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Practising A/B testing in a volunteer capacity?

nicolastrand 07-07-15
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Practising A/B testing in a volunteer capacity?

Hi all,


This is my first time in the Optiverse! I haven't yet used Optimizely myself but have seen it in action and am very impressed at how easy it seems to be to use.


I'm helping out with sorting out our company's (very messy) Google Analytics so I can produce proper analysis as to how testing will help the bottom line but until then I'm not able to practice. However I would love to be able to get some experience somehow but I'm not sure how to gain this. I have my own website however it's very new and not getting much traffic at the moment and it's really only just a blog so I'm quite limited in the sorts of testing I can do. I could quite happily spend time unpaid drawing up hypotheses and testing plans - I do this for email and would love to be able to to extend this out to web pages. So, as my company don't/can't do this at the moment i'm wondering if - and admittedly it's a bit of a longshot - anyone knows of anywhere I can do this on the side as a remote working volunteer? I'm signed up to Web Analytics Demystified and have completed two projects as a student and am currently waiting to be approved for a third, but these projects aren't that frequent. But what I do love about them is that I get to learn from a mentor, and would love to be able to get the same with AB testing webpages. I wouldn't be starting the AB testing from scratch but I would be a complete beginner with Optimizely.


Or if there are any other ways I could develop these skills whilst waiting for my company to join the testing club, any ideas would be welcome. I figured that if I haven't got the opportunity where I am, then I can at least try to make my own Smiley Happy


Thanks in advance! 


Yeesheen 07-07-15

Re: Practising A/B testing in a volunteer capacity?

Hi Nicola,


Welcome to Optiverse! I see that you’re looking for a place to start testing out your skills with Optimizely - what a great idea. Hopefully the Community can help you find an opportunity to flex your optimization muscles.


As you’re figuring that out, I also want to point you to this Knowledge Base article about testing on sites with lower traffic. Although your blog is very new, there may still be opportunities to A/B test it, and familiarize yourself with the Visual Editor and integrations. Most of the strategies outlined in this article are focused on helping you make the most of the traffic that you have. 


Basically, you’ll want to test high-impact changes that are likely to affect your visitors’ behavior. Are there dramatic changes to your blog that you’ve dreamed of doing, but haven’t yet tried? This might be an opportunity to play with those big ideas as you grow your blog. You’ll probably also want to choose your goals carefully to capture the effect of changes on your visitors’ behavior. Scroll depth, pageviews, and bounce rate are all great candidates (with the added benefit that you can then also practice setting up integrations in Optimizely). You may also want to lower your significance setting to speed up your experiment.


Hopefully some of these tips can help get you started on your optimization journey!


Best of luck,



brianlang 07-07-15

Re: Practising A/B testing in a volunteer capacity?

Keep an eye on Analytics Demystified's Analysis Exchange (located here: - Their goal is to increase the number of people doing analytics! Organizations (non-profits and NGOs) submit a certain problem (analytics requirement) as a project, which is then paired with a mentor and a student to help with the analysis.

Brian Lang

Re: Practising A/B testing in a volunteer capacity?

Thanks both for your replies! I'm going to start by downloading the free version of Optimizely, I know that it doesn't have the full capabilities of the premium product but it'll be a start and like you say, there might be things I can do with my website already, even if the most I get from it at the moment is getting used to the interface.


Brian, I'm signed up with those guys and have completed two projects - just waiting to be approved for a third project and for a mentor to be assigned. 


In the meantime I'm also doing the free Google Tag Manager Academy fundamentals course in my spare time as I'm sure that'll all have to knit together in future. 


Re: Practising A/B testing in a volunteer capacity?

I think working on your own site is a great place to start. You may also be able to plugin other URLs just to practice with. At least you'll become familiar with the interface, the code editor, etc.


Also there's the Optimizely Academy which would be a great place to get started - - you could work towards your platform certification.