Google Website Optimizer Now Available

Ian Lurie

Google has taken their Website Optimizer out of beta. Or at least, they’ve made it available to everyone.

At its simplest, Website Optimizer helps you test and measure different web page headlines, graphics, copy, etc. against each other.

Here’s a quick overview:

Say you’re wondering whether one headline will generate more leads than another. You’re also wondering whether a small change to on-page copy will make a difference.

Normally, you’d have to build four pages, one for each combination of headline and copy. With Website Optimizer, though, you can put a small script in your page. Then Google will automatically generate all of the possible combinations:

Web Optimizer: Original
Website Optimizer: Variation 1
Website Optimizer: Variation 2
Website Optimizer: Variation 3

Website Optimizer rotates through the possibilities randomly, for a fairly even distribution. It generates a report showing you which ‘recipe’ has the best chance of beating the original:

Website Optimizer: Report

Voila. You can make a far more informed decision as to which page is your best selling tool.

You’ll need an Adwords and Google Analytics account to use the Website Optimizer.

To use it, you’ll want to have some expertise in HTML – just enough to cut and paste without causing a disaster. It took me about 30 minutes to set up and start an experiment.

I’ll be doing a video tutorial or three on this subject shortly.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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