Do you want to test and optimize certain elements of your website or landing pages?
Thanks to the technique of A/B testing, or A/B testing, you can test different elements of your website — banners, landing pages, CTAs, conversion tunnel, product page, form, etc— – to see which variations lead to the best conversion rates.
In this article, we will show you how to easily run an A/B testing project with Google Optimize, step by step.
But let’s start by explaining what A/B testing consists of in more detail.
What is A/B testing?
A/B testing is an effective way to find and make improvements to your company’s website in order to optimize your online performance and boost your turnover.
The principle behind A/B testing is quite simple: you create a second version of the web pages whose performance you want to improve, slightly different from the original ones, and you distribute your traffic between each version equally, in order to see which variant works best.
For example, let’s imagine that the original page you want to test, which will be called “variant A”, displays a blue CAT (call-to-action button). To check if a different color could possibly generate more clicks, you can make a copy, the “variant B”, in which the CTA will be red in color.
Then, it remains to direct 50% of your traffic to page A and 50% to page B to see which CTA color has the best click-through rate, and you will be able to see the effectiveness of a particular color compared to another.
By running A/B tests, you will learn and understand how to create web pages that offer the best results for a specific goal, and ultimately, you will be able to publish this optimized page so that all visitors to your website can access it and perform the desired action, whether it is clicking on a CTA or filling out a registration form.
Why is A/B testing essential for your website?
A/B testing is a technique that can have a significant impact on your web marketing activities and on the success of your business, by increasing your conversion rates, also called “transformation rates”.
By taking a rigorous and performance-oriented approach, A/B testing can have a huge impact on your ability to generate conversions, because this method allows you to know what works best for your audience.
It is sometimes tempting for entrepreneurs to take an interest in what competing companies are doing, and even copy some samples from a page on their website, but this is certainly not a long-term solution.
Because what works for a particular website will not necessarily work with yours, because your audience is unique, just like your brand, and the web marketing strategy that you are going to implement on your web pages must necessarily present elements of personalization to meet the expectations of your prospects.
Thus, you should start creating variations of your web pages with your site visitors in mind first, which proves to be much more effective than following the recommended best practices on the web to the letter or copying the web layout of your competitors.
What are the main elements to be tested and optimized?
There are several key elements that you should include in your A/B testing, and here are the must-haves :
- The title of your web pages: Make your title engaging and address your audience directly. Test different versions to see which one gets the most clicks or keeps users on the page.
- The call-to-action button (CTA): Test the placement of your Call-to-Action button by moving it to the top or bottom of the page. You can also test different samples of size, color, and animation to see what works best.
- Your call-to-action button text: The text on your CTA button should clearly indicate what you want visitors to do. In addition to being engaging, this text must be brief. Then, you can test your different versions of CTA text to see which ones drive conversions and bring you, customers.
- The copywriting (text) of your sales pages: You must make sure that the reading of your copywriting for the sales pages on your website is fluid and that their contents are easy to understand. Use the language of your audience and avoid complicated words. For example, you can test adding feature lists to your pricing page so that users don’t need to switch between different pages on your website.
- Product or service description: Make sure that the descriptions of your products or services make sense to your visitors. Explain what each feature means and how it can impact the user experience. It’s up to you to test which version elicits the best reaction.
- Customer testimonials: Also test the positioning of your customer testimonials, an important element that must appear in the best possible place on your page in order to convince users to make the desired conversion. It’s often at the bottom of a page, where users are about to make a purchase decision, but it’s up to you to do the test for your particular situation.
- Make a list of all the elements that you want to test on your website or landing page. You can then move on to looking for A/B testing tools to help you make your comparisons.
There are many A /B testing solutions, but Google Optimize is a tool of choice, and relatively easy to learn. Let’s see for what reasons.
Why use Google Optimize for A/B testing?
Several online A /B testing tools are currently available on the market, in case you want to optimize the pages of your website. But many of them have a relatively high price and are quite difficult to use, especially if you are new to the field of A/B testing.
Google Optimize is a solution that has the advantage of being free and simple to use.
What is it about?
Google Optimize is a “split test” tool, or online split test, designed by Google, which connects to your website and allows you to experiment with different ways of delivering your content.
Google Optimize is intended for three types of tests: A/B tests, multivariate tests and redirect tests.
It is an online solution widely used for the implementation of CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) strategies, that is to say, conversion rate optimization.
Google Optimize offers direct integration with Google Analytics, which allows you to run A/B, multivariate, and redirect tests based on previously collected data.
Since Google Analytics is an indispensable tool for website owners, it is very convenient to have the ability to access the test data of your account.
In addition, all your tests performed appear in reports, which allows you to monitor the behavior of on-site visitors based on the variations they notice.
Google Optimize can also be installed using Google Tag Manager.
It should be noted that there is a paid version of Google Optimize, called “Optimize 360”.
This is an excellent choice for companies of a certain size and who have enough means and resources to devote to an ambitious A/B testing strategy.
However, the free version of Google Optimize contains everything that small and medium-sized businesses need to optimize their websites.
Now it’s time to discover how to use Google Optimize to perform A /B tests of web pages crucial for the success of your online business: your landing pages, or landing pages.
How to test your landing pages with Google Optimize?
In this part, we will show you how to run A/B tests with the Google Optimize tool.
We will detail each step so that you can perform tests yourself later and improve the performance of your landing pages.
1- Set up your Google Optimize account
The first step is to visit the Google Optimize website and create a free account. Just click on the “First Steps” button.
Then, you must give your consent, or not, regarding some data sharing permissions, and click on the “OK” button.
You will now head to the Google Optimize dashboard. Click on the “Get Started” button to create your first A/B testing “experience” with Google Optimize.
A sliding panel will pop up on the right side of your screen, where you can give your test a name, add the URL of the web page you want to use, and choose a type of test.
We will choose the “A/B Test” type for this first test.
Thanks to the A/B testing type, you can test different elements on your websites, such as different CTA buttons, images, and even the design and layout of your landing page.
After choosing your test type and entering your main URL, click on the “Create” button.
2- Add a variant to test
The next step is to add a variant of the page you want to test. Start by clicking on the “Add Variant” button to bring up a panel on the right side of your screen.
Now give your variant a name and click “Done”.
For example, you can start by testing a different version of your CTA text, to see which version generates the most conversions.
Once you have configured your variant, it is now time to make the desired changes to it. Click the “Edit” button to get started.
You will see a pop-up window appear, asking you to install a Google Chrome extension. This will allow you to use a visual editor to customize your variant, whether it is the text of your CTA, its positioning on the page, etc.
Then click on the “Show Extension” button and follow the instructions to add it to your Google Chrome browser. Then refresh your Google Optimize page and click the “Edit Page” button again.
You will then see an editable version of your web page. You can click anywhere on the page to make the changes you need.
You can start by selecting the text of your CTA button and clicking on the “Edit Item” button located on the right.
From there, you can click on “Edit Text” and add your new text.
When you are satisfied with your changes, click the “Save” button, which is located in the upper right corner of your screen, then click “Done” to return to the Google Optimize dashboard.
3- Choose the page targeting rules
In the variants section, you can choose where your test will take place inside your website. By default, this parameter is set to the URL you used in step 1.
However, if you click on the “Add URL Rule” link, you will be able to set a different URL, host, path, or URL fragment, as follows :
- Corresponds to a particular value
- Does not correspond to a particular value
- Is equivalent to a particular value
- Contains a special value
- Starts with a particular value
Under this section, you can customize the audience targeting and add a description to help your marketing team members understand the purpose of your test.
4- Log in to Google Analytics
Google Optimize uses Google Analytics to measure the results of your tests. You must therefore link your Google Analytics account.
Click on the “Link to Analytics” button, then choose your property from the drop-down menu on the right.
5- Define your A/B testing goals
Once your Analytics account is linked, you can choose from a range of different test goals or set your own custom goal. The objectives correspond to key performance indicators that allow you to gauge your A/B test, and help you know which variant is the most successful.
To set your goals, click on the “Add a test goal” link and choose an option from the drop-down menu.
You can choose from a list of goals related to your Analytics account or create a custom goal based on your specific needs.
6- Install the Google Optimize Snippet
Now that your test is set up, you need to install Google Optimize on your website. How you will proceed depends on the configuration of your Google Analytics account.
If you have manually added Google Analytics to your website, simply click on the “Show Instructions” link.
Then, on the next screen, copy and paste the Google Optimize code into your header.
However, if you have installed Google Analytics with a WordPress plugin like MonsterInsights, you will need to enable Google Optimize in this plugin.
To do this, log in to your WordPress dashboard and go to Insights “Settings” Conversions.
Then add your Container ID in the “Container ID” field of Google Optimize.
You can find your Container ID by selecting “All Accounts” in Google Optimize.
You can also check the box next to “Enable Google Optimize asynchronous page hiding compatibility”.
This reduces the risk of “flickering”, or flickering of the page (the original page appears briefly before loading the variant). This also ensures that users with slow connections benefit from a better UX by displaying the test variants only when loading the Optimize container.
7- Run your A/B test
Now that you have properly configured and installed Google Optimize, you can start running your A/B test.
At the top of the page, click on the “Start Test” button to start your A/B test.
And there it is! Your first Google Optimize A/B test is online. Let it work for a while, then you can stop the test at any time and check your results.
How to analyze your A/B test results with Google Optimize
Once you have launched, run, and evaluated your A/B tests with Google Optimize, you can start checking your results.
There are 2 ways to do this :
1- You can click on the “Reports” tab in your Google Optimize dashboard and view details such as the number of test sessions, dates, improvements, etc.
2- You can use Google’s Google Analytics reports to access all the data on your A/b tests.
Thanks to this data, you can immediately add the changes that have proven themselves on your website and then reap the fruits of your efforts with increasing results regarding your sales, your registrations, the number of views on your pages, etc.