By Pere Munar, on 7 July 2020
Within SEM and SEO strategies and online marketing in general, having a well optimized website is essential. But the process of continuous testing can be very costly, especially in terms of time.
The solution? A handy tool from Google Suite that you may not know about: Google Optimize. Let's take a deeper look into this tool and how you can use it to improve your website’s results.
What is Google Optimize?
Google Optimize is part of the Google Analytics suite. Although many still think of it as a single web analytics program, the truth is that Analytics has a very complete suite of tools and solutions, with a premium or "360" version specially designed for marketers. Some of these tools include:
- Google Analytics: today's famous web analytics solution goes far beyond simple data about how users behave on your website. In Google's words, it focuses on getting valuable information about how users interact with your business, both online and offline.
- Google Attribution: a tool for designing attribution models that include different channels and devices, focused on clicks and ad impressions.
- Google Audience Center: focused on creating new audiences for your marketing platforms from user data. It allows you to consolidate different lists and record their performance.
- Google Tag Manager: this tool is dedicated to managing web and application tags from a single interface through an enterprise workflow.
- Google Surveys: a solution for creating online surveys.
And finally, we would have Google Optimize, the tool we’re focusing on here.
Google Optimize is a solution for running experiments on websites and customizing content for different audiences. Its goal is to optimize the user experience, doing controlled tests of different variants to identify the strategies that work best. Thanks to its integration with Analytics, we can obtain a large amount of information about the result of the tested variables.
As with the other tools in the Google Analytics suite, there is a free version (Google Optimize) and the premium version (Google Optimize 360). The second one incorporates Google Analytics' audience segmentation, includes implementation and support services, and allows more objectives, experiments, users, and variables.
How to Use Google Optimize
In order to use Google Optimize, there are a number of prerequisites. You must first install both Google Analytics and Optimize tracking codes on your website as well as have the Google Chrome browser and install the Optimize experiment extension on the browser.
To create your first experiments in Google Optimize, follow these steps:
- Define your test. Identify the aspects of your page that you want to improve and make possible hypotheses, for example "increasing the font size would improve readability and decrease the bounce rate". It is important to carefully select the metrics you will use to evaluate the results, as they should be connected to your business goals.
- Create an account in Optimize (from which you will be able to do experiments on several different websites) and a container (site where all the experiments are saved and that allows us to configure them).
- Click the "Create Experiment" button to open the experiment tool. Select the name of the experiment, the URL, and the type of experiment that best suits what you are looking for: A/B test, multivariate test, or redirect test (to compare different websites).
- The original version of the test will be automatically created, which will serve as a control version to compare the performance of the different variants. From here, we can create the different variants.
- In the experiment configuration page, select a target. By default, the goals are page views, session duration, and bounce rate, but you can also configure and add new goals through Google Analytics. Here you can also decide what percentage of the visitors are shown the experiment, how the traffic is distributed between the variants, and when the experiment is shown.
- Before launching the experiment, don't forget to do a preview test to make sure everything works perfectly. And of course, you can keep track of the results from the Reporting tab.
Google Optimize Case Study: Telia
Let's see how Google Optimize works in practice through a case study from Telia, a Norwegian mobile phone company.
Telia had discovered that an increasing percentage of its revenue came from mobile purchases, but the conversion on mobile devices was lower than on desktop computers. Their theory was that if they could improve the mobile user experience, she would be able to improve sales.
Telia needed a solution that would allow them to test changes in their user interface without the need for the programming team. To do this, they used the Google Optimize visual editor, which allowed them to make changes directly on the site.
Using this tool, Telia was able to quickly identify a number of improvements to the mobile user interface and measure their impact through Google Analytics. They made the following changes:
- Reduce the size of the header image on the home page, so that more phones can be seen without scrolling This increased conversions by 19.3%.
- Replace the generic message on the payment page with a specific call to action. When testing, the bounce rate decreased by 20.5%.
- Display the price of mobile phones by month, rather than by year. Telia suspected that this change would make it easier for users to understand prices and convert. And she was right: with just a small change, sales with this financing option increased by 94%.
Are you ready to experiment with Optimize?