Prepare Optimizely Web Experimentation for your site

  • Updated
This topic describes how to:
  • Set up pages, tags, and events in Optimizely Web Experimentation
  • Implement Optimizely Web Experimentation to build behaviorally targeted audiences
  • Passively collect baseline analytics for your site before you run your first experiment

In Optimizely Web Experimentation, you will create experiments and campaigns using pages, events, tags, and audiences. Together, these features will help you create, target, and measure the impact of experiences that you deliver to your visitors.

They are reusable and always on. Set them up when you first start using Optimizely Web Experimentation so you can passively collect baseline data, even before you run your first test. When you are ready to run experiments or campaigns, your pre-built components will help you set them up quickly.


Set up pages, tags, and events in the Implementation dashboard. For in-depth information about implementing Optimizely Web Experimentation on your site, try our Optimizely Academy course, Implement Optimizely Web Experimentation.

1. Add Pages

Pages are URL templates that let you choose where campaigns and experiments run. They are reusable URL patterns that are always on. You will use them to tell Optimizely Web Experimentation where to deliver experiments and personalized experiences on your site.

What URLs will you use to run experiments and campaigns on your site: your homepage, all product detail pages, a checkout flow? Add pages based on the URL (or pattern of URLs) where you want to test or personalize an experience. Learn to set up a page.

Here is a quick walkthrough:


By default, experiments and campaigns activate immediately after the snippet loads. Sometimes, you may need to set experiments to activate based on the presence of an element on the page, an event, or your custom code. This can be especially helpful if you're using Angular, Backbone, Ember, or Knockout. Here's how to set up pages that activate conditionally.

2. Add Events

You can think of events as the "verbs" of Optimizely Web Experimentation. They track the actions that people take on your sites, such as clicks, page views, form submissions, and purchases. Learn to set up a click, pageview, or custom event.

Here is a quick video walkthrough of setting up an event.


Above, we use Simple Match to create a product detail page for the 5 Panel Camp Cap. To target all product pages, we'd enter the broader URL ( with Substring Match instead.

3. Add Tags

If events are “verbs” such as clicks and pageviews, then tags are "adjectives." They describe key parts of a page that visitors engage with, such as the type of product and what it costs.

If you are using Optimizely Web Personalization, tags and events provide a data-rich picture of your visitors’ behavior. Use them together to create behaviorally targeted audiences.  Learn to set up a tag.

Here is how to tag a Price element:


4. Add Audiences

Audiences are groups of visitors to whom you will show an experiment or personalized experience. Do you know which visitor segments are important to your business? Set them up as audiences so you can target them or see how they perform in your results, compared to all visitors. Here is how to set up an audience.


In Optimizely Web Personalization, you can also use pages, tags, and audiences together to create a behaviorally targeted audiences. For example, you can target a "Luxury Traveler" audience for visitors who purchased bags over $200 in the last 30 days, using the page, events, and tags above.

Once you have prepared Optimizely Web Experimentation for your site, check out our Optimizely Web Experimentation and Personalization resource pages for the next steps.