Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How To Build a Much More Useful Split-Tester in Excel Than Google's Website Optimizer

A Better Split Tester

Done in Excel Than

Google Website Optimizer

Google AdWords’ Website Optimizer is a great tool to run split-tests on landing pages in your AdWords account. You can, however, easily create a much more versatile split-tester with Excel that produces exactly the same result as the Website Optimizer but is much simpler to use.

This article and the video below will provide specific instructions on how to produce a split-tester in Excel that produces exactly the same result as the Website Optimizer because it runs the same statistical test (a one-tailed, two-sample, unpaired hypothesis test of proportion), but the Excel Split-Tester can be used in almost any marketing situation that would employ split-testing in any general way.

The Optimizer is a tool built into Google AdWords and can only be used in that medium.

Step-By-Step Video About How To Create an Excel Split-Tester That Is Much More Useful Than Google's Web Site Optimizer
(Is Your Sound Turned On?)

Google Web Site Optimizer in Action

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Close-Up of the Above Screen

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Excel Split-Tester Performing the Same Comparison

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This is also the same Statistical test that the Excel Split-Tester performs

Example of Everyday Marketing Use of the Excel Split-Tester

The Excel split-tester that you’ll make can be applied to almost any marketing situation. For example, you could easily use your Excel split-tester to determine whether a change made to a direct mail campaign really made a difference.

The Google Website Optimizer runs the statistical hypothesis test on the number of clicks and number of conversion that each landing page elicits. The hypothesis test calculates the probability that the result obtained – one landing page having a higher conversion rate than the other – is true and not just the result of random luck.

How I Use the Excel Split-Tester

I use this Excel split-tester all the time in my job as an Internet marketing manager and I really enjoy its ease of use. All I have to do is plug a couple numbers right out of my AdWords account into the Excel split-tester and I have my answer in a second. The Excel split-tester has none of the set-up requirements that there are inherent with the Google AdWords Website Optimizer.

When I use the split-tester to test AdWords landing pages against each other, I will normally conclude that one landing page converts better when the split-tester states there is at least an 80% chance that the result obtained - one conversion rate is higher than the other – is a real and not just a chance occurrence.

The above video also provides a statistical derivation of the functionality of the split-tester.

Conclusion - It's the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread for the Marketer

If you are a marketer, you will get a lot of great use out of this extremely versatile and powerful tool.

Feel free to provide any comments to this article. Also, if you have any other ways of using Excel to optimize your AdWords account, let us know. Your input and opinions are highly valued!

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