In April, Google Analytics released a number of updates designed to help users better understand their social impact. By being able to measure their social reach more accurately, Google Analytics was on the right track. But as we all know, being social isn’t so much about the tools you use, but rather the content you’re sharing. This week, Google Analytics rolled out a few more updates designed with that in mind.
Among the new updates in Google Analytics, two of them are focused on helping users better understand how their content is being shared and how it's being seen across devices.
Users can test and improve their website using Content Experiments. Site owners can create A/B/N experiments to measure how effectively different versions of a page get visitors to convert.
Wait! Didn’t Google Analytics already have something like this? Yes, and it was called Website Optimizer. Now it’s called Content Experiments. By August 1, Website Optimizer will no longer be available as a standalone product.
Integrating A/B testing into Analytics makes sense, considering Website Optimizer was a separate site. Content Experiments lets you optimize toward the goals you have already defined in your Google Analytics account to learn which page design and content is most effective. To get started and to set up a test log in to Analytics, open Standard Reporting, and, in the Content section, click Experiments.
Whether you start from the overview page or the experiment list, the setup-wizard opens so you can complete four steps.
With many users gaining access to sites across mobile platforms, the visible portion of the web page is much smaller than the screen resolution, because of excessive toolbars and other clutter. What is actually “above the fold” on a web page is a significant factor to conversion rates. Being able to analyze the percentage of visitors for whom page elements fall below the fold or off to one side is not easy, so Google Analytics created a visualization that lets users determine which portions of your page are visible to which percentages of visitors.
Navigate to the Content section in Google Analytics, and click In-Page Analytics. Then click Browser Size to shade portions of the page that are below the fold. You can now click anywhere on the screen to see what percentage of visitors can see it, or control the threshold percentage by using the slider.
When you click Show percentiles, users can see a summary visualization of several percentiles. This is designed to help you understand how browser sizes are distributed -- for example, if you choose to compare All Visitors with the Mobile traffic segment, you should see a substantial difference.
Focusing on what and where your content goes is important to the health of your website and the experience it provides to users. For too long, web analytics focused on traffic sources and page visits to give you an indication about what's working and what's not. And while that is important, it's just as important to understand how the content on each page is influencing the user experience. With these new tools, more of the web site optimization puzzle comes into view.