Imagine have an alternative universe that can help answer the question “What if I did this instead of that? Will the product perform better? Will I have more sales if I did this instead? “! Well, you do, and it’s called A/B testing. A/B testing, which is sometimes referred to as split testing or experiment is essentially comparing two versions of a web page to see which one performs better.
Having the option to test and experiment with various types of the website makes it possible for you to optimize the overall user experience, increase conversion and make better decisions which allow you to build better products.
One of the major problems with many A/B testing tools, though, is that they are usually very expensive and they don’t work well with most WordPress websites. Additionally, they don’t integrate seamlessly with existing analytics tools which allow you to collect the data from these experiments.
In this post, we will be discussing a solution that works well with all of the problems listed above. We are going to talk about Google Optimize, Google Optimize is a free and easy-to-use analytics, experimentation, personalization and AB testing software provided by Google that integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics. Google offers a premium version which backed by an SLA called Google Optimize 360 which can take you A/B testing and experimentation to whole new dimension.
What is Google Optimize?
Google Optimize is a free website testing and experimentation platform which can be used as an A/B testing tool that integrates directly into your Google Analytics account. Just like Google Analytics, there are 2 versions, a premium version called Google Optimize 360 and the regular Optimize product. Below are some of the features of Google Optimize.
- Google optimize is free to use
- It integrates easily and seamlessly with Google Analytics, so you can easily see all your results easily and make decisions quickly
- It is easy to setup, it just involves pasting a code snippet on your website and setting up an experiment
- Google Optimize support mobile A/B testing
- It supports A/B or multivariate testing
How to Install Google Optimize on WordPress
To get started with Google Optimize is very easy. You first need a Google Analytics account. If you don’t have that, signup and get Google Analytics installed on your website. Once this is installed you can easily get access to Google Optimize. If you already have Google Analytics, you can just sign up for Google Optimize.
You can start the process by visiting the Google Optimize website here. After you accept the terms and conditions, you can proceed to the dashboard where you can start creating your experiments.
The initial page introduces the first page of the terms and conditions of the service just like most products out there.
After you have fully setup your account you will receive a welcome email and be presented with this page below which give you the option to start a new experiment. Once you have this page, it means you have successfully signed-up for Google Optimize. Congratulations!
At this point, we want to link our Google Optimize account to the Google Analytics account you use for your WordPress website. To do this, click
Link Property. This way, Google knows to which property it should be reporting the experiment results.
If you’re logged in with the correct Google account, you should see your website listed under Google Analytics Property. If not, open the drop-down and select the correct one (or go back and log yourself into Google with the correct email address). Check the box for All Web Site Data and then hit the Link button.
After you select the Analytics property to link to, you will be given a snippet to update your analytics code for your WordPress website.
Additionally, Google Optimize has a second code snippet that hides the content of the page to give a better user experience by waiting for the experiment to load. The whole idea behind that is to prevent the page or website from flickering.
It is recommended but not required to use. it might work better on certain websites than others because of the way it’s implemented. My advice here is to try it out and verify to make sure it’s something you want on your website.
Now we want to proceed to create our first experiment. At this point, your website should be ready to experiment after all this set up is done.
To start, you can just click on the
Creat Experiment button. This button opens a slider on the right side which gives you the options to fill out the experiment details like in the screenshot below.
After this, you enter the URL where you want the experiment to take place and then you finally selected the type of experiment to run. Google optimize gives you three (3) types of experiments you can run on your WordPress website.
Firstly, A/B tests, these allow you to tests two or more variants of a page. Also called an A/B/n test. Secondly, you can also run Multivariate tests, these tests variants with two or more different sections of your website, and finally Redirect tests, which tests separate web pages identified by different URLs or paths.
After you select the test Google Optimize requires you to name your variants. There should be one original (which you can’t alter) and then as many variants of the same element as you want. Note: this may differ based on the type of A/B test you selected in the previous screen. Additionally, within each variant, you’ll need to select the percentage of visitors you want to show the alternative design to. This will automatically default to an equal share among all variants.
Additionally, you have to enter a primary objective for your experiment as well as description and hypothesis under objectives. If you already have Goals created in Analytics, you can choose one of those or you can select from Pageviews, Session Duration, or Bounces.
Furthermore, under the Targeting, you can change the amount and percentage of visitors you want to serve the test to. If you want a specific action to trigger the A/B test to occur, you can set this up under the “When” and define a new rule. Even if there are no special actions, you will need to at least define the URL match under Additional conditions.
There are also multiple targeting rules that allow you to have a really granular variant. After you have successfully set all this up, You can use the top right button to start the experiment:
Once all this is set you can view the reporting tab to notice the results of your experiment. The results don’t typically come in as soon as you start the experiment, it takes a little bit of time to get the results.
Thanks all for now folks, in subsequent tutorials, we will be going into more detail about how to interest your test results and the various tools you can use to make this whole process easier for more complex experiments.
We hope that this article helped you learn how to set up A/B testing for free on your WordPress website using Google Optimize. Feel free to reach out to our support crew in the case of any issues, we offer 24/7 WordPress support at a ridiculously low price.