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Optimize your e-commerce store with Google Website Optimizer

Reduce the bounce rate and increase conversions

Google Web Site Optimizer Google Website Optimizer is a free set of tools that can help you increase the effectiveness of your Web pages. It automatically displays different content to different Web site visitors to understand what works best.

Applied to your ProductCart-powered e-commerce store, this means, for example…

  • Find out which offer advertised on the home page translates into more orders (e.g. free shipping or 10% off?)
  • Change the look of pages such as Best Sellers or New Arrivals to minimize the bounce rate

The bounce rate is the rate ( = percentage of total visits) at which people see the page and leave. For example, an 80% bounce rate on a certain page means that 80% of visitors to the page leave, without clicking through another page on your Web site or Web store. This important statistic is readily available in you Google Analytics Web traffic reports. Google Analytics is fully integrated with ProductCart.

Custom ProductCart pages for use with Google Website Optimizer

Your e-commerce store includes a number of pages that are a good candidate for optimization using Google Website Optimizer. Shopping cart pages must be “prepared” for use with Website Optimizer. This section of the ProductCart WIKI is a work-in-progress as new pages will be released for use with Website Optimizer over time.

You can now use Google Website Optimizer with your ProductCart-powered e-commerce store to optimize key landing pages

Download and Install

  • Download updated ProductCart pages for use with Google Website Optimizer
  • Unzip the file and locate the folder that applies to your store setup:
    • Stores without the Apparel Add-on: use the files in the “ProductCart” folder
    • Stores that use the Apparel Add-on: use the files in the “ProductCart + Apparel Add-on” folder
  • In each folder you will find two sub-folder: “Parent Paths Enabled” and “Parent Paths Disabled”. Use the one that applies to your store (learn more about this setting).
  • Upload the files to their respective folders on your Web store. Remember that the pcadmin folder has likely been renamed on your store.
  • Log into your ProductCart Control Panel and load the page pcWSO_start.asp
    Bookmark this page so that you can quickly go back to it. There is no link to the Google Website Optimizer start page in the default Control Panel navigation, since this page is not included in the default ProductCart files.
  • The store database will be updated and you will then be redirected to the Google Website Optimizer start page.

Google Analytics and SEO files

There is no overlap between the pages edited for Google Analytics (see link above) and the SEO files, so you can download and use these pages even if you are using the SEO files (keyword rich URLs).

Using WSO with ProductCart

Select a page

On the first screen, select a page that you wish to work with. You have the following options at this time (other pages will be added in the future):

  • Home page
  • New Arrivals
  • Best Sellers
  • Show Specials

Click on Select Page to continue.

Start a new experiment

Now you will leave ProductCart for a moment and log into your Google Website Optimizer account to start a new experiment:

  1. Select Create New Experiment
  2. Select Multivariate
  3. Click I've completed… and select Next
  4. Now go back to the ProductCart page, which displays two links (URLs).
    1. Test page URL
    2. Conversion page URL
  5. Copy and paste the links in the corresponding fields. Specifically, you will need to enter each URL in the corresponding input field on the page New Multivariate Experiment - Step 1: Set up test and goal pages.
  6. Now click on the Continue button at the bottom of the same page.
    Don't worry if Google WSO shows you the message ”We could not retrieve your page using the URL provided.” Simply check the check box ”The URL is correct. I will take alternative steps to validate my experiment.
  7. On the page Step 2: Install and validate JavaScript tags, to the question Who will install and validate the JavaScript tags? answer Your web team will install and validate JavaScript tags. Here is a screen shot of how the Google WSO page looks like. Make sure to select the correct option, as shown in the screen shot.
    Google Website Optimizer screen shot shows you which option to select
  8. Copy the long URL that is shown to you, go back to the ProductCart page and copy the URL in the input field located in the Retrieve Experiment Tags section of the ProductCart page.

Save the Experiment Tags and Check Status

  • Now click on Install Script Tags to save the Google Website Optimizer experiment tags to the store database
  • Validate page: you can now validate whether the experiment scripts are working properly. Google WSO will let you know whether there is an issue or whether the page is ready for the new experiment. To validate the page, click ”Check Status” to view the installation status. The screen should show the following:
    After installing the JavaScript tags in your ProductCart Control Panel you can validate the page in Google WSO by using the Check Status button

Define variations

Next, you can define how you want the sections of the pages controlled by ProductCart to change. Google Website Optimizer will then serve different variations to your store visitors, and you will be able to decide which ones perform better, removing the non-performing ones.

The following sections examine which sections of the page you can control with Google Website Optimizer.

Supported Pages

The following pages have currently been setup for use with Google Website Optimizer:

  • Home Page
  • Best Sellers
  • New Arrivals
  • Specials

More pages can certainly be setup for use with WSO. Advanced users can compare the source code of a page like “Best Sellers” with (the file you download from this page) and without (your existing file) the WSO code and will immediately understand how the system works.

Page Sections Controlled by GWO

Home Page

There are three sections of the Home page, which you will be able to alter via Website Optimizer.

  1. The main heading at the top of the page (H1 tag), whose text is normally a text string that is stored in the file “includes/languages.asp”.
    Section name: HomePageTitle.
    Source code: the specific code that will be replaced by WSO is:
    <h1><%=response.write dictLanguage.Item(Session("language")&"_mainIndex_11")%></h1>

  2. The page description, whose content is normally set via the “Manage Home Page” feature in the Control Panel.
    Section name: HomePageDescription.
    Source code: the specific code that will be replaced by WSO is:

    <div class="pcPageDesc"><%=pcStrHPDesc%></div>

  3. The “Product of the Month”, a feature that can be turned on via the “Manage Home Page” feature in the Control Panel.
    Section name: HomePageProductOfTheMonth.
    Source code: the specific code that will be replaced by WSO is a subroutine defined in homecode.asp

    pcs_ProductOfTheMonth

The page descriptions are styled by default with a light yellow background color. You can change or remove this by editing the “pcPageDesc” class in the file pc/pcStorefront.css

Best Sellers

There are two sections of the Best Sellers page that you will be able to alter via Website Optimizer.

  1. The main heading at the top of the page (H1 tag), whose text is normally a text string that is stored in the file “includes/languages.asp”.
    Section name: BestSellersTitle.
    Source code: the specific code that will be replaced by WSO is:
    <h1><%response.write dictLanguage.Item(Session("language")&"_viewBestSellers_2")%></h1>

  2. The page description, whose content is normally set via the “Manage Best Sellers” feature in the Control Panel.
    Section name: BestSellersDescription.
    Source code: the specific code that will be replaced by WSO is:

    <div class="pcPageDesc"><%=pcStrBestSellDesc%></div>

New Arrivals

There are two sections of the New Arrivals page that you will be able to alter via Website Optimizer.

  1. The main heading at the top of the page (H1 tag), whose text is normally a text string that is stored in the file “includes/languages.asp”.
    Section name: NewArrivalsTitle.
    Source code: the specific code that will be replaced by WSO is:
    <h1><%response.write dictLanguage.Item(Session("language")&"_viewNewArrivals_2")%></h1>

  2. The page description, whose content is normally set via the “Manage Best Sellers” feature in the Control Panel.
    Section name: NewArrivalsDescription.
    Source code: the specific code that will be replaced by WSO is:

    <div class="pcPageDesc"><%=pcStrNewArrDesc%></div>

Specials

There are two sections of the Specials page that you will be able to alter via Website Optimizer.

  1. The main heading at the top of the page (H1 tag), whose text is normally a text string that is stored in the file “includes/languages.asp”.
    Section name: SpecialsTitle.
    Source code: the specific code that will be replaced by WSO is:
    <h1><%response.write dictLanguage.Item(Session("language")&"_viewSpc_2")%></h1>

  2. The page description, whose text is normally a text string that is stored in the file “includes/languages.asp”.
    Section name: SpecialsDescription.
    Source code: the specific code that will be replaced by WSO is:

    <div class="pcPageDesc"><%=pcStrSpecialsDesc%></div>

Examples

For example, the first page section defined in home.asp to be controlled by Website Optimizer corresponds to the H1 tag that creates the page headline. By default, it reads:

<h1>Our featured products this month include...</h1> 

On our ProductCart Software Store home page - for example - we created a new variation to be served as an alternative H1 tag. The code that we entered on Website Optimizer, replacing the default one, is:

<h1>Increase sales by listing products on eBay</h1>
<h2>Use the new eBay Add-on to easily list your store products on eBay</h2>

Remember that…

  • You can create as many variations as you like.
    As shown in the example above, you don't have to replace the existing content with a new version of the same. It can be something completely different (e.g. we added an H2 tag below the H1 tag). For instance you could replace text with a banner, or a more complex layout of images, text, etc.
  • Google WSO will generate combinations of all of the variations you have added
  • You can eliminate combinations that you don't want to use (see how)
  • Once the experiment has been launched, you cannot change it (you cannot change the content being shown). The only thing you can do is disable one or more combinations (more on this).

Launch

You are now ready to launch your experiment.

Help on Google Website Optimizer

For Help on how to best use Google Website Optimizer, please see: http://www.google.com/support/websiteoptimizer/

Technical Notes

WSO Script Tags

The edited storefront pages automatically load the Google Website Optimizer experiment scripts when they detect an active experiment (experiment script tags saved to the store database). Specifically:

  • home.asp, showspecials, showBestSellers.asp, and showNewArrivals.asp load the control script and tracking script
  • orderComplete.asp loads a conversion script tag for each of the active experiments

Source Code Comments

All sections of the source code that pertain to WSO are heavily commented and can be easily recognized. For example, the sections of the page (page elements) that can be controlled via WSO are enclosed by comments that look as follows:

'*******************************
' Google Website Optimizer
' Page Section: Title - START
'*******************************

... code here ...

'*******************************
' Google Website Optimizer
' Page Section: Title - START
'*******************************

Technical Support

We expanded the integration with Google Website Optimizer (WSO) to help you make your store perform even better than it is today. However, Google WSO is a sophisticated (although free) service and does have a learning curve, especially for new users.

Therefore, we cannot provide technical support on how to use or best take advantage of Google Website Optimizer.

We will only provide technical support on issues that are specific to the ProductCart files provided above.


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