What originally started as Google Experiments has recently evolved into the powerful new conversion rate optimisation (CRO) tool ‘Google Optimize’. Used for testing different landing page variations by comparing goal completions, the number of bounces or the metric you see fit, Google Optimize is incredibly easy to use and, best of all, completely free for up to 3 simultaneous experiments (which is plenty for getting started with CRO).
To help marketers learn how to make the best use of this tool, we’re putting together this series of blog posts that will walk through everything from installation (this post) to running your first A/B, Multivariate & Redirect tests to analysing and interpreting the results.
So, let’s begin with setting it up on your website:
Note: Please ensure you have both Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager installed on your website before setting up Google Optimize.
To install Google Optimize on your website, navigate to optimize.google.com and sign in with your Google account.
Next, click the ‘Create Account’ button, enter your company’s name, review and accept the terms of service, then click the ‘NEXT’ button:
Now enter your website’s address then click the ‘CREATE’ button:
On the next screen, a sidebar will appear asking you to create an experiment. Ignore this. Instead, click the third option labelled ‘Link to Google Analytics’ and click the ‘LINK PROPERTY’ button. This will allow Google Optimize to sent data to your Google Analytics installation:
Next, a popup will appear asking if you’d like to add the ‘Optimize snippet’ to your site. Click the ‘GET SNIPPET’ button:
Once the Tag Manager code has been installed on your website, click ‘New Tag’ to add your first tag:
You should now see installation instructions for Google Optimize. From here there are 2 options:
- Follow the instructions and manually install it on your site; or
- Install using Google Tag Manager (recommended).
For option 1, simply follow the instructions on the popup. For option 2, however, (in a separate tab) navigate to your website’s Tag Manager Workspace, add a new tag and select Google Optimize from the side panel:
Then input the tracking code we copied from the Optimize Popup, paste it into the ‘Optimise Container ID’ field and copy your Google Analytics Tracking ID into the above field:
Once this is filled in, select the ‘All Pages’ trigger, save your tag, then publish it to your website.
Navigate back to your Google Optimize tab and click the ‘NEXT’ button on the popup. Here, Google gives you the option of installing a ‘Minimise page flickering’ code snippet. What this does, essentially, is covers your website with a white screen until your page has fully loaded or after 4 seconds. This helps mask the flickering sometimes seen in A/B testing where the part of the page being tested (the A in A/B) changes (or ‘flicks’) to the alternative being tested (the B in A/B). This part is completely optional but recommended.
To install it, simply copy/paste this code into a Custom HTML tag in Tag Manager and have it trigger on the pages you want to A/B test (or all pages if your website loads faster than 4 seconds across the board):
Once you’ve pushed your container on Tag Manager, navigate back to your Google Optimize tab and click the ‘FINISHED’ button on the popup.
Congratulations, you’ve now installed Google Optimize on your website! Easy right? Now comes the fun part…
Now that our Google Optimize property is set up and ready to use, the next step is to get creative and start an experiment! We’ll explore how to do this in the next blog post in the series. For now, have a look in your Google Analytics View for your website and start thinking about which pages you feel could be better, looking for high bounce rate pages is a good place to start.
Stay tuned for part 2