I frequently get asked why I choose Google Website Optimizer (GWO) over other platforms (Optimost, Visual Website Optimizer & Adobe Test & Target). It’s as though people believe that using a paid platform, they’re going to see much larger increases in conversion rates over time than if they used GWO for example.
Reasons for Google Website Optimizer (GWO)
Ultimately, it’s not about the platform you use to test – it’s all about what you choose to test. Here’s why I choose Google Website Optimizer:
- It’s fast (especially now that it uses asynchronous tracking)
- It’s free
- Integrates well with Google Analytics (both with logins and through custom variables)
- Lots of documentation and support if necessary
- Can be extremely flexible from a development perspective
Reasons Against GWO
Here’s why I wouldn’t use GWO (and might explore other platforms):
- Tagging is a pain (Sitespect, VWO, Vertser and Optimost are all virtually tagless) – especially with TinyMCE-based editors
- Tagging can mess with your GA cookies
- Cross-domain tracking is horrible
- Segmentation and other advanced features are very difficult to achieve (but it’s possible)
In short, I think many people overrate the importance of MVT platforms. At the end of the day, it’s what you test that will give you the right result. The tool you use is just a means to an end. As long as it’s accurate, reliable and does the job effectively, you can’t really go wrong.
Which Platform Should you Use?
In my opinion, GWO will be suitable for 90% of situations. However, it cannot hurt to read through these two sites and compare other MVT platforms on the market:
You’ll be surprised at how good the functionality is out there.