Google’s Free Multivariate Testing

With Google’s announcement of its Website Optimizer product, we understand now more than ever that HitTail is in the path of the Tornado. It’s fascinating that they named a paid campaign tool for multivariate A/B switch testing as website optimization. Technically, you’re optimizing your Google AdWords campaigns and landing pages for better conversion. What you’re NOT doing is optimizing your actual website to have more fundamental long-term effectiveness across multiple search engines and across great stretches of time. In other words, you’re not fundamentally optimizing your website, but rather simply making your currently active paid campaigns more effective.

None-the-less, this move by Google is going to swing the focus of the mainstream marketing world onto website optimization the same way Google’s acquisition of Urchin swung the attention onto analytics. But the big missing hole is turning analytics information into actionable data to improve conversions. Google Website Optimizer is a modest first step in that direction. But there’s still a huge disconnect between Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer. A great deal of expertise is required to go from data discovered in the former to A/B switch tests conducted in the later.

HitTail fills this gap by explicitly telling you what to write about in new content to be added to your website. You can use this content on paid campaign landing pages, but if they’re technically well search-optimized, you can double the benefit you’re getting from your work by creating pages that are also super-charged for free natural search listings. In this way, you can continually expand your website with ever-more-effective pages. Over time, the snowball effect can kick in and your actual reliance on paid clicks diminishes right as the paid campaign becomes more effective, thereby driving down your average cost-per-click.

Yes, it’s likely that unless something really shakes up the world of Web search, Google will be the dominant player for a very long time. And optimizing for search means optimizing for Google. But none-the-less, one should always be hedging their bets. And what better way to hedge your bets than to employ a strategy that is equally effective in Google search as it is in other search destination sites, and is free to boot?

HitTail is a genuine website optimization product because no matter the search engine today or in the future, there is always something about your site that is ALMOST working for you–and that’s where HitTail shines. It thrives on shifting, changing algorithms, because that stimulates a whole series of new writing suggestions to be issued, allowing you to stay aware of, and keep pace with change.

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