How to Use Google Optimize to Run A/B Tests for Free

Do you want to boost conversions on your site?

Then you need to conduct A/B tests on your site to understand what works best for your audience. Don’t worry if you don’t have the budget or resources for an enterprise-level A/B testing solution. Google Optimize is a free A/B testing and personalization product, which is a perfect solution for small and medium-sized businesses like yours that need powerful testing.

Best of all, it is built right on top of Google Analytics, so you can start using your Analytics data to conduct A/B tests and improve conversions on your site right away.

We’ll walk you through how to use Google Optimize to run A/B tests for free.

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A/B Testing With Google Optimize

To be able to conduct an A/B test on your site with Google Optimize, you’ll have to connect your site to Google Analytics as well as Google Optimize.

MonsterInsights is the only Google Analytics plugin that lets you connect Google Optimize to your site and conduct A/B tests hassle free.

For a step by step guide, read how to set up Google Optimize in WordPress.

After the setup, you’ll also have to install the Google Optimize extension on Chrome browser. This extension enables you to use Optimize visual editor to create test variant on your site by tweaking text, images, layouts and more.

Create Your First A/B Test

For the sake of this example, let’s make our test simple. We’ll be testing whether improving the headline of our landing page by explicitly asking our users to take action will boost conversion.

Original headlineDownload the Definitive Guide to Google Analytics eBook

Variant headline: [INSTANT ACCESS] Subscribe to the Newsletter and Download the eBook

To create the test, head over to your Google Optimize account and choose the right property in which you want to conduct an A/B test.

select google optimize property

Then, click on the Create Experiment button.

click create experiment

You’ll now be asked to name your experiment, enter the URL where you want to conduct the test and choose the type of experiment.

choose experiment type

If you want to create a simple test variant by using Optimize visual editor, choose A/B test. If you want to test multiple variables, choose multivariate test. If you prefer creating variants by duplicating your content with separate URLs without using the Optimize visual editor, you may use Redirect test.

Create a Test Variant

Google Optimize allows you to create a test variant using the Optimize visual editor powered by the Chrome extension.

To start creating a test variant, click Create Variant. In a window that pops up, specify the name for the variant and click Add.

create new variant

You can now see that a new variant is added, but we haven’t modified the content yet. To make modifications, click on Variant 1.

modify variant-1

You’ll now be redirected to your landing page where you can make any tweaks using the visual editor. As we want to modify the headline, right click on it and then choose Edit text.

how to use google optimize

Next, change the text and Save the editor. Then, click Done to return to your Optimize account.

modify headline in google optimize visual editor

Set Up Objectives and Hypothesis

Next, scroll down the page and find the Objectives tab.

click add experiment objective

In this tab, you’ll have to connect your account to your Google Analytics goal by clicking Add Experiment Objective.

If you don’t have any Google Analytics goal created, log into your Google Analytics to create an Analytics goal to track conversions.

In our example, as we want to test whether changing headline will boost newsletter signup, let’s create a Google Analytics goal to track form conversions.

Next, specify your test description and hypothesis.

If you’re just getting started with A/B testing, chances are you’ll be tempted to simply write the test description and skip the hypothesis. Don’t skip writing a clear hypothesis. Formulating a clear hypothesis is essential to keep you honest down the line when you review the results.

Here are the description and hypothesis we’ll be using in our example:

Description: Promote a newsletter via a Facebook campaign

Hypothesis: If we explicitly ask our users to subscribe to the list in the headline, then we’ll increase conversion.

Now click the Targeting tab and specify how many people who visit your site should be included in the test. You can also specify when the result should be triggered, like on page load or a custom event.

choose optimize targeting options

Once they’re all set, you can click on Start Experiment. Then, in the modal popup that appears, click on Start.

start google optimize experiment


You’ve just started an experiment to understand what resonates with your audience. It is advised to run an experiment for at least two weeks before reviewing the results. After gathering enough data, Google will declare a winner.

We hope this guide walked you through how to conduct your first experiment with Google Optimize.

A/B testing your landing page is a great tactic to boost your conversions. If you promote your landing page through Google AdWords, you should use Google Analytics for AdWords conversion tracking. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more Google Analytics tutorials.

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  1. Thank you. I really appreciate the effort you put into sharing this information it’s very helpful

  2. Thanks for the article! I have 1 question: How does Google show a different version of your page??? Is it cached, rendered html of your page and it serves it 50% of the time? I must be missing something major here!

    1. Google Optimize uses Javascript to alter the page contents 50% of the time. This works even if you use caching plugins to serve static HTML versions of your website

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