Google released their Website Optimizer platform last week for general use. It has only been available to sites using Google AdWords in the past, but now can be used by anyone to enhance site performance. This is great news for web analytic junkies, usability testers, developers and designers alike.
In a nutshell, Google’s Website Optimizer allows you to test multiple versions of content (ie. marketing messages, logos, icons, copy, etc) in a live environment to determine which combination of content yields the best results.
Based upon what you are testing, this “result” could mean higher click-throughs, increased product sales, increased product downloads, increased ad revenue, higher traffic to internal pages, etc.
This eliminates the guesswork of testing ad placement, site designs, product purchase flows, etc. You can simply release multiple versions of your content and look at the analytics to determine which one is yielding the best results.
There are certainly other tools to do the same job; but not many are free or this simple. We could certainly do the same thing at the Chronicle, however we would have to use several systems to make it happen. This simplicity of using one system appeals to me.
Here are some links to get you started with Google’s Website Optimizer:
(via Web Worker Daily)