Posts Tagged ‘google website optimizer’

Jan 25

You probably have seen the earlier post on the Google Analytics Workshop that Dr. Brian Clifton and I are holding at SMX West on March 5, here in Santa Clara. The early registration ends this Saturday, so if you are planning on attending the workshop, take advantage of the 10% discount and sign up by this Saturday 1/30/2010, the discount code is GA@SMX.

In addition to the GA workshop, I’ll be speaking at the Conversion Ninja Toolbox – A Review of Tools & Technologies session on Thursday March 4, 2:45-3:45pm. Stop by and say hi! I’m certain you’ll pick up a tip or two on improving conversation rates, sales & profits. The session will also cover ideas on what to test and practical information on available tools and technologies.

The session will be moderated by Chris Sherman, the Executive Editor of Search Engine Land and the co-panelists are:

  • Tim Ash, CEO,
  • Patrick Bennett, Co-Founder, BLVD Status
  • Nicholas Ward, Product Manager, Range Online Media
  • Feras Alhlou, President,

I’ll be focusing on the Google Website Optimizer (GWO) and how website owners should use A/B and Multivariate testing to find site bottlenecks and improve the performance of marketing campaigns by adopting a testing methodology. I am hoping that your takeaways will include:

  1. Benefits of Testing and Google Website Optimizer – Free but powerful!
  2. Features – what should you test?
  3. Advanced Testing Strategies with GWO
  4. Testing Best Practices
  5. Sample Reports & Results

I look forward to seeing you at SMX West. Meanwhile, if you have a question, a comment or a suggestion, feel free to leave a comment or email me at feras

I am speaking at SMX West


Related Post:

Nov 06

At eMetrics in Washington just a short while ago, two new and quite cool features for GWO were announced that you might want to check out:

  • An experiment management API which allows you to create and manage experiments outside of the interface.  For those that work with a lot of experiments or deal with third party integration, this will save you a lot of work!
  • Conversions over time charts can be found on the reports page of GWO.  Conversion rates are rarely a static number and websites might undergo changes during an experiment, so visually seeing how your combinations performanced over time might give you that extra bit of insight you were looking for.

Oct 13

I’m at the Googleplex this week participating in a summit. One of the keynotes is Dan Siroker, Former Director of Analytics for the Obama Presidential Campaign and is currently co-founder of CarrotSticks, a website aiming to improve math skills in kids.

Yes the election is over and this might sound like an out of the date post, but actually the message here is that Dan went on to found a start-up with the knowledge and expertise he gained from the Obama campaign. What he accomplished and learned in the political campaign is very applicable to the private sector and hopefully we can all learn a thing or two.

Some interesting facts about Obama is he out-performed McCain in the “new media” category significantly, in terms of Facebook friends, YouTube views, and website unique visitors, as well as the very important aspect of fund raising. The money raised for Obama was $656 million versus $201 millionfor McCain (not counting the Federal funds). Out of the $656 million, a staggering $500 million was raised online.

Analytics Lessons Learned

  1. Define success and also define quantifiable success measures.Metrics, like cost per click, email sign up rate, and revenue per email recipient. In Dan’s startup, he is now measuring: cost per click, cost per playing user (free account), revenue per paying user (paid account). So when the revenue per paying user exceeds the cost per playing user, they make money! :)
  2. Question assumptions.Testing is king, A/B and multivariate testing both play a key role in deciding what call to action, what creative, and other aspects work best!
  3. Divide and conquer.Segment users, for example, those that never signed up, those signed up but never donated, and those that previously donated.
  4. Don’t reinvent the wheel.Use available and free tools like Google Apps, Google Websize Optimizer, and Google Analytics.
  5. Take advanatage of circumstances.Whether it is internal to your business or something external (economy, competitiion, etc), give your visitors current and relevant content.

Jul 24

If you are in Silicon Valley, there is almost always a worthwhile event to attend and this past week was no exception. We had the opportunity to socialize, chat with, and listen to Avinash about testing (you know, the A/B and multivariate testing stuff :) ). The event I am referring to was “Thursday Testing” coordinated by Lily Chiu.  Thanks a bunch Lily, and thanks to the Omniture folks for sponsoring the event!

It’s always a pleasure to speak with Avinash. You’ll hear about analytics, online marketing, and also about what is going on in some of the world’s top brands.

I was able to take some notes that I wanted to share. OK, the notes are brief as I was typing on my iPhone and I think Avinash thought I was playing Sudoku too :) . Here you go:

Why aren’t more people testing and why is testing a rarity. Avinash mentioned a couple of things that made a lot of sense:

  • Vendors and consultants are sometimes at fault. In their effort to highlight the capabilities of their products and services, they inadvertently set a high barrier to entry. All they talk about is multivariate testing and the gazillion variations you can have.  While impressive, it might be overwhelming or intimidating to marketing managers and site owners. Simplifying what to test, starting with a couple of ideas, and setting realistic expectations might get the decision makers to grant you the go-ahead and get your testing effort off the ground.
  • The second point is that while it is easy to simplify things, it’s hard to come up with two good ideas to test (not just “let’s change the button color”). It does take creativity, knowledge of your audience, among other factors to come up with two very good ideas to test.

These were the two points that Avinash emphasized and I find very helpful. Then there was an interesting discussion about some experiments with 19 PhD’s (I’ll pass on this for now), and another discussion about embarrassing the highest level manager you can (this way they listen to you), but this one needs another post altogether, and Avinash talks about it on his blog, so you can read his comments on the topic and apply it at your own risk! :)

I would also add that looking for some easy wins, taking some risks, and finding a sponsor that will support your effort, will pay off big time in getting more out of your site, and also in setting/starting a testing program within your organization.

So to summarize:

  • If you/your organization is new to testing, start with A/B Testing
  • Be creative, take some risk, look for low hanging fruits and get some early results to get your testing program supported within your organization

For more information on testing, check out Google Website Optimizer, make sure you get a copy of Always Be Testing, and feel free to contact one of E-Nor’s consultants.

Aug 13
Many people, including myself, don’t enjoy filling out forms. Forms are usually long, unclear, and contain too many required fields, etc.

To the contrary, from a business perspective forms are an excellent tool for gathering information.

Our job as web analysts is to make both parties happy and help optimize form length with input analysis.

In this post, I will share with you E-Nor’s technique in determining the forms fields that people are most likely not to complete. I will show you how to make this data available to decision makers and web optimizers so they are able to make the necessary changes.

First we will need to add some JavaScript to the form’s html code. Add the below onclick event in the submit button code:

Upon submitting the form, the validation function will be called to check the filled or empty status of the fields.

The validation function is often used to verify that a required field has valid information in it. Today, we will also use it to pass two variables to the isEntered function:

  • The first variable is the text that the user enters in each field. If the user enters “John Smith”, for example, in the name field, then document.getElementById(‘name’) = “John Smith”, and if the field was left empty, then document.getElementById(‘name’) = “ ”.
  • The second variable is the name of the field (ex. “name”) and this is needed to send information to Google Analytics.

The isEntered function will check the el variable that is passed to it from the validation function.

  • If the value of variable is null, we will send a pageview to Google Analytics indicating that the field is empty (ex. /forms/contact_us.htm/empty/phone)

Reading data in

As we might have thousands and thousands of pageviews in our main profile, I suggest creating a specific profile for the form:

1. Create a filter and name it URL Filter – Contact Us Form

2. Add the above filter (URL Filter – Contact Us Form) to a new profile with a name such as (Contact Us Form)

3. Go to the new Contact Us Profile -> Content -> Top Content

The numbers above clearly show us which fields customers usually fill out or leave empty. This level of input analysis will definitely help optimize form length


  • The Name and Email fields are both required fields; they should not appear in our report since no one will be able to submit the form without filling them.
  • The Comments field has a very high number of pageviews, 154, which is a sign that customers are not interested in filling out this field of the form.
  • I will leave what to do after this to you. Depending on the nature of your business and the objectives of the form, the solution vary.
  • It may make sense to remove fields from the form so that the form is short and to the point.
  • Another option is to test the original form to shorter versions of the form using a tool like Google Website Optimizer. It may be the case that a shorter form will get you more submissions but it is also possible a shorter form will have no effect at all.

Jun 30

Mark your calendars, July 8th, 2008, 9-10am PT! Another free webinar from Google, but this time it is a collaboration of three Google teams:

So sign up, learn and improve the effectiveness of your website!

Oct 30

Yesterday I attended the Conversion University conference at Google here in Mountain View. Avinash had a couple of very informative sessions on creating a “data driven” culture in your organization (or your clients’ organization). I really recommend you get his book, Web Analytics – An Hour A Day, if you haven’t done so.

These sessions will soon be available on YouTube and the sessions from the previous Conversion University Day have been available for a while now. Even if you are not using Google Analytics, the sessions are still very applicable.

There were a number of very informative sessions on Adwords, Google Website Optimizer (GWO), GA Hacks , a number of case studies, as well as a review of the new features that will be rolled out soon in Google Analytics.

There were also a number of very friendly and helpful Google engineers and specialists that were around to answer questions from the audience in the breaks and in the lab time.

Many thanks to Brett, Jeff, and the others who put this event together.

PS. Lunch was excellent too! :)

Jul 01

In a recent E-Nor analytics webinar I touched on the topic of landing pages. I interact with a fair amount of Internet marketing consultants and I see a lot of effort focused on driving traffic to websites and building custom landing pages. And I see efforts focused on enhancing landing pages (redesign, new marketing copy, different call to action, etc.) but little effort to measure and analyze key metrics on these landing pages.

What I recommend to site owners and consultants is to direct some of that energy from just driving traffic (and just focusing on cost per click and click through rates) to examining how users are engaging with the landing page.

Measuring and analyzing KPIs such as bounce rates and conversion rates, especially after a level of segmentation (based on visitor type, campaign, etc.) is done will yield amazing results. If you are not setting up goals on your site and not tracking conversions, now is the time to do so. A/B testing and multi-variate testing are also invaluable methods to find out what works best.

Would love to hear your comments on your experiences with landing page metrics and what worked for you and your clients. Thanks!

Apr 06

I was traveling last week at my Ambassador Training Session and super swamped this week catching up, so I missed few days of reading my blogs and forums and it seems that I am two years behind! :-)

One the most important announcements this week from Google is the availability of Google Website Optimizer (GWO) to all AdWords users. The folks at Google did a fine job with this tool.

We were beta testing the GWO on a few of our accounts and the results were pretty amazing. I read somewhere today that this is like free money! The tool allows you to test various combinations of copy & images on your landing pages, manage all the combination juggling and crunching for you, and finally announce the winning combination when the experiment ends. We ran a quick experiment for one of our clients and achieved 129% improvement in conversion rate. This is just the beginning and it is on top of an already high performance landing page.

If you have a client that is investing money in Adwords, GWO is a must. You’ll improve their conversion rate and they’ll reward you for the improved Return on Investment (ROI). We offer Google Website Optimizer services to anyone that is interested. We’ll be more than glad to help you!

Jun 30

Your web design team used every ounce of creativity and design savvy to come up with a professional and stylish website based on the latest XHTML and CSS standards. Your marketing specialist spent many hours doing intense research and setting up an elaborate Pay-per-Click (PPC) campaign. Your webmaster juggled countless keywords and Title tags to come up with a solid search engine optimization (SEO) plan. Even your domain name is catchy! You’ve done everything possible to attract people to your website and keep them there, right? Wrong!

Making a website is only the beginning. Surely there is some point in having a website. Maybe it’s to promote brand awareness, selling your products online, or providing technical support & information for existing customers. How do you know if people are navigating your website in an efficient manner, finding information or products they are looking for, or moving towards your business objectives?

Enter web analytics. The first thing you notice when you look at a web analytics report is the large amount of useful data. Imagine knowing how many unique visitors come to your website everyday, how often visitors come back to your website again, or the exact city that visitors are coming from. The wealth of information doesn’t end there. You would be able to see which marketing campaigns have the best conversion rates. You would also know specific details such as which position is giving the best click through rate and conversion rate for your PPC campaigns. You can define a business goal and a series of steps (a funnel) on your website leading up to that goal; you would be able to visually see where people are joining that funnel and where they are leaving. The information available about visitors through analytics is nearly endless: you would be able to know what web browsers visitors are using, their operating systems, and even the connection speed!

But there is more to web analytics than raw information. Back to our point, surely there is some reason in having a website. Once you are able to define business objectives on your website, you can analyze how visitors interact with your website. Whether it becomes obvious through reports what you need to improve on your website or you discover what works best through A/B testing, once you make those changes you once again observe how visitors are interacting with your website. This is the true power of web analytics – to better your business by improving your website in a methodical way. Instead of trying to guess what is wrong with your landing page or why conversion rates are so low, you can work with accurate data, do your own analysis, and come up with smart recommendations.

Web analytics is for anyone that has any kind of a website. Whether it is eCommerce, lead generation, brand awareness, or informational, web analytics will make your website better and drive business success. Contact E-Nor today for more information on what web analytics can do for your business!