It’s always interesting when a major player like Google enters any digital realm as they’ll inevitably shake things up. Optimize is the tech giant’s A/B split testing and conversion rate optimisation platform, which is already being heralded as a game changer for design testing.


Getting started with Google Optimize

Setting up Optimize with a website already running Google Analytics is simple. Firstly, log into your Google account and link an Analytics property with the testing tool. Once the properties are connected, you’ll be prompted with a snippet of JavaScript to amend your current website’s Google Analytics tracking code. You’ll then need to download the Optimize Chrome Extension that allows you to access the editing tools, like the in-page content editor.

After following these steps, you’re website is ready to run experiments. Google provides the ability to setup A/B, multivariate, and URL redirect tests from a test dashboard. The dashboard is simple and elegantly designed, following the conventions ofย material design perfectly.


Pros of Google Optimize

Although this post reads like a paid endorsement for Google, I really like Optimize as it’s incredibly easy to immediately create and run experiments. The WYSIWYG editor makes front-end experiments effortless as no knowledge of coding is needed, although it helps to know some HTML / CSS. The option to redirect users to different URLs during an experiment also provides developers the ability to run tests from the server-side. As Optimize connects with your Google Analytics account, it’s possible to link experiments with pre-defined Analytics goals and track other metrics not outlined in your test.

The tool also includes a sophisticated reporting dashboard for all types of experiments. It gives users the ability to view either a quick summary or a deeper analysis of how a test is performing, even providing commentary on when Google believes a test may have reached statistical significance. Google Optimize experiment data is also accessible through the Analytics dashboard.


Cons of Google Optimize

The tool is free to start using, however right now you’re limited to running three simultaneous experiments per account. If you need to run multiple complex tests or manage experiments for a number of clients, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version, Optimize 360. Unfortunately the cost of Optimize 360 can be pretty steep, with some sources claiming high-end licences are a whopping $100k a year for enterprise users.


Last thoughts

It’s estimated 30 – 50 million websites currently track user data through Google Analytics, which previously included a basic tool to run minor design experiments.ย The advantage Google already has in the Analytics space has made it easy for the company to swiftly move into design testing and conversion rate optimisation.