3 Ways to Use Google Analytics to Run Web Tests

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My own design
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  • Which browsers did they mostly rely on? → useful for compatibility and designing your site with certain browsers in mind.
  • Did they rely on Javascript support? → goes into showing you if you should add a lot of scripts and moving images or videos to your site or not.
  • What screen resolutions does the majority of my audience use? → very useful to see if mobile users affect traffic.

How to Start Using Google Analytics

Signing up for Google Analytics is simple. You can go to Google Analytics’ website sign up page and click on the sign up icon to the right to start the process.

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  1. Multivariate Testing — This method tests several elements of a website at once and the goal is to find out which of these elements work together the best for best results.
  2. A/B/N Method — This method is based on the idea of using multiple versions of a webpage and not just two to compare variables or metrics.

Setting Up Your Own Experiments

Here are ways to get started using the experimental methods above with Google Analytics:

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  • Your variation pages have to be fully developed, configured with the Analytics tracking code, and be available on the web.
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  • There will also be three different metrics for you to test:
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  • Pageviews: Refers to the amount of pageviews you received during the given time frame the test was running by all viewers.
  • Session Duration: Refers to the length of time users stay on your site. This is useful, for instance, if you run a news or entertainment website, where you want to keep readers hooked and engaged.
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  • Google Analytics Goals: These are goals you already set up that are imported from Optimize once you have Read & Analyze permission to the linked Analytics view. You need to enable permissions for this to function.
  • Custom Objectives: This is where you can really customize what you are looking for exactly and create a goal or metric for you to measure. You can start out by choosing from event category, event label, event action, event value or URL.
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Testing Multiple Pages in Analytics for Best Results

As websites get redesigned, changes come and go that may affect traffic or user engagement, sometimes not for the best. This is where running the three tests comes in.

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A/B Split Test Method

Here are the basic steps to run A/B Split tests on your website

  1. Leave the initial webpage the way it was and find one element to change, such as the headline.
  2. Then run the second website under variant 1 as described in the ‘Setting Up Your Own Experiments’ section above.
  3. You can pick one of the predefined variables in the Experiments section or choose your own, as previously mentioned. Here are additional variables you can test or consider when testing different webpages against one another using the A/B split method (again under experiment in Analytics you will need to click on the ‘create new objective’ option).
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Multivariate Method of Testing

The A/B/N method is similar to the A/B method above and all the steps will be the same to start seeing its results. The big difference is you will be adding a wide range of variables or metrics to the two (or more) sites you are comparing besides just one variable at a time.

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A/B/N Method of testing

A/B/N method of testing is an extension of the two testing methods outlined previously. However, unlike both A/B method and A/B/N method, that test two versions of a webpage against one another, using either one variable (in the case of the A/B method) or multiple (in the case of the multivariate method), multiple webpages will be used simultaneously.

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Conclusion

With all these tools at your disposal with Google Analytics, you have no excuse to give it a try. It is free after all and available for anyone who can insert some code into their site. It can really give you some insight into your audience and find out that edge you need to keep your online presence viable.

I am a tech journalist and an aspiring artist-graphic designer. My sites include https://maciejduraj.com and https://artisticcounterculture.com.

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