Google Optimize Sunset: What Next?

Friday, September 8, 2023

HC

Written by

UX Assistant

It’s finally time to say goodbye to Google Optimize - the free experimentation platform that helped so many smaller businesses begin A/B testing - the platform officially winds down on September 30th, 2023.

As Google bids goodbye to this platform, many of us in the CRO world are left wondering about the alternatives and what lies ahead for our A/B testing strategies. In this blog, we'll delve into the Google Optimize sunset and explore the possible alternatives that await

Google Optimize:

Google Optimize is a popular, accessible and easy to use tool that allows businesses to conduct A/B testing, multivariate testing, and other optimisation experiments. It’s easy-to-use AI and free-price-point made it an incredibly popular tool, and it made A/B testing and experimentation accessible to thousands of businesses that otherwise might not be able to afford to undertake CRO activity.

Google has announced the platform will officially reach its sunset on the 30th September. This means that Google will no longer offer support or run any experiments after this date, as the server goes offline. While this news might come as a surprise - as it was assumed Optimize was a popular tool, it seems to tie in with wider GA4 progression, and overall it's all part of the tech industry's cycle of innovation, as companies make room for new and improved (hopefully) solutions.

Alternative Testing Tools:

Positively, the market is brimming with alternative testing tools that can attempt to fill the void left by Google Optimize. Many offer comprehensive testing and personalisation features that can suit a variety of business needs. Thankfully, there are also now a range of more affordable tools and platforms too! 

Optimizely:

Optimizely is a widely recognised A/B testing and experimentation platform. It offers a user-friendly interface, advanced targeting options, and integrations with various marketing tools. Optimizely provides robust features for both beginner and advanced users. Overall, we’d say Optimizely is more towards the “Pro” end of the spectrum, and is better suited for users with experience of CRO and experimentation. Its price point is always traditionally a little more towards the costly end too, but it is a great tool for the price!

VWO (Visual Website Optimizer):

VWO is another popular platform for A/B testing and conversion rate optimisation. It offers an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, multivariate testing, heatmaps, and user behaviour analytics. Again, we’d say this is a bit more of a professional tool - both in terms of the functionality VWO affords, and also its price point too. Historically VWO has been one of the big players in the CRO space!

Unbounce:

If your focus is on creating and testing landing pages, Unbounce is a dedicated platform for that purpose. It offers an easy-to-use landing page builder with A/B testing capabilities, along with features like dynamic text replacement for personalised content.

Convert:

Convert is known for its advanced features, making it suitable for businesses with more complex testing needs. It offers capabilities like server-side testing, personalisation, and a powerful JavaScript editor for custom experiments. Interestingly, Convert has begun offering a far more affordable solution to customers, in an attempt to mop up many brands who are looking for a home now that Google Optimize is shutting down. We’re actually a Convert certified partner!

Crazy Egg:

While Crazy Egg primarily focuses on heatmaps, scrollmaps, and user behaviour analysis, it also includes A/B testing functionality. It's a good option if you want to combine visual insights with experimentation. It’s also a far more affordable option compared to some of the other more comprehensive tools on this list and it offers a good breadth of functionality beyond just A/B testing. Not a bad entry point for those looking to begin A/B testing!

AB Tasty:

AB Tasty is a user-friendly experimentation platform that offers A/B testing, split testing, and personalization features. It's suitable for businesses of varying sizes and technical expertise.

Adobe Target:

For enterprises looking for an incredibly comprehensive optimisation solution, Adobe Target offers A/B testing, multivariate testing, and AI-powered personalisation. It sits alongside Optimizely and VWO as a tool for the professional end of the market, with comprehensive features and functionality for a variety of experimentation needs.


Each of these alternatives has its unique strengths and features, so the best choice depends on a client’s specific requirements, technical expertise, and budget. It's a good idea to explore multiple options, consider strategic goals, and choose the one that aligns most closely with a client’s optimisation needs and wider commercial aims. We work with our clients to help choose the platform that works best for their CRO needs, but also incorporates their wider tech stack too. 

Conclusion:

While the Google Optimize sunset might initially pose a challenge for those accustomed to the platform, it also presents an opportunity to explore new and innovative optimisation solutions. 

From transitioning to Google Optimize to exploring alternative testing tools, the options are diverse and exciting. Remember, the core objective of optimisation remains the same: delivering an exceptional user experience that drives results. Embrace this transition as a chance to elevate your website's performance and make the most of the evolving digital landscape.