Google’s Content Experiments offer a convenient way to test different web pages in order to increase conversion rate of visitor activities or metrics.
Since it is run through Google Analytics, it provides a way for content marketers and optimization specialists to easily run experiments and analyze the results all in one place.
Defining your test
Decide what you want to learn more about, to determine which page you will test, and how you plan to use the information you learn. Consider the following approaches:
- Pick a landing page that gets most of its traffic from a specific audience segment or channel, to learn more about their behavior and level of intent.
- Test a page that is focused on a priority product or goal, focusing on increasing the conversion rate of that product specifically
- Test routing your traffic to another existing page on your site. Choose a page with a low conversion rate as the control, and duplicate an existing page of your site and use it the variation. This way, you can see how your audience converts on one page over another.
Once you have your target audience and page defined you want to determine what element you wish to test. This can be copy, imagery, colors, or anything else that you think will make an impact on your visitors. You can either change one element at a time or compete different pages depending on your goals, amount of traffic, and timing needs.
Need somewhere to start? Here are our suggestions
- Test the color of a CTA button
- Test navigational elements vs. no navigation
- Test the position of a form on your landing page
- Test different imagery
Create your hypothesis by combining the audience, the element(s) you want to change and the metrics you want to influence. Have a rollout plan for what you will do with the information you learn from the test so you’re able to ensure use.
Setting up your experiment
Once you have done your planning, getting a Content Experiment started is fairly simple.
Go to Google Analytics: Behavior > Experiments > ‘Create Experiment’
Step 1: Name your experiment, decide the objective (ex: form completion), determine % of traffic to test (may want to test <100% if you want lower risk). We recommend a documentation plan be in place for experiment naming conventions, especially if you will be doing regular testing.
Step 2: Add URLs for the Original page and each Variant, test multiple variants up to 10, choose between even split between the pages or letting it run on algorithm.
Step 3: Take the experiment code generated and put it on the Original page, Google will provide feedback if it is not implemented correctly.
Step 4: Start experiment. The test will run for a minimum of three days and a maximum of 90 days until a winner is determined. Through the experiment, a portion (based on the number of variations) of traffic coming to your original page will automatically be redirected to your variation(s).
Analysis and Next Steps
Although CVR is the metric we are most often working to improve with a Content Experiment, there are also other metrics worth analyzing. For example, you can segment by device to see if those on mobile performed differently than those on desktop. Another option is to segment by visitor type to see if new vs. returning visitors performed differently. Channel could also be a valuable segment to review depending on your marketing goals.
Once a test is concluded, implement your learnings and optimize further and further through additional tests to keep increasing your conversion rate.