If you’re a Google Analytics pro, you may have already read our Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics for Tour Operators(opens in a new tab) post. If you’ve followed the steps and understood the basics, you’ll now be able to access actionable information to help you improve the usability of your site. Google Analytics is an invaluable resource for tour operators, as it gives you information about your website and its visitors — everything from which countries people are visiting from to the percentage of mobile device users can be measured using Analytics. Using A/B testing, there is now even the capability to test two different versions of a page to determine which will make the most sales. Google Analytics’ A/B testing has been around for a while, but a recent change in the way this testing is implemented means it is now easier for tour business owners to analyse the success of their site.
What is A/B testing and what is it used for?
Once you’ve gotten a handle on the basics of Google Analytics, the next step is to test your site’s usability with your customers. This is where A/B testing comes in. Most business owners don’t get this far, but using Google Analytics’ A/B testing is a beneficial way to monitor the success of certain aspects of your tour page. Simply put, the owner creates two different versions of a page and Analytics sends 50% of website visitors to the original version of that page, and 50% to the updated version of that page. From there, you should be able to determine which page was the most successful based on bounce and click through rates. The success of each element — design, colour scheme, calls to action, content, and more — can be assessed using A/B testing.
A/B testing with Google Optimize
Google have recently changed the way in which A/B testing works. Before, the user needed to go into the backend of their website to create two different pages. Google Analytics would then divide visitors between the two. Now, things are a little simpler. Using a Chrome Extension called Optimize, it is now possible to edit a page directly using a visual editor. This means no need for code or working the backend of your site. This new set-up is more user-friendly as it allows for easy edits, with little to no knowledge of WordPress (or equivalent) to run the test. It also allows for more advanced targeting and reporting.
Analytics works in the same way after this. Half of your visitors see the original version of your page (which remains untouched on your site), and while the other half see the newer version so that you can determine which one will lead to better goal conversion. If Google Optimize is still leaving you a bit baffled, check out this beginner’s guide(opens in a new tab).
Setting up Google Optimize
To install the extension, you’ll need to have a Google Analytics account already set up and the Chrome web browser downloaded. To install the extension, simply follow the steps from Google(opens in a new tab). Once you have the extension ready, you’ll then need to link it to your Analytics account:
- In Optimize, go to Main Menu > Accounts
- Click on a Container
- Click “Edit” next to Google Analytics in the Container information panel
- In the property panel, select the Analytics property that corresponds to the web domain on which you’ll be running experiments. For example, if you created an Optimize Container for colombiatraveloperator.com(opens in a new tab), select your colombiatraveloperator.com(opens in a new tab) Analytics property
- Select one or more Analytics views. Choose a view with few or no filters.
- Click SAVE
What’s the takeaway?
Google Analytics is an invaluable tool that allows its users to access essential information about their website visitors. Now, with Google Optimize A/B testing, these same business owners can easily test various versions of a web page to determine which is the most successful without having to deal with coding of any kind. It has never been easier to create a user-friendly site! If you’re a tour operator still in need of a little help, feel free to reach out to Tourism Tiger(opens in a new tab) for a brand new site that sells tours.
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