Vancouver Net Tuesday: Google Website Optimizer & Simplified A/B TestingTweet
By Ava Naves, Principal
Just got back from this month’s installment of Net Tuesday. Very informative, and well worth taking the time to attend.
For those not familiar with Net Tuesdays, they are events that aim to unite Social Change Makers with Web innovators.
The first Net Tuesday that I attended was in March. We were still wearing our winter coats here in Vancouver, and no surprise, I was already wearing mine tonight.
Today’s sessions were split between a presentation on AdWords by Omar Al-Hajjar, search marketing director at Cossette West, and John Hossack, from VKI Studios.
I chose to attend John’s presentation. Loved it. He focused on the use of Google’s Website Optimizer for website testing. Basically, it’s a free tool by Google, that allows different variations of a webpage to get tested – so you can decide, with data in your hands, which version yields the highest conversions.
For those not entirely familiar with the concept, a conversion is a specific action that you’d like your Web visitors to take once they arrive on your site. It could be filling out a contact form, downloading a free white-paper, making a purchase, etc.
VKI Studios was hired by YouTube to perform an optimization analysis of their homepage. The irony is… that YouTube is owned by Google… and VKI used Google’s own Website Optimizer tool to make recommendations on how to optimize the YouTube homepage in order to increase its conversion. In this case, the objective was to raise the number of signups on that site.
A few points that were discussed:
– If you’re planning on using Website Optimizer to analyze your site, it must receive enough traffic to generate at least 100 conversion actions per variation that you’re testing. So, for example, let’s suppose that in your testing you’ll be analyzing two different pages (to see which one gives you the most conversions), then your traffic needs to be high enough for you to get 200 signups (100 signups per variation that you’re testing). If there are three versions tested, then 300 signups are needed, and so forth.
– If the site to be analyzed is not yielding enough traffic to get those numbers, then you’re better off using UserTesting.com. This type of tool does not give you empirical data. Rather, it gives you a subjective analysis, from people, on the usability of your site.
There’s a lot more that was covered tonight, but this is just a sampler. If you have any questions, write them in a comment, below, and I’ll do my best to address them. Thanks again to John Hossack for taking the time to present VKI’s YouTube case study, and everyone who participates in putting together Net Tuesdays here in Vancouver.