Google Website Improvements

One Seattle Company using a new site optimization service from Google Inc., introduced in beta to choose users in October and to all AdWords customers earlier this month, is already seeing advances on its site.

Bag Borrow or Steal Inc., a self-described Netflix for handbags, used Google's free Website Optimizer service to try to enhance the amount of people signing up for a newsletter.

"For our company, that's the foundation for our leads that we'll market to," said Mark Belanger, director of direct marketing for Bag Borrow or Steal.

Website Optimizer allows Web designers test different components of pages, including different elements such as headlines, images and calls to action. The optimizer automatically makes different mixtures of those elements and serves up the variations live. It then tracks how each page does.

"You can test two to 10,000 combinations, it depends on how ambitious you want to get and how much traffic you get," said Tom Leung, product manager for Website Optimizer at Google.

Google developed the service precisely to remove such deduction from site design, Leung said. "The problem we're trying to solve is really to sort of take Web page development out of the dark ages," he said. Typically, designers and marketers work together to come up with pages, using a "lot of guessing and a lot of intuition, which is often wrong," he said.

Beta users for Google Website Optimizer ranged from the very small corporation to larger organizations, including PC World, said Leung.

IDG News Service