Improve Your Landing Page Conversion Rates with Google’s Website Optimizer Multivariate Testing Tool

April 11, 2007 by  

I registered with Google’s Website Optimizer and played around with it when it was made available for beta testers last October and experienced it first hand how it could improve my landing pages.

You can go ahead and sign up now or wait as it becomes available in all AdWords accounts within the next few weeks as announced in their blog recently.




So what is Website Optimizer and how it can help you make more money?

Website Optimizer is a free multivariate testing application designed to help AdWords advertisers test different landing pages in order to determine which one drives the most conversions whether they are sales, sign-ups or downloads.

Multivariate testing is a method used to test many elements of a system, and in this case your landing page all at the same time. You’ll able to learn what worked and what didn’t as well as find the optimal combination of page elements that maximizes your conversion rates.

With Website Optimizer you can learn how your headlines, product images, body copies, prices points etc affect your sales and which combination of these elements produces the best conversion rates for you page.

When I first used it, I found that both my landing page (test page) and conversion page (or thank you page) have to reside on the same domain. So if you sell a product on and use PayPal as your credit card processor, you would have problem integrating Website Optimizer into your website.

Good news is this is no longer a problem as now they allow different domains for the landing page and conversion page. I also find that Website Optimize suits best for landing pages with a single product to sell or with one conversion goal.

It does make much sense to test multiple products on a single landing page because you are basically pitting them against each other instead of trying to find how to improve the conversion rates of each product.


Can you use Website Optimizer in you blog?

To answer the question, you need to ask yourself what are the goals that you want to achieve in your blog. If you are writing a review of a product and wanted to find out how different paragraph or images affect your sales for that product on that particular post, then Website Optimizer would be helpful.

But if you just want to see how many visitors comes to your website or track how your page content affect your AdSense performance then this tool is not optimized or designed for such tests.

Now if the thought of coming up with elements to test on you page seems a little challenging or you are uncertain of what to test, check out my previous post for some ideas.

5 Big Mistakes in Landing Page Design That Reduce Conversion Rates

Then head over to to learn 101 ways to use Google’ Website Optimizer from the cute Conversion Rate Squirrel.

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Comment by Susie Subscribed to comments via email
2007-05-03 19:17:30


I think what you said above isn’t correct regarding Paypal. Even though you can have your test page and confirmation page on different domains, you still need control of all the pages leading to your conversion page. If you go through Paypal, Optimizer loses site of the fact that it is the same visitor, even if they come back to your site for the confirmation.

To verify this, I asked Google. Their answer: “It is necessary to add tags to all pages leading to the conversion page, so unfortunately it will not work for you because you will not be able to tag your PayPal pages.”

I’m planning on doing a little hack because I really want to be able to use Optimizer. I’m going to have my PAY button go to a page that redirects to Paypal. However the page is going to have the tags on it as if it is the confirmation page. So at least it will treat everyone who clicked on PAY as a conversion. Even if they end up bailing on the Paypal screens, at least I’ll have information on who attempted to pay, which should help me increase conversions.

Comment by Gaman
2007-05-03 19:28:31

Thank you for pointing that out. You are correct about Paypal not tracking your visitors properly.

In my case though, I was actually using Optimizer with other credit card processors and they allowed me to tag those conversion pages on their server.

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