Google Optimize – Custom Objectives

Google Optimize, which is a free multivariate, A/B testing and personalization platform has numerous native integrations with Google Analytics. Google Analytics is actually required to use the platform and for good reason. If you do not integrate your Digital Analytics platform with your testing platform you are only ever seeing a subset of the changes that are happening (or not). The main integration between Google Optimize and Google Analytics allows for the potential to quickly launch tests without having to add a single line of code to your website.

This post is about how to set custom objectives, which are simply the outcomes you want from the tests you create. You may want to drive more sales, downloads, form submissions, or perform an action like watching a video. Previously, Optimize required you to set up a Goal in Google Analytics, which would then be available to select in Optimize. This was actually a major drawback of Optimize at the time because Goals are mostly permanent settings in Google Analytics that have a limited amount of slots (20) and cannot be reused. This meant you could never really test against more than 20 unique outcomes on your site without complications. Thankfully, Google made a huge update to Objectives in Optimize in October that allows you the flexibility to still use Goals, but in addition, create ad-hoc objectives at any time.

Custom Objectives in Google Optimize

Google has made the process of setting an objective very easy in the new workflow. The process starts with the experiment builder.

  2. Select ‘Choose from List’ if you want to use your pre-existing goals or core metrics (transactions, bounces, etc) from Google Analytics. Select ‘Create Custom’ if you wish to use an ad-hoc objective from any event you are capturing or view of any page.
  3. Hopefully, you already have a good implementation of Google Analytics that is capturing the various interactions that matter to your business such as clicking a call to action, downloading a PDF, or playing a video. If not, simply spend some time with Simo’s site setting them up. With your events setup, you simply auto-fill them with the drop-downs.
  4. Click Save and add some additional objectives if needed.

That is all it takes! Setting an objective is easy as that in Google Analytics. Do remember that the whole benefit of Google Analytics and Google Optimize, is that you already have all of your experiments available in Google Analytics. Even if you forget to set up another objective you can access it in Google Analytics at any time. Read the Online Behavior post in their reporting section for more: