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Introducing Content Experiments from Google

Posted by Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
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on Tuesday, 05 June 2012 in Google

The trend in website development has changed over the past couple of years - with the evolution of Web2.0 more site owners are looking to have more dynamic and interactive sites rather than the older "online brochure" type of site.

With this development comes the ability to monitor and measure a whole swathe of activities which visitors may trigger as they interact with your content. Filling out a form, hitting the play button on an video, downloading a pdf - all of this can be tracked using Google Analytics - and all can be used as performance indicators - especially if you marry the data to your marketing spend to determine which areas of marketing generate the best return on investment.

What this means, of course, is that you end up with a more and more content on your site - and it's good to know the best way to present that content. One option is to simply develop web pages along a fairly strict design guide. Templates and style guides determining the look and feel.

But the truth is different page designs often perform differently. Small differences ion visitor activity can often be magnified by the time you drill down to the bottom line. What starts off as a 2% difference in behaviour at the start of a visit cam become 10% or more by then end - when the really interesting engagement (like a form completion or an online purchase) begins.

Until now Google AdWords had the Website Optimizer feature which allowed you to run experiments between variations of pages for your AdWords visitors. Now Google are introducing Content Experiments within Google Analytics, which will serve different versions of your website to all your visitors and run a "behind the curtain" experiment to determine which of the different page alternates generate the best conversions. Take a look at the video presentation:

This feature will be live soon - any experiments you might currently be running in AdWords will no longer be available as of the 1st August - our recommendation is to start experimenting as soon as possible to better optimise your website and the visitor experience.

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