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by Dean Marsden on 31st August 2011
Google Website Optimiser is suitable for reporting on the statistics of one specific goal for your average A/B test, however it’s highly likely that any tests you’re running will affect other conversions you’ve set up on your website. The guide below will show you how and why to view all of your goals from each test variation page.
Make sure you have your goals set up in Google Analytics. If you don’t, I advise you to read Anna’s excellent post first. Please note you must have been tracking your goals during the same time as you were running your test as Google Analytics will not show conversions retrospectively if they were not set up beforehand.
The first part is to set up custom Advanced Segments for your Website Optimiser test pages (original page and each page variation in your A/B test). Follow the steps below to do this. Please note that we are using the new Google Analytics version 5 throughout this post.
Let’s now set up a Custom Report to view all of the data in a nice table that we can analyse and make some informed decisions as to the overall performance of the Website Optimiser test.
Once it is saved you can then view the custom report. The table at the top gives you a great overview of the statistics we have requested and the main table at the bottom will display the statistics for each page on your website that is affected by the goals.
Now what we want to do is quickly view the results for our Website Optimiser test pages in the top table and also explore their impact on the conversions made on other pages in the lower table. To do this, just enable the two Advanced Segments we created earlier alongside the All Visits segment if you would like to see a comparison to all visits to your website. I don’t recommend spending time analysing the page level data in the lower table but it can be useful if your Website Optimiser test is related to other specific product or service pages, so you can see its influence on those as well.
The Google Analytics analysis provides a solid overview of the impact your test is having on all of your goal conversions as opposed to just one. By just using a single goal as your measurement you may be negatively affecting many of your other ones, so always review all of your goal conversions once your Google Website Optimiser test has been completed.