Step by Step
The success of your experiments is firstly influenced by whether they are setup properly or not. Therefore a rigorous Quality Assurance (QA) process is needed before launching any new experiments.
There are several things that you can do to make sure your test will display and function properly:
- Do a live preview of your variations, which can be done also when your experiment has draft status.
Make sure they render as expected in the most popular browsers for your business. Also make sure that any button, link, or form still works well. (Certain options in the editor could break forms, links and buttons if they are not used properly, see http://support.convert.com/hc/en-us/articles/205160385-Why-Are-My-Pages-Showing-Content-from-the-Page-Where-I-Set-Up-the-Experiment- ).
Live previews work with a high accuracy but still there are cases when they can render unexpected results due to how technology works. It's advisable, that you always follow the point 2) below.
To find out how to preview a variation, read the following article: https://convert.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204506649-How-Do-I-Preview-Variations-
- Place your experiment on "Active" status for a very specific audience that only you can meet the conditions for and therefore it will run just for you.
To do that, you can use an "Advanced Audience" and build an audience rule similar to the following: "Medium matches exactly my_test".
You can replace "my_test" with whatever you like, just make sure you use that in audience rule.
Open a fresh incognito session on your browser. *This is very important.
Visit your site having the utm_medium query variable added with the value my_test (or whatever you used there).
Do this on the first page that you ask from the site. Even if you need to access another page than the experiment page.
For example, if the URL is http://www.mysite.com, you should visit the URL: http://www.mysite.com?utm_medium=my_test.
If you follow the above instructions you may be shown any variation of the experiment as this is selected randomly.
After you have done the above, you can just visit the experiment page and you should be viewing either Original, or one of the variations.
Force a specific variation
You can force a specific variation, by using certain query parameters to query it. For example:
Example: http://www.mysite.com/test-page.html?_conv_eforce=123.678 where 123 is the experiment ID and 678 is the variation ID;
You can find a more detailed explanation here .
You will need to use the utm_medium=my_test parameter only once to bucket yourself in the experiment. If the funnel you are testing includes several pages, or you are doing a multi-page test, you only have to use it in the first page you request when you open your incognito session, even if it is not included in the experiment. Afterwards, you trigger the test, you will be shown the experiment changes, and the new numbers are added to the stats.
Any change you make inside your account will become live in max five minutes. Therefore, you might need to wait up to five minutes until the experiment becomes live.
Many goals are restricted to the URL criteria you have set. So when testing in QA mode remember that goals that have a "Matches Exactly" criteria would need the chosen QA parameter with its value, ie. "?utm_medium=mytest", if not it will not track.
Our Chrome debugging extension is also really useful when it comes to experiments not running correctly: http://support.convert.com/hc/en-us/articles/204506699-Chrome-Debugger-For-Convert-Experiments-beta-
If you are experiencing problems, issues with click goals, please refer to this article for debugging.