Thursday, 21 June 2012

What the new Google Analytics Content Experiments don’t do, and why that’s a good thing

If you are a multi-channel retailer and haven’t dipped your toe into split-testing as a means to optimise your conversion rate now is the perfect time to start.

Google Website Optimiser (GWO) has shut down and been replaced by the Content Experiments section of Google Analytics. This is great news. It’s not only easier to see test results, it’s also easier to set-up and run tests.

Here's some functionality that has been lost in the change-over:

You can’t do multivariate testing


You can’t have lots of tests running at one time. That is, you can only do A/B tests. For the beginner this is perfect. You’re no longer excused from testing because it’s too complicated or it you can’t understand the complicated results.

So where do you start?

You might try increasing the size of your product images on your category page to see if you get more people clicking though to the product page or adding to basket. Or you might move some more products above the fold so that your full range is visible to people landing on your site for the first time.

Other things to test might be as simple as the efficacy of your product copy or whether your ‘Contact Us’ form could be shorter. For a full run-down of how you can improve your conversion contact us about our Ecommerce Mentoring programme.

Because you're restricted to simple tests, testing has become simple. There’s no excuse not to!


You can’t see your results for two weeks


On GWO there was endless fretting over when your tests were giving you statistically significant results and when you should turn off your tests. By not showing you results for two weeks Google is telling you to stop worrying and write some marketing emails or work on your SEO.

When it’s done it’s done.

You can’t run tests on all types of goal

For example, you can’t track visit duration or pages/visit. Fear not, you can run tests on how many people reach specific URL destinations or perform specific actions.

This is good news. If you make your goals simple and easy to understand the results will be simple and easy to understand. Keep your eyes firmly on the end goal of turning visitors into customers.

We love running tests for our clients on our own Ecommerce Platform, and equally enjoy helping others improve their conversion with our Ecommerce Consulting. Give us a ring on 0207 492 1929 or drop us a line at to find out how we can help you.