Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Simple A/B test in Google Analytics

Google has it's A/B testing solution called "Content Experiments". Originally it was designed to test different page alternatives. In this case you had to build two different version of the whole page or website (link). This can be quite complicated. Google announced his new "Content Experiment API" which is more flexible but for me it's also a bit complicated for very simple tests. On the other side there is a really simple way to implement A/B tests on a website. Let's see how!

For the A/B testing we will use a couple of lines of JavaScript code. You can do any kind of split on your users but for now we will use a simple random split. The result of the split is stored in a long living cookie.

After having the A/B test cookie, the only thing you have to do, is changing your site behavior based on the cookie and passing the group value to the Google Analytics.
Very simple content experiment. ]]>
To have the same groups in the Google Analytics you only have to add this two lines to your original GA tracking code (more description in GA help): ]]>
To check the result in GA you only have to define custom filters in GA. Here are some screen shots how to do this:

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