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Anyone who has been watching the grow of Google Analytic's feature set may not surprised by today's announcement that Google Website Optimizer is being shutdown and a similar feature called "Content Experiments" will be added to Google Analytics.
Google Website Optimizer was used to create A/B testing scenarios to see which elements of your website design could be changed to increase desired outcomes.
A/B testing is very popular in other industries however in the automotive retail industry, design changes are normally mandated by the OEM or rarely tested by the dealer once installed.
On a different but related note, Google Analytics has also added a very important set of "Social Media" tools and has introduced a new concept called "Social Media Assisted Conversions". Google Analytics is becoming a very important software platform that dealers need to leverage to investigate the ROI of their marketing investments. I'll be writing more about social assists in coming months.
Here is the official letter regarding Website Optimizer:
We’re saying goodbye to Google Website Optimizer. Many marketers and publishers have improved the web by using insights from Website Optimizer to create better experiences for their users. To elevate website optimization and provide one fully integrated tool for testing, content optimization will now have a new home within Google Analytics. The last day you’ll be able to access Google Website Optimizer will be August 1st, 2012.
If you’re looking to start a new experiment, please use our new tool, located within Google Analytics called Content Experiments. We've put a great deal of effort into providing this tool that makes testing as easy as possible.
Content Experiments comes with a simple set up wizard, identifies the statistically significant best variation, and provides insightful reports on your website engagement. This is just the first step we’re taking to simplify website testing, and we're looking forward to adding more experimentation features into Google Analytics.
If you’re not a Google Analytics user, we invite you to sign up now to get access to the new Content Experiments tool, which is available to all Google Analytics users. To learn more about the new Content Experiments tool, read our blog post or check out this video. Make sure you’re a Google Analytics user now to ensure uninterrupted experiments when Website Optimizer is shut down on Aug 1, 2012.
If you would like professional assistance in designing, implementing, or interpreting the results of a test, simply go to the Google Analytics Partner page and select "Website Optimizer" from the Specialization menu.
We hope you enjoyed using Website Optimizer and that you will find a lot of value in our new Content Experiments tool. Thank you for helping to make websites better.
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Brian Pasch, CEO