Improve results with Google Optimize

How a digital marketing agency can improve results with Google Optimize…

In this article we look at Google Optimize. What is it and why and how should you use it?

Google Optimize – aka Optimise for us Brits – was originally launched as an A/B testing product. It was trialled in Beta by Google in 2016, and released to the wider market in late 2017.

There are now two versions of Optimize available. Optimize is the free version, Optimize 360 is a paid version which includes more features and the ability to dovetail with Google Analytics audience targeting. Generally speaking, Optimize is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses getting started with experimentation, whereas larger enterprises and businesses with more sophisticated testing needs should consider Optimize 360.

So what is A/B Testing?

A/B testing is the process of running an experiment to compare two versions of a digital marketing product, usually a web page. Each version has just one difference, and both versions are tested on equal numbers of target audience to find out which version proves to be the most effective.

In late 2018, in response to customer feedback, Google adapted Optimize to enable businesses not just to experiment on the best version but also to deliver more personalised experiences to their customers. So now, as well as being able to run short-term A/B testing with Optimize, you are able to build on this to create custom website experiences that delight your customers – and deliver the right message – every time they visit your site.

The way this works is simply that you run an A/B test on a web page and Optimize has determined the best version. All you then need to do – see below – is click “DEPLOY LEADER,” and Optimize will re-create the winning page as a new personalisation that you can launch to any target audience of your choice.

Personalisation without testing

You can also use Optimize to create personalised experiences without having to run a test first. For example, if you wanted to offer free delivery within a certain area – for example Bristol – all you need to do is to use the Optimize “Create Experience” button, select “Personalization” as the experience type, use the Optimize Visual Editor to add free shipping offer to your site, then select “users located in Bristol”.

Multi-page personalisation

Optimize also gives you the ability to extend a personalised offer over your entire site. For example, if you wanted to offer a particular discount you can set up a display for it in Optimize then add multiple pages to it by using the “+ Add page” button. You will then be given the option to edit these additional pages and display the promotion wherever it looks best on each page, whatever its layout. Once you are happy with the results of the multi-page experiment, you can convert it into a multi-page personalisation.

If you’re using Optimize 360, you have the added ability to focus your experiment or personalization to your Google Analytics audiences. By using your Google Analytics data you can also target these personalised pages to a specific audience by ensuring that you include your offer on every page that your loyal customers visit. As soon as your personalisation is launched, these customers will see the discount offer on every page as they navigate through your site.

It is estimated that around 45% of small and medium businesses still don’t use A/B testing to check the effectiveness of their websites. Commonly, this is due to a lack of either resources or knowledge but Google Optimize can change all this. It is easy to set up and to use, and has all the features that you need to start making huge strides in optimising and personalising your website, to improve your targeting, UX, and ultimately conversions.

All images courtesy of Google Blog