Google has announced a new tool that looks to be a breath of fresh air for webmasters and marketers alike. The tool, currently being referred to as “Content Experiments”, will serve as a replacement for Google Website Optimizer, which is being discontinued, and live inside the company’s popular free analytics software Google Analytics in the “Content” section. In this article, we will discuss everything businesses need to know about the new Content Experiments.
Inside Google’s New Content Measurement Plan
Content Experiments is a new feature that allows you to create split tests and view the results of those tests right from Google Analytics. So for example, if you wanted to find out if “Click Here” is more effective than something like “The Solution to Your Problem on the Next Page” at generating conversions, you can easily find out here. The main selling point to this feature is providing the ability to see the results in Google Analytics opposed to having to view separate reports in a separate application.
While Content Experiments will be taking over the role of Google’s lead testing tool, there are stark differences between it and Website Optimizer. We have outlined some of the most important aspects below:
Easy to Set Up – All you need to start using Content Experiments is a Google account. With that handy, getting up and running with your first test is as simple as dropping the code for Google Analytics in your designated web pages.
Test Results Delivered After Two Weeks – Compared to Google Website Optimizer, the new testing tool gives you a much greater variety in terms of content measurement and test goals. However, the results of those tests are not delivered until an experiment has run for at two weeks, presumably so users can get the most accurate conclusions from their efforts.
Experiments Expire in Three Months – Any tests you set up with Content Experiments will automatically expire in 90 days. This appears to be a measure to crack down on cloaking, a black hat SEO practice Google despises. In any event, this 90-day period means businesses will need to make sure their tests are set up to deliver results within the allotted time frame.
Other Limitations Exist – Unlike Google Website Optimizer, which allowed you to compare up to eight variations per test, Content Experiments only lets you to run a total of five. In addition, you are allowed to run up to 12 live tests at once. These limitations will likely have little to no impact on smaller operations, but could leave bigger businesses with higher volumes of traffic at a disadvantage.
The new Google Content Experiments feature probably will not appeal to enterprise companies with more complex needs, but that doesn’t mean it is totally useless. In fact, it could be a valuable tool for the small business or non-profit organization who wants to get a better idea of how users might respond to a sign-up form, video, or other elements of their site before making permanent changes. This feature is free and easy enough to use, so what do you have to lose?
About the Author
Aidan Hijleh is a freelance copywriter and serves as the Non-Profit Partnership Liaison for Benchmark Email. Aidan advocates free email marketing services to assist with the flourishing of grassroots organizations.