Google Content Experiments ‑ LunaTV Ep. 14 ‑ Google Analytics

August 15, 2012

This week’s topic is Google Analytics and Content Experiments. In this episode we talk about the differences between Content Experiments and Google Website Optimizer, what’s changed, the pros and the cons.

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Hi I’m Phil Anderson.

And I’m Jim Gianoglio.

And you’re watching LunaTV where we answer your questions from around the web.  

This week’s episode is about content experiments. You can learn more about
content experiments or Google Analytics in general on our industry
blog that publishes three times a week.

Or if you want to become a real expert. You can visit us at one of our trainings.  We travel
around the country to visit a different city every month, sometime we
do two a month. If you want to see if we’re coming to  a town near
you, check out the URL at the bottom.

Back to this week’s topic, which is content experiments. Most people
know by now that, Google announced that they’re ending,  basically
killing off Goggle Website Optimizer as a standalone product. It’s not
going to be around for very much longer. What they’ve done to sort of
replace it, is rolled it all into Google Analytics. Now it’s not a
straight one to one, it’s not “Hey here’s Google Website optimizer now
in Google Analytics.” They’ve taken some of the features of Google
Website Optimizer and included them in Google Analytics. But that raises a lot of differences and questions of how that works.
Phil do you want to talk about some of the differences?

Sure, the biggest differential notice is that multivariate experiments are gone.
What that was, was in Google Website Optimizer you could say, “show
page A and page B and rotate them 50/50 and see which one performs
better.” That’s good for testing completely different content, but one
of the things that analysts like to test a lot is “Is this button
better, than that button?”  “Is this picture of a lady better than
this picture of a man?” That’s multivariate experiments. That’s
missing from this version of Google Content Experiments. Now they say
they’re going to bring it back, but there is this time frame where
that doesn’t exist. So that’s the biggest difference I see. There’s also, It seems like the way that they distribute the traffic
is a little different. And also it’s in Google Analytics so that’s

So there are some pros and cons I think the biggest con being,
for right now having no multivariate testing. Also you’re tests now
have a maximum lifespan of three months. So if there’s no clear winner
after 3 months Then the test is over and you’ll just have to try
something different. If there is a clear winner before that then you
can stop it early. Before in Google Website optimizer you might run a
test for six months, which generally isn’t a good thing anyway, you
want a test that’s conclusive after about 6 weeks. But there were
cases were you could go longer than 3 months in the old version. The
other thing is you’re limited To only 12 tests per profile. So if
you’re doing a lot of testing, which hopefully you are You might have
to create additional profiles, just to run some tests.  So those are
on the negative side. On the positive side though, because it’s in GA they’ve integrated the
code with the GA code. So now instead of tagging the Original page the
variation pages and the goal conversion page all you have to do is tag
and add a little bit of code to the original page and that’s it. So a
couple lines of code to your Original page and you’re off and running.
You can use your goals that you’ve set up in Google Analytics as your
conversion. So “Does page A or B convert better using the goal
conversion?” So that also makes it a little bit easier than having to
add additional code to a goal page. So those are a couple of the

I’ve been running one of these for a while. It’s much
easier to set up. You get a lot of good visibility. Definitely
recommend you check out content experiments. And again if you want to learn more about content experiments Visit
one of our trainings, check out our website. We’re always going to be
testing the new features when they come out.  They’re actually are
some new features, we hear, coming out for content experiments very
soon.  So stay tuned!