Optimize first-time user guide

Let's create your first experience.

If this is your first time using Optimize, welcome!

Prerequisites

Google Analytics and Optimize work closely together and accounts in both are required to continue. If you don't already have Analytics and Optimize accounts, please follow the steps in Set up Optimize before creating your first experience.

Get started

To create your first experience:

  1. Log into Optimize.
  2. Click on a container.
  3. Click CREATE EXPERIENCE.
  4. Name your experience.
  5. Choose your experience type (more on that below).
  6. Click CREATE.

Now you're ready to create your first experience, which can be either a test or a personalization.

Choose your experience

After entering a name, choose the type of experience you want to create.

Optimize experience types screenshot

Name check

In Optimize, an experience can be either a test or a personalization:

  • A test is a website experiment to determine what converts best with your visitors. With Optimize you can run A/B, multivariate, and redirect tests for up to 90 days. Learn more.
  • A personalization is a set of website changes made for a specific group of visitors. Unlike tests, personalizations don't have variants and they can run forever. Learn more.

Create your experience

Choose an option below for details on how to set up your experience.

Create a test

After clicking CREATE you'll set up your test using two widgets at the top of the page (the status bar and stepper) and a series of configuration cards.

Two informational widgets at the top contain important information about your test, at a glance:

  • The status bar displays the name and status (e.g. draft, running, or ended) and provides quick access to the Schedule Snooze, Start Play, and More More buttons to the right.
  • The stepper tracks your progress and displays a green checkmark Select next to each completed step.

The configuration cards include:

Variants and targeting – Click ADD VARIANT to create a new variant in the Optimize visual editor. Once you've made your changes, add targeting rules to determine which visitors will see your new variant.

Description – Enter relevant information for your reference (e.g. project, client, objective, hypothesis, etc.) and help colleagues understand the goal and intention of your test, even long after it has been archived.

Measurement and objectives – Link your Optimize container to a Google Analytics property and view. Once you complete this step, you'll see the linked Property, View, and the Experience ID. Learn more. You'll also see a checkbox (unchecked by default) that allows you to send additional hits so you can view reports in both Optimize and Analytics.

Settings – Ensure that your experience is set up correctly with these helpful tools:

  • Installation diagnostics – Run diagnostics to verify that Optimize is installed correctly before starting your experience. Learn more.
  • Email notifications – Receive important notifications about your experience via email. Learn more.
  • Traffic allocation – Control the percentage of visitors that are eligible to see your experience. Learn more

  • Activation event – Optimize supports dynamic web pages that load additional data after the initial page load via activation events. Learn more.

Screenshot: The Optimize experience creator UI, annotated with callouts.

Once you've completed the steps above, you're ready to start your experience. Just click schedule Snooze or start Play, in the status bar.

Create a personalization

After clicking CREATE you'll set up your personalization via two widgets at the top of the page (the status bar and stepper) and a series of configuration cards.

Two informational widgets at the top contain important information about your personalization at a glance:

  • The status bar displays the test's name and status (e.g. draft, running, or ended) and provides quick access to the schedule Snooze, start Play, and more More buttons to the right.
  • The stepper tracks your progress and displays a green checkmark Select next to each completed step.

The configuration cards include:

Site changes and targeting – Click MAKE SITE CHANGES to start creating your first personalization in the Optimize visual editor. Once you've made your changes, add targeting rules to decide which visitors will see your new personalization.

Description – Enter relevant information for your reference (e.g. project, client, objective, hypothesis, etc.) and help colleagues understand the goal and intention of your personalization, even long after it has been archived.

Measurement – Link your Optimize container to a Google Analytics property and view. Once you complete this step, you'll see the linked Property, View, and the Experience ID. Learn more. You'll also see a checkbox (unchecked by default) that allows you to sending additional hits to view reports in both Optimize and Google Analytics.

Settings – This card will help ensure that your experience is set up correctly.

  • Installation diagnostics – Run diagnostics to verify that Optimize is installed correctly before starting your experience. Learn more.
  • Email notifications – Receive important notifications about your experience via email. Learn more.
  • Activation event – Optimize supports dynamic web pages that load additional data after the initial page load via activation events. Learn more.

Once you've completed the steps above, you're ready to start your experience. Just click schedule Snooze or start Play, in the status bar.

What happens next?

Now that you've started your experience, here are some things to do next.

Check your real-time active users to ensure that traffic is flowing to your experience. If you don't see traffic, installation diagnostics can help troubleshoot any issues.

Enable notifications to receive an email when important milestones occur. These are helpful for keeping you and your stakeholders informed throughout the lifecycle of an experience.

Resist the urge to view your Optimize reports until enough data has been collected. You should wait at least two weeks before looking for meaningful results in your Optimize reports.

While you wait, you can:

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