Magento™ and Google™ Website Optimizer

Magento™ and Google™ Website Optimizer

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.

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  1. Mark,

    When you test the script’s installation, you need to “trick” the Google website optimizer and run a checkout success page manually so that he can verify the visit to the goal page (installation of the goal page script).

    At least that’s how I remember it, it’s been some time since I last did it 🙂

  2. I’ve been trying to get Google Website Optimizer to work for a while now. I have 2 products (for A\B testing), I tried both methods of adding the jscript to the original and test product. When I click to test the scripts installation the original page allways fails, but the test page and conversion pages are successful. I can’t find anything on Google or in the Magento forums about this type of problem. Any insight into making this work would be very greatly appreciated!!!!

  3. The web optimiser is a nice feature and it’s reassuring to know that Google and Magento are working closely developing features to further enhance the Magento platform. After spending several days waiting for Google to accept an adwords ad. It would be nice if Google put more effort into areas that have a more immediate impact on our web business.

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