What Is Google Optimize?
Google Optimize is a free website optimization tool that allows businesses to test and optimize their website’s performance. Optimize 360 is the more robust, paid version of Google Optimize. These tools provide A/B testing, multivariate testing, and personalization features to help businesses improve their website’s user experience and increase conversions.
Since its launch in 2017, Google Optimize has become a popular choice for businesses thanks, in part, to its integration with other Google Suite products. Compared to other A/B tools, it was cumbersome and lacked many rich features, but it was hard for businesses, particularly free ones to ignore its greatest feature: it’s free. However, Google has announced its decision to sunset Google Optimize as a standalone product.
Why is Google Making this decision?
According to Google, this decision was made to focus their efforts on other products that offer more advanced website optimization capabilities. Per their own website, Google says, “Optimize, though a longstanding product, does not have many of the features and services that our customers request and need for experimentation testing. We therefore have decided to invest in solutions that will be more effective for our customers.” Source.
Google has also stated that they will be focusing on providing more comprehensive website optimization solutions through other products like Google Analytics 4 and Google Marketing Platform. Currently, there is no mention of when and how these products will be available.
Despite Google’s official statement, many are theorizing about what really brought about the end of Google Optimize. We can’t help but wonder if the cost to develop optimize and offer it for free was just not profitable for Google. Google Optimize relied on Google Analytics for setting goals and gathering data. With Google Analytics 3 (Universal Analytics0 sunsetting in the spring of 2023, we suspect it take too much effort to build in what is needed in Google Analytics 4.
Google Optimize will be fully discontinued after September 30, 2023, and businesses will need to find alternative website optimization tools to continue improving their website’s performance.
This announcement has left many businesses reeling. Many small businesses and marketers rely on Google Optimize to make data-driven decisions about their websites for free. Many of these small businesses have a smaller budget, which makes purchasing other A/B tools in the market a harder decision. Since the announcement, some companies like VWO have changed their business model and are now offering a free version to capture the market. In the next section, we will explore some of the best alternatives to Google Optimize that businesses can
Alternatives to Google Optimize
As businesses search for an alternative to Google Optimize, there are a number of website optimization tools to consider (see reviews of 26 tools here). Google itself has said that it will be collaborating on integrations with the following A/B testing providers going forward:
- AB Tasty
In addition, tools like Convert, have also boasted themselves to be a great Google Optimize alternative. Let’s explore these providers and see how they stack up against Google Optimize.
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One of the top alternatives to Google Optimize is VWO (Visual Website Optimizer). VWO is a comprehensive website optimization tool that provides businesses with a range of features and benefits to help them improve their website’s performance. One of the primary advantages of VWO over Google Optimize is its range of features. While Google Optimize focuses primarily on A/B testing and personalization, VWO offers a range of other features that can help businesses improve their website’s performance.
One of the most useful features is the way the data is presented showing conversion rate over time with the ability to segment the data by specific dates, devices, traffic, etc. This is helpful because you can visually see if the test is stable enough to stop it as well as remove parts of the data that may be corrupted by external events.
VWO also remembers all the goals you have established for a specific domain. This allows you to quickly set up new tests.
VWO also offers other tools like heatmaps, which provide a visual representation of how users interact with their websites. By using heatmaps/click maps, businesses can identify and track their users’ interactions with elements of a webpage by mouse-click or finger-tap. This type of data allows businesses to discover what images and CTA are successful or not.
VWO also offers surveys, which allow businesses to collect feedback from users about their website experience. This feedback can be used to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions about website changes.
Compared to Google Optimize, VWO also has a more user-friendly interface and more advanced targeting options. This makes it easier for businesses to use VWO and to create targeted experiments that provide more accurate insights into their website’s performance.
In addition, VWO provides a range of integrations with other popular marketing and analytics tools, making it easy for businesses to use VWO alongside other tools in their marketing stack. This integration capability helps businesses to streamline their optimization efforts and access a range of tools in one platform.
Finally, VWO’s personalization features allow businesses to create unique experiences for different segments of their audience. By tailoring a website experience to a specific audience, businesses can improve engagement and ultimately increase conversion rates. VWO makes it easy for businesses to create these personalized experiences and to test them against other variations to determine which version performs best.
A huge bonus is that their pricing is readily available on their website, making it easier for businesses to make informed decisions. Below is a quick overview of their pricing. Keep in mind that these prices are meant for a small business with less than 10K monthly tracked users (MTU). The VWO pricing page features a slider to increase the number of MTUs.
STARTERFor businesses wanting to get started with experimentation
- A/B Testing
- Split URL Testing
- Mobile Website Testing
- Visual Editor
- Code Editor
- Add New Elements
- URL and Device Targeting
- Preview Mode
- Traffic Allocation
- Email Support
- US and EU Data Center Available*
GROWTHFor small businesses looking to expand their optimization program.
- Everything in STARTER
- Download Summary CSV
- Share Report
- OS, User and Traffic Targeting
- Elements Library
- Variation Version History
- Create Sub-accounts
- Add-ons Available
- Chat Support
PROFor mid sized businesses seeking to scale their optimization process.
- Everything in GROWTH Plus
- Multivariate Testing
- Multi-Browser QA
- Multipage Campaigns
- Multi-device Campaigns
- Cross Domain Testing
- Geo Targeting
- Cookie Based Targeting
- Phone Support
ENTERPRISEFor large teams, agencies, & enterprises focused on optimization.
- Everything in PRO Plus
- Customizable Widgets
- Manual Activation
- Self Hosting
- Custom Dimension
- Advanced Targeting
- API Access
- Dedicated Account Manager
- Onboarding and Training
AB Tasty is another alternative to Google Optimize that offers a range of features to help businesses improve their website performance. AB Tasty prides itself on its customer satisfaction and customer service, offering a range of support options, such as a dedicated account manager, a knowledge base, and a community forum.
Both AB Tasty and Google Optimize offer A/B testing and personalization features. However, AB Tasty also provides a range of other features, such as multivariate testing, heatmaps, and user feedback tools, which can provide more in-depth insights into website performance and user behavior.
AB Tasty has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for businesses to create and launch experiments without needing to know how to code.
AB Tasty also offers a range of targeting options that allow businesses to create experiments for specific audience segments, based on location, behavior, and demographics. Google Optimize also offers targeting options, but AB Tasty’s options are more advanced and can provide more granular targeting capabilities.
Another standout feature of AB Tasty is the multitude of integration through various other tools, such as CRM and email marketing software, which can help businesses streamline their optimization efforts.
Pricing is not readily available through their website, though there is the option to fill out a form for a custom quote. Based on some reports, it seems they determine the pricing based on the monthly unique visitors
Optimizely is the more expensive option of the three and it offers some unique capabilities that set it apart from other optimization tools, including VWO and AB Tasty. Here are some key differences:
- Experiment types: While VWO and AB Tasty offer A/B and multivariate testing, Optimizely has a wider range of experiment types, including server-side testing, feature flagging, and product experimentation. This can make it more flexible for certain use cases, such as testing backend functionality or rolling out new features gradually.
- Integrations and ecosystem: Optimizely has a robust ecosystem of integrations with third-party tools, including analytics platforms, customer data platforms, and marketing automation tools. It also has a range of pre-built integrations with popular eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify and Magento.
- Targeting and personalization: Optimizely has a range of advanced targeting and personalization capabilities, including behavioral targeting, geotargeting, and audience targeting based on third-party data sources. This can make it a powerful tool for creating personalized experiences for different segments of your audience.
- Ease of use: Optimizely has a user-friendly interface and visual editor that makes it easy to set up experiments without coding. However, it may take some time to get used to its more complex capabilities.
Most of the pricing is not readily available on the website, though you can request a quote for all of their products. They do have a tool called Content Marketing Platform (CMP) for businesses looking to create and plan a marketing campaign. CMP has a free plan as well as a more advanced plan for $79 user/month. The other tiers in this plan are custom quotes only.
Optimizely is a powerful and flexible optimization tool that offers a wide range of experiment types and advanced targeting and personalization capabilities. However, it may be more expensive and complex than other tools and may be more suitable for larger enterprises or complex use cases.
Convert Experiences is a website optimization tool that offers a wide range of features for businesses looking to improve their website performance. Compared to Google Optimize, Convert Experiences provides several advantages that make it a compelling alternative for companies seeking to optimize their website.
One of the significant advantages of Convert Experiences is its integration with GA4, which enables you to measure traffic and engagement across your site. Plus, Convert Experiences is currently working on a plug-in that will allow users to migrate their Google Optimize experiments over with GA4.
Moreover, Convert Experiences provides a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for businesses to create and launch experiments. The platform also offers a range of customization options, allowing users to create experiments that match their branding and website design. Not only is the user experience friendly, but they also have fantastic customer support that responds quickly to troubleshooting, as well as a deep knowledge base community.
Another significant advantage of Convert Experiences is its ability to integrate with 90+ third-party tools, including WooCommerce, Shopify, and HubSpot. This integration allows businesses to streamline their optimization efforts and get a holistic view of their website’s performance. They also provide unlimited testing and no third-party cookies.
Perhaps one of its best features is the variety of testing. Convery Experiences allows businesses to do more the just A/B testing. It also features multipage testing, cookie-based targeting, device targeting, cross-domain testing, traffic allocation, visual editor, code editor, mobile website testing, post segmentation, multi-factor authentication (MFA), scroll goals, CSV exports, and more. Regarding reporting and analytics, Convert Experiences provides a comprehensive dashboard that allows businesses to track the performance of their experiments. The dashboard provides real-time data on visitor behavior, conversion rates, and engagement metrics, allowing users to make data-driven decisions.
Pricing includes a free 15-day trial that doesn’t need a credit card. After that, plans start at $99/month. For every additional 50k visitors, the cost increases by $99 per 50k.
Overall, Convert Experiences provides robust features that make it a compelling alternative to Google Optimize. With its ability to handle complex testing scenarios, user-friendly interface, and strong integration capabilities, Convert Experiences is a valuable tool for businesses looking to optimize their website’s performance and drive conversions.
How Businesses Can Transition Away from Google Optimize Me
Because Google Optimize has officially entered the sunsetting phase, we recommend that users leave sooner rather than later. There is no guarantee that Google will continue to maintain the platform fully until its end date, and a number of bugs could set your business back. You can download all of your historical data from Google Optimize up until September 30, 2023.
Here are some practical tips and best practices to help businesses make a smooth transition:
- Assess your needs: Before making a switch, it’s important to determine what your business needs from a website optimization tool. Consider your goals, budget, and the specific features you require.
- Research alternative tools: Once you know what you need, do your research to find alternative tools that meet your requirements. We have listed some great alternatives above.
- Plan your transition: Once you’ve selected an alternative tool, it’s time to plan your transition. Identify the key stakeholders who will be involved, create a timeline for the transition, and allocate resources as needed. Be sure to communicate the plan to everyone involved and set expectations for the transition process.
- Test the new tool: Before fully committing to the new tool, conduct tests to ensure it meets your requirements. This will help you identify any issues that need to be addressed before the switch is complete.
- Migrate your data: When it’s time to make the switch, migrate your data from Google Optimize to the new tool. This may include setting up new experiments and updating your tracking and reporting.
- Train your team: Once the transition is complete, it’s important to train your team on how to use the new tool. Provide resources and support to help your team make the most of the new tool.
By following these best practices, businesses can make a smooth transition from Google Optimize to an alternative website optimization tool. While it may take some time and effort, the end result will be a tool that better meets your needs and helps you achieve your website optimization goals.
While it’s sad to see a valuable freemium service like Google Optimize close its doors, we’re excited to see how Google Analytics 4 will improve upon optimization as well as what new A/B testing integrations Google has plans for.
Choosing the right AB Testing tool can certainly be a challenge. Ometrics Agency has years of experience with conversion rate optimization tools and we’re happy to offer advice on what the best tool is for your business. Click here to get in touch.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing is a technique used to compare two versions of a web page or mobile app screen to determine which one performs better. In an A/B test, two versions of a page are shown to similar visitors at the same time, with the goal of determining which version results in a higher conversion rate, engagement, or other desired action.
When will Google Optimize be discontinued?
Google Optimize will be fully discontinued after September 30, 2023. After that, businesses will need to find alternative website optimization tools to continue improving their website’s performance.
Will I lose my Google Optimize data after it is discontinued?
No, businesses will not lose their Google Optimize data after it is discontinued. However, businesses will not be able to access their Google Optimize experiments, and they will need to find an alternative tool to continue their website optimization efforts.
What are some alternatives to Google Optimize?
Some alternatives to Google Optimize include VWO, AB Tasty, and Optimizely. These tools offer A/B testing, multivariate testing, and personalization features to help businesses improve their website’s user experience and increase conversions. Here is a review of 26 A/B tools.
How to begin conversion rate optimization testing?
Here are our recommendations for how to begin CRO testing:
- Determine what section of the site will have the greatest lift, and test those sections first. The “lift” can be traffic into the site and or a call-to-action, such as a form or a checkout page.
- Ideally, you would then limit what you are testing to one variable.
- Make sure your test data is statistically accurate.
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