For anybody who has been using Google Optimize to run A/B tests over the past few years, that time is about to come to an end.
Google has announced that it will sunset its free and paid versions of Google Optimize on 30 September 2023. All experiments and data will be gone after that date (so make sure you download anything important before then)!
The plan is to eventually integrate A/B testing into GA4, but there has been no indication of when these features are expected to become available. Which is a shame, because as most marketers will confirm, GA4 is renowned for not being particularly user-friendly.
I’ve used Google Optimize to test PPC landing pages many times, as well as to help make UX decisions when supporting site redesigns. It’s kind of a disappointment that such a useful (and free) tool is now being cast into the abyss.
What is Google Optimize?
Google Optimize is a tool that allows marketers to run simple A/B and multivariate testing of landing pages. The tests can be used to improve UX (user experience) or conversion rates – this is often referred to as Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).
After determining what the desired outcome of the test is (increase in signups, increased revenue, users clicking a specific link, reduce cart abandonments etc), determining what elements will be tested (change to CTA, button colours, headlines, form fields, page layout, images etc.), and hypothesising what the result will be, the Google Optimize A/B experiment runs until it reaches statistical significance and the winning variant can be pushed live.
One of the main benefits of the platform is that it’s very user-friendly, with options to change elements of landing pages in a WYSIWYG editor, or by coding your own.
So now that Google has decided to discontinue the product, what are the alternatives?
Alternatives to Google Optimize
There aren’t many options available if you’re looking for a free, easy-to-deploy tool to replace Google Optimize.
However, VWO has announced a free plan for up to 50K users/per month, so it’s definitely worth checking them out if you’re an SME or just want to test every once and a while.
Optimizely is another well-known brand in UX and CRO circles, and is offering a discount for ex-Google optimize users at the moment.
I couldn’t find any other brands targeting users looking for alternatives to Google Optimize specifically, but in the time it will take for Google to launch its own A/B testing in GA4, I anticipate that those that focus on offering a free or paid tool will see big gains off the back of this (frankly quite silly) move by Google.
There are way too many alternatives out there for me to review personally, but here is a rundown of the platforms that come highly recommended by other users.