I've started rolling out new features to a site using Netlify's branch split testing so I can say ex. 10% of users gets a branch with a specific UI change to see if it produces measurably different results. I have google analytics events set up to track some useful metrics already.

How can I compare the events in branch A with branch B in google analytics? I think there are two parts here: how to change the analytics code to identify sessions on branch A vs branch B, and also where to create a view in google analytics that I can compare events from sessions in A to sessions in B.

I'm happy with the tools I'm using so I'd like to avoid cluttering my page with yet another tracking script from a single-purpose A/B test provider when I'm pretty sure my existing tools can do this, I just don't know how.


Google Analytics has built in support for multivariate A/B testing. The first is available within GA under "Behavior" -> "Experiments." The second way to do this is via Google Optimize.

I'm not sure how these would work with the A/B testing solution you are already using but it will provide a great way to compare analytic performance between the different versions.

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  • Thanks for the help. Optimize seems like an interesting and easy to use tool for testing text changes and other cosmetic edits on a page - netlify A/B gets a bit more powerful since I can deploy code base changes. – Nick Dec 20 '18 at 17:24

After a bit more experimentation, I figured out what I was looking for:

Netlify adds an environmental variable BRANCH that tells you what portion of the A/B test you're on. I created a new dimension in google analytics and used my analytics tags to set dimension4: process.env.BRANCH.

To compare against normal traffic in google analytics, I created a fresh segment that was based off my new dimension, matching the branch name exactly. Now I can compare traffic or events on any screen that can compare between segments.

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  • 1
    can you detailed your process to create your dimension and get the data in a segment on Analytics. I added the following code on our branches: ga('send', 'pageview', { 'Branch': 'branch-name' }); I created a personalized dimension in analytics named 'branch-name' but I don't see any data when looking at this dimension in my report. Did I forget any steps? – Yann Jan 31 '19 at 13:29
  • The key name isn't Branch, it's dimension4 or whichever dimension number you want to use. – Nick Jan 31 '19 at 21:30

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