Increasing Conversions Using Google Website Optimizer

Earlier this year, Jason Fried of 37signals shared in the Signal v. Noise blog results from an experiment with the signup page for one of their products, Highrise.  Prior to reading Jason’s post, I hadn’t heard about Google Website Optimizer. Thanks to Jason, Google Website Optimizer has helped crowdSPRING to optimize numerous pages to increase conversions.

Google Website Optimizer is a free tool that helps you test and increase your site’s conversion rates. You can test variations of text, images, and other content. It’s not perfect, but it’s easy to use and provides a very compelling way to test and increase conversions.

We’ve used the Website Optimizer for numerous tests on our site, including the home page, our “how it works page”, and on certain other pages to test specific elements. If you wonder whether the effort is worth it – it absolutely is.

Let me illustrate by showing you how crowdSPRING optimizes to increase conversions. On our “Post a Project” page, we let the buyer set the price for their project. We’ve set minimums in every category (example: $200 for logo design in standard projects and a higher price for stationery design).

When buyers post projects, they often wonder how much to pay. To help them set a fair price, we do two things on our “Post a Project” page. First, we include a short factual statement that helps buyers understand the average level of participation when the award is less than $300, compared to the average level of participation when the award is more than $300 (the amounts in this example are for logo projects).

Text Comparing Participation below and above $300

Second, we try to visually help buyers understand whether the amount they’ve entered is LOW, AVERAGE, BEST, etc. To increase conversions, we try to find ways to show buyers why they should offer awards higher than $300 in logo projects.

At the moment, we are testing two different approaches. In the first approach, we are using color bars to signal to the buyer whether their award is reasonable. A buyer who enters the minimum amount in their project ($200 for a logo, for example), sees a red color bar with the text “VERY LOW”.

Color Bars - Low

Color Bars – Very Low

A buyer who sets a higher award amount ($1000 for a standard logo project, for example), sees a blue color bar with the text “BEST”. We have color variations and different messages in between those two examples.

Color Bars - Best

Color Bars – Best

We’ve been using “color bars” for a while, but have wondered whether we can improve in this area. So, we are testing a different approach at the moment – a speedometer to communicate the same information, as you can see in the two examples below.

Speedometer - Very Low

Speedometer – Very Low

Speedometer - Best

Speedometer – Best

What did we learn?

We are not finished with this particular test, so we don’t have final results yet. We are seeing some conversion differences between the “color bars” and “speedometer”. Would you expect to see a difference? Why? Can you suggest another combination that we should try that could help us to increase conversions?