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Helping to create better websites: Introducing Content Experiments

Friday, June 01, 2012 6/01/2012 10:18:00 AM

Over the last 5 years, it’s been great to see how many marketers and publishers have improved the web by using insights from Google Website Optimizer to create better experiences for their visitors. Today, we announced that we’re bringing website testing to Google Analytics. This means that we’ll be saying goodbye to the standalone version as we welcome a fully integrated website testing tool in Google Analytics.

Content Experiments helps you optimize for goals you have already defined in your Google Analytics account, and can help you decide which page designs, layouts and content are most effective. With Content Experiments, you can develop several versions of a page and show different versions to different visitors. Google Analytics measures the efficacy of each page version, and with a new advanced statistical engine, it determines the most effective version.  Take a look at this video to learn more:

Testing and experimentation of websites may sound complicated, but we've worked hard to provide a testing tool that makes it as easy as possible:

  • Content Experiments comes with a setup wizard that walks you step by step through setting up experiments, which helps you quickly launch new tests.
  • Content Experiments reuses Google Analytics tags so that you only need to add one additional tag to the original page.
  • Content Experiments helps you understand which content performs best, and identifies a winner as soon as statistically significant data has been collected.
  • Since content testing is so important, we’ve placed Content Experiments just a click away from your regular diagnosis reports in Google Analytics.

We’re excited to integrate this important functionality into Google Analytics and believe it will help you meet your goals of measuring, testing and optimizing all in one place. With full integration in Google Analytics, we’ll be able to grow and evolve website experimentation tools within our broader measurement platform. Initially, you’ll be able to utilize important features like optimized goal conversions, easier tagging and advanced segmentation in reports. We’re also working hard to release page metrics, additional goal conversion options and experiment suggestions.

The last day you’ll be able to access Google Website Optimizer, and any reports for current or past experiments, will be August 1, 2012. While it won’t be possible to migrate experiments or reports to Google Analytics, up until August 1 you can download your reports to retain your data.  We encourage you to start any new experiments in Content Experiments. For those of you that are new to website experimentation, we hope you’ll try out the new Google Analytics Content Experiments.

This is just the first step we’re taking to simplify website testing, and we look forward to integrating more features into the experimentation framework of Google Analytics.  Content Experiments will be gradually rolling out over the next few weeks to all users. Once available in your account, you can start testing by going to Google Analytics and accessing Experiments within the Content section of your reports. If you’re new to Google Analytics, you can sign up here.

We’ll continue to have a strong network of Google Analytics Certified Partners who will be able to provide advanced support for Analytics, including Content Experiments. If you would like professional assistance in designing, implementing, or interpreting the results of a test, simply go to the Google Analytics Partner page and select "Website Optimizer" from the Specialization menu.  You can also find more information in our help center. Please try out Content Experiments and let us know what you think.

Happy testing!

Posted by Nir Tzemah, Google Analytics team


Caden said...

Will Google be migrating the option to not set variation urls that is currently available under the existing multivariate testing API?

Id est, the ability to solely multivariate test a single unique url.

Unknown said...

Experiment with site-wide changes?

Unknown said...

why can't you leave GWO up and running until expirments can do all that gwo can? Especailly multivar testing. I can't use expirments until it lets me insert content into dynamic pages.

For example a product page that loads content via url rewrite /products/socks/white for example. I want to test the text "free shipping" on all product pages. See if that makes people add products to the cart more often. I can easily do that on gwo. I cannot do that in google experiments.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone recommend a commercial alternative now that Google has killed their free multivariant testing? I'm guessing that they're reserving this feature for the $25K pay version of Google Analytics, but since they're not saying its anyone's guess.

A.M. said...

Dear Optimizer team, did you know that GWO is falsely reporting a conversion for each visitor since yesterday afternoon (3pm PST). Maybe this issue has to do with the switch-over, but it's very frustrating for our organization; we just launched a very crucial AB test. Please look into this!

This isn't an isolated issue, other user reports can be found here :!category-topic/websiteoptimizer/technical-questions/yFZPF6rjAu0

Andriy said...

Dear Google team, please please take a look at the performance of Website Optimizer, it's been broken ever since your announcement that GWO is being folded into Analytics. Take a look at the Google Product Forums > Google Website Optimizer > Technical Questions where a number of us GWO users have posted today about these issues.

psprepair said...


Is anyone else having extra false conversions in their optimizer reports, my conversions jumped up yesterday to five times the original level on each of my experiments (4).

In addition I don't have the experiments option from inside my analytics.

So right now I can't test anything :(

I know website optimizer is merging with analytics, I hope it's only a temporary issue.

Anyone else got these problems?


Unknown said...

I just posted in the blog to address the comments of spurious conversions in the reports:

Everything should look fine now. Please let us know if that isn't the case.

Enrique (Google Analytics PM)

Qamar said...

While setting up your goals in Google analytics, Content Experiments allows you to bringing your website to test it that what versions of your pages getting your visitors to accomplish your goals with up to five version of a page to see which of those to those drive more conversion.

Mahi said...

Why 'Multivariate Testing' is not part of this new 'Content Experiment'? Can you please include it again. It is a powerful tool. 'Content Experiment' will become less useful and powerful than 'Website Optimizer' if 'Multivariate Testing' is stripped off.

amano said...

Is Website Optimizer Completely going away then now once it is fully integrated into my GA account?

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