Google Website Optimizer’s Product Manager, Tom Leung was the first presenter and mostly covered the basics of setting up their test and a few case studies from Google and their partners. They have a plethora of resources on their site, which he directed the audience to for more detailed instruction:
- Tutorials and Videos
- Website Optimizer Help Center
- Website Optimizer Blog
- Website Optimizer User Forum
- Website Optimizer Partner List and application for those consultants that have done 3 or more successful tests
- Case Studies
For those of you that are more advanced to Google Website Optimizer, I would point you to their Advanced section which covers: testing for time spent on page, dynamic content, tracking post landing page navigation, form submission, and site wide changes among other topics.
Scott Brinker from ion interactive’s focus was on Landing Page 2.0, saying that they are more than a page and more of a creative experience design that can house rich media, interactive widgets and applications. The audience later asked if rich media was important to test and the panel consensus was if rich media is right for your audience and your page goals then yes, but otherwise it’s not a good idea to test since rich media is a detractor and not the best thing for standard conversions.
He also talked about scaling your tests and not going overboard. He recommended focusing on horitzontal scaling by niche audience or vertical scaling by expanding the scope of what the landing page experience is. He said think of it as targeted microsites and conversion paths. You can also segment by geography, industry, pain point, role/indentity, desire, purchase stage, and knowledge.
Jonathan Mendez from RAMP Digital talked about the importance of optimizing the entire process from ad buy to landing page to conversion funnel. What are we communicating to them once they arrive and how do we get in their head? Jonathan has a great blog which I recommend adding to your daily RSS feeds.
Last to present was Rob Bergquist from Widemile who started out his presentation citing a recent study by Jupiter, which I didn’t catch the title of, that basically said that marketers view the most important change in the conversions was to continue to test keywords, followed by landing page testing. He argued that we should be testing landing pages first. I would say that I agree with this comment, but also say that Jonathan’s point about optimizing the entire process from keyword to ad to landing page to conversion process is the most important thing we can do.
The audience had some great questions, one about the role of heatmaps. Tom said that heatmaps are just another tool like the landing page optimizer tools and that they can be used in conjunction with landing page tests. He gave the example of using the heatmap to find areas that get a lot of eyeballs and clicks but that might direct to pages or actions that have a low conversion rate. Once that is defined, then the landing page optimizer tool can be used. The audience also asked when is it best to use Google Website Optimizer and when to use a paid tool. Rob said that if you haven’t done any testing start with Google’s tool first and then move to paid tools since they offer more features and functionality. But that it also doesn’t have to be an either or thing, you can use both tools.