How to Improve Website Performance with ‘Content Experiments’

Jun 11, 2012   //   by Obaidul Haque   //   internet marketing, SEO Blog  //  19 Comments

In one of my recent posts, I talked about conducting your first A/B test. Split or A/B testing is undoubtedly one of the most effective techniques to improve your website for better performance. Though there are several testing tools (free and paid) that you can use, Google Website Optimizer (GWO) has always done a great job to help you accomplish this task.

Now, you can test the performance of your website right from within Google Analytics. Yes, Google recently announced this feature (called ‘Content Experiments’) on its official analytics blog. It’s one more effort by Google to make Google Analytics the best measurement tool for tracking a site’s performance.

The ‘Content Experiments’ feature helps you create different versions of a web page, track the effectiveness of each version and determine the version that works best for your audience.

The best part is that you can now fulfill your goals of tracking, testing and optimizing your website all in one place i.e. Google Analytics. The advanced statistical engine added to the analytics tool makes it more powerful and more useful than ever. In addition, the website experimentation process becomes easier with ‘Content Experiments’.

Testing with ‘Content Experiments’ is easier because it -

Teaches you how to set up experiments
Helps you launch new tests instantly
Allows you to choose from goals you would like to test
Comes along with easier tagging options
Makes it easy to understand the performance of different versions
Identifies the version that makes the most impact quickly
Sends you regular email updates about the experiment (to be available soon)

At a time, you can test five different versions of a web page using the Content Experiments feature in Google Analytics. If you have set up a couple of goals in your account already, you can come up with different versions of the original page and find out which one brings a higher goal conversion.

How to Set Up an ‘Experiment’
Before you create an experiment in Google Analytics, you need to do your homework. This includes identifying the goals you plan to test, selecting your conversion page and creating the variants of the original page.

Once you’re done with the preparation part, you can follow these steps –

#1. Log in to your analytics account.
#2. Go to the profile you want to create experiment in.
#3. Move to the ‘content’ section and click ‘Experiments’.
#4. Now, click ‘Start Experimenting’.
#5. Give a name to your experiment and select the versions.
#6. Choose experiment options (select goals or add new goals).
#7. Add the experiment code to the original version.
#8. Get the experiment code verified.
#9. Preview the pages and click ‘Run Experiment Now’.

After you’ve set up a new experiment, you can also save the settings for using it later. Since every experiment has a specific name given by you, you can click the name and do what you want. Content Experiments also provides you with easy modification options, if you haven’t run the test yet.

So, is it time to say goodbye to GWO?
Actually, yes! After August 1, 2012, you won’t be able to use GWO (a standalone tool) anymore. Google has already started to implement its functionalities into Google Analytics’ Content Experiments. Therefore, you should now start setting up website experiments from Google Analytics to improve the performance of your websites. You can get started with Content Experiments (if it’s already available in your account) right away by logging into your analytics account and click ‘experiments’ within the content section of your regular diagnosis reports.

Is ‘Content Experiments’ available in your Google Analytics Account? Please feel free to ask any questions or share your own opinions regarding the same.

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Obaidul Haque

Obaidul works as an SEO manager handling client projects. He focuses heavily on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM). Also a passionate blogger and freelance writer, he shares his insightful views regularly on HelloBloggerz . You can follow him on Google Plus or Twitter.

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  • Hi Obaidul, good write-up on how to get started. Can I invite you to a new A/B, multivariate and split testing tool for e-commerce with Google Analytics integration? http://www.convert.com launched last week with Convert Experiments.

    Dennis

  • Lee says:

    Hi Obaidul, I am amazed you can do this with Google Analytics. Even though i use it to track visitors that’s about all i have ever used it for. I’ll give it ago when i next want to run some tests,

    Thanks Buddy
    Regards

    Lee

  • Erica Smash says:

    Oh, thanks for sharing this useful information. I haven’t try this Google analytics to test the performance of my website. I will try this one now by following the steps you have provided.

  • Sherri H. says:

    Thank you for this – I use Google Analytics but wasn’t sure about the ‘experiments’ and just now got a chance to research. Your post here helped a lot, I”m off to test it out!

  • Eric
    Twitter:
    says:

    We are just now launching our 4th site and are constantly reminded how valuable A/B testing is. It is also amazing how many serious companies never think to split test. The old idea that this looks good hear is just crazy!!!

  • chris says:

    This is a great tutorial. I have never tried an experiment using google analytics but this one has a nice step by step lesson. I’m going to give it a try.

  • SNPlanet
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thank you for your valuable tutorial..It’s amazing! I do not have a great experience about split testing so I’m always looking for new tips.
    Unfortunately the Experiment tab is not available on my Google Analytics

  • wow this is really very valuable an informative info u have shared here its really amazing thanks for sharing this post.

  • Richa says:

    This is a great informative post. We have been using Google analytics and it is undoubtedly very useful. Never knew about the experiment thing, will surely try it out.

  • Abhishek says:

    useful information. Though I am using google anayltics to track traffic i was not aware about the Content Experiments part. Thanks for the share.

  • Alex Braker says:

    Yes, Obaidul you have given the perfect information. I am using Google analytics for checking the performance of my website and it gives the perfect result for the website which assists to work on which keywords.

  • Jerry says:

    The Content Experiments would definitely work miracles for the websites struggling to gain an identity. Google’s free tools are very powerful and very helpful in improving the website performance.

  • Aayna says:

    Thanks for sharing this post. I was aware about Google analytics, but never knew about conducting experiments. Google analytics is surely the best tool available for measuring the performance of any website.

  • Jamy Hoster
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great deal as I thought analytic tool using is the only thing which I am doing but after reading your blog I am now thinking to change my style of using it as you have mentioned great tips thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge.

  • Uta says:

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  • Lashonda says:

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    it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

  • John
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thanks for the instructions Obaidul. I found some problems with the accuracy of Google Experiments’ results and just finished a post about it at http://www.effectivesitemarketing.com/google-experiments-are-they-accurate/.

    Any chance you’ve seen similar issues?