Google is moving Website Optimizer over to Google Analytics and Optimizer will be phased out. The new name in Google Analytics will be called “Content Experiments.” I’d tell you how it works, but it’s better to show you:
Here’s how Google sees Content Experiments benefits:
- Compare how different web pages perform using a random sample of your visitors
- Define what percentage of your visitors are included in the experiment
- Choose what type of goal you’d like to test
- Get updates by email about how your experiment is doing (not currently available)
I like the fact that unlike Website Optimizer, it doesn’t appear that you need to as much extra code into your Web pages. It’s more like adding Analytics code in that you add it once, not in different places on the pages. THAT has freaked out people who aren’t really that into HTML, and so they shied away from the tool. Content Experiments will have a wizard that walks you through, too, which should make it easier for just about any marketer to use.
Here are some things you can test:
- Headlines and headers
- Images and icons
- Calls to action
- Page layout
There is, however, something you will need to remember and that’s to tag your original page rel=”canonical” so that the duplicate content issue doesn’t arise. And you have to remember to redirect that page with a 301 redirect, if you pick an alternate page to replace it. Otherwise, you might find yourself in an SEO pickle.
The other thing I’m going to miss is the multivariate testing capability that you had with Optimizer. Content Experiments is an A/B type test. However, you can have 9 test running at once and you can test 5 different variations per test.
Another thing Google is doing is making you wait 2 weeks to see your results. That’s probably a good idea, since you really do want to have statistical significance before making any changes from one page to another.
That said, working with Content Experiments isn’t all that difficult and it will be an amazing boost for your business. Testing is everything. Though it’s not being rolled out to webmasters universally, people who are now using Website Optimizer will probably get it first, follow by a general launch.
You can learn more about and get a written explanation of Content Experiments here.