Content Experiments is a free tool provided by Google Analytics that helps to test different versions of a web page and select the one with the higher engagement or conversion rate for a specific goal. It allows testing multiple different versions of the same page simultaneously.
In order to start using it, the basic requirement is to have a Google Analytics account and have already installed its tracking code in your website. If it is already done, you have to perform the following steps in order to create your content experiments and optimize your pages:
Go to http://www.google.com/analytics and sign-in into your account.
Open the “Content” report category and click on “Experiments”. You will see the home page of content experiments. Click on “Start Experimenting” to begin.
In the first step of the configuration, enter a name for the experiment and then select an objective for it. An objective can be a site usage metric, an e-commerce metric, or a goal.
In the next field select the percentage of visitors who are going to be part of the experiment. The bigger the percentage of visitors, the faster the experiment will be completed.
In this step you can also enable e-mail notifications, when there is an important change in the experiment. Notifications can be sent to one or more users of this profile.
In the “Advanced options” section, there are two more settings. The first one defines the minimum time that the experiment will run. The second one defines a confidence threshold. The available values here are 95%, 99% and 99.5%. The higher this percentage, the more confident you can be that the results are correct (but it will take more time to complete the experiment).
In the second step of the configuration, define the original page, together with the different variations. Enable the checkbox “Consolidate experiment for other content reports”, so that all the different pages of the experiment appear as one in the standard Google Analytics reports.
- In the third step, you will see the required tracking code of the experiment. You have to copy it and paste it at the top of the original page of the experiment, after the closing </head> tag.
- In the fourth and final step, you can review the settings, add some notes if you want to and begin the experiment.
You can run one or more content experiments at the same time. When you visit the ”Experiments” page in Google analytics, you will see an overview of all of them, displaying their status and some basic metrics.
When there is a winner, the experiment is terminated. Usually, an experiment lasts from two weeks to up to three months. All you have to do is to replace your original page with the winner and continue optimizing your website by testing other pages and elements.