Google Introduces Free Version of Site Usability Testing Tool

By Jaikumar Vijayan  |  Posted 2016-09-30 Print this article Print
Google Optimize

Google Optimize will make it easier for site owners to identify and implement features for delivering a more personalized experience for users.

Google has introduced a free version of a tool designed to help organizations deliver more personalized experiences for users visiting their websites.

The company's new Google Optimize, released this week in beta form, allows website owners to test webpages and their entire site to discover opportunities for engaging visitors more effectively. With it, administrators and webmasters will be able to test different features on their site and then tweak them to deliver a more personalized experience for each customer.

The tool is built on top of Google Analytics so site owners and administrators will be able to use existing site data to quickly identify areas for improvement, according to an official description of Google Optimize.

A Google Optimize WYSIWYG editor gives administrators the ability to change anything on their site to test new features, without having to recode the site each time to do so. The editor lets administrators edit text, images and layouts on the fly by simply clicking on the feature they want to change.

The goal is to give website owners an easy way to see how different features and tweaks on their site will work in improving user experience.

"It's easy to understand and act on results," said Google Optimize product managers Jon Mesh and Dan Cary, in announcing beta availability of the tool on the company's Analytics Blog.

"Google Optimize calculates results based on your existing Google Analytics metrics and business objectives. It's clear to see what you should do next to drive even more impact for your business."

Google Optimize supports the ability for organizations to run different kinds of site usability tests. For instance, it lets administrators create and deploy what are known as A/B tests in which they can compare two versions of the same page to determine which one makes more of an impression on users.

Similarly, Optimize enables easier creation and deployment of multivariate tests to determine the optimal combination of site features and functions, Mesh and Cary said.

According to the two product managers, the free version of Optimize gives site owners everything they need to get started on usability tests for their sites. Optimize 360, the paid for version, offers more robust testing and site experiments and helps site owners more directly in delivering custom experiences for users, they said.

Optimize is not the only Google analytics tool for which a free version is now available.

Earlier this year, Google released a free version of its Google Data Studio reporting and data visualization product. The tool, currently in beta form, is available in 21 countries and basically enables businesses to extract insights for making better decisions regarding the usability of their websites.

Google's goal in offering free versions of its analytics tools is to make it easier for website owners to compete on personalized marketing and customer experience. "We want to give all businesses the tools and access to compete—and ultimately, drive better online consumer experiences," Google Senior Director of Product Management Babak Pahlavan had noted in a recent blog post.

Google Optimize will become available globally starting next month. The company has a sign-up page for those interested in using the tool.


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