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13.02.20 - by boxChilli
Google Optimize is a fantastic tool for testing ways to improve your website and gain more conversions from your customers. Find out more about the tool and how it can help your website and business.
Google Optimize is a tool developed by Google that allows you to create experiments that will change the way your website looks, according to the parameters that you set for the users that see the tests. The original version of your website is then competes with the modified version(s) to show which is more likely to drive conversions from customers. These experiments or experiences normally run for a couple of weeks, depending on how long it takes to get sufficient data. You should check the experiment every few days, just in case your new variation is not working for the site.
Conversion rate optimisation is the act of improving the percentage chance of a potential customer interacting with your goals, by improving the user journey. Google Optimize can help you test what works. Whether you want to test a number of variants of a “buy now” button, to try and increase sales for a Pay Per Click Campaign or different layouts of a blogpost to get clicks through to the sales and improve your SEO results, its the tool for you.
You will need to set up an account for Google Optimize and connect it to your Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager accounts, otherwise you will not be able to collect any useful experiment data. It is also useful to deploy the Google Optimize code through Google Tag Manager. The next step is to create a new experiment (and name it as specifically as possible, as you may be doing more than one over time). From there you can specify the URL that the experiment should fire on, as well as the device types and what percentage of users should see each variant. Note: it is possible for the experiment to fire on all of the pages on the site, by going to the targeting section and stating that the experiment should fire when the experiment contains the domain.
You then need to create the variants – the elements that you are testing. Simply click to add a variant and make your changes to the website in the simulator, whether that is a text change, colour change or other type of alteration. This will work slightly differently if you are doing a Redirect test or a Personalisation test.
Google Optimize will allow you to test the difference in engagement between your original website and a small change up to an entirely different-looking page, depending on what type of experiment you choose. Popular experiments include:
Google Optimize has four types of experiment – A/B test, Multivariate test, Redirect test and Personalisation test.
A/B tests are used for testing one element of the website with a variety of options. You would not use this option if you were planning to test more than one aspect of the website. For example, you could change the colour of a button or the CTA on the button but not both. It is important to remember the difference between elements and variants – an element would be what you want to change, such as a button and the variant would be the colour of the button. Despite being called an A/B test, you could have an infinite number of variations so you could test all the colours under the sun, you would just need to be aware that this would take a lot longer to gather sufficient data.
Multivariate tests are fantastic if you would like to test more than one element on a page, such as the button colour and CTA example above. These will then test the engagement difference between the original of all elements and then the variant of one with the original of the other, the reverse and then the variants of both at the same time. If there are more than two variants, this can still be a multivariate test and there will be more options to be seen by users until all combinations have been included.
Redirect tests do not involve having to make changes to elements within the Google Optimize platform. In Redirect tests, the experiment will be conducted between two different URLs, where the specified percentage of the audience will see one version and the remainder will see the other(s). This is normally done by having domain.com/landingpage1 and domain.com/landingpage2 or by using a subdomain like www.domain.com and new.domain.com if you are testing the homepage. These experiments are great if you are creating a new website or going through a redesign and need to make sure that your new version will be an improvement over your current one.
Personalisation tests are slightly different to the other experiments/experiences, as you are targeting your audience slightly differently. For example, you may wish to target a promotion at the people in a certain location or show them a different language or currency.
With a greater understanding of what Google Optimize does and how it works, the benefits are as follows. Google Optimize allows you to test hypotheses you may have on what would improve your website, without making any permanent changes. You will also be able to test the changes against your original version with results in the Google Optimize tool so you will know exactly how many conversions are achieved for each version and then which works better.
You are also able to test more than one variant at once and update more than one element at once to allow you to draw more conclusions about how you can update and improve your website. These changes also don’t normally need a great deal of website development knowledge so they can be done by most people and if more knowledge is needed to update elements after the experiment, this can be done by your developer.
If you need help improving the User Experience of your website, a new website design or help getting your website to rank in search engines, we can help. Call us on 02392 822377 to arrange a consultation.