Testing to Get Results: Google Optimize 101

Released in 2017 Google Optimize lets you perform A/B (split) testing and personalization on your websites.

Split testing is a popular way to increase the conversion rate optimization of online sales funnels by altering various elements of a webpage for maximum conversion.

If you’ve never heard of Google Optimize, treat this post like Google Optimize 101 and you’ll be ready to start running optimization tests on your website.

Google Optimize

How Much Does Google Optimize Cost?

There are two versions, Google Optimize and Google Optimize 360.

99% of users will be fine using the free version, Google Optimize. Google Optimize 360 is for large enterprises who are willing to pay over $150,000/year.

Benefits Of Google Optimize

Free: As mentioned this above.

Integration With Google Analytics: Many industry leaders see this as the biggest edge against the other A/B testing tools. Google Optimize uses the data from Google Analytics to allow you to achieve maximum CRO against goals you set with Google Analytics.

Easy To Get Started: Getting started with Google Optimize is relatively simple. Once you’ve signed up you can start creating experiments right away. Note: it is advised to sync your Analytics account (and Google Tag Manager if you want) first which we explain later on in the article

Familiar UI: Google Analytics is something you are likely familiar with at least to some level. Because all of your Google Optimize data syncs in Google Analytics (and vice-versa) the ability to work within a familiar UI makes life easier.

Google Tag Manager Integration: With Google Tag Manager (GTM) you can use the event tracking feature. This means you can set the goals within Google Analytics as experiment objectives and when the data is synced between Google Optimize and Google Analytics you can instantly see if any of your tests met your objectives. Note: it’s not necessary to integrate Google Tag Manager to use Google Optimize although I recommend it.

The WYSIWYG Visual Editor: If you haven’t used a what you see is what you get editor before you’re in for a treat. They’re intuitive (simple UI) and make switching various elements in and out to test on your website straightforward. To use the editor, you need to use the Google Chrome browser and install the the Google Optimize extension. The simplicity of the editor eliminates the need to go back and forth with engineers or your webmaster to update your website.

One Less Tool: If you are in the online marketing space, you likely have a large online toolkit you use on a daily basis. By using Google Optimize, you don’t need to open another account on another website to for an additional too as Google Optimize is contained within Google.

Competitors Of Google Optimize

There are lots of A/B testing tools available, each with their own pros and cons. Three of the popular alternatives are Visual Website Optimizer, Optimizely, and TruConversion.

Downsides Of Google Optimize

As much as Google Optimize offers, there are some limitations of Google Optimize:

  • You can’t target an audience based on your Google Analytics (we can’t all afford Google Optimize 360, right?)
  • You can’t run more than 16 variations on each multivariate test (4x4 or 8x2)
  • If you’d like to do concurrent tests, you can only do up to three at a time.

Google A/B Testing

What Type Of Tests Can I Do?

A/B Tests: This is the most basic test and it’s easy to track results. You’re testing different versions of one element on a page. For example, you might have a green button on your website. You could create an A/B test to have one version of the page showing the green button, and another showing an orange button. If the orange button shows better results, that’s a great result and you can switch out the orange for the green going forward.

Redirect Tests: Similar to A/B tests, with a redirect test you’re comparing two versions of the same page. The versions are totally different so it does take longer to implement than an A/B test but the results can be equally interesting.

A common situation to try a redirect test is on a sales page. You might have a short sales page vs. a long form sales page with one possibly producing significantly better results.

Multivariate Tests: A multivariate test is the process of having multiple elements of a page tested simultaneously. For example, you might have three different headlines you want to test alongside two calls to action. Therefore there are six different combinations of the page your are testing (3x headlines) * (2x CTA’s).

You can get really specific on the best way to set up your test in this format, however you need to ensure you can get sufficient traffic in order to make th test meaningful.

📊Testing to Get Results: Google Optimize 101 🖥️

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How To Get Started With Google Optimize

  1. Go to https://www.google.com/analytics/optimize/

  2. Sign up via the big green button on the top right corner

  3. Once you’ve signed up go to https://optimize.google.com/optimize/home/

  4. You could start an experiment now, but instead, link your Google Analytics account by selecting the option on the right hand side of your screen and following the prompts.

  5. Now install the snippet of code on your website by following the steps provided. There are two options to get the pieces of code, with or without GTM. If you’d like to set it up with Google Tag Manager, goto your Google Tag Manager account, you’ll now see Google Optimize as an option.

  6. FINALLY it’s time to set up your first experiment. On https://optimize.google.com/optimize/home/ click Create Experiment and fill out the name of your experiment, the URL you want tested and the type of test (A/B, redirect, or multivariate as mentioned earlier).

  7. From this point on, the variables get too many for this 101 guide, but you’ll be able to get testing within minutes.

  8. When you have let sufficient time pass for the experiment to have enough data, head to the reporting section and you’ll know which variation had the batter results.

Happy testing!

Roy McClean
Jun 18, 2018
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