This morning, Google announced a new feature in Analytics a new feature out of Analytics, called Content Experiments, which will make it easier than ever to experiment on and optimize your key web pages.
Check out Google’s own introductory video below, then read on to learn more about how to use Google Content Experiments.
How Google Content Experiments Work
Google Content Experiments enable you to determine which version of a page works most effectively with your site’s goals. It allows you to test the effectiveness of up to six different page variations by showing those variations to different site visitors, and calculating which variation achieves a specific goal most effectively.
What Kind of Goals Can You Test With Content Experiments?
You can test two kinds of Google Analytics goals:
- “URL Destination” goals – met when visitors view an important URL on the site like a high-value product or category page, your “contact info” page, or pages where your traffic makes you money.
- “Event” goals – take place when a website visitor performs a specific action on a page, such as adding a product to the shopping cart, subscribing to a newsletter list, or downloading a file.
(At this time you can’t use Content Experiments with the Google Analytics “avg visit duration” or “pages per visit” goals)
How To Get The Most Out of Your Google Content Experiments:
Getting the most out content experiments means making significant improvements to important pages as described above. But what kind of improvements should be made, and when? Here’s how to get the most out of your Content Experiments:
- Don’t test too many different things at once, so that you can be certain which changes lead to improvement.
- Make significant, bold changes when you test – this will help you be certain that the differences are meaningful.
- Make changes above the fold so that you can maximize the number of visitors who see your updates.
- Test your top pages first – you can get your results faster, and apply the results you get to other product pages as well.
- Test key elements such as product images, headlines, “add to cart” buttons & subscription forms, on key pages.
Which Pages Should You Test With Content Experiments?
High Traffic Pages are an good starting point. Testing these pages first ensures that your improvements will reach as many visitors as possible – and you get test results back faster on high-traffic pages. (Remember: your home page is probably the highest-trafficked page on the site. You should always be testing your home page.)
Conversion Pages are those that actually earn the goal conversions, such as pages with “add to cart,” “checkout,” & “pay now” buttons, contest entry forms, and e-mail subscription pages. Make these pages as effective as possible to maximize your conversions – starting with the most profitable pages.
Funnel Pages are important pages that lead people to the conversion pages (and ultimately to the goal). Improve them to capture a larger percentage of your potential customers.
Get Started With Google Content Experiments:
The first step is to identify the pages and the elements within them that you wish to test as described above. After that, you’ll produce new versions of that page – up to six per experiment. Once your variation pages have been created, it’s time to set up and run your experiment to see which variation wins.
To set up your new Content Experiment in Google Analytics, find the new “Experiments” tab under “Content”
Google’s own instructions on how to set up your first experiment provide a comprehensive list of instructions to follow. Once you’ve followed their instructions, and launched the experiment, you’re finished! Google Analytics will conduct the experiment and report the winning variation.
What Does This Mean For Google Website Optimizer Testing
It’s going away. As of August. Website Optimizer is becoming a part of Google Analytics. This means that split testing is simpler than before and that agencies and clients alike should find sweeping changes easier than ever to implement.
What about multivariate testing? We’re assuming that this is just the first feature to be migrated. While Multivariate testing has not yet been added to Google Analytics, there’s no reason to assume that it won’t be. In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye out for its inclusion.
Good luck and happy optimizing!