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How to Get Up and Running with Optimizely

Getting started with Optimizely can be done rather painlessly. Head over to and register first. You need to give your name, company, and some contact info to start your free trial of Optimizely X (the new version of their tool), and after that you are ready to get started. Say we were an online retailer wanting to change our CTA to get more conversions. For our first experiment to go live, we would:

  • Implement the snippet – Optimizely runs on your site via one line of code. You’ll be prompted to implement it as soon as you log in. Include the snippet on every page that you want run in the project. Once you’ve implemented it, you won’t have to again. If you aren’t technically inclined, then you’ll probably need a dev to paste the code into your templates (it belongs immediately after the<head> tag).
  • Create your experiment – now that we’ve got the ball rolling, we click the CREATE AN EXPERIMENT button. Give it a catchy name (CTA Experiment 1) and paste the URL of our site into the box.
  • Make your changes –  the page is now displayed in the editor where we can click the element we want to edit. We click the button containing our CTA, and a menu pops up with options to edit the element, move it, resize it, or even remove it totally. These options allow us to change the colour, size, text, placement, etc. With our button we’re going to click EDIT ELEMENT–> EDIT TEXT. We now change the the text from CHECKOUT to BUY NOW!.
  • Set your goal – Optimizely allows you to set goals that will determine the success of an experiment, so we click the flag in the upper right corner that says SET UP GOALS, and create a new one by clicking the button of the same name. Once we give the goal a name, we enter the URL of the page we want to track and select the category (more on goals later). After saving it move on to:
  • Start the experiment – this step is pretty straightforward. We click on START EXPERIMENT. Houston, we have liftoff!

One of the main advantages of Optimizely is how quickly one can set up a test. The straightforward nature of the software is a big draw, but it also has many other, more-complex functions that can further hone your testing (and make it more fruitful). All of this comes with a caveat or two for the would-be split tester, of course, but let’s check out some of the main features first.


Next up: Optimizely's Main Features