This post is a part of a larger series on Google Optimize that will give you all the information you need to become a pro at testing in Optimize.
When Google created Optimize it did so with the intention of making A/B testing accessible to everyone. It’s a completely free testing tool, and on top of that- it’s really easy to use.
Setting up the tool on your website is quite easy, but if you never ran an A/B test or never had to set up one in a testing tool, there are things that will make you scratch your head. That’s why we decided to create this guide and clear up anything that could be confusing. We want to enable you to start testing right away and optimize your website as soon as possible. With Google Optimize now accessible to everyone, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t start testing immediately.
Even if you’ve never done a single A/B test and have no experience with testing tools, getting started with Optimize is really easy. Optimize does have a few quirks in it’s setup process, but if you understand them immediately at the beginning, the rest of the process will be quick. And we’ll take you through every step.
Let’s set you up with Google Optimize!
In this first article we’ll cover:
Signing up and getting an Optimize account shouldn’t take you more than two minutes. If you already have a Google account, you just need to head over to the Optimize website and click on the Sign Up For Free button.
If you don’t have a Google account, Optimize will prompt you to create one before you can start the setup process.
Immediately after clicking the ‘’Sign Up For Free’’ button, you will see this screen:
And then, Google is going to ask you to sign up for email updates and you can pick what you’d like to receive or opt out all of it.
The last step consists of your account settings. Google recommends you agree to all the steps so you can get the maximum out of Optimize, but it is up to you and how much of your data you want to share. You can change these settings at any point in the future, so don’t worry about that right now.
Check the ‘’Terms of Service’’ button and click on ‘’Done’’ and that’s it!
Your account is ready and you will be taken to Optimize, where you can immediately start working on your first experiment.
After you set up an account, Optimize will open on the ‘’My Container’’ page by default. What’s important to know is that ‘’My Container’’ is not your Optimize Homepage.
Optimize doesn’t make it clear right away that you use ‘’containers’’ to organize experiments and ‘’My Container’’ is just one of them. Think of them as folders in which you’ll place your tests.
For example, if you’re working on different websites, you can create a separate Container for each website and organize all your experiments, related to that website, into this Container. For example, we organized our experiments into containers ‘’Website 1’’ and ‘’Website 2’’.
Just like folders, containers can be renamed and edited. You enter a container by clicking on the name. This is what our ‘’Website 1’’ container looks like.
So far, our ‘’Website 1’’ container, contains only one test.
For an overview of all your containers, you need to go to your Optimize homepage. Your Optimize homepage is actually your Accounts page, where you can see all your accounts and which container belongs to which account.
Just click on the Optimize icon , regardless of where you are, and it will take you straight to your homepage.
On your homepage you can see all your accounts and can manage them from there. Inside an account you have your containers and then within containers, experiments. This the hierarchy Optimize uses, that isn’t clear right away, not until you do some clicking around.
In our case, we have two accounts: ”My Account” and ”Testing.Agency”. The ”Website 1” and ”Website 2” containers are filed under ”My account”.
Every container has to have a ‘’property’’ or website linked to it. You can see on your Optimize Homepage, which container has a ‘’property’’ linked and which doesn’t. Because of this, you can link only one website to a container. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have 5 different containers linked to the same website, you just can’t add two websites INTO a container.
From your homepage, where you can see all your accounts, you can create or delete containers. Adding a container is very simple and you only have to click on the plus sign on the right side of the screen to do it.
You are then prompted to name the container and that’s it- you’ve created a new one!
By clicking through into the container itself you can edit the details.
Let’s take the default container as an example. By default, your first container will be named ‘’My Container’’. You can change the details by clicking into it and then on the right side you will notice a checklist with 5 items, under ‘’Container Information’’.
The first item on the list, ‘’Manage accounts and users’’, will be check marked, but that’s the item you need. Click into ‘’Manage accounts and users’’ and there you will have ‘’Edit Container Details’’ which will let you change the name of the container.
Before you start working on your first experiment, you should know that Optimize is ‘’built on Google Analytics’’ (Google’s own words). This means that the setup is going to be much faster and smoother if you already have Google Analytics on your website.
If you don’t have Google Analytics running on your website, don’t worry! Setting up a GA account is a straightforward process, too. Check out this link for a step-by-step guide.
In your container, pay attention to that checklist to the right side of the screen.
You need to make sure there is a green check mark next to each item before you can run your experiment. Most importantly, make sure you have a green check mark next to ‘’Link to Google Analytics’’ and ‘’Install Optimize Snippet’’.
The reason why this is so important is because in order to verify your website in Optimize, you’ll have to enter your Google Analytics Tracking Code into ‘’Link to Google Analytics’’. Otherwise, you won’t be allowed to move to the next step and install the Optimize snippet on your website. You’ll get this message when you try.
To verify your website through a GA code, you should go to ‘’Link Property’’, where you’ll be prompted to enter your GA Tracking Code, and that’s about it. Optimize will immediately recognize your Code and you’ll be done with that step.
Then you move to the ‘’Install Optimize Snippet’’. Optimize will give you this code. You’ll have to paste the tiny snippet of code into the Google Analytics code you already have running on your website. Depending on your website, this can be done in a few different ways.
Optimize won’t be able to check itself if you have the snippet installed and you’ll have to do it yourself. This just means that you should go back and double-check if your GO code is in fact in the GA code that’s on your website. If it’s there- your container is ready and you can start working on your first experiment!