While Web analytics can help us to detect shortcomings in Web design and messaging, we still don’t know if proposed changes would perform any better.
With the Content Experiments feature built into Google Analytics, you can actively test preferences and hypotheses. You want a picture of puppies on your home page but your boss wants to keep the kittens?
- Create a variation page displaying puppies (and maybe one or two more variations).
- Drop a small piece of code onto the original (kitten) page.
- Start objectively comparing performance based on goal completion.
While Google Analytics does not allow multivariate tests – that is, you cannot dynamically vary page elements but must instead create fully separate page variations – the Content Experiments feature is very easy to set up and very valuable for driving data-driven, user-centered improvements on your website.
Unlike most other aspects of Google Analytics, Content Experiments require little explanation to colleagues and management: everyone understands them and thinks they’re kind of fun. The lessons that you learn from them can also more broadly influence marketing messages and even company focus. “The kittens are very cute, but here’s why I think we need to order more puppy T-shirts…”
If you’re not yet testing, start today with Content Experiments. (Actually, we’ll discuss one potential glitch tomorrow, so start then.)