Saturday, April 07, 2007

Testing To The Right Road

"What's the use of running if you are not on the right road?,"
- asks an old German proverb.
Great news!

Just this week, Google released from Beta its Website Optimizer multivariate testing tool.

That's right, today everyone on Google AdWords can do multi variable testing on their PPC landing pages for free.

This is huge!

Money is no longer an issue... let me repeat - Google's Website Optimizer is free.

Well... the use of the software is free but the multivariate testing still costs your time and effort that you'd be spending on other things. BUT this is time well spent. Assign someone in your firm to champion this testing.

It's that important.

They will need to develop multiple versions of your content and add the requisite Google script. The online directions are really easy.

The down side? Privacy.

Just like with the free Google Analytics, it's a trade off. Gaining access to free technology in exchange for giving Google an inside look at your business. With multivariate testing Google will learn what works best to sell your product, how much you are selling, plus the combination of variables on your site and/or landing page that works best.

Some cynical commentators have called this equal to letting, "...a fox in the hen house."

Yeah, I guess that's true. I'd never give a vendor such access to my list run results.

But... do it anyway.

Trust me on this... the benefits of the testing on this level out weights any information Google will learn about your marketing efforts.

Now of course, if you are Coke, or some other big multinational corp... you can afford the independent software and thus, you'll be able to keep every decision and landing page test private. (Making this all moot, right?)

But I don't have their marketing budget... most of us don't. So rather than retreat with a low conversion rate... I'd rather learn as much as I can, make better pages, convert more free names to buyers. If I have to give up some privacy, I think it's worth it.

So...stop reading and start right now!