The latest version of Google Analytics has embedded content experiment function which allows site administrator, webmaster to conduct what used to be Website Optimizer can do with the exception of multivariate testing, a stand-alone site improvement product by Google.
Visual page design is blamed to be a very subjective issue, oftentimes we get caught between different groups of users or stakeholders in picking up the “right approach of design”. In addition to inviting users to come forward for our usability test, I recommend my teammates to try out this content experiment function in Google Analytics.
Why A/B test is important? In a recent visit to Hong Kong, eBay Vice President (Greater China) John Lin, addressed to a group of suppliers that the US-based eCommerce enabling company has been a heavy users of split test. Mr Lin said they could not take the risk of changing design or functional elements of key pages by not taking the test thoroughly.
“Any change in design may impact on multi-million dollars on our users, we tested color, headlines, action button everytime we made changes. ” He said.
In an attempt to improve or test the effectiveness of home page, landing pages or product detail pages in e-Commerce site, Google Analytics offers this content experiment focusing on any single page that helps visitors accomplish a specific goal.
Doing A/B test or split test is a common practice to find out which layout design, content render best conversion. The idea is to create 2 (can be more than 2) identical pages with only one variation that may have impact on users’ behavior. The variation can be one of following:
- Long and short title
- Marketing copy
- Graphic images
- Action button
- Link or text color
- Font size or type
There are several considerations while conducting the A/B test content experiment in Google Analytics
- To have Google Analytics tracking code in place at the very beginning. Setting up a Google Analytics account is very easy and can be done within days
- To make sure which page you need to test e.g. Home page, Product Details page etc
- To duplicate the page to be experimented.If your site is custom made, you may want to check with your webmaster. In case you are using WordPress or Mangento e-Commerce platform for your own online store, you can create pages in these 2 systems with different urls
- Decide what goal to be improved
- Decide the percent of users to be participated in the experiment
- Copy and paste an experiment code in the original page or page A
- The more page variations (such as, 3 or 4 different pages with separate urls) to be tested, the longer the test should be taken in order to get a sample size large enough to decide which page is better
For more details about the setup, you can view Google Analytics tutorial as belows: