Learn how to A/B test your website with Google Optimize

A/B testing is something that many people want to do, but few are able to do.It often feels difficult to measure and conduct a full A/B test of your website.In this blog post, we will go through how you can easily use Google Optimize to conduct different types of A/B tests without writing a single line of code.What is an A/B test?Before we go into how to conduct an A/B test using Google Optimize, let's first explain what an A/B test is and in what situations you can use such a test.A/B testing aims to test two versions of something, an A version and a B version. This is to find out which of the two versions works better.

When can you conduct A/B testing?

A/B testing can be done in most contexts where you are looking to optimise a goal or end result.For example, you want to improve conversion on a landing page and you have a hypothesis that conversion will increase if you move your call-to-action further up the page. Then you create a variant of the landing page with your call-to-action further up and distribute the incoming traffic between the two landing pages. Once a certain amount of visitors have gone through both pages, you can compile the statistics to see if the new version of the landing page converted better than the old one.This type of A/B test can be done in many different contexts as long as there is a goal you want to achieve that can be measured.Often A/B testing is used in advertising where you create two versions of an ad to see which of the ads gets clicked on the most times or maybe even measure which of the versions converts better.A/B testing can be used to see which version of an ad converts better.

How do you go about setting up an A/B test?

It sounds quite easy to make two versions of an ad or page and then measure which one performs better, but without software to help you, it immediately becomes difficult.Google has a free software called Google Optimize (link) where you can set up an A/B test for your website for free.There are different types of tests you can run using Google Optimize and there are easy drag-and-drop features that allow you in most cases to set up and run a full A/B test without any coding or prior knowledge.All you have to do is add a small piece of code to the website and Google Optimize takes care of the rest.Below we go through a simple type of A/B test that you can do all by yourself.

A/B testing - changing the location of the call-to-action

In this case, we've already put in the Google Optimize code and are looking to create an A/B test where we test if the placement of a call-to-action results in more people clicking on one of the two call-to-actions that we're changing the location of.The image below is the page where we want to change the location of the two call-to-actions.

We then open up Google Optimize and create a new test by clicking on "CREATE EXPERIENCE"

You will then be taken to a view where you will select the type of test you want to perform. There are several different tests to choose from. For this type of A/B test where we are going to examine the location of two call-to-actions, we choose "A-B test". For example, if we were to A/B test completely different types of landing pages or a brand new website, we would choose "redirect test".

Once we have selected the A-B test and specified which page it concerns and what the test should be called, we have created a new experience and come to the view shown below.

There is the original page we entered and we are now going to create another variant with a changed location of the call-to-action.Then click on "CREATE VARIANT".

AB test add variant 2-614052-edited

You then give the variant a name that you will remember. In this case, we have named the variant "Variant 1" and then clicked "Done".Then you come back to the main view and click "Save and continue"

AB test add variant 3

Click on the Variant 1 line and you will be taken to the view where you can edit your page using drag-and-drop.

AB test drag and drop

You can easily drag elements (e.g. buttons or images) to different positions or edit texts.In the image below, the call-to-action order is now changed to what we originally wanted to test.

AB test variant ready

Then click save and you'll be back in the main view as shown below.It's now time to create a purpose for the test. In this case, we want more people to end up on one of the subpages that the call-to-action buttons lead to.Then choose create custom purpose as shown below.

AB test create purpose

I rename the purpose to "Click on call-to-action" and select page views and set up rules for how many people come to a page that starts with the URL of the subpages.You can link purposes to goals you have today based on events that you can easily set up via Google Tag Manager (we'll cover this in future blog posts).

AB test type of purpose

The last part before you can start the test is to choose how the distribution of visitors will be during the test. In this case, we choose that this test will affect all visitors to the page, i.e. 100% of targeted visitors, and then we choose that the weighting is exactly 50% who will see Variant1 and the Original.

AB test select breakdown

Now it's time to start the experiment!

Start experiment AB test

We will then bring up the results view which will compare the results of your A/B test and then automatically suggest ending the test when it is possible to determine a primary winner of the test.

Reporting view AB test

Summary

Now we've gone through how you can easily set up an A/B test without writing a single line of code.Hope you get a lot of use out of this review and that you manage to optimize your website according to the goals you have.If you want more tips and advice from us, you can subscribe to our blog or contact us directly to have a cup of coffee with us.DOWNLOAD THE QUICK GOOGLE GUIDE

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