer, you can actually test all the ideas and see which one makes you the most money. HiPPO will often want to serve his visitors his idea—despite the fact that he could earn more by serving them some other variation.
- Know how to measure conversion rates! Your goal is to earn more money, not to have higher conversion rate percentage. If you don’t understand the difference between making money and haveing a high conversion rate, read on conversion rate optimization metrics.