How To Use Google Website Optimizer To Make More Money In The Next Five Minutes

Are you split testing yet? Split testing is the internet marketing equivalent of flossing -- but it doesn't have to be anymore!

Marketers usually lie and tell people they split test, but if we are lucky, they do it once a month, and not on a daily basis.  Like both things, the irony is that it only takes a few seconds and it saves a lot of frustration later.

Do you ever wonder if you might have a better headline than the one you are using now?  Do you ever wake up at night wondering if you should charge less or more than what you are charging now?  What if that extra bonus on your sales letter is reducing your sales? Should you use long or short copy or even a video sales letter instead of a written one?

You can all these questions for your particular niche, your audience, and your offer by split testing.  Once you split test, nobody can argue with you.  Because Google Website Optimizer, like most of Google's services, run on their server and not yours, it is pretty easy to set up.  You just have to copy and paste a few lines of code onto your web page.


I am going to give you the basic steps of setting up your own split tests right here.

Step 1: Create Two Versions Of The Same Page

You first need to decide what you are going to split test.  I start with the headline.  Here is something interesting, I once increased conversions by 19.6% just by adding quotes around my headline.  What does this mean? It means for every $100 dollars that I made from that site.  By having quotes around the headline, I would instead make $119 dollars.  For every $1,000 dollars I made on that site.  Instead by having quotes around the headline, I would make $1,196 dollars.  You can see how that adds up over time.

The most aggravating thing about split testing is you don't always know exactly why a certain change makes a difference. Maybe having quotes around my headline makes it look more official and gets them to read longer.  I'm not sure.  I do know from testing that it works.

If you don't know what to split test, enter quotes around the headline, remove a couple of words from the headline, or remove or add a sub-headline. Just make a quick change, don't over think it.  Spend about 10 seconds making a slightly different version of your sales letter.

Now you should save that new sales letter as index2.php.  It means that your normal sales letter is named index.php.  You alternate sales letter is called index2.php.  Once you get Google optimizer set up, it is going to send half your traffic to index.php, the other half to index2.php to figure out which one gets you more sales.

Step 2: Create Campaign

The next step is to create your Google Website Optimizer Campaign.  If you have an AdWords account, you can simply log in, go to the reporting tab and click on website optimizer.  If you don't use AdWords, just go to Google and search for Google Website Optimizer and you will find a page to sign up.  It's free and it's easy.

Once you are logged in, you should see a link that says Create Experiment. You are going to click that link and create an A/B Experiment.  GWO allows you to either run AB test, which is what we are doing where you compare two versions of a page versus multivariate, which requires a lot more traffic which we are not going to use.

Click on A/B Experiment, go to the next step and then create an experiment name.  Most people skip this step, name is something stupid like split test 1.  Name it the name of your site, plus whether it is a sales letter or squeeze page.  For example, Action Pop Up Sales Letter would be the name of my Google Website Optimizer experiment.

The next step is to identify the pages you want to test.  You are only comparing two versions of a page, so you are going to put in the URL to your original page.  For example, and then you are going to name and give the URL for your alternate page, for your variation page.  For example, "Subheadline" that way you know what the difference is between your original and alternate sales letter.  You are going to add the page variation URL, for example

Finally, you are going to give them the URL for your conversion page, for example This way the service knows what your two test pages are and what is your download page, click continue.

Copy and paste the tracking code from this service.  Website Optimizer is going to give you four pieces of code. It will tell you exactly which pages to place it on.  For the original page, that index.php file.  It's going to give you a control code to place at the top of the page.

What this is going to do is decide if your visitors should be viewing index.php or index2.php.  It will make sure that an equal amount of traffic will be sent to both pages.

Next it is going to give you two pieces of tracking code, one code to place at the bottom of index.php and one to place at the bottom of index2.php.  Even though this code looks scary, it is just a hit counter.  It is going to figure out how many people viewed your index.php file and how many viewed you index2.php file.

Finally it is going to give you conversion code which you place on your download page.  This is another hit counter that will only count if someone gets to your download page.

Step 3: Let It Run

Can you see how all the pieces are working together now? When somebody comes to your site, first it is going to decide to send them to index.php or index2.php.  Let's pretend they got sent to index2.php, it's then going to load the tracking code and say "ah ha" they viewed index2.php.  Then the person might leave or they might buy.  If they do buy, they will end up on your download page and then website optimizer will make a note of that, and notice that index2.php happens to make this particular sale.

Let it run until the end. This service will keep track of which page is winning and will run a statistical formula to decide when it is time to stop split testing.

If one of your pages, either index.php or index2.php got a lot more sales than the other, it will decide the clear winner.  For example, your index2.php page with the quotes on the headline might be the winner, and now you know you have improved your conversion rate and have more money.

Delete index.php and replace index.php with index2.php since it is now the clear winner.  You are not done.  Now it is time to start the process all over again and split test the next thing you want to test.  Maybe another change to the headline, a logo, bigger buy button, whatever you want, stop guessing and start split testing with Google Website Optimizer today.

Are you split testing yet? If not, what's your deadline for your next split test to go live?  Comment below please...

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Comments (19)

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  1. Your point is so true. I like the concept of split-testing with Google Analytics and it makes great sense instead of trying to play the Dr. PHP-ape trying to figure it out when there is already a tool available to do it.

    Will use split-testing for my next info-product combining good SEO with common business sense.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Sorry, Website Optimizer – and not Google Analytics. I had a brain-fart, thinking of something I should check up also. Pardon the mistake.

  3. Gitie House says:

    Thanks for showing us how to do this easily.

    Best Regards

  4. Jason Parker says:

    Super Robert,

    Split testing is the key to copywriting. You’re right about that. You gotta throw the Rules out the window and listen only to the numbers.

    It’s really your best teacher.

    Too bad I only know like 5 people who actually split test and you and Lance are included in that.

    Everyone else I know is just marketing blindfolded or listening to the advice of a copywriting guru who has high authority but whose own copy might pull even less than .25 a click.

    If you split test, then you can easily take a sales page and double or triple the profits… much easier than hiring an expensive copywriter but you can get the same or better results.


  5. John Bruin says:

    This is really a great post. Thank you for taking the time to share this tactic. I was not aware of it and now I have something else to work on.

    One Eyed King


  6. Britt Malka says:

    I am, sometimes. Far from every time, I must confess.

    I use the build in possibility to do split testing in RAP. It’s so easy, in fact, that I should be punished not to do it every time

  7. Donna Maher says:

    Wow Robert,

    As busy as you are, you still manage to find time to share the coolest stuff with your readers. I didn’t know Google even offered a split testing utility. For those among us who have priced them or looked up how to do it, we already know it’s either expensive or else it’s a big major PITA.

    Robert, you’ve made it sound simple enough to *finally* add it into my multitudinous webmaster chores. God bless those who can afford to outsource… and He also blesses those of us who cannot – with people like YOU.

    I will set a goal to do this task within the next two weeks because I really have long needed to, but just never seemed to find the time (or maybe the necessary motivation) to do so. I have a site with a great product but sales are just dragging… and I have a feeling it’s poopy copywriting or a bad headline or the price is too low, but the only way to know for sure is to test!!

    Great & useful post as always.

    Thank you SO much,

  8. Thanks for a great tutorial on split testing, Robert.

    I’ve found Google Analytics to be very useful. The next step will be to use your process to get the most out of Google Website Analyzer.

  9. Well, Robert, you did it again—inspiring *and* practical. This I have to try! Thank so much as always.

  10. Thanks for this Robert – I need to get a sales page out there and although you’ll cringe at this, I need to do it before I try to split test because if I have to come up with another headline for testing right now, that will be another excuse for a great procrastination technique…you are really cool to be sharing this info with us.

    I wish you would leave comments open on other posts though for a bit longer even though I understand why you don’t. But there are questions/comments I have on your action comments and your drip methods and because I was out of commission the day they were posted, now I’m locked out…and no ONSTAR to let me back in…LOL


  11. Robert Plank says:

    You got it Terrie, I just adjusted it so it leaves comments open for the newest 5 posts… not sure how long I will keep it that way.

    Thanks for your participation today in the Make a Product class.

  12. Well, here’s a big fat chunk of honesty — I didn’t know a blinking thing about split testing till I landed on your blog today.

    I really like the idea of split testing headlines. After all, that’s the very first piece of the action people see! And in a matter of seconds,if they don’t like what they see, Poof! They’re gone and may never return again.

    Thanks, Robert. I’m going to need to watch the video more than twice. I’m a little apprehensive when it comes to HTML and messing around with source code.


  13. Thanks so much Robert – I love your stuff. You know that.
    And because I had been in the hospital I was able to attend live today – but not sure I want to repeat that performance no matter how terrific you are…LOL

    I’ll hurry over to do my posts.

    Thanks again

  14. This was new stuff for me, Robert.
    I’ll have to tell you that it’s overwhelming because it’s just something else to do, something else to add to my plate. I look forward to downsizing to just one business sometime in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, I must continue to take care of the “goose” that lays a big golden egg every month, while I’m continuing to build my online business slowly.
    Thanks for all the info. Sorry I couldn’t join you for your course today. I had appointments out of town that had been set long ago.


  15. Robert Plank says:

    No big deal Jeanne. You’ll be ready for split testing at some point.

  16. Warren says:

    Thanks Robert. I have known about split testing for years but thought I couldn’t do it myself.

    The detailed steps and explanation of what is happening in the split test filled in a lot of the holes in my knowledge. Now I know I don’t have to hire a marketer to do it for me.

    Thanks for a very informative and useful post.

  17. Ron Barrett says:

    Great stuff as usual Robert!

    I have been split testing one site but am also now thinking about split testing a squeeze page to find out what components will increase or decrease conversions. Never even thought about quotes around the headline… good idea!

    Just have to send enough traffic to the sites though to get accurate numbers, right?

    Keep up the fantastico work…

    FYI…MAP has given me a different perspective on outsourcing…I LIKE it!

  18. Mike Antoni says:

    Nice post. I cringe when I think how much more money I COULD have made over the years if I did a better job of testing.

    I am doing a better job now, but it took me a while. Google definitely makes it easier with GWO and analytics.

    Good to have this post on a clear getting started guide.

  19. Glenn says:

    Hi Robert, I signed up for Google website optimizer, because I have three squeeze pages I want to test on my site. After I entered all the codes that Google gave me, I expected to get a special link to send traffic to. I watched your video, and it looks like I did everything right.

    My question: Is the original url, the link I send traffic to? It would be a nice touch if Google told us that, if in fact it is the one to use. I searched Google’s no help help section, and couldn’t find an answer.

    With Google website optimizer, and your action popup, I should be able to get some good conversion numbers, with a little work.

    Thanks Robert

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