Google announced the "winners" of a website workout contest it ran a few months ago. Only four of the several hundred companies that entered the contest made the cut. The winners "improved their businesses with Website Optimizer,
Google’s free testing and optimization tool". That translated into increased conversions of lookers into customers.
Google touts its Website Optimizer as a "free website testing and optimization tool, (that)
allows you to increase the value of your existing websites and traffic
without spending a cent. Using Website Optimizer to test and optimize
site content and design, you can quickly and easily increase revenue
and ROI whether you're new to marketing or an expert".
The four winners included hotel company, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts. The company "experimented": with three variations of its home page to see which resulted in the most conversions. One version "A" had a large photo of a destination on its home page while version"B" had smaller photos with a third version having a large photo along with smaller photos. Using Google Optimizer, Outrigger found that the middle version garnered a 7% increase in conversions.
The bottom line is that Optimizer enables companies, hotels included, make informed decisions on websites based on active customer feedback rather than on corporate hunches.