Upgrades To Google Analytics Content Experiments

google analytics iconA few weeks ago Google Analytics launched Content Experiments, a new testing functionality that can be used to create A/B/N tests to optimize campaigns and overal website experience.

Last week Google announced 3 upgrades that will make testing with the tool significantly easier and more powerful. Below I discuss each of the upgrades and how they can enhance testing with Google Analytics

1. Ability To Copy Experiments

This new functionality is valuable as it allows marketers to perform additional tests to the same page without modifying the codes, which makes the process much shorter. In order to copy an experiment, go to your experiment results page and click on “View settings” as shown below:

content experiments settings

On the settings page, on the bottom-right corner you will find the “Copy experiment” button, as seen below:

content experiments copy

After clicking the button, you will get the following message: “Copying an experiment will copy the current settings into a new experiment—where you can adjust as you desire. It will not affect the current experiment. There is no need to reinstall the experiment code on your test page in order to run the copy.”

2. Support For Relative URLs For Variation Pages

This upgrade is extremely important as it allows website owners to test different page versions without having to create multiple URLs, they can simply create a version that has a different URL parameter (either using a “?” or a “#”). This is critical, for example, for ecommerce websites that want to test different versions for a product template page. Using relative URLs they will now be able to to that.

In addition, it is important for websites using multiple domains (such as Top Level Domains) where the URL is the same with the exception of the domain. According to the help article:

Relative URLs offer more flexibility in defining the location of the variations. Content Experiments takes the concept of relative URLs as used in hyperlinks since the early days of HTML and applies it to the definition of variations. This means the variations may inherit parts of the original URL (e.g. the domain, the domain and path, etc.). Using relative URLs doesn’t conflict with parameter propagation. This means that any parameter not specified in the variation will be copied over from the original page at runtime.

3. Improvements To The Experiments Report

Google added standard report capabilities to the experiment reports, such as: Site Usage (Pages/Visit, Time on Page, Bounce Rate and % of New Visits), Goal Sets (includes all goals), Ecommerce, and Adsense. This means that from now users will be able to compare the page variations based on all the metrics, not only the goals defined while setting the experiment.

Closing Thoughts

As expected, Google will improve the tool in fast pace. On my launch post I wrote the following list of missing features. Google started solving it from last to first:

  1. Multivariate Testing not be available anymore.
  2. E-commerce transactions as the goal not be available
  3. Maximum of 5 variations per test.
  4. Maximum of 12 active tests per profile.
  5. Implement the control snippet code once and leave it on the page for future tests.

Also check this step-by-step guide on how to create A/B Tests using Google Analytics Content Experiemnts.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Analytics | Channel: Analytics | Google: Analytics


About The Author: is the Founder of Conversion Journey, a Google Analytics Certified Partner. He is also the founder of Online Behavior, a Marketing Measurement & Optimization website. You can follow him on Google+ or Twitter.

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  • http://www.vejaisso.com/ Felipe Veiga

    Daniel, thanks for sharing. Relative url has been a great +1 to the experiments.
    I wanted however to track adsense and social sharing as goals, do you know anyway to do so? 

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