What is Google Optimize and How Can It Work for Small Businesses?

Google has many tools to help small businesses and the latest is Google Optimize - an A/B testing solution. How does it work and what can it do for your business?

Google has a huge suite of free tools available for small businesses, such as Drive, Analytics, Documents and Mail. The latest addition is Google Optimize that helps you boost the user experience and your effectiveness in engaging customers by making it easy for you to test various elements on your business website. This is done through A/B testing, multivariate testing and redirect tests.

What are these tests?

  • A/B testing allows you to test multiple versions of the same web page to see which one works best with your customers.
  • Multivariate testing allows you to test two or more elements on a page (text, an image or call-to-action button) to see which combination is the most successful.
  • Redirect tests involve testing two different urls – more commonly used when comparing two very different landing pages.

What is Optimize?

Optimize
If you’re already using other Google tools like Analytics to track your digital marketing activities, Optimize will be a great boost these efforts. With insights from Analytics, you can identify which part of your website isn't working effectively and through Optimize test different variations on that page to see which best engages your audience.

The native integration is a huge plus, as you’d already be familiar with Google’s interface and reports. Essentially the product allows you to experiment with different messages, landing pages, images or designs on your website to see which is the most effective with your customers.

What can it do?

While Analytics provides insights on website behaviour and media performance, Optimize can conduct A/B testing and multivariate testing and redirect tests. Put simply it allows you to easily compare website changes to see which offers the better user engagement.

It could be as simple as looking at which part of the page do banners perform better. You can also run a multivariate experiment that tests several elements of the same page, for example, images, messaging, colours and positions of your call-to-actions. After running the experiment (two weeks minimum is usually recommended), you can access reports to review results. An Optimize report will feature a Summary card, indicating which test achieved the best results, and an Improvement card showing how each test did compared to the original page.

Should I use it?

Big business has been running this type of testing on their websites for years. The difference is that for them it usually involves a tech team and costly tools.

There is a paid version of Optimize 360, rumoured to cost $150,000 a year or more. For large-scale enterprises with massive amounts of traffic from multiple sources that will be worth the investment. But the free version allows businesses to run many of these tests on a smaller scale.

If you’re a business running several campaigns and want to tweak certain elements on your landing pages to optimise performance, Google Optimize will be very helpful. It will be especially beneficial for businesses who are already using Google Analytics, and need to make the most of every campaign.

When testing different pages, Optimize offers drag and drop editing so you can easily swap around images, buttons and elements to create different permutations. This is perfect for beginners as no coding knowledge is required.

Summary

  • Google Optimize is a free tool for SMEs to test different parts of their website to create the most engaging site
  • It is integrated easily with Google Analytics
  • It easily conducts A/B testing and multivariate testing
  • It gives businesses the ability to conduct simple experiments that used to be costly
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