Tailor Your Website with Google Optimize
March 2023 update: Please note Google Optimize will be discontinued in September 2023. Head over to this guide for details on what this means for your website, how to save your data, and what tools you can use instead of Google Optimize.
Designing the perfect website rarely happens in one sitting. In fact, when it comes to optimizing your tour and activity website, making changes and testing different versions of content and design are important factors for driving web traffic – and bookings!
Luckily, with Google Optimize, you don’t have to be a web expert to perfect your site. This free tool uses data and testing features to help you make the most of your website.
Built on Google Analytics (GA), Google Optimize identifies areas of your site that could be improved upon and gives you the resources you need to make necessary changes.
Google Optimize also offers a platform for A/B testing, so you can be sure that the content you’re sharing is living up to its full potential. This guide covers the benefits of using Google Optimize and how to get started.
Why You Should Use Google Optimize
Test New Designs & Layouts with Real Users
Have you been toying with the idea of two different calls to action for your homepage? Or maybe you’re wondering how to lay out your tours and activities to entice users to book. Either way, Google Optimize allows you to test (also called experiments) different layouts, website designs, and content with a subset of users so that you can see simple results that are easy to understand.
Leverage Google Analytics Data to Inform Experiments
One of the best reasons to use Google Optimize is because it works seamlessly with other Google tools such as Google Ads and GA. If you’re not familiar with GA, we suggest checking out this guide before getting started with Google Optimize.
Once you have an understanding of maximizing opportunity through GA, you can see why Google Optimize is such a useful tool. For example, if you’re wondering how a certain piece of content resonates with your Gen Z-aged audience, Google Optimize and GA can work together to pull that information for you.
Achieve a Higher Conversion Rate Without Increasing Marketing Costs
All tour and activity operators would love to see higher conversion rates, but not everyone can afford to invest in pay-per-click marketing or other paid marketing strategies. That’s why Google Optimize is a great way to work on improving your conversion rate without breaking the bank. Boosting your conversion rate leads to an increased ROI across all of your channels. If you do want to put some of your marketing budget toward Google Optimize, Google Optimize 360 is the paid version of the tool, offering additional features and opportunities.
Now that you know the benefits of using Google Optimize, we’re sure you’re eager to get started! Here are a few experiments you can run using the tool.
A/B testing uses two or more variants of the same web page to determine which version is best for your desired goal. For example, your original homepage might include a banner that reads “Book holiday special today and save 20%,” and you might want to test another version that reads “Hurry! Get your holiday discount before it expires!” Other examples of items to test include layouts, CTAs, graphics, and more.
During A/B testing, Optimize serves each variant at similar times in order to observe and measure its performance independent of external factors. Optimize records the performance data for each variant and identifies the leader based on the objective of the test. You can also limit each experiment to a specific audience to see how the variants run with different groups of users.
Multivariate Tests (MVT)
Test variants of two or more elements simultaneously to see which combination garners the best result. For example, maybe you want to test more than just the copy on your homepage banner. You also want to test out new photos and different book button colors. With MVT tests, you’ll see the most effective variant of each element, as well as the interactions between those elements, so you can find the perfect combination of optimizations.
Also known as a split URL test, redirect tests let you test separate web pages against each other, like when you want to test a complete redesign of a page (i.e. more than changing just a few elements) or when you want to test two very different landing pages. In the case of redirect tests, the variants are identified by the URL or path instead of the separate elements on the page, such as different copy or CTAs.
Setting Up Google Optimize
Already have ideas for some tests you’d like to run? Great! There are just a few steps to follow to get set up on Google Optimize before you can start planning experiments and implementing results.
There are very few prerequisites needed to use Optimize, so you should be ready to go in no time! Just make sure you 1) have GA installed on your website, 2) install the Chrome web browser on your computer, and 3) download the Optimize Chrome extension to create experiences in the Optimize visual editor (this step is optional).
Visit the Optimize Help Center for a full breakdown on setting up Optimize. You can expect to create your account, link your GA account to your Optimize account, and install Optimize on your website.
Keep a running list of potential variants to test in Google Optimize as you devise your digital marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to make design changes big and small with the data from GA guiding you.
Delve into more marketing tips and strategies with our additional digital marketing guides!