Tools We Love: Google Optimize

When it comes to advertising, we know that driving to a bad landing page can often ruin a great ad. The advertisement is what the consumer sees and what entices them to click, but the landing page is what drives the consumer to convert. However, even in using best practices with content, design, and calls to action, we can’t assume it’s the most effective combination in producing conversions. Enter my new favorite tool as a marketer: Google Optimize.

With this fairly new tool (introduced in 2016), marketers are given the ability to make minor, and even some major, changes to websites and landing pages by simply dragging and dropping and editing text or colors – very similar to PowerPoint or Google Slides – all without a developer’s assistance.

How we’ve seen it work

We noticed on a client’s website that one specific section at the bottom of the page was getting more attention than others at the top. We decided to run a Google Optimize experiment to see if moving the better performing section to the top would lead to improvements — primarily transactions, but also the duration of the consumer’s session and how many pages they chose to view during their session. As this test continues to collect data, we can see that the original is outperforming the new variant on both the transaction and session duration objectives, but the new variant is performing best when it comes to page views.

google optimize results

Why we love it

In this specific example, we were able to easily drag the bottom section up to the top of the page without having to code our way through it or leverage any of our design team’s bandwidth. Google Optimize will run this test by splitting traffic across the original and the new variant, and will give you feedback and analytics on which converted better.

If you’re hesitant about the risk of splitting traffic evenly on a test, Google Optimize allows you to choose the weight of traffic to each variant. As a general rule of thumb, we run A/B tests on landing pages until there are either 1,000 page views or 100 conversions. This is the minimum; the more traffic and the more activity you drive through a test, the more reliable the results will be. At the end of the test, Google Optimize will provide an assessment of whether the new variant was more or less likely to convert compared to the original page’s conversion baseline. From there, we can make the final decision to keep the original page or to request a site update from our development team.

google optimize test original

google optimize test variant 1

Not only does Google Optimize offer the option to A/B test sections of a page, but users can also run redirect tests and multivariate tests.

Here’s what that means:

  • Redirect tests allow users to test separate web pages identified by different URLs or paths. This type of test is useful when you want to test two very different landing pages, or a complete redesign of a page.
  • Multivariate tests involve testing variants with two or more different sections. For example, if you have two different headlines to test against three different hero images, this test would create 6 variants and report on which outcome was the most effective.
  • You can read up even more on the different types of experiments here. Users are allowed to run up to 5 experiments at one time and for as much time as you wish to run the experiment.

The Google Optimize tool opens doors for all marketers that aren’t fluent in coding to add conversion optimizations to their performance toolbox. So give it a shot testing whether one call to action works better than the other, one headline keeps visitors on the page longer than another, or one entirely different design outperforms the page you’ve been using for the past year.

This tool is truly invaluable in helping marketers craft the most engaging & highest performing user experience. Plus, it saves the entire digital marketing team time and provides insight into a continually changing market. I highly recommend it.

Try it out and let us know what you think. Or, if you’d like to talk about how we can help you optimize your current landing pages, let’s talk. Contact us here.

Bonnie McDermott