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Tuesday, Apr. 3, 2007 at 4:16 am

64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimizer

By Anthony Garcia
April 3rd, 2007

Just getting started with online testing? Getting ready to take Google Website Optimizer out for a spin? Here are 64 tips on elements you can test and some helpful info to get you going.

Calls to Action

    1.) Is your call to action distinctive? Does it stand out on the page?
    2.) Button language and/or hyperlink anchor text
    3.) B2B Concerns – Are you asking leads to submit?
    4.) Button Colors & Shapes

Point of Action Assurances

    5.) Privacy policy: is it easy to understand?
    6.) Return policy and 3rd-party security verification: are they prominent?

Fonts

    7.) Choice of font
    8.) Readability: how easy are your fonts to read?
    9.) To bold or not to bold…

Headlines

    10.) Use fractions or percentages to prove your claim.
    11.) Ask questions in the headline.
    12.) Use words that evoke emotion.
    13.) Different types of formatting: bolding, fonts, colors, capitalizations, sizes
    14.) Number of words used in the headline
    15.) Use exclamation points.
    16.) Use text to convey the benefits versus the features of your products or services.
    17.) Self-focused (we/I) versus customer-focused text (you)
    18.) Use quotations in the headline (consider the length of the headline).
    19.) Reading level of the headline

Get examples and more details on testing your headlines

Product Copy

    20.) Is the copy more than just a blurb?
    21.) How enticing is the copy?

Product Images

    22.) Present different Image sizes.
    23.) Pay attention to image quality, it affects the perceived value.
    24.) Does the image show the product in a different context? (If you are selling tents, are you presenting the package or an image of the constructed tent?)
    25.) Product zoom and/or different angles
    26.) How enticing is the image?

Product Reviews

    27.) Do you use Product Reviews?
    28.) Do you provide more than just a simple score? Try a more multidimensional scoring system (i.e., quality, support and setup scores).
    29.) Are there positive and negative reviews, transparency is important?

Category Pages

    30.) Are you accounting for customers early in the buying process when they don’t know the terms associated with the product?
    31.) Are you making it easy for those who know approximately what they want?
    32.) How quickly can those who know exactly what they want find their product? Ask the big three questions.

About Us Pages

    33.) Do you tell the story of your company?
    34.) Are you doing something more than just posting a mission statement? Take advantage of the about us page by letting visitors see the personality and the people behind your company.

Contact Us Pages

    35.) Build more effective ‘Contact Us’ pages. Make it easy for them to find the information they seek.
    36.) Whom should they contact?
    37.) How soon can they expect a response?

Forms

    38.) How intimidating are your forms? Too many drop-downs and long text boxes make forms seem intimidating.
    39.) Remove unnecessary drop-downs.
    40.) Remove reset buttons.

Shopping Cart Tips

    41.) Check how many steps are in your checkout process.
    42.) Include a “Progress Indicator” on each checkout page.
    43.) Provide a link back to the product.
    44.) Add pictures inside the basket.
    45.) Provide shipping costs as early in the process as possible.
    46.) Show stock availability on the product page.
    47.) Make it obvious what to click next.
    48.) Make it easy for the shopper to edit her shopping cart.
    49.) Make it your fault if visitors input something incorrectly.
    50.) Make shoppers aware that you’re a real entity; give them contact info.
    51.) Give the visitor the option to call.
    52.) Make it always about your new customer, do not force a new registration instead make it a part of the checkout.
    53.) Add 3rd party reinforcement messages.
    54.) Present coupon codes carefully.
    55.) Deal with pricing issues head-on, include a price match guarantee.
    56.) GTC (“Get the Cash) – offer numerous payment options.
    57.) Offer point-of-action reassurance; make anything the visitor may be concerned about available and visible during checkout.
    58.) Save it for them. Save their cart in case they want to come back later.
    59.) When all else fails, survey. If they didn’t complete the checkout, ask them why.

Get more examples and more information about these shopping cart tips in “Save the Sale.”

Load Times

    60.) Test your load time. Also, be aware of how fast a page appears to load. Shrink the file sizes of your images, clean your code, etc.

Offer Incentives

    61.) Test different incentives; discounts, __% off, added value.

Online Testing 101

    62.) Learn proper testing methods
    63.) Practice effective testing
    64.) Never give up

Welcome to the world of website optimization! Why travel it alone? At the very least get ahead of the game.

[UPDATE: Bloggers, don't forget to add Content Robot's Google Website Optimizer plugin for WordPress.]

Add Your Comments

Comments (52)

  1. 64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Optimizer…

    Great post by Shaq at Grokdotcom that provides a checklist of website elements worth optimizing!…

  2. Google Adwords Website Optimizer…

    Checking out Google’s Website Optimizer, a few things caught my eye. First of all, the help section is VERY helpful. Not only does it address possible questions about how to, why to, and when to… but it makes use of…

  3. Those are some great general tips for online split testing.
    If anyone is interested in Google Website Optimizer (GWO) specifics, here are a couple of great resources:

    Advanced Tips and Tricks for GWO:
    http://www.prusak.com/archives/2007-03-29/get-the-most-out-of-google-website-optimizer-tips-tricks/

    Google groups for general discussion on GWO:http://groups.google.com/group/google-website-optimizer

  4. Ophir, You must not have seen the SEVEN specific things we offer at http://www.grokdotcom.com/googlewebsiteoptimizer/

  5. Thanks for the list and helpful links. This site helps me focus on conversions. I need to come here more.

  6. [...] 64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimizer » Conversion Rate Marketing Blog –>GrokDotCom by Future Now, Inc (tags: websiteoptimizer) Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

  7. [...] 64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimizer and 101 Easy ways to Use Google Website Optimizer provide more test ideas. [...]

  8. [...] 64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimizer and 101 Easy ways to Use Google Website Optimizer provide more test ideas. [...]

  9. [...] Check out this information packed article “101 Ways to Use Google’s Website Optimizer” for tips on using this tool designed to improve conversion rates. Another article, “64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimizer” lists elements of your website to test with Google’s Optimizer. Posted by lritchie – Posted in Google [...]

  10. Thanks for all the great optimization tips!

  11. thanks for the tips – this is great!

  12. [...] 64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimizer. [...]

  13. Hi,

    That was a great write up.

    It is so detailed and extensive that I have bookmarked this page!

    Some of the things are basic but so essential.We tend to forget those while creating and optimizing the websites.

    Thanks a ton!

  14. [...] change will do so long as you become comfortable with the tool you are using. Here's a list of 64 things to start your multivariate testing to choose [...]

  15. [...] Are you looking for some testing ideas? Anthony Garcia, co-author of Which Sells Best? and Contact Me or Submit? provides you with 64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimizer. [...]

  16. [...] shaky evidence to support it (do yourself a favor and read the comments ). Of course, knowing what to test is everything. Color is just one element, and it would stink to live in a world where [...]

  17. Google Optimizer: free tool to increase sign-ups, donations or anything else on your site…

    Google has recently released a new product: a testing tool called Website Optimizer to help sites maximize…

  18. [...] performance.  Keep your eye on the ball.  Make sure you've accounted for all known variables that might affect the results of your online tests.  Once you've got the fundamentals down, [...]

  19. Hello

    Can anyone recommend any shopping cart which supports Google website optimizer ?

  20. [...] 64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimizer [...]

  21. […] 64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimizer […]

  22. Google Website optimizer is a great addition to the tools provided by Google to make your split testing easier.
    As for a shopping cart, why not just use google checkout.

  23. [...] can, to some extent, predict customers’ movements if you observe through testing and extrapolate the results into the larger design. Observation requires a laboratory, even if it [...]

  24. Hi Garcia,

    This fine, absolutely fine post is probably mislabeled. I had been ignoring it because it sounded like a tactical, 101 GWO tutorial.

    Instead, it’s a guide and a checklist for all sorts of tests!

  25. [...] http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/04/03/64-tips-for-getting-started-with-google-optimizer/ 64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimizer Getting ready to take Google Website Optimizer out for a spin? Here are 64 tips on elements you can test and some helpful info to get you going. … [...]

  26. Great list. I have been doing this for 8 years and I still picked up 2 really good ones and 3 that I haven’t been doing as good as I should. Thanks!

  27. Hello

    I am in the process of Creating a landing page for my PPC Campaign. Thank you very much for this valuable information. This tips certainly help me to design and to increase sale.

    thanks
    Arun

  28. Great tips. Thanks for this useful list.

  29. Great list. I’m new to google webmaster optimizer. I’ll try A/B split testing in my homepage soon. Thanks for sharing.

  30. [...] more information about what, when and how to test? GrokDotCom has a great list of 64 tips for getting started with Google’s Website Optimizer that’s well worth the [...]

  31. Very helpful tick list. I think this article should be printed off for every web designer at the start of a new project too!

  32. One of the most useful articles I have seen till date for web masters. I will set it as a bechmark for all websites we design.

  33. Great tips for web site optimization.

  34. [...] can, to some extent, predict customers’ movements if you observe through testing and extrapolate the results into the larger design. Observation requires a laboratory, even if it [...]

  35. Great help, Excellent Tips

  36. [...] 5. 64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimizer [...]

  37. Thanks for this post, I was interested to see what effect GWO had on SEO and what were the best practices.

  38. This is really interesting to know & to understand how i can optimize my website for google… i just would like to thanks the author for this great contribution, good share, useful and helpful.

  39. What would you suggest in terms of optimization and analysis for non-profit websites trying to break through the clutter?

  40. Just getting started using Google Optimizer and the tips were very useful and gave me a good direction and things to focus on. Thanks for the help!

  41. I always want to create more creativenesses in my all designs. I really appreciate your design indeed. Very inspirational. People have to be more creative and innovative to explain their particular designs. Keep it up

  42. Today the concept of every design either website or logo has changed. People concentrate on more innovative and unique designs. I really like it. Keep it up

  43. [...] Alleen… Waar te beginnen? Met al die mogelijkheden kan het simpelweg beginnen af en toe wat lastig lijken. Daarom verwijs ik vandaag alleen maar naar een lijst van 64 tips om te beginnen met Google Website Optimizer. [...]

  44. Google website optimizer is good but optimizing website techniques are changing on daily basis. Thanks for the update.

  45. Just getting started using Google Optimizer and the tips were very useful and gave me a good direction and things to focus on, thanks !

  46. There are many steps listed that I can implement to help my site’s conversion rate. #45 seems to be a major area of concern – showing the shipping rate earlier in the process.

  47. Great article Anthony. I’m currently building a website so I’m always looking for any tips that will help me really boost the traffic and get going.

  48. we can add the following tip : “don’t look how much visitors you have, keep your attention on conversions rates and what these visitors do on your website.”

    whatever how many vistors we have, the more important is the conversion :)

  49. Great tips. Thanks for this useful list.

  50. Good tips, i’m going to check some points of the article !
    Thanks

  51. Good tips, always be helpful !

  52. [...] 64 Tips for Getting Started with Google Website Optimzer – While the title suggests that these tips are for beginners, its really a fairly extensive list of suggestions for elements you might want to test on your pages. This list can help you decide what you should optimize. [...]

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