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URL targeting and Experiments

Gus 07-01-14

URL targeting and Experiments

Hi all,

 

i have a few questions regarding what an experiment is and its relationship with URL targeting.

I want to test some changes in a Home page and track the goals in a view that is deeper in the user workflow, with a lot of views in the middle that don´t have changes, nor goals. I have the Optimizely snippet in all of them.

 

- could i have to URL-target only these two pages, or do i have to target to all the user workflow between them. In any case, would i have to do it using URL targeting or the method exposed in the "Tracking Goals in redirecting experiments" section of the documentation?

 

- what is an experiment? Is it composed at least  by the pages with the wanted-to-test changes, the pages where you track goals and an optional previous page where you bucket the user? Or do you scecify all the pages/views in the user workflow between them?

 

I know how to specify pages for the experiment through URL targeting. What i want to understand is how Optimizely works.

 

Thanks is advance!

Gus Ces
/Web (developer|analyst|CRO specialist)/g

Gus
Level 2

Gus 07-01-14
 

Re: URL targeting and Experiments

Ok,

After reading again about the snippet, seems like all tracking related tasks are managed by the snippet (cookies management, assignment of experiments and variations and tracking goals).
So, the experiment is just composed at least by pages that have changes, am i right?
But you have other pages/views/elements with goals attached, that are not included in the experiment. In that case, which is the best strategy for my example in order to link those goals to a specific experiment? To put those pages inside the experiment using URL targeting? to use the editor with interactive mode to attach the goal? to use the method explained here https://help.optimizely.com/hc/en-us/articles/200040675-Redirect-experiments-Comparing-two-separate-... ?
The point is what does imply adding some page to the experiment using URL targeting when you are not making any change on it.


Gus
Gus Ces
/Web (developer|analyst|CRO specialist)/g

Gus
Level 2
MartijnSch 07-01-14
 

Re: URL targeting and Experiments

Hi Gus,

What you can do is trigger a goal via JavaScript via the Optimizely JS API. This allows you for example to trigger a goal a couple pages down on your site that isn't part of your actual experiment. This allows you for example to have ecommerce tracking enabled in your Optimizely set up. I think this is one of the things you'll need with your current questions.
Gus 07-01-14
 

Re: URL targeting and Experiments

Hi M,

Thanks for answering. What are the requirements to use the API methods for an user? Imagine that an user was bucketed in a previous page into an alternative. In the final page, do you have first to add the User to an experiment by code or Optimizely just knows in which experiment/alternative the user is?(via cookies).
Gus Ces
/Web (developer|analyst|CRO specialist)/g

Gus
Level 2
MartijnSch 07-01-14
 

Re: URL targeting and Experiments

It just knows by checking the cookies, it can tell if the user is currently in a test.
Gus 07-01-14
 

Re: URL targeting and Experiments

so if you trigger a goal and the user is bucketed in more than one experiment, every experiments add that goal to their goal count?
Gus Ces
/Web (developer|analyst|CRO specialist)/g

Gus
Level 2
Amanda 07-01-14
 

Re: URL targeting and Experiments

@Gus, Yep @MartijnSch  is correct. Here is a summary of how Optimizely works. 

 

  • Visitor arrives at your page. If the visitor meets your experiment's targeting conditions, the experiment will run. You can target the experiment for just 2 pages (it does not have to be the full workflow)
  • -----Optimizely evaulates the page URL to see if the URL targeting conditions are a match. Optimizely also evaluates the audience conditions to see if the visitor should be inlcuded in the experiment. 
  • The visitor is randomly assigned to a variation
  • The visitor now has a experiment ID, variation ID and unique user ID cookie. 
  • When the visitor triggers a goal, the converison will be attributed to any experiments that are active & that the visitor has a cookie for. 

Also, you can track a goal that lives outside of your targeting URLs for the experiment. We have a great Knowledge Base article that describes how to do this here

 

Let me know if you have any questions on this! 

Optimizely
Gus 07-02-14
 

Re: URL targeting and Experiments

Hi Amanda,

i understand how Optimizely works using the Optimizely workflow to create an experiment ( the link you wrote is the same i wrote before Smiley Happy)
What i want to know is how Optimizely works from a technical point of view in order to do more complex implementations. I have problems to know what is the point of using URL targeting (besides saying where to start setting cookies values for variations, experiments and split users showing interface variations) and its relationship with goals definitions using the interface of an experiment. It seems that they are linked to desired experiments ( from the Optimizely interface point of view), but at he same time, seems like you can trigger goals linking them to experiments just because of the cookies' parameters and not setting goals for all those experiments in the Optzly interface.
So if an users' cookies say that he is in 3 experiments and he arrives to a page that its not URL targeted and where you have created a goal for one of them, does it mean that all the experiments will track the goal?
Gus Ces
/Web (developer|analyst|CRO specialist)/g

Gus
Level 2
Gus 07-02-14
 

Re: URL targeting and Experiments

OK, i got it.
You have to specify in the interface the Goals that are linked with each experiment, and if outside of the URL targeting domain, set the URLs where you want to track the goals. So the Goals are part of the experiment: you must select the URLs if they are not included in your experiment target . Otherwise, Optimizely won´t recognize the goals you are triggering, even if you are sending the requests related with them.
So, in my last example, only the experiment which was linked to the Goal, IF YOU HAVE SET THE URL AS A CUSTOM PAGE to track, will track the goal. Cookies don´t control how the goals are related with experiments, but how users are related with experiments.
Gus Ces
/Web (developer|analyst|CRO specialist)/g

Gus
Level 2
Amanda 07-02-14
 

Re: URL targeting and Experiments

Hey @Gus  - sorry for the confusion on the answer I provided. You are totally correct though in your recent post.

 

By default, Optimizely will only track click goals on pages that meet the experiment targeting conditions. However, you can *specify* where the click goal should be tracked if you want to capture the converision event on a page outside of your experiment. 

 

Your example:

So if an users' cookies say that he is in 3 experiments and he arrives to a page that its not URL targeted and where you have created a goal for one of them, does it mean that all the experiments will track the goal?

 

If this user triggers the conversion event, it will show up on the results page for all experiments that had this goal added and that he had a cookie for. In order for the event to fire, you would need to specify that it should be tracked on that URL since it is outside of the experiment. See attached image for reference. 

 

Let me know if this isn't clear and I can certainly provide more information. 

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 9.54.06 AM.png

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