Articles in The 'A/B & Multivariate Testing' Tag

July 24 2012

How to Create a Content Experiment in Google Analytics

by Theo Bennett

In my last post, I discussed the deprecation of Google Website Optimizer and Google’s Announcement of Content Experiments in Google Analytics. As a quick reminder, Website Optimizer is a testing tool that automates A/B and multivariate experiments. Content Experiments is an A/B testing tool that is integrated into Google Analytics. The benefits of such integration are many:

  • Less code to implement
  • Analyze and test from the same interface
  • Easier to deploy (See the first bullet above)

Creating A Content Experiment in 7 Easy steps.

So you may be thinking, “Seven steps? In the GA interface there are only 4 steps!” And you are correct, there are four steps to creating an experiment, but there are three critical prerequisites.

  1. As you have probably discerned, a Content Experiment is for testing another version of content. You will need to have already identified a critical page in your conversion funnel or an underperforming landing page to test.
  2. After selecting your test case or “A” page, you need to have a hypothesis to test. For example, if you move the shipping cost calculations to this page/step in the checkout flow, more visitors will proceed to the next step and purchase your products.
  3. Once you have your hypothesis of how to make your conversions jump, you’ll need someone (creative team, vendor, freelancer) to create the new design/ functionality etc. of the B page that incorporates your great new idea(s).
  4. Once you have the prerequisites complete; drill into the GA Interface and go to Content>Experiments and enter the location of the page you want to improve.
  5. Enter the location of the “B” version of the page that you’d like to test.
  6. Set your options. Remember that you must have goals configured and the larger the audience, the faster you’re likely to have a winner declared.
  7. Add extra, system generated coding to the “A” Page and have GA verify that all elements are in place.

So the final step is to launch your experiment. In our next post, we’ll explore some next steps and best practices once the experiment is complete. For now, you should know that once you’ve launched the experiment, GA will dynamically serve your “B” page instead of the original page at the rate that you’ve determined in step 6 above. Once the system has enough data to determine which page (A or B) is more effective; it will declare a winner and you’re on your way to more conversions!

July 2 2012

Announcing Content Experiments in Google Analytics

by Theo Bennett

After your last log-in to Google Analytics (GA) you may have noticed that you have access to a new sub-section of the content reports. Google has launched Content Experiments by integrating an A/B testing tool into GA. Google also announced that Google Website Optimizer (GWO) will be going dark sometime in August 2012 as a result. Therefore, the rollout began with users that have run an experiment in Google Website Optimizer (GWO is an A/B and multivariate testing tool) and is continuing gradually to all users. If you are not sure whether you have this new feature yet, browse to Content > Experiments.

So is this a big deal? YES! If I’m not telling people they should always be segmenting then I’m saying you should always be testing. Content Experiments in GA allow you to run an experiment and improve your website performance right from where you do your analysis. Previously, you would identify a poor performing landing page in GA, for example, and then you would need to log-in to a testing tool like GWO to set up an experiment.

In addition to the unified analysis and testing that GA now provides; it’s also become easier to launch a test using a 4 step process that only requires you to have Google analytics coding on your site and a small extra control script on the A version in your test.

In my next post I’ll walk you through setting up an experiment, but for now you should know that you must have the control script on the A page as I mentioned above and a B version must also be live on your site for the experiment to launch. So you’ll also need a little help from your web team for the code and perhaps creative teams for the new landing page version. Start thinking of what you’d like to test and we will walk through how to tackle it.

September 7 2011

Elements to Test Using GWO

by Emily Creech

Website testing is something that we as an agency can’t stress enough. Despite what some may say, there’s really only one way to tell if a particular change is going to lead to increased conversions, and that’s through testing. Every website is different, with different calls-to-action and different audiences. What may resonate with the visitors for one website and its audience may not for another.

So where do you begin when it comes to testing? First, I would recommend the use of Google Website Optimizer (GWO). This tool can make your experiments run much more smoothly than conducting manual tests. (We wrote a great post on the 6 critical steps for starting your Google Website Optimizer experiments.)

Next, you will need to determine what you want to test. Is your website an ecommerce website? If so, there are almost endless elements you could test. You may consider starting with:

  • Your call-to-actions. These are probably throughout your website in multiple places — on the homepage, category pages, product pages, etc. Try changing these elements. If you currently don’t have a button, such as Buy Now or Add to Cart, on your product pages, I would definitely start there. Your website visitors have grown accustomed to looking for buttons, particularly on ecommerce websites. If you are using buttons, review their size and color. Some studies have shown that orange buttons out perform red buttons. Test to see what works best for your audience.
  • Elements within your shopping cart. Do you currently feature secure symbols to help build trust and credibility? Are you asking for too much information in the first step of the check out process? The only way to know is by testing.
  • The homepage. Are you featuring calls-to-action to drive visitors to certain top sellers, products or brands? Do you have too many calls-to-action on your homepage that might be confusing visitors?

All of these types of test may seem small, but small changes like these can mean the world of difference when it comes to conversions. Begin running tests on your website soon. The holidays are just around the corner and you want to enter the holiday season with your best performing website yet.

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