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Frequently asked questions in Optimizely Classic: Goals and results

This article is about Optimizely Classic. If you're using Optimizely X, check this article out instead.
relevant products:
  • Optimizely Classic
  • Troubleshoot issues relating to goals and results in Optimizely Classic

Goals and results 

Don’t see your question on this list? We welcome your feedback! Please scroll to the bottom of the page to click open the dialog box. Select the No option, then let us know what you're looking for.

How does Optimizely count conversions? 

Optimizely counts conversions based on unique visitors to your page, meaning that regardless of how many times a user triggers a conversion, Optimizely will count it as one visitor and one conversion.

If the visitor doesn’t trigger the conversion goal the first time he or she visits the site, but does so during a subsequent visit while the experiment is still running, the experiment still counts the conversion.

Want to learn more? Watch this short video on how Optimizely counts conversions. (More videos here.)

How does Optimizely count unique visitors?

When visitors are bucketed into an experiment, they receive an optimizelyEndUserID cookie. This cookie is used to determine whether a unique visitor has been included in an experiment. This may differ from how your analytics platform tracks unique visitors, as we explain below.

Check out this short video to learn more about how Optimizely tracks unique visitors. (More videos here.)

My Optimizely results numbers don't match the numbers in my analytics platform, like Google Analytics. Why do I see different results in Optimizely and my Analytics Platform? 

Optimizely and your analytics platform may count visitors differently, but integrating them will help.

If you have not done so already, you should integrate Optimizely and Google Analytics. The integration will allow Optimizely to inform Google Analytics of the experiment and variation that a given visitor was assigned to.

Within your Google Analytics account, you’ll now be able to drill down into the data for visitors who saw one variation vs. another. This will give you a much greater insight into whether the numbers are trending in the same direction.

A primary reason for a discrepancy between your GA numbers and Optimizely’s results boils down to the way a “visitor” is counted.

  • For instance, Google Analytics uses a tracking call that is session based, meaning a single visitor can trigger multiple visits over a given period of time.
  • Optimizely, on the other hand, uses a 10 year cookie and counts unique users.
  • For additional information on Google’s sessions, check out their support article on the issue.

Read our Analytics Integration Overview for more information.

I want to track the impact my experiments have on revenue. How can I track purchases as a goal? 

If your site has a purchase confirmation page, then the easiest way to track purchase conversions is to set up a pageview goal on the confirmation page.

If you also want to compare revenue for each variation, you can create a revenue goal for your experiment. Please keep in mind that the Optimizely snippet is needed on any page on where you wish to track a goal.

I'm running a redirect experiment and I see 0 conversions for the variation on the Results page. Why can't I see any conversion results for my redirect experiment? 

The most common cause for this issue is incorrect goal targeting conditions. We walk through the solution in the linked article.

Do bots get counted in results? 

The vast majority of bots that can be identified by the user agent (Google, Bing, Yahoo) will be excluded from the test results. To make sure we don't violate any best practices, the different versions of your page can still be seen by the various crawlers. However, no tracking calls will be made. To make sure that your SEO is not affected take a look at this question for best practices when using Optimizely as an A/B testing tool.

I don't want my own internal traffic affecting experiment results. How can I exclude internal traffic from my experiments? 

You can filter your internal traffic from showing up on the results page with IP Filtering. See this linked article for more information.

You can exclude internal traffic from getting into experiments by using an IP address audience condition.