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OK to run same experiment in AdWords & Analytics at same time?

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We are running some experiments in AdWords and Analytics simultaneously, testing testing the same variations of the same landing pages. I thought we'd get two different data sets in this way. But I want to ask, are those experiments compatible, or is there a chance they are messing with each other? I just wanted to verify we are not wasting our time doing it in this way. I did some searches on the support forums but could not find any info.

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Re: OK to run same experiment in AdWords & Analytics at same time?

Top Contributor Alumni
# 2
Top Contributor Alumni

I'm afraid I don't quite understand. If your AdWords ads are leading to the same website that your Analytics code is installed on, then clearly you're running two tests on the same pages with the same visitors?  (Except that in Analytics you can also view the behavior of visitors who were not sent by paid search ads.) I'm not sure how you expected to get two different sets of test results from sending visitors to the "same variations of the same landing pages"?

 

Can you explain in a bit more detail what you thought you were testing?


Theresa
Google AdWords Top Contributor
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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Philip N
September 2015

Re: OK to run same experiment in AdWords & Analytics at same time?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
As I understand it with GA Content Experiments, code is placed on the "original" page and then the system will send a proportion of the traffic (usually half - although you can configure this) to a "test" page.

GA will do this with all traffic as Theresa suggests (organic, referral etc)

AdWords experiments will send a proportion of your AdWords traffic to one page (for the sake of argument, lets assume that again it's 50/50) and the rest to the other.

What you manage if you run both at the same time is this:

Half your AdWords traffic will go to the "original" page, at which point GA will send half of it to the "test" page.

So - assuming that your test page is the same for both experiments - only a quarter of your AdWords traffic goes to the original page and three quarters goes to the test page.

Not ideal.

Can it be done? Sure....

Re: OK to run same experiment in AdWords & Analytics at same time?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
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Many thanks, Teresa and Stickleback!

Stickleback, OK, thanks, I will take your word for this and accept this as the solution, unless another expert disagrees. Smiley Happy

Teresa, well since I wasn't sure how traffic would be divided between the tests, I wasn't sure if I'd get two data sets or one re. AdWords traffic. But mainly I wanted to make sure there was no technical issue runnung them at once.

Thank you!

Re: OK to run same experiment in AdWords & Analytics at same time?

N/A
# 5
N/A
Actually, Stickleback, I notice on reflection that you say: "As I understand it with GA Content Experiments, code is placed on the 'original' page and then the system will send a proportion of the traffic (usually half - although you can configure this) to a 'test' page."

Actually, In Analytics, the code is placed on both the original and the test page. So just to make sure I am getting this right. So I've set the traffic division in Analytics and Adwords at 50-50%. But 100% of AdoWords traffic comes to the site, where Analytics somehow takes over.

When I go to the site directly, I see that Analytics "forces" me to go to one or the version of the page randomly, regardless of which URL I used (and it adds a lot of tracking parameters to the URL). If Analytics does the same with all AdWords traffic coming to the site, this would mean the experiments are running at cross purposes and the data of AdWords experiments might might be gibberish. (AdWords may assume it sent the visitor to one version of the page, but AdWords might have redirected him to the other).

Could you or someone please reassure me that this is not the case? Smiley Happy

Re: OK to run same experiment in AdWords & Analytics at same time?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
I think you need to check that.... see point 3 of this guide from Google

http://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1745152?hl=en&ref_topic=1745207

the code goes on the original page only. GA then handles the distribution of the traffic based on the variation url's you set up in the experiment - so you shouldn't get traffic being distributed around from your variation pages - but you still have the original issue we discussed if you run CO with Content Experiments.

As with any scientific experiment we need to test one variable at a time if we hope to get meaningful results. With multiple variables there is no way to confidently attribute results.

Re: OK to run same experiment in AdWords & Analytics at same time?

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Just another quick follow up.... once you have visited the page once - and the experiment has sent you to a specific version of the page, it will always send you to that same version - through the cookie - which makes sense, because if you see two or three versions of the page and then later convert GA wouldn't know to which version of the page it should attribute the conversion.

 

So when you say - it forces me to visit one version of the page - that's what's happening.

 

Re: OK to run same experiment in AdWords & Analytics at same time?

N/A
# 8
N/A
Stickleback, thank you for this, it is helpful. However, you say "the code goes on the original page only." No, the Analytics experiment code most definitely and absolutely goes on both the control page and the test pages of the same set. There is an error about that in Analytics Help, but when you generate the code the instruction that you get is:

Adding script code to your page
1. Make sure your original and variation pages have Google Analytics tracking code installed.
2. Then, paste this experiment code immediately after the opening head tag at the top of your original page.

And once you have set up the code it validates it on each version of the page and shows you a separate check for each.

But I don't believe it changes what you are saying generally. Thanks a lot for your generous replies buddy, and I'm glad be able to to point out something of interest to you too! Smiley Happy

Re: OK to run same experiment in AdWords & Analytics at same time?

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor
Sorry - but I think you are misreading the instructions:

Adding script code to your page
1. Make sure your original and variation pages have Google Analytics tracking code installed.

This is the regular Google Analytics code - not the experiment code... just the tracking code. Whilst it might seem obvious to you - you'd be surprised how many people only have the tracking code on a few of their pages - or on the home page. With dynamic pages such as Wordpress and Joomla this is generally taken care of by extensions or by editing the template files, but with pages built in DW for example, the code often has to b e added manually.

2. Then, paste this experiment code immediately after the opening head tag at the top of your original page.

Quite clearly stating that the experimental code goes on the ORIGINAL page - not the variations.

Re: OK to run same experiment in AdWords & Analytics at same time?

[ Edited ]
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# 10
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Uh-oh, I am so sorry, my bad! You are right, analytics code goes on the original page only. So by adding the GA experiment code to all versions, have I messed up the Analytics experiment? Do I need to rerun it? :/ Thanks so much for your patience.