Alternatives to Google Optimize
Where Will You Turn For Your Testing & Experimentation Needs?
Google Optimize will be sunsetting on September 30, 2023, so in preparation for this change, our team has weighed the pros and cons of other testing alternatives and developed our recommendations for fellow advertisers. Before jumping into these recommendations, it’s important to address why Google is sunsetting this platform. According to Google, Optimize does not have many of the features and services that customers are looking for, so they are actively working on integrations with other testing platforms to provide a larger breadth of services and features requested by customers. Until these integrations directly with GA4 become available, there are several options we recommend advertisers to consider.
The first recommendation will require the smallest learning curve and is already available to all Google advertisers, for free. This option is Google Experiments, which can be set up directly in the Google Ads platform. The testing options include Performance Max testing, video testing, text ad testing and custom experimentation. We recommend setting up a Custom Experiment as this option offers the most flexibility in terms of testing variables.
When you set up a Google Custom Experiment, you choose which campaign you’d like to build your test around and this campaign is automatically duplicated and becomes 2 campaigns: the original and the test. Within the test campaign, you can alter whichever testing variable you are wanting to measure, such as bid strategy or tCPA amount. With this testing method, you are also able to allocate a certain percentage of the original campaign’s budget to the test campaign.
If testing search campaigns, you can choose a cookie-based split or search-based split. Using Google Experiments is a free and simple solution to basic campaign testing. If you are looking for a more complex website and user behavior testing capabilities for your media strategy, however, you may want to consider one of the following third-party sites.
If you are looking for a more complex website and user behavior testing capabilities for your media strategy, however, you may want to consider one of the following third-party sites.
Optimizely is a great option for advertisers looking for a website testing and optimization platform that can easily integrate with some common advertising platforms, such as Google Ads, LinkedIn, Bing, Facebook and Instagram. Optimizely allows advertisers to set up A/B testing and multivariate testing for both the user interface of the website as well as any features on the website. It is also important to note that this is a paid tool, and advertisers need to reach out to the sales team to request a quote.
The next third-party testing and experimentation platform that LeadLab recommends is VWO Testing. This tool offers a host of powerful features, such as AI-powered copywriting, multivariate and split testing, user segment and behavior testing, user heatmaps and visitor recordings. VWO is known for their 5 capabilities, which are plan, track, test, analyze and target; these features provide for a very well-rounded testing experience that leads to actionable next steps. This platform is free for up to the first 50,000 users/month, but a paid version must be purchased after that.
The final testing and experimentation tool that can be used as an alternative to Google Optimize is AB Tasty. This tool offers split testing, A/B testing, multivariate testing and predictive testing. AB Tasty also allows you to test against a certain goal, such as revenue or purchase volume. One of the benefits of AB Tasty is that it comes with pre-built templates for testing which allows for quick and easy test setup. This platform, however, only offers a paid version and advertisers have to contact the sales team for a quote.
Weighing the pros and cons of each of the testing options available to advertisers can seem daunting, but we recommend reaching out to sales reps at each of the 3 tools mentioned above to better understand which platforms offer the capabilities you need at a price you can afford. What makes these 3 tools even more desirable is that Google announced it is looking into GA4 integrations with each of these platforms as a potential replacement for Google Optimize. While the launch date for these potential integrations is not yet available, we would recommend transitioning from Google Optimize to one of these alternatives prior to September, so the sunset will have minimal impact on your testing and reporting initiatives.
If you or your clients need optimization recommendations, assistance setting up an experiment, or want in-depth insights drawn from your test data, LeadLab Media can help. Schedule a free consultation to get started.