A/B Testing Tools: Google Optimize Versus VWO and Convert

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Looking to improve your website conversion rate so more visitors convert into sales? Using an A/B testing tool is a great way to discover which variations of your website increase your sales the most.

There are now several A/B testing tools out there, ranging from free tools to enterprise level tools. So which is best for you?

To help you understand the different options available to you, I have created a guide that compares three leading tool choices: VWO, Convert, and Google Optimize which is free.

All of them have their advantages and disadvantages, so I have created a grid comparing these 3 tools, including pricing and functionality. Below the table I’ve also included an overview along with the pros and cons for each of the tools.

Let’s get started with the ratings:

Google OptimizeVWO logo
Cost rating
10/10 Free (with premium 360 version also available).7/10 Plans start at $199 per month for their growth plan (but only for 10K visitors).6/10 Plans start at $599 per month for their core plan but includes 500K visitors.
Test creation options and ease of use
5/10 Good visual editing options but only using Chrome plugin. Poor usability of A/B test creation process.8/10 Great A/B test creation process, with easy to use visual and code editing options.8/10 Very good editor for coding and CSS. A/B test creation process is lacking though.
Ease to add test code9/10 Very easy. Just one extra line of Google Analytics code needed.9/10 Very simple – only one tag needed.9/10 Very simple – only one tag needed.
Testing types available
7/10 A/B tests, MVT and redirect tests, but no multi-page tests.6/10 A/B tests and redirect tests included in all plans, but MVT not in basic plan.9/10 A/B tests, MVT, redirect, multi-page included in all plans.
Test targeting options
8/10 Google Analytics segments used for targeting, and very simple to use.8/10 Good targeting behavioral options for all levels, with basic ability to build custom target segments.9/10 The most advanced targeting options included even in lowest level plan.
Conversion goals & success metrics7/10 Google Analytics goals are used only, no customized goals.9/10 Great – good selection of goals and metrics, including revenue.9/10 Great – good selection of goals and metrics, including revenue.
A/B test reporting
6/10 Standard reporting but indepth analysis can be done in Google Analytics.9/10 Great reporting, and now includes an A/B testing repository for managing and recording insights.8/10 Good results reporting and dashboard overview. Being updated soon.
Customer service
1/10 No support offered. Only included in premium version.8/10 Email support included in basic plan, 24/7 phone support in enterprise plan.9/10 Support available by web chat in addition to phone and email.
Overall rating7/10 Good for beginners but lacks advanced features and support options.9/10 Highly recommended for all types of users, with reasonable costs.9/10 Better features for A/B testing pros – although more expensive initial cost.
Free trial?Try Google Optimize – freeGet a 30-day free trial of VWO Get a 30-day free trial of Convert

 

Now let’s get more detailed, with an overview of each of these tools, including their pros and cons.

Google Optimize overview

Google Optimize dashboard

Google Optimize launched in 2017 and is a major improvement over their previous A/B testing tool which was built into Google Analytics (called Google Content Experiments). It has limitations but is improving. Here are the notable pros and cons of the tool:

Pros:

  • Very good tool for free, much better than their previous offering.
  • Excellent integration with Google Analytics improves A/B testing reporting.
  • Easy to analyze reports in greater depth using Google Analytics.
  • Can be upgraded to their premium 360 version to unlock more features.

Cons:

  • The usability of it is lacking compared to other tools, particulary the creation of A/B tests.
  • Only 5 tests can be run at the same time (unlimited when upgrading to 360 version).
  • Multi-page testing not included (only in 360 version).
  • No support included, only through forums or paid 3rd party consultants or agencies.

Rating on G2Crowd: 4.3/5 (as of August 2019)

VWO overview

VWO visual editor

There are now several versions of VWO. One is called VWO Testing, and others are VWO insights (including visitor recordings, survey tools and form analysis), and VWO Full Stack (includes mobile app and server side testing). Here are the pros and cons of the VWO Testing plan:

Pros:

  • Intuitive user interface with great A/B test design wizard to help you get better results.
  • Includes A/B test duration estimator tool which helps you see if you have enough traffic.
  • Now includes their great ‘VWO Plan’ for managing and recording insights from A/B tests.
  • Great integration between all the tools on their platform, including visitor recordings and surveys.

Cons:

  • MVT testing is not available in their lower level package, only in their pro plan.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to create tests across pages with complicated URLs.
  • Pricing has increased recently as they move away from the low cost tool market.

Rating on G2Crowd: 4.2/5 (as of August 2019)

Convert overview

Convert.com dashboard

Convert has evolved from being a great low cost A/B testing tool to one of the most advanced and complete tools available.

Pros:

  • Great for pros, including a very good editor for CSS and Javascript.
  • Is one of the only GDPR compliant A/B testing tools.
  • The fastest loading tool for user experience, with no flicker experienced.
  • Offers the best support of all tools, including web chat support.

Cons:

  • Expensive monthly plan, although includes many more visitors than VWO lowest plan.

Rating on G2Crowd: 4.6/5 (as of August 2019)

I have managed to get their free trial extended from 14 days to 30 days – you won’t find this elsewhere.

Which is better? Google Optimize, VWO, or Convert? 

To help you make up your mind about which is better for your needs, here are my expert two-cents about these tools:

  • Google Optimize is the best for beginners or those with no budget for A/B testing, but has limitations.
  • VWO is a great tool for those looking for more A/B testing features than Google Optimize.
  • Convert is best for advanced users, with excellent features and the best support options.

Ultimately I suggest you sign up for Google Optimize to see if that meets your needs, and also try a free trial of VWO to see the benefits of their more advanced A/B testing features. If your company can afford Convert and you want expert features, then use that tool instead.

Extra reading: If you want to get much better results from using these A/B testing tools, then don’t forget to read my essential user guide for A/B testing tool success.

Other A/B testing tools worth considering

I have reviewed 3 of the most popular A/B testing tools, but there are certainly some other newer tools. Here are some of the best other ones for you to also consider, each with their own strengths:

  • Omniconvert – a multi-purpose tool that also offers personalization, surveys, and website overlays.
  • Optimizely – Use to be the most popular low-cost testing tool, but now focused on enterprise market only.
  • A/B Tasty – a good tool that also includes useful options for visitor recordings and heatmaps.

There are also other good but very expensive tools purely for the enterprise market like Adobe Target, Qubit, and Monetate.

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