Tag Archives: Optimize

Deliver consistent site experiences with Google Optimize

Consumers expect connected shopping experiences from research to purchase. But their journeys aren’t linear; they move around, visiting—and revisiting—multiple sites and apps, multiple times a day. 


This makes it challenging for businesses to deliver a coordinated site experience, especially if they are running an experiment or personalization on their site. How do they make sure that the version of their site someone saw in the morning is the same version they see in the afternoon? 


Google Optimize can now understand when a customer has returned to a site they visited before and deliver a consistent site experience. Let’s see how this works.


Imagine you’re a hotel business running a marketing campaign that promotes a 20 percent discount for the upcoming holiday season. When people visit your site in response to the campaign, you want to make sure you offer this discount to them throughout their entire booking experience, even if they come back multiple times before they make a reservation.


One part of your marketing campaign is paid media you buy through Google Ads. In this case, you would use Optimize to create a custom web page featuring the discount and then add the Google Ads rule to ensure this page is shown to people who first arrive to your site from your Google Ads campaign. There are likely many people who click on an ad, explore your site, then come back later to complete the reservation. Now, no matter how many other pages on your site people visit, or how many times they return over 24 hours, Optimize will automatically display that custom page to them each time. 


Another way you promote this sale is through email. For this part of your campaign, once you create a custom web page with the discount offer, add a utm_campaign parameter named “holiday-sale” to the URL in the email. Then in Optimize, add a UTM parameter rule for “holiday-sale.” Optimize can now use that parameter to display the correct experience every time people who received the promo email visit your site. In addition to email, you can also use the UTM parameter rule in advertising campaigns managed with Display & Video 360 and Search Ads 360, or any other campaigns you are running that support UTM parameters.


optimize_112119.png

Create a UTM parameter rule to focus your experiment or personalization on a particular marketing campaign.


Royal Bank of Canada is an Optimize 360 customer that has already begun using UTM parameter rules. 


Together with their Google Marketing Platform Partner, Bounteous, they often use Optimize 360 to run personalizations across their entire website. Because most of these personalizations are focused on delivering the right content to the right user from their marketing campaigns, they were excited to start using the UTM parameter rule. 

"The customer journey at the Royal Bank of Canada is rarely linear. We need experiments that can react as customers frequently engage and navigate our website. The UTM parameter rule gives us that flexibility, and it is changing the way we approach our campaigns.” 

- Arnab Tagore, Senior Manager of Digital Analytics, Royal Bank of Canada

Both the Google Ads rule and UTM parameter rule are already available to use in Optimize and Optimize 360. We encourage you to go into your account and check them out and we look forward to sharing more new features that help you better meet your customers’ expectations and get the most out of your website.

Beyond the ad: Conversion Optimization

Today, using data for driving business decisions has become common practice for most companies, with many having a dedicated analytics team checking the impact of marketing investments, which channels to invest in and effect. But the majority of these activities are focused on optimizing parameters before the audience click the ad. The question is: are you taking the same data driven approach to your website design?

If you don’t use data to optimize your site’s user experience, you risk low conversion rates and lost revenue. A well-designed user interface could increase your website’s conversion rate by up to 200 percent, and a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400 percent. 

Now take your revenue, check your conversion rate, and calculate what it would be if the conversion rate would increase +200%. The number right there is why the companies that will thrive in the future most likely will be the ones that are data driven in, and focus as much on, both crucial moments during the user journey—before and beyond the ad.

The solution

Building this strength comes down to working with the research methods within conversion optimization and step by step A/B testing your way to a website your customers will love using.

Here are three steps on how to get started:

  1. Find the weak spots on the site. Combine quantitative research in Google Analytics, qualitative research such as user testing (in the Optimize Resource Hub you can find easy instructions) and inspiration from best practices. The Optimize Resource Hub gives you best practice suggestions from Google and a library of test results from other companies

  2. Prioritize the most impactful tests. Give each test idea a score of one to ten according to the uplift you think it will generate, and subtract a score of one to ten depending on the effort the test will require. 

  3. Start testing. You can get started today by setting up Google Optimize—the tool that uses the full power of Google Analytics. A free version is available so you can have a test up and running within a few minutes. 

For more in-depth knowledge around the process of conversion optimization, check out the CRO tips in the Optimize Resource Hub.
Optimize CRO 1

Learn from experts

We have one more treat for you, in the form of a new series of articles that will be published here on the blog: The Optimize CRO Series—Experts share their secrets. In this series, CRO experts from all over the world will give their best advice around these topics:

  • Research methods

  • Prioritizing tests

  • Favorite frameworks for analyzing sites

  • How to do a QA (quality assurance) of an A/B test 

  • The experts’ best tests

  • Learn from the failing tests

Eager to know more? Make sure you start following the Google Analytics products blog through the channel that fits you to get the upcoming guides.

The mobile challenge, and how to measure it

Does your mobile website have a lower conversion rate than your desktop version? As some people are spending up to 70% of their time on mobile, imagine how much additional revenue you could gain if the conversion rate levels were the same. 

A recent report showed that mobile conversion rates are 47 percent of the levels achieved on desktop. As more and more of your customers are using mobile devices, you need to ensure your mobile conversion rate is keeping up, and maintain your revenue.


One way you can monitor your mobile website performance is by reviewing your Relative Mobile Conversion Rate (Rel mCvR), which is calculated by dividing the mobile conversion rate with the desktop conversion rate.

Mobile Site Challenge 1

The high traffic share for mobile, with lower conversion rates, will show your stakeholders that there is a gap the company will need to bridge by improving the mobile site.


Mobile and desktop conversion rates are influenced by two main parameters. The first is traffic influencers—this can be things like channel mix, marketing campaign, seasonality. The second is the performance of the website, for example UX and site speed. Any of these can cause your mobile or desktop conversion rate to go up or down.


The benefit of using Rel mCvR to evaluate your mobile performance is that traffic influencers tend to not impact the metric. Why? Because the same campaigns and seasonalities will reach both mobile and desktop versions of your website, a good marketing campaign will make both the mobile and desktop conversion rate go up but leave Rel mCvR stable. When you evaluate the metric over time, it will show us if we have improved our mobile website.


Things to keep in mind when evaluating Rel mCvR: 

  • Always keep an eye on your desktop conversion rate. If Rel mCvR has an abnormal peak, check if it’s due to the desktop having a technical problem that made the desktop conversion rate decrease. 

  • Track your Rel mCvR weekly. Because the metric is based on your entire website’s performance, driving improvement will take time. Reviewing your data daily can be too volatile, look for the large movements over time instead.

  • Be mindful of that companies with physical stores may never reach 100 percent in Rel mCvR, as mobile is often used for doing research before or while visiting a store. 70 percent is a good target to start with.

Mobile Site Challenge 2

How to improve your mobile site and Rel mCvR


A better user experience on your mobile site leads to increased revenue and better Rel mCvR. To get there, I recommend you start A/B testing on your mobile site to improve your mobile conversion rate. It’s through A/B tests that you become guided by your customers and provide what they need. 


Start with these three steps: 

  1. Review the process of conversion optimization in the Optimize Resource Hub. 

  2. Get inspired by what other companies have done.

  3. Set up your first test–for free–in Google Optimize


When you’re focused on improving your mobile site with conversion optimization and A/B tests—your Rel mCvR will start to show your progress.

Extend the reach of your site personalization in Google Optimize

Personalization features in Google Optimize help businesses customize sites so their customers can find exactly what they’re looking for, when they’re looking for it. For example, marketers can display a special promotion on their site for all visitors, or provide product recommendations based on customers’ previous purchase behavior.


Multi-page experiences in Optimize help you more easily deliver what your customers are looking for. Now, when you create a personalization or experiment, you’ll see an option to add additional pages so that you can extend its reach throughout your entire site—from the initial landing page to the final checkout page. Let’s take a look at two examples:


Coordinated customization across your entire site


Picture this: You’re planning for a sale next month and will be offering a 20 percent off discount code to all visitors. You want to see if displaying this code across your entire site will increase site conversions. Because each type of page on your site has a unique layout, you need to find a different spot to display your promotion on each page. 


Now with Optimize, you can test this idea by creating a single experiment and adding multiple pages to it using the “+ Add page” button.


From there, you’ll have the option to edit those pages so that you can display the promotion wherever it looks best in each case—whether that’s at the top of your site on the homepage or next to the pricing on your product page. 


When you are happy with the results of the multi-page experiment, you can turn it into a multi-page personalization with just one click.


The right experience to the right audience


If you’re using Optimize 360, you have the added ability to focus your experiment or personalization to your Google Analytics audiences.  


Using the same sale example, let’s say you want to offer a 35 percent off discount to your most loyal customers. You can create a multi-page personalization in the same way as described above. You can place the 35 percent discount banner and copy in all the pages that your loyal customers visit. When this personalization is launched, your loyal customers will always see this discount as they move from the home page, through your site, to the checkout page.


Optimize Summer Sale

Want to learn how you can use this feature? Visit this article on our Help Center.

Multi-page experiences are already available to all Optimize and Optimize 360 accounts.  You’ll be able to ensure your customers see the right message at the right time—even as they explore multiple pages on your site. And by creating a more valuable online experience, they’ll keep visiting you again and again. 

Personalization features now available in Google Optimize

People want compelling and relevant digital content that's delivered at just the right moment. That's why Google Optimize is making changes to help businesses deliver better, more personalized experiences to your customers. Now, in addition to running short-term website experiments with Optimize, you can create custom website experiences that deliver the right message to your customers—every time they visit your site.

Put your experiment results to work


Optimize has always helped you test which version of your site works best for your customers. Now it’s even easier for you to immediately launch the winning version of your site with just a few clicks.

Say you’ve run an A/B test on your site and Optimize has determined the winning version. You can now simply click “DEPLOY LEADER,” and Optimize will re-create the winning version of your site as a new personalization that you can launch to any segment of your customers. If you’re an Optimize 360 customer, you can also specify an Analytics audience you want to reach.
Personalization 2

Once your experiment has ended, you can set the winning version live on your site.

Launch personalized changes from the ground up


You can also create personalized experiences without running a test first. For instance, you might want to offer a special like free shipping to all customers in San Francisco.


Launching a personalization from scratch is now simple in Optimize. First, click the “Create Experience” button and select “Personalization” as the experience type. Using the Optimize Visual Editor, you can add the free shipping offer to your site. Then, select “users located in San Francisco” and launch the personalization. It’s that simple.


Personalization 1

Use the Optimize Visual Editor to make a change on your site and then make it available to any segment of your users.

Personalization 3

Rituals Cosmetics, one of the leading bath and body brands in Europe, has been an early tester of the new personalization features. Now Rituals Cosmetics is able to deliver more than 50 different custom product promotions on their site at once.

“With personalization features in Optimize, we’ve been able to quickly build personalized site experiences at scale. And with the analysis capabilities in Optimize, we’re able to easily measure the impact these experiences are having on our business.”

- Martijn van der Zee, Digital Director, Rituals Cosmetics

These new personalization features are now available to all Optimize users, with more personalizing features on the way.

Deliver more relevant experiences with Optimize and AdWords

Search is one of the most important acquisition channels in a marketer’s toolkit. But it’s not enough to just optimize search ads. It’s essential to consider the entire customer journey and keep people engaged once they reach your site. That’s why we introduced an integration between Optimize and AdWords to make it easy for marketers to test and create personalized landing pages.

How Spotify boosted conversions with Optimize and AdWords


Spotify, one of the world’s leading audio streaming services, is just one example of a company that has successfully used the Optimize and AdWords integration to drive more conversions from their search campaigns. Spotify discovered that the most streamed content in Germany was actually audiobooks, not music. So they wanted to show German users that they have a wide selection of audiobooks, and also that the experience of listening to them is even better with a premium subscription. 

Using the AdWords integration with Optimize 360 (the enterprise version of Optimize), Spotify ran an experiment that focused on users in Germany who had searched for "audiobooks" on Google and clicked through on their search ad. Half of these users were shown a custom landing page dedicated to audiobooks, while the other half were shown the standard page. The custom landing page increased Spotify’s premium subscriptions by 24%. 

"Before, it was a fairly slow process to get all these tests done. Now, with Optimize 360, we can have 20 or more tests running at the same time. It’s important that we test a lot, so it doesn’t matter if we fail as long as we keep on testing,” said Joost de Schepper, Spotify’s Head of Conversion Optimization."

Watch Spotify’s video case study to learn more



Driving your own results

Today, we’re announcing three new updates to make it easier for all marketers to realize the benefits that Spotify saw from easily testing and creating more relevant landing pages:

1. Connect Optimize with the new AdWords experience

You can connect Optimize to AdWords in just a few steps. Follow these instructions to get started.

Not using the new AdWords experience yet? Make the switch to gain access to more actionable insights and faster access to new features.

2. Link multiple AdWords accounts at once

For advertisers that have many AdWords accounts under a manager account, individually linking each of those sub-accounts to Optimize can be time consuming.

Now, you can link your manager account directly to Optimize. This will pull in all your AdWords accounts at once, allowing you to immediately connect data from separate campaigns, ad groups, and more. To get started, switch to the new AdWords experience, and then you’ll see an option to link your manager account in your Linked accounts, learn more.

3. Gain more flexibility with your keywords

You can now run a single experiment for multiple keywords, even if they’re across different campaigns and ad groups. For example, test the same landing page for users that search for “chocolate chip cookies” in your “desserts” ad group and for users that search for “iced coffee” in your “beverages” ad group.

With the Optimize and AdWords integration, driving results through A/B testing is fast and simple. Sign-up for an Optimize account at no charge and get started today.

Happy Optimizing!


Is Optimize set up correctly on your site? Let us double-check for you.

Google Optimize helps businesses determine which website experiences work best for their customers. With easy-to-use A/B testing capabilities, marketers can use Optimize to create and launch a test in minutes — and manage the entire process on their own.

A/B testing with tools like Optimize drives results. In a recent survey, 72% of marketers found A/B testing to be a highly valuable method for improving conversion rates.

But we’ve heard from businesses that while testing in Optimize is easy, setting it up could be easier. 

Good news: We’re introducing a new feature that helps make sure Optimize is set up and working the way it’s supposed to.

Let Optimize double-check your code 


With Installation Diagnostics, Optimize will automatically alert and advise you on potential issues with your Optimize code each time you create a test. At a glance, you’ll see if your Optimize setup is correct and if you’re ready to run a test.

Let’s say you create a new page on your site but forget to add the Optimize code. Later, when you are creating a test for that page, Optimize will tell you that the necessary code isn’t installed. You’ll have the opportunity to fix the issue and then launch your test. Moving forward, you can be confident that your test results won’t be disrupted by an incorrect setup.

Optimize will alert you about other issues too - including if Google Analytics code isn’t installed on a page, or if an old version of Analytics code is installed. Then you can make changes to ensure you’ll be able to measure the performance of your experiment. Learn more.

Try it yourself 


Today’s top businesses are testing their way to success. They’re valuing data over opinions. They’re constantly learning — even from failures and mistakes. And they’re using their findings to improve the customer experience.

Whether your business is big, small, or somewhere in between, you can follow their lead. Try Optimize now and get ready to gain deep insights about your customers so you can enhance their web experiences like never before.

More reasons to get started with Google Optimize

With Google Optimize, we want to empower any sized business – big or small – to take steps to make their sites better. Since releasing Optimize last year, we’ve been able to help many businesses identify and provide better site experiences experiences to their users – for free. Today, we’re pleased to announce two new initiatives that will help businesses take even bigger steps when improving their sites.

Higher experiment limit 

Many of our users have given us the feedback that the current limit of 3 simultaneous running experiments is too low. This limit forces them to make difficult tradeoffs about which tests and customer segments should be prioritized. To help address this, we will soon be increasing this limit to 5 experiments. We believe this will give you more opportunity to use Optimize across your entire site.

New “Getting started with Google Optimize” video series 

For many, running website tests may appear to be a daunting task. To make things easier, for anyone completely new to testing or recently started using Optimize, we’ve created a “Getting started with Google Optimize” video series. This will help you start testing in no time. Plus, you can watch the entire series in less than 15 minutes!

Optimize Overview: Quick primer on what Optimize is and how it can help you



Set up your account: Shows you how to link to Google Analytics and get your site ready to run tests 



Create your first experiment: Use the Optimize editor to change your site without writing any code 



Understanding your results: See how Optimize clearly tells you which changes worked best


Once you’re done watching the video series, be sure to create an Optimize account, if you don’t already have one.

We hope you like these changes. Stay tuned, because there are more improvements coming!

Test and Build for Mobile with Google Optimize

From buying new shoes to booking weekend getaways, mobile can make life more convenient for consumers — and create big wins for marketers. While 40% of consumers will leave a web page that takes longer than three seconds to load, 89% of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive brand experience on mobile.1 That's why getting your mobile site in shape is more important than ever.

To create the seamless and responsive mobile site that consumers expect, you need the right tools, like Google Optimize. Optimize makes it easy to test different elements of your site to find the winning combination for the best mobile site possible. Now it’s even easier with our new responsive visual editor – and be sure to read on and learn how two of our clients found mobile success with Optimize 360, our enterprise version.

New! Preview your mobile site on any screen size 


While almost everyone has a mobile device, there are so many variations and screen sizes that it’s hard to take a one-size-fits-all approach to optimizing your mobile site. Now, once you’ve created your test page, you can use the new responsive editor to immediately preview what it looks like on any screen size. Or, if you want to see how it appears on a specific device, like a Nexus 7 or iPad, we’ve added more devices that you can select to preview. Learn more about the visual editor here.


Turn ideas to tests quickly 


The responsive visual editor in Optimize is just one solution to help marketers succeed on mobile. Our enterprise version, Optimize 360, makes it easy to make improvements to mobile sites efficiently and rapidly.

Dutch airline carrier Transavia Airlines turned to Optimize 360 to try out different ideas on its mobile site. In fact, the team runs about 10 A/B tests each month on the site, all without having to spend significant time or effort. And the best part? Time spent on analyzing the success of site tests has fallen by 50%. This allows Transavia to focus more on testing to improve its mobile site. Learn more in the full case study.

The path to mobile excellence starts with the customer journey 


Need some help determining what should test on your mobile site? Google Analytics 360 is a great place to start. You’ll be able to analyze any customer interaction, from search to checkout, to figure out which points of your purchase process need help. Then, once you’ve determined where your site needs work, using Optimize 360 to take action is simple, since it’s natively integrated with Analytics 360.

This is exactly how fashion retailer Mango used Analytics 360 and Optimize 360 to tackle its mobile site: After discovering that mobile visits to its online store had skyrocketed 50% year over year, Mango decided to dig a little deeper. In Analytics 360 Mango discovered that while many consumers browsed product listing pages, few were taking the next step to add products to their shopping cart. To reduce steps to checkout, Mango used Optimize 360 to include an “Add” button to product listing pages. This increased the number of users adding products to their carts by 49%. Find out more in the full case study.

Ready to optimize your own mobile site? 


Start testing new mobile experiences with the responsive visual editor in Optimize. This update is one that can help marketers do more on mobile — because whether it’s changing a button or fine-tuning a homepage with quick A/B tests, we’ve learned that small tweaks can make a big impact.

And, if you haven’t already, sign up for a free Optimize account and give it a try.

1 Google / Purchased: "How Brand Experiences Inspire Consumer Action" April 2017. US Smartphone Owners 18+ = 2010, Brand Experiences = 17,726.

Better A/B Testing with Firebase

Earlier this year, the Google Optimize and Firebase teams worked together to bring A/B testing functionality to Firebase. Last week, at the Firebase Dev Summit, we announced that A/B testing is now available in beta to all app developers.

This post originally appeared on The Firebase Blog.







Announcing Better A/B Testing with Firebase 


If you're like most app developers, you know that small changes can often make a big difference in the long term success of your app. Whether it's the wording that goes into your "Purchase" button, the order in which dialogs appear in your sign-up flow, or how difficult you've made a particular level of a game, that attention to detail can often make the difference between an app that hits the top charts, or one that languishes. 


But how do you know you've made the right changes? You can certainly make some educated guesses, ask friends, or run focus groups. But often, the best way to find out how your users will react to changes within your app is to simply try out those changes and see for yourself. And that's the idea behind A/B testing; it lets you release two (or more!) versions of your app simultaneously among randomly selected users to find out which version truly is more successful at getting the results you want. 


And while Firebase Remote Config did allow you to perform some simple A/B testing through it's "random percentile" condition, we've gone ahead and added an entirely new experiment layer in Firebase that works with Remote Config and notifications to make it quick and easy to set up and measure sophisticated A/B tests. Let's take a quick tour of how it works!


Getting to Know the New A/B Testing Feature 


With the new A/B testing feature, you can create an A/B test that will allow you to play with any combination of values that you can control through Remote Config. Setting up an A/B test allows you to define how the experiment will behave in a number of different ways, including determining how many of your users are involved with the experiment at first…


…how many variants you want to run, and how your app might behave differently for each variant…


...and what the goal of the experiment is.


Different experiments might have different desired goals, and A/B testing supports a number of common outcomes, like increasing overall revenue or retention in your app, reducing the number of crashes, or increasing the occurrence of any event you're measuring in Google Analytics for Firebase, such as finishing your in-app tutorial.

Once you've defined your A/B test, Firebase takes over by delivering these different variations of your app to randomly-selected members of your audience. Firebase will then measure your users' behavior over time, and let you know when an experiment appears to be performing better, based on those goals you've defined earlier. Firebase A/B testing measures these results for you with the same Bayesian statistical models that power Google Optimize, Google's free testing and personalization product for websites.

Using A/B Tests for Better Onboarding: A Case Study 


Fabulous, a motivational app for building better habits, recently made improvements to their app's onboarding by using Firebase A/B testing. When the user first starts an app, Fabulous shows them how to complete a habit, presents them with a letter about forming better habits, and then asks them to commit to a simple routine. The team suspected that if they removed a few steps from this onboarding process, more people might complete it.


Some of the screens a typical user encounters when first using Fabulous.
 
So they ran an A/B test where some users didn't see the letter, others didn't see the request to commit to a simple routine, and others skipped both of those steps. The Fabulous team found that by removing both of these steps from the onboarding process, there was a 7% improvement in the rate of users completing the onboarding flow. More importantly, they confirmed that this shorter onboarding experience didn't have any impact on their app's retention.

Test Your Notifications, Too! 


You also have the ability to A/B test your app notification messages through the Firebase Notifications console. You can try out different versions of your notification message and see which ones lead to more users opening up your app from that notification, or which messages lead to users performing some intended goal within your app, like making a purchase.

Getting Started 


A/B testing is available in beta to all Firebase developers starting today. If you're excited to get started, you should make sure that your app is wired up to use Remote Config and/or Firebase Cloud Messaging, and that you've updated these libraries to the latest and greatest versions. You can always find out more about A/B testing in our documentation, or check out the A/B Test Like a Pro video series we've been building.

Then, head on over to the Firebase Console and start making your app better — one experiment at a time!