Serving up my thoughts since 2004

Google Optimizer A/B Test With a Private Conversion Page

I just received an email with this question:

I’m trying to set up an GWO A/B test, but I’m having a problem
completing the set-up of the test because the confirmation page
requires a login.  It’s not a public page because there’s sensitive
order info on there.   So we’ve got the CWO code posted on the
confirmation page but GWO can’t validate it because it’s not
a public page.   

However, when a real order comes through, the Javascript will
fire and it should work okay.
Any idea how I can complete the set-up
of the test without going through successful validation?  Right now I’m
stuck because I can’t hit the continue button in GWO to get past the
“Validate pages” step.


So I checked and indeed Jonathan is right.
You can’t continue without a “live” conversion page that is publicly accessible.

The solution
Create a dummy conversion page that is publicly accessible. Enter the dummy page URL during the experiment setup and simply copy the conversion page javascript code to both the dummy page and the real page.

Once an experiment is live, Google Website Optimizer doesn’t care what the URL of the conversion page is. The conversion event will be triggered when the javascript code is executed, regardless of the page URL (if it’s not on the same domain – you need to add some code).

When creating a Multivariate experiment, this is a non-issue because you can upload the conversion page from your local file-system, bypassing the need for the file to be publicly accessible.

Hope that helps
– Ophir


  1. what if the landing page is private too? How do i pass the validation?


  2. If the original landing page is private – just create a dummy page and use that URL.
    If the non-original landing pages are private – you’re out of luck with A/B split tests – you’ll have to use the multivariate experiment (which allows you yo upload the files).

    – Ophir

  3. I’m going to place the conversion page javascript on a dummy page, because my real conversion page won’t pass GWO validation (…page is not accessible, need a password to get there).

    If I pick some random page on my site to be the dummy page, then after validation I’ll want to remove the conversion javascript, or I’ll get false conversions as people hit that page. Will GWO object at some point if the conversion javascript is missing from the page that is “officially” set as the conversion page?

    When you talk about a dummy page or a fake page, do you mean I should create a new, dummy page that no one can ever navigate to, and leave the conversion javascript on it for the duration of the experiment? Or do you mean I can use any page of my site, place the conversion javascript on it long enough to pass validation, and then remove the javascript?


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