Google Optimizer on Magento: Where to start for maximum gain

Magento has Google Optimizer tools built in and so it makes sense to use them.  Google Optimizer allows you to present different content options to your prospective customers and then tracks which version converts more.  On top of this Google Optimizer has built in probability formulae that understand when a result is a ‘confident result’ rather than a random occurrence. To get a confident result you need to either have a test that is really obviously better or a decent number of transactions.  But as a rule of thumb if you are getting more than 10 transactions a day then you can benefit from using Google Optimizer.

Where to start?

If you have a lower number of transactions it makes sense to start optimizing on the pages that most people see.  This tends to be the home and checkout pages of the site. However we need not guess the best place to start when we have good data available to tell us exactly. We can find the best place to start by looking at Google Analytics.  Google Analytics should be setup using Ecommerce mode and to be tracking conversions, which is a standard part of Magento as long as you have entered the Google ID in the Google API area of Magento’s configuration settings. In Google Analytics go to ‘content’ Then top content Then set the time line for Google Analytics to show a decent length of time.  I am using 6 months in my example – just use as much data as you have since the site has been stable and not changed. On the top content screen find the right most column called $ index – the $ index is the average value for a page that a user visited before completing an Ecommerce transaction.  Ordering by the $ index will give you the most valuable pages on your site.  However you also need to click on ‘weighted sort’ to give you not only the most valuable pages but the most relevant valuable pages.  Without weighted sort you are only going to see the pages that randomly got high values because an odd buyer used them to make a big purchase.  By using weighted sort we can filter out these anomalies. On the site I am looking at for this example this gives me the following pages As you can see these are all checkout pages which are NOT part of the inbuilt Google Optimizer set of tools that Magento supplies.  Whilst I have personally run split tests here, its tricky and not something I can easily show you.  However you can optimise these pages by creating a ‘goal’ funnel and looking at the profile, but I want to cover that in another blog post. So what I am going to do is to scroll through the list until I find one of the following pages that is built into Magento to Google Optimizer test
    • Product page
    • CMS page – (this could be a Google Adwords landing page and in many of my sites these are the best pages to test as they drive a significant proportion of my revenue)
In my example site the first page I find is not the home page as I would have expected but instead a product page.  It just goes to show how important it is to look at the stats before deciding where to test. The product I can use to test is worth $102 and thus a decent sale for the site and must have a fair number of transactions to rank this highly.  So this is where I would start. I am not going to go through how to actually setup the experiment as there are plenty of good blog tutorials available – just Google “Google Optimizer for Magento” – but I wanted to show you where to test first as this will actually allow you to make the most important changes to your site first.

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