AB Testing Goals

Types Of A/B Testing Goals And When To Use Them

Written by on March 1, 2017

The ultimate purpose of all website experimentation is to see a spike in the business revenue. But randomly experimenting with endless titles, CTAs or content can be time consuming and pointless. AB testing can only impact revenue if their goals are aligned to the business and website goals.

This blog covers a step by step approach to picking and setting up A/B testing goals that are relevant to your business goals.

Step 1: Identify your website goals for the experimentation period

Your site goal is what you strive to achieve for your business through your website.  A few examples are listed below:

  • An e-commerce site might want to increase the number of completed payments
  • A product firm would like to get visitors to watch a video about a new feature in the product
  • Some firms like to control form abandonment rates (signup forms, payment forms, contact us forms et cetera)
  • Bloggers might want to lead their readers to subscribe to a newsletter

So, pen down what you want to achieve through the experiments, in other words, the website goals.

While tracking your primary goals, you may also want to track the journey of events that your visitor takes to perform that goal. Here’s an example:

The results or the winning variants of your experiments are picked based on the primary goals, mostly. The secondary goals help you in breaking the data further down to get a better understanding of your visitors. Especially, when you have inconclusive experiment results, you can take a look at your secondary goals to see what happened on the different variations.

Step 2: Now identify the metrics that drive your goals

That is, identify the metrics that you’ll have to track to measure how your goal is performing. For example, if increasing signups is your goal, then you might want to track the number of clicks on your ‘Sign Up’ button or the form submissions for the signup form itself. This will be set as the primary goal of the experiment.

Step 3: Choose a goal type 

Zarget offers different types of goals from which you can choose one for your experiment based on your goals and hypothesis.

Track Clicks on Elements

If you want to track clicks on any particular elements such as a call-to-action button, an image, or banner, etc., you can use the ‘Track clicks on elements’ goal. When the visitor clicks on the particular element, it records a goal conversion.

When you are trying to understand if the important elements on your website have visibility, or if you are trying to eliminate competing CTAs, or if your testing copy or colours on CTAs, then this is the goal you want to use.

Track Clicks on Links 

Each time a visitor clicks on the specified link/links, it is recorded as a goal conversion. This goal will come handy when you are trying to measure or improve the click-through rates of a particular page, say your homepage or even your entire site.

Track Page Visits 

For a track page visits goal, an URL or a subset of URLS is entered as the goal in the experiment. Each time a visitor who is a part of the AB testing experiment reaches the particular URL, it is recorded as a goal conversion.

The page visits goal is one of the most accurate and credible when it comes to tracking conversions. Let me give you an example of why I say that:

Let’s say you want to track the number of completed purchases on your website. If you try to track clicks on your purchase button, it will only track the clicks on that particular element. But even if their payment fails, the click will still be considered as a conversion.

Instead, if you use a ‘track page visits’ goal on your Thanks-on-payment  URL/page, it counts as conversion only those visitors that ‘actually’ completed their purchase.

Track Engagement

The goal tracks all visitors’ clicks and scrolls on the page. This goal is never recommended. For whatever reason, if you are not into optimizing and are lazy about it, you could just set this goal to track all engagement on your variants to see which is performing better.

The goal is not recommended because it tracks all engagement and does not really focus a conversion influencing area or give you any actionable insights.

Track Form Submits

Form submissions are one of the key goals of any digital marketing effort – product signups, event registrations, contact requests, newsletter subscriptions and the list goes on!

The ‘Form Submits’ goal tracks if the user ‘actually’ submitted a form. It tracks every form submit action as a goal conversion.

A little something to remember:

If your form has a destination URL, that is if you are going to redirect your visitor to another page after completion, then the ideal way to track it would be using a ‘Page Visits’ goal.

In the absence of a destination URL, you could choose to go with a custom goal (of which we’ll discuss a little later).

Revenue Goals

When you want to track which variant generated more revenue for you, this is the goal you want to make friends with. Revenue goals help track which variation actually performed better in terms of generating revenue for you.

Consider the above scenario: You run an AB testing experiment for your pricing page, the original version has pricing plans for trial users and Pro users with a pricing of $15. The Variation has pricing plans at $35. Now, original might get more conversions than the variation. But, the variation generates more profit for the organisation. Tracking revenue is essential in this case.

AB Testing Revenue Goal

Performance Reports of a Revenue Goal

Custom Goal 

When the website goal you want to track does not fall under any of the above categories (i.e directly linked to clicks or page views), Zarget allows you to create and track an own custom goal. Any event on a site can be tracked using a custom goal.

Think of the below scenarios:

  1. A signup form submission on a popup that appears at different instances as a visitor progresses through your website cannot be accurately tracked using one of the default goals.
  2. Add to cart actions on an e-commerce site
  3. A contact form that has no redirection URL or a unique confirmation page
  4. Ajax form submissions
  5. Tracking visitors who watched a video on your homepage for more than 40 seconds
  6. Tracking on visitor behaviour on website or pages that use a single-page app framework

The accuracy of achievement of these goals cannot be tracked by clicks or page views goals, and that’s where custom goals come into play.AB Testing Custom goal

Performance Reports of a Custom Goal


 A goal well set is half achieved 🙂

If you’re using Zarget, you use the below links to our knowledge base with step-by-step instructions on how to execute each one.

Happy ab testing. May plentiful conversions come your way!

P.S: If you are not a Zarget user already and landed here by choice or accident, feel free to check out Zarget. Your first month is on us!

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