A/B Testing Goals: Relevancy, Types and URLs


Measuring your goals correctly is one of the most important steps in setting up any type of conversion test. After all, if you aren’t properly measuring your goals, then the results of your experiment will be meaningless.


Be sure to keep the goals that you’re measuring and which you base your decisions on are relevant. We suggest to measure as many relevant goals as possible, while only making your decisions based on the goals that link to your hypothesis.

Is it worth analyzing?

While this method allows you to see unexpected wins/losses, it unfortunately also enables you to see potentially irrelevant changes in goals. In order to minimize the time spend on potential flukes, be sure to always analyze whether the results you’re looking at. Are they relevant? Do they have enough power and significance (find out with this tool)?

Goal types

Most testing tools offer a similar set of goal types. While VWO calls them Conversion Goals and Optimizely calls them Experiment Goals, what they can do is basically the same.

  • Click goals: These are used to measure clicks on any type of element. You can use it, for instance, to measure how many times visitors are clicking on an image, or a call to action button (especially handy when two or more call to actions pointing to the same URL are present on a page).
  • Visit goals: With these you can measure how many visitors reach a given URL. This is the most reliable way of measuring the result of a click on a link or a button.
  • Revenue goals: This type of goal allows you to see how much revenue is earned in a given variation. It is especially useful for ecommerce sites. Without setting up this type of goal, you might make the mistake of picking the variation that has the highest number of conversions instead of the one bringing in the most revenue.
  • Custom goals: Lastly, this type of goal allows you to measure anything that can’t be measured using the goal types above. For instance you could use custom Javascript events (useful in the case of an AJAX checkout) to trigger goals.

Goal URLs

Another aspect of goals that are regularly causing problems are goal URLs. In order to prevent any problems, it’s advised to use one of the standard matching types whenever possible. However, if your URL structure requires you to use regex matching, be sure to verify if your regex is working as designed with a tool like Debuggex. Another common pitfall are subdomains such as m.example.org, be sure to set up your goals correctly with these in mind as well.

Dutch translation: A/B Testing Doelen Correct Inzetten

Theo van der Zee

Author: Theo van der Zee

He is the founder of ConversionReview. He has been building and optimizing websites for 15+ years now, and doing so with great success.

On top of his digital skills, Theo is also a trained psychologist and frequent speaker at events around the world.