Head of CRO
Delivering a personalised and positive customer experience online can be the difference between making a sale and losing a site visitor.
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) involves using data to identify barriers to conversion, creating a hypothesis based on these insights, and testing the hypothesis to see if making changes can improve conversion rate. These barriers can be small, such as a single line of copy or a barely visible CTA, or they can be as large as a full website redesign.
It is crucial that hypotheses are tested before changes are rolled out permanently for two reasons. The first, and most important, is that while a hypothesis may make sense in theory, there may be other factors involved that are not considered which means making the changes may negatively impact your conversion rate. For enterprise-level businesses with huge amounts of traffic, even a small decrease in conversions can lead to a big loss in revenue.
The second reason is that getting the developer time needed to implement changes can be difficult, as their time and resource are often scarce. You want to ensure that any changes that are implemented are definitely going to have a positive impact – so you’re not faced waiting again for developer time to reverse the changes made.
Google Optimize 360 is Google’s enterprise-level optimisation tool which can be used to test different variables of your website to see where you can make changes to improve conversion rates. Optimize 360 can also be used to deliver a personalised experience to your customers.
In this blog, we will run through some of the Optimize 360 features and how they can be used to improve your digital marketing.
Google Optimize 360 is the premium version of the free Google Optimize tool. Optimize 360 has more advanced features and less limitations which makes the tool more suitable for enterprise-level businesses.
One example is the level of scalability Optimize 360 has compared to Google Optimize. While the free tool only allows five experiments to be carried out simultaneously, Optimize 360 users can run 100 experiments at any one time. For enterprise-level websites with hundreds of complex pages, this means testing and implementing changes at a much faster pace than what is allowed on Google Optimize.
Optimize 360 natively integrates with other key Google solutions including Google Analytics, Google Ads, Google BigQuery and tools within the Google Marketing Platform. These integrations make it easier to build CRO campaigns using real customer insights and identify how these tests impact your digital marketing activity.
An important difference between Optimize and Optimize 360 is the ability to target audiences in Google Analytics and Analytics 360 in Optimize 360; in the free tool, you can only target top-level variables such as device type or browser.
Being able to target customer segments via your analytics audiences means you are able to deliver personalised pages and see how this improves conversions – for example, showing lapsed customers pages which include limited offer promotions while high-value VIP customers are shown opportunities to review past products.
Another benefit of Optimize 360’s native integration with analytics is the ability to build tests around your GA goals and metrics, so that you are able to easily see how any changes impact your KPIs and can contribute to achieving your wider business objectives.
Optimize 360 integrates with Google Ads which makes it easy to experiment with landing pages shown for different keywords and campaigns. Running these tests can help you to identify which landing pages have a higher rate of conversion – insights which will improve the performance of your ads.
Setting objectives for your experiments allows you to measure how successful the test has been. The more metrics you can track, the better you are able to determine the effect the variables have. The free Optimize only allows you to set and test three objectives; Optimize 360 allows up to ten.
Both Optimize and Optimize 360 allow you to conduct multivariate testing (tests where multiple variables are modified so you can identify both the elements which perform best, and the relationship between multiple elements). However, the free tool only allows 16 combinations of variables to be tested at any one time, whereas Optimize 360 allows for 36 variables to be tested, making it more suitable for complex webpages and sites that receive large volumes of traffic.
In addition to multivariate testing, both versions of Optimize have A/B testing and redirect testing available.
Websites change on a daily, if not hourly, basis, and it can be difficult for developers to keep track of all the files, assets, and experiments running which may be affected by new updates and releases.
Optimize 360’s edit running experiences feature means, should an error occur, you can make any necessary corrections within Optimize 360 without the need for your developer’s input. Not only does this mean issues can be resolved quickly and without the need to discard experiments and data which has already been corrected, but it also frees up more time for your developers so they can work on website updates without interruption.
Optimize 360 has an easy to use visual editor which allows you to create and test new page variants, without needing to recode the website, making it possible for marketers to create experiments without relying on developer time and resource, which is often scarce.
Creating these tests through Optimize 360’s visual editor also ensures that any changes which are rolled out permanently in the website code are proven to deliver better results.
Hotjar is a behaviour analytics company that allows marketers to see how users behave on their site; it is an incredibly valuable tool in CRO as it highlights issues and pain points on the website. Hotjar now natively integrates with Optimize 360, making it easier for marketers to cross-reference Hotjar visitors with Optimize experience IDs and analyse the Jotjar recordings for greater, more in-depth user insights.
Google’s free optimisation tool, Optimize, is a self-supported tool and it is up to the business to correctly set up the tool and conduct experiments. Not only can this be time-consuming, it requires a certain level of expertise if you are to get the most out of your CRO campaigns.
Buying Optimize 360 through a Sales Partner such as Search Laboratory guarantees you a solid service level agreement which covers both implementation and ongoing consultancy and support. We have a dedicated CRO team who have years’ of experience creating and running data-driven optimisation campaigns which have proven results for our clients.
Optimize 360 is an advanced tool which is ideal for enterprise-level businesses with large sites who are keen to improve their performance by conducting regular experiments. Whether you are seasoned Optimize 360 veterans, or are looking to get started, we can help.
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