Google does not make many announcements, so when the search engine giant makes an announcement that announces an announcement is imminent, we drop everything we do to wait in breathless anticipation.
Such is the case for the recent Google announcement that stated the company’s Optimize and Optimize 360 A/B testing tools are available to every webmaster. The announcement comes on the heels of the A/B testing tool spending considerable time in the beta testing phase.
What is A/B Testing?
Also referred to as bucket testing and split testing, A/B testing represents a testing method that compares different versions of the same web page, advertisement or email campaign. The goal is to discover which of the two similar pieces of content/design performs better, with performance calculated by the number of visitors/viewers/readers that convert into customers of a business. At TrafficSource, our PPC services implement A/B testing to enhance our digital marketing plans, as we see this as a key component of any effective PPC campaign.
We like to view A/B testing like a mad scientist views an experiment inside of a laboratory. Two or more versions of a piece of content present information that users access. A statistical analysis determines which version of this content converted the successful result. Many webmasters run A/B tests to analysis the performance between a currently uploaded web page and a web page recently created for possible uploading.
Without A/B testing, PPC services and other forms of digital marketing would have to rely on intuition rather than empirical evidence to support many of their key marketing decisions.
The New Google Optimize and Optimize 360
As a leading UK SEO services provider, we are naturally pretty excited about the new Google A/B testing tools. Google first released details about the new A/B testing tools in 2015, but most of the information discusses the limited beta trial that began in March of 2016. The “limited” beta trail turned into a nearly one-year project. After the beta trial concluded earlier this year, Google finally announced it was ready to unveil the new and improved Optimize and Optimize 360.
Overview of Optimize 360
Optimize 360 works alongside Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to study the makeup of your web pages. Businesses that use Optimize 360 can run test on variants of their ‘master’ design and copy, helping them to narrow down what combination of choices, edits, layouts and features best serve their objectives.
Google has not announced the price tag for the enterprise-catered Optimize 360, but some industry analysts report it will exceed an incredible £100,000 per year. This reported price will surely make the A/B testing tool cost prohibitive for the vast majority UK-based small businesses, but the free version, Google Optimize, could well prove a very interesting tool for many groups that do not require the all-singing, all-dancing mega-functionality of an enterprise-level software.
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