Apr 7

Did you try the new Google Optimize A/B testing tool?

Google Optimize

After a prolonged stay in beta version, the stable version of Google Optimize is now finally available for everyone. With this release, Google has made both of its Optimize and Optimize 360 A/B testing tools accessible to the general public.

While Google Optimize is free of cost, The Google Optimize 360 is believed to be an enterprise level paid tool like the other alternatives available in the market. There were some leaks and details of Google Optimize 360 beta version which surfaced back in July 2015 too. Leaks revealed that it is an enterprise level business analytic tool which would cost around $150,000 a year. Such a huge budget can only be afforded by the bigger enterprise level businesses. The smaller and medium sized business could not even think about it.

Later when Google announced the free version- ‘Optimize’ tool, they did not forget to tell how they have understood the requirement of a tool for small and medium sized business.

“It’s just right for small and medium-sized businesses who need powerful testing, but don’t have the budget or team resources for an enterprise-level solution”analytics.googleblog

Well, that seems to be a great step to show Google’s positive approach towards the small business startups. We believe in the same philosophy, we have been writing about how a free tool can be a great option for business startups, instead of hopping on to the paid tools in the very beginning itself. That is why we provide our combo of MockingFish A/B testing and Heatmap tool for free for the first one year of the subscription.

What can you expect from the free Google Optimize?

The free Google Optimize tool aims at the smaller businesses with limited resources to spend on paid A/B testing tools. It’s definitely a limited version of the Optimize 360 which has some limited features. Nevertheless, is it that limited? I guess not. With my initial experience with the tool, I can list out some great features that I easily noticed in the free tool.

1. Google integration- The optimize has been designed to provide the key integrations that allow you to get inside deeper insights with Google Analytics and Google BigQuery. It does not support the Google Analytics audience targeting, though. For that, you have to go for the paid Google Optimize 360.

2. Experiments- It can be effectively used to create A/B or A/B/n testing, Multivariate testing, and Redirect testing experiments. You can deploy experiments with the Google Tag Manager.

3. Visual Interface- The integrated WYSIWYG editor and user-friendly interface provide easy page-variant creation. You don’t have to edit your site code each time you want to create a new variation for the experiment.

4. Targeting- It uses advanced targeting to identify the signals and lets you choose which signal you want to include in your experiment. From first-party cookie or JavaScript variable to Tag management setup, it uses everything that can be found on a web page.

Moreover, the URL targeting makes the task to reach specific users very easy. Putting the URL rules will let you run an experiment on a single page, a section on the site, or even the whole website.

The geographic and behavior targeting can be used to target specific users based on their location, and kind of devices used for browsing your website.

Reporting system- The Bayesian statistical calculations have been used to provide experiment results. You can view and compare the variants’ performances based on scales like sales, clicks, page views etc. For each variant, you deploy and see the number of experiments sessions and confidence level.

Reporting system  shows results based on Bayesian statistical calculations

So, these were some easily noticeable features that I found with the free tool. I could tally them with what they have listed on their official page. Coming back to the limitations that I found with the tool:

No Google Analytics audience targeting-

While it provided the attribute tracking features, I was hopping to also use the Google Analytics audiences to target a more specific group of users. Sadly, I could not do it as Google Analytics audience targeting facility has been solely allotted to the optimize 360 users.

Limited simultaneous experiments-

The number of concurrent experiments that can be run simultaneously using Optimize is limited to 3 experiments only. Maybe they limited the facility keeping in mind, small businesses usually do not deploy mass number experiments at a time. I guess, those who might want so, would not feel good about the limitation.

Restriction on multivariate testing-

The Optimize does provide the Multivariate testing, but a number of variations that you can create are limited to 16 variations only. This sounds ok for the small business startups. However, the medium ones with a bit of experience in the field might feel a bit unresourceful with this limitation.    The Optimize and Optimize 360 both the definitely a valuable addition to the available business Analytics tools in the market. The while the Optimize aims at the small and medium level business, Optimize 360 is a more sophisticated option with enterprise level services and support from the Google.

Let’s see if they can live up to their expectations and survive the market that has already been occupied by various other popular solutions. While using and trying the free version would not be a concern, the businesses would definitely tend to analyze the scenario before going for the paid version.   Description: Google Optimize and Optimize 360 are out for the general public. Have you tried them yet?


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