Google Optimize sunset and how to continue with ad and landingpage experimentation

Late in January 2023, Google announced the sunset of Google Optimize. This includes both versions, 360 and Standard, and all integrations: browser, server-side, Universal Analytics, and Google Analytics 4, which will be turned off on September 30, 2023. 

Any experiments or personalization campaigns will run until that date, but the company owned by Alphabet advised users to switch to Optimize alternative services until then. Users will not be able to access, export, or interact with their experiments beyond September 30.

As Google admitted in their sunset announcement, the current Optimize service "does not have many of the features and services that our customers request and need for experimentation testing." In an attempt to make Google Analytics 4 more appealing, third-party A/B testing integrations will be available in the analytics platform too.

Why are A/B testing and experimentation so crucial for businesses? 

Experimentation is crucial for businesses as it helps them make data-driven decisions to optimize and improve conversion rates. Businesses can determine which variant performs better by comparing versions of a website or marketing campaign and make changes accordingly. The testing process helps determine which design elements, content, pricing strategies, and other factors drive the most sales and engagement, allowing companies to improve their online presence and increase revenue continually.

A/B testing of websites became mainstream in the late 2000s as online marketing and e-commerce began to grow and mature. Companies started looking for ways to improve their websites and online campaigns to increase conversion rates and revenue. 

The A/B testing capability introduced by Google through their service, Optimize, in 2012 was a step towards popularizing the experimentation culture. The tool was great for businesses of any size to be accustomed to testing, investigating personalization techniques, and constantly improving website visitor experiences. As Google Optimize was affordable, it quickly became a valuable asset for businesses looking to improve their user experience and make informed decisions.

In e-commerce, experimentation allows companies to optimize their stores for conversion rates by testing different versions of their pages, such as headlines, images, and call-to-action buttons. The results from these tests provide real-time data and insights into what changes to make for optimal performance.

As a precursor of more sophisticated and advanced tools, Google Optimize offered the ability to personalize the website experience for different segments of an audience. This can help companies tailor their website's message and offerings better and meet the needs and preferences of their target personas.

But, as even Google admitted, the Google Optimize service was limited and not responding to the latest needs for experimentation testing. This represents an opportunity for marketers searching for Google Optimize alternatives to go beyond the limited significance testing capabilities and make data-driven decisions exploring Bayesian statistics engines.

Limitations of A/B testing 

Even if testing is crucial for any activity, especially marketing in the e-commerce space, A/B testing has been proven to be limited as opposed to other experimentation alternatives. 

The limitations of A/B testing are vast: for example, significance tests don't allow more than two variations such A/B/n or multi-variant testing, without requiring very long test periods to become relevant. 

Contrary to Bayesian statistics, significance tests require a series of pre-defined data to become conclusive. Thus, results can be interpreted only when the test is over so the waiting period can cost marketers valuable time and, especially, budget.

For a significance test to become relevant, it requires a complex setup which might be a drawback to the average marketer as the significance level, power, and effect size must be determined before running a test.

Google Optimize alternatives and Google Optimize 360 alternatives

Now that the announcement is official, businesses of any size relying on testing software are looking for Google Optimize alternatives. For online stores using Google Optimize Standard or Google Optimize 360 within the Google Marketing Platform, Admetrics represents a great alternative, specifically focussing on ad and landingpage tests. While most marketers have been used to A/B testing, Admetrics Data Studio offers even more than that. Its integrated Bayesian statistics engine allows marketers to immerse into an experimentation culture, providing access to insights previously available only to data scientists.

At Admetrics we help our clients to enable always-on ad experimentation and even test the interaction between creative and landing pages. KPI’s our clients usually test for are conversion rates (click through and view-through conversion rates), ROAS, POAS (profit on ad spend), and order values.

Bayesian statistics in marketing explained

Bayesian statistics stems from Bayes' theorem and represents a way to use prior knowledge and new information to update beliefs and make informed predictions.

In Bayesian statistics, prior probabilities represent preceding beliefs or knowledge about a particular event or phenomenon, and these probabilities are updated as new data is collected. The updated probabilities are called posterior probabilities. This approach allows for a more flexible and dynamic way of modeling and analyzing data because the prior probabilities can be updated as new information becomes available.

Bayesian statistics are relatively new to the marketing field and have been, until recently, commonly used in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and bioinformatics. But, as Bayesian statistics provide a more robust and accurate way of making inferences and predictions compared to traditional, frequentist statistics, marketers have started to explore using it in their day-to-day activities. Data scientists and marketers use Bayesian decision-making to test and experiment with their marketing and explore variants, especially when data is scarce. This leads to various use cases in marketing, making them superior to the limited frequentist testing.

Benefits of using Admetrics Data Studio as a Google Optimize alternative 

Quantify, a proprietary Bayesian statistics engine, is integrated into Admetrics Data Studio and offers a wide range of benefits to help DTCs smoothly transition from Google Optimize and achieve much more than solely A/B testing. 

The experimentation engine processes and analyses all marketing data from various sources to generate actionable insights. Marketers can test comparable datasets to challenge any marketing aspect and benefit from unbiased, accurate results. DTC brands and e-commerces can test channels, placements, campaigns, creatives, messaging, email copy, audiences, and bidding strategies, amongst many others. This means experiments can expand beyond only two variants, allowing marketers to test A/B/n variants.

The integrated statistics engine, Quantify, will also achieve results faster requiring 60% to 90% fewer data than traditional significance tests. This saves not only precious time but also budgets, leading to conclusive results faster and with less ad spend, thus minimizing testing budgets. 

Quantify goes beyond testing, helping DTCs make data-driven decisions and understand the credibility of their performance data eliminating the guesswork. 

Google Optimize alternative for ad and landing page testing - Admetrics Data Studio

With the experimentation module in the Admetrics Data Studio, stores can speed up decision-making processes and discover new possibilities and use cases. DTCs can explore new channels or trends, and optimize marketing campaigns, creatives and landing pages.

Transition to Admetrics Data Studio and discover a more reliable, data-driven alternative to Google Optimize. 

Start your free trial today. Install here.