A/B testing lets you compare two or more versions of the same page element, paid ad, or another variable to see which one performs the best. A/B testing when used to assess your website content, advertising, and other elements can help to boost your customer engagement and conversion rates.

The results are clear as a simple preference is given by each person who is asked. For example, do you prefer button A or B, the one that gets the highest number of preferences is the better of the two options?

Yet, there are more insights that can be gained by A/B testing that you might be overlooking. Applying secondary goals to A/B testing can improve your marketing development. So how can you set secondary goals?

A/B Testing – Primary Vs. Secondary Goals

In A/B testing, a primary goal is the priority aim of your testing, such as, which CTA gets the most clicks?

A secondary goal will give you more insight into how people interact with your website. These goals help you achieve your primary goal by providing a detailed insight into your A/B test results.

For example, you might want to know how many people share your content on social media or follow your social media channels. These insights can help you better understand how your content is performing.

A/B testing is essential to growing your business. The primary and secondary information that you can learn from A/B testing is how you understand what is motivating your customers, what is driving traffic, and what is connecting with your audience. These are all discovered by understanding secondary goals in A/B testing.

Six Secondary Goals for A/B Testing

Tracking your secondary goals as part of your A/B testing will quickly improve your website performance, and as a direct result, improve your business growth. There are six core areas that your A/B testing can influence secondarily, and which you can learn more about by simply asking the right questions when compiling data.

Add-to-Cart Actions

Tracking the “add-to-cart” metric shows how often customers add items to their cart and which pages get the most traction. Knowing how many times the “add-to-cart” action is triggered lets you split your audience into two categories:

  • Those who add items to their cart but ultimately abandon their cart
  • Those who view a product page but don’t add the item to their cart

You can use Google Tag Manager (GTM) to track cart actions. Once the feature is activated you can run different A/B tests, such as testing if adding more images of a product increases sales.

Using Site Features

How often people interact with certain website features is useful information. It indicates what is working well on your site and what might need replacing or improving.

Tracking features such as how many times people use your email form, how many people click CTAs, or how many people use the search bar. This information will help you understand many aspects of your website and how people use it.

The features you choose to track will be determined by your goals. The testing can help you determine things from the colors that attract the most attention, to the best fonts and logo placement.

Rage Clicking on Page Features

When someone repeatedly clicks on a page element, but nothing happens, they are rage-clicking. This typically occurs because a page element looks clickable but isn’t, or because a link is broken.

Google Analytics can track if there’s a single page generating a high number of rage clicks. You can also see if a certain type of page element generates a lot of rage clicks, like an image or CTA.

Rage clicking can cause you to lose customers, degrade trust in your business or drive traffic away from your website. If you don’t fix this fast, customers are unlikely to return to your website as they sense they cannot trust that your business pays attention.

Highlighting Page Text

Knowing if people highlight your page text is important for a few reasons. Some people highlight text so that they can take action, such as copying your address, which would indicate that it should be hyperlinked.

People could also be highlighting your content to search for more answers on other sites. This is an issue. You don’t want your website to drive traffic away. You need to be content-rich and provide the answers that people are seeking when they arrive at your website in the first place.

Some people could copy your text into a document to read it because the accessibility on your page is poor. This is necessary to test and understand.

To learn which changes are effective, such as adding a hyperlink to your address, is a primary goal. To learn if this change keeps traffic on your page is a secondary goal.

Pageviews of Categories and Subcategories 

Category and subcategory page views are both of equal importance.

The category page lists related pages on your site, making it easier for your site visitors to navigate.

Subcategory pages branch off from category pages and provide a higher level of experience for traffic.

To track how these pages are performing, you might assess how many people click on certain subcategory pages, the bounce rate for pages, and any subcategory pages with very low engagement levels.

You can then optimize the pages with better names, category orders, or even condensing navigation. You can set this tracking on your Google Analytics and use the data to improve the performance of your website.

Social Media Sharing Buttons

When users share your content it means that you are resonating with your target audience and that they are introducing your brand to others. Social media tracking is a great way to know how your brand awareness is tracking and if audiences are engaging with your brand.

You can see how many times videos are viewed, content is shared, and how people are engaging with your social media channels. This information can be gathered from both the social media sites you use, as well as Google Analytics.

How to Measure Your Secondary Goals for A/B Testing

To actually measure anything, you must first define your goals. Now you know what goals you can set, you can think about how to make assessments.

First, you must set baseline measurements. You need to know what is happening in the now to understand how to elevate your performance. This is your baseline measurement.

From this point, you can use Google Optimize, an addition to Google Analytics, to help you measure the secondary goals. The tool allows you to run A/B tests and track outcomes, and then measure the results via Google Analytics.

You can create an experiment within Google Optimize by selecting the “Experiments” page and clicking the “Create Experiment” option. From this point, you can start making assessments and changes that will have a bigger impact on your business performance and growth potential.