How to start with Optimizely (mind blowingly easy)

When I first started researching digital marketing and testing conversion rates, I heard of Optimizely.  I glanced at it briefly but it wasn’t until I tried it out that I saw how amazing it was.  I almost feel that they need to sell it better on that front page because it certainly doesn’t show how amazing and simple it is.  Getting started with AB/variance testing with Optimizely is amazingly simple.

What you will need

  • A landing page
  • Access to your landing page’s code
  • Optimizely account (free)

First step is to create a free Optimizely account.  It’s free for the starter plan and it’s already a very powerful plan.  Once you’re in, you’re going to create an experiment.  Most important part here is to make sure to give it the url that you have access to since you’ll need to insert JS code in that page


Now we get to the fun part.  Optimizely can do a lot.  The two things we’ll touch on here are making a slight page variance and testing two completely different landing pages.  Both are super easy.

Making a slight page variance

So, we start with our page.  It’s going to be a pretty standard landing page.  It’s for an insurance company that, naturally, wants to get as many quotes as possible, to “QUOTE” is the predominant call to action.  However, the quote form is very in-depth, understandably.  I have suspicions that maybe a big phone number might lead to more quotes because they want to talk to someone and not have to fill out a form that may or may not work.


I want to swap that primary call to action with a phone number.  So, I click it, “Edit element” > “Edit HTML” and then make the necessary changes to my elemenoptimizely_threet (replacing the text with the number I want them to a call (a google voice forwarding number, of course, so I can track which calls come from our change).  It’s that easy!

Behold!  Now we have a variance with our phone number!  (And, if you need commercial insurance, call that number.  They’re good people).   So you can go ahead and create new HTML elements, move around current ones, or whatever you’d like to test.  It seriously is that easy.  It’ll create it all with this variance (or whatever variances you’d like) and then split test them for you.

Notice at the top it says “Original” and “Variance #1”.  Let’s look at the awesome options we get up there.  See “Redirect to a new page”?  That’s a way to test a completely different landing page to see which converts better.  You’d need to be able access that site’s code as well to insert the javascript snippet so you can track the events on both.optimizely_four

So, now let’s put this test into action!  Click the “Start Experiment” button in the top right and an overlay will appear with your javascript snippet.  Just make sure to insert that snippet into your page and you are good to go!  By default it’ll allocate the traffic at a 50/50 split but you can edit this as you see fit.

There!  I told you getting started with Optimizely was easy!  Now you can easily split test any variance or different landing page with ease.

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