Using Google Optimize for Testing and Personalization: An Analytics Bootcamp Recap


June 2, 2020

Have you attended our Analytics Bootcamp sessions? If you missed the first one, make sure to read our recap. And if you couldn’t attend our second session, read on for a summary. 

In our Analytics Bootcamp series, Adswerve Head of Innovation Charles Farina shares what you need to know to get the most out of your analytics. During the second session, he covered Google Optimize, a tool that helps you perform website tests to determine optimal, personalized user experiences. Here’s a quick recap of what he discussed.

Google Optimize Free vs Paid: What’s the Difference?

Google Optimize offers native Google Analytics and Google Ads integrations for a holistic view of website testing performance. It allows you to flexibly target users with UTM parameters and also lets you track events and pageviews as test objectives. With a free and paid version to choose from, it’s a tool you’ll want to take advantage of. Here are the core capabilities of both options:

As you can see, you can still do a lot on the free version, but if you’re an enterprise or an organization with a lot of web properties, pages or user groups, you’ll want to explore Optimize 360.

If you’re not sure which option you want to implement, you can start with the free version. Right now some of the limitations have been waived due to COVID-19.

How to Start Using Google Optimize

Google has created a handy guide to help you set up Optimize and integrate it with your Google Analytics account and website. One note as you link Optimize to Google Analytics: like Google Tag Manager (GTM), Optimize has containers within an account and a container ID is required for code implementation. It’s the same format as GTM, which can be confusing so make sure to be careful.

Tips for Using Optimize

As you dive into Optimize, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Never publish a test without QAing the variants and targeting criteria.
  • Use the latest Optimize diagnostic tools to check your implementation.
  • An experiment with no clear winner isn’t a failure. Learn from the process and go back to the drawing board.
  • Testing is a gradual process, be realistic in your expectations.
  • Use data to identify pages/events that are underperforming, especially with a certain audience.

Need additional help? Don’t hesitate to reach out.

A Quick Google Optimize Trick for the COVID-19 Era

Finally, with COVID-19 changing the business landscape, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re keeping your website up to date. Optimize can help. You might have different business hours or shipping policies, or other information your users need to know. Instead of investing in an additional resource to update your website, you can do it for free with Google Optimize. When you log into your account, you can use a new feature to easily add a message for your customers to the top of your homepage. Either use a templated banner or customize the message by editing the color, size or text.

If you need to make other changes throughout your site, you can continue to use Optimize to create site personalizations. Optimize users would normally be limited to running 10 site personalizations at once, but that restriction was removed until July 31, due to COVID-19. 

If you have any additional questions about Google Optimize, please contact us. We’re happy to help you as you implement your testing and personalization processes. 

Analytics Bootcamp  – Coming July 14th, 2020!

Want hands-on experience using Optimize and other free Google Analytics platforms? Charles is hosting a second interactive Analytics Bootcamp series covering App + Web, Tag Manager, Optimize and Data Studio starting on July 14th. Stay tuned to this page for more information and to register.