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Using Google Content Experiments to Optimise Your Site

Posted by Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
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on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 in Google

Getting traffic to your site is one thing - and there are hundreds of ways to do that - but once the visitors are there, are you making the most of their visit?

Google Analytics can tell you how long visitors spend on a page, and they can tell you how many of your visitors completed a purchase, or signed up for your newsletter, or requested a quotation - or whatever it is you want them to do once they get to you. But is your site working as well as it might?



How can you know if a small change to your headline, a different image, or a subtle change in the call to action will make a difference to your response rates?

The answer is with Google Content Experiments. In its simplest form, Google Content Experiments will take two versions of your landing page and split your incoming traffic between the two. Then, with a measurable goal in place, the system will track the visitors to each page and let you know which page leads to the best conversion rate.

The difference might appear small, but it is precisely this kind of small difference that can often be magnified when considered in its wider context.

Consider this: you have an AdWords campaign that is sending traffic to your website at a rate of 2% - that is for every 100 ad impressions you get two clicks. Let's suppose that these clicks cost you 1€ each.

Let's then suppose that you test two pages on your site and discover that one of your pages converts traffic at 2% and one at 2.5%

Right from the start we can see that to get one conversion the first page will need 50 visitors, the second, 40. The second page is costing you 20% less per conversion. However, think about the impressions. To get 50 visitors to the first page you need 2,500 ad impressions, to the second only 2,000. New the 20% difference starts to look a little bigger. and it may be simpler to get the 2,000 impressions either at a better click through rate or at a lower cost per click than 2,500.

Even at this level, the cost of getting these visitors is €80 compared with the original €100. So you have a further €20 to spend. These 10 extra visitors will give you a quarter of your next sale - small potatoes, maybe - but think about leveraging that through a larger campaign and you can quickly see the benefits.

Once you know that your page will convert better, you can now start to focus on other aspects of the campaign - concentrating the budget on those keywords with a better click through rate. If you can improve your CTR from 2% to 2.5% then now, to get your 40 visitors you only need 1,600 impressions - and these may be closer to your "core" - i.e. more closely related keywords.

And, all things being equal - the closer you are to your core, the better qualified the visitors will be and the better your conversion rate should become. If your conversion rate can increase from 2.5% to 3% you now get 1.2 sales from the same traffic.

And now you need only 33 visitors to get each sale. At the original 1€ per visit your costs have dropped from €100 to €66... and so on.

With the insight and improvements that you can make to your site through Google Content Network Experiments you can steadily drive down you costs and improve your returns by making incremental changes to your website without having to rely on intuition or guesswork.

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