Accounts and containers

Learn about two essential building blocks of Optimize.
In this article:

Types of accounts

There are three types of accounts you should be familiar with to use Optimize:

  • Google Account – A user ID used to access Google services. Note: you must use the same Google Account with both Analytics and Optimize in order to link them.
  • Analytics account – An eight-digit number associated with an Analytics account. This can be found in the Google Analytics admin, under Account settings.
  • Optimize account – The highest level of the Optimize hierarchy, typically named after your organization. Your account is also represented by a 10-digit number in Optimize URLs, e.g.:

Optimize accounts

Your Optimize account allows you to run experiments on one or more websites. Although you can set up multiple Optimize accounts from a single Google Account, you’ll typically only need one Optimize account per company or organization. The best practice is to use your company name as your account name and to set up one account per company.


You can log into Optimize from more than one Google Account. Add additional Google Accounts by clicking on your avatar in the top-right corner of the Optimize header, then Add an account. This makes it easy to switch between multiple Optimize accounts without having to log out of your initial account.


A container holds all of the Optimize configurations for your website experiences (tests and personalizations). An Optimize account must have at least one container and you should set up one container for each Analytics property with the domain name as the container name field.

A container snippet is a small piece of JavaScript code that must be added to any web page(s) being tested.

A container ID is a 9-digit alphanumeric string beginning with "GTM-" that uniquely identifies it (e.g. "GTM-A1B2CD"). The container ID is part of your Optimize snippet presented when you click INSTALL OPTIMIZE, and it can be found under Container setup > Container information in Optimize.

Two types of Optimize containers

  • Stored containers include all draft, scheduled, running and ended experiences created in a given container and contribute to the overall "stored container" size. To reduce the size of a stored container archive some ended experiments.
  • Served containers only include the running experience(s) and the data is compressed. To reduce the size of a served container: end some of its experiences.

Container best practices

  • Set up containers based on your organizational structure.
  • If you need to run experiments on one domain without affecting other domains, use a different container for each domain.
  • If your user journey spans multiple domains (e.g. an ecommerce site with a separate shopping cart site), create a single container for all of the domains involved. Note: Cross-domain redirect experiments aren't supported at this time.
  • Experiments cannot be run and measured across different top level domains. You can implement the same container on multiple domains, but be sure to leverage targeting rules to determine a unique domain that should be targeted by a given experiment. Experiments can be run and measured across subdomains, as long as all subdomains are tracked in the same Analytics property. You should implement the same container on all subdomains.
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