Trying to increase the traffic to your website is always a good idea. But if your site isn’t optimized to get the best results from your visitors, you could be wasting resources trying to grow your audience.
So how do you go about optimizing your website and its content to your improve goal conversion rates?
Well, one option is to create multiple versions of your content, each with a slight variation. Then run live tests to see which version generates the most clicks, sign-ups, downloads, or whatever type of goal you’re focused on.
Setting up this type of testing might sound complicated. But thanks to a powerful yet straightforward plugin, WordPress users now have the ability to run these A/B or split tests on their website, all without much effort at all.
In our hands-on Thrive Optimize review, we’ll explain how this A/B testing WordPress plugin can provide you with the tools and data to optimize your content, for the highest conversion rates possible.
Thrive Optimize WordPress A/B Testing Plugin Overview
As mentioned, A/B or split testing involves creating two or more versions of a page on your site. The page versions are different from each other in some way, such as different button text, for example. One version is displayed to a portion of your visitors, while the other version is displayed to another section of your audience.
A goal is also set for the test, such as a visitor clicking on the button to visit a page on your site or submitting a form. The test results then reveal which version of the page delivers the best conversion rate, such as the most page visits or form submissions.
Once you have this information, you can disable the page version with the lower conversion rate. For the best results, you could then create another A/B test to try and optimize your page further. You can keep doing this until you feel you’ve achieved the highest conversion rate possible for that piece of content.
The above is a brief overview of how A/B testing works and what the Thrive Optimize WordPress plugin can do.
So if the idea of improving the conversion rates of your WordPress website sounds appealing, read on for the rest of our Thrive Optimize review to find out more about this A/B testing tool.
Is Conversion Optimization Right for Your Website?
Even if you’re just starting out with your WordPress blog or website, you should be able to see the benefits of using an A/B testing tool like Thrive Optimize.
In truth, whatever amount of traffic you’re receiving, or how much each goal conversion is worth to you, it’s worth trying to increase the number of visitors who perform a desired action on your website, especially when there are tools that make it so easy to do so.
So whether your goal is to grow your email list, sell more products, or promote your services, a WordPress optimization plugin can help increase your conversion rates. But is Thrive Optimize the right tool for the job? Let’s find out.
Is Thrive Optimize a standalone WordPress Plugin or a Thrive Architect Add-on?
Hopefully, this sounds like a tool that could improve your WordPress website and make it more profitable or better at helping you achieve your other goals.
However, before we proceed with our Thrive Optimize review, there is one slight catch.
Thrive Optimize is actually an add-on for the Thrive Architect drag-and-drop content editor plugin. We recently published a Thrive Architect review, which concluded that this visual editor is a high-quality plugin for creating custom content for WordPress websites.
If you’re not already using Thrive Architect, or you have no plans to, should you consider Thrive Optimize? That’s what this review will help you answer. First by highlighting the best features of Thrive Optimize, before walking you through the process of creating an A/B test to help you decide if this is the right plugin for you.
Thrive Optimize Review: The Best Features
Before we explore the user experience of Thrive Optimize to demonstrate how easy (or not) this plugin is to use, first, let’s check out some of the best features of this WordPress A/B testing plugin.
- Set-and-forget A/B testing and conversion rate optimization – Thrive Optimize monitors the tests and automatically declares a winner and disables the poorest performing page variation once enough data has been collected.
- Compare multiple page variations at once – create as many page variations as you want, to test multiple variations against each other.
- Optimize three types of goals – optimize the conversion rates relating to page visits, product purchases, and opt-ins.
- Easy to read results and graphs – quickly see at a glance which page variants are performing the best.
- Custom traffic distribution – let the plugin automatically distribute traffic evenly between your page variations or create a custom distribution to avoid sending lots of your visitors to an experimental page design.
- Drag-and-drop visual editor – easily create page variations with the Thrive Architect integration.
- Works with all WordPress themes – improve goal conversions regardless of your theme.
- No code to work with – no code snippets to add to your pages or code editing to customize your page variations.
A Focus on Simplicity
Thrive Optimize has been built to keep things as simple as possible to deliver a plugin that people will actually use and get results from. Due to this, there are some features that could be considered as missing. For example, you can’t optimize track goals like clicks on a specific link or button, or how far a user has scrolled down a page.
What Goals Can You Optimize?
The three goals you can optimize the conversion rates for are a visit to a specific page on your site, an opt-in form submission, and a product purchase related option. The Thrive Themes team has decided these are the most important goal conversion rates to focus on, so that is all you can work with using Thrive Optimize. If you’re trying to optimize the landing pages on your site, then these goals should suffice.
But if you want to improve your click-through rate to an external site, such as Amazon.com, then this plugin won’t be able to help you. The page visit tracking goal must be related to a page on your site, such as a thank you page or subscription confirmation page.
What About Your Visitors?
Thrive Optimize also has some clever cookie-related features to ensure its data is accurate and your visitors aren’t confused. For example, once a visitor reaches a page you’re testing, they’ll be shown the same variant of that page any time they revisit it in the next 30-days. This should reduce the chances of your visitors returning to your site to find a piece of information, only for them to be shown a different version of the page without that content.
What Are the Downsides of Thrive Optimize?
Apart from the limited goal options just mentioned, which some users might find lacking, there are a few other downsides of Thrive Optimize.
Firstly, this plugin only works on WordPress pages; you cannot use it to optimize blog posts. Also, you cannot optimize or test areas of your website outside of the page area, such as the header, sidebar, menus, or footers areas. Thrive Optimize is a plugin for improving the conversion rates of your pages, including sales pages, product pages, and opt-in page designs. Hopefully, by keeping things relatively simple, people are likely to use this plugin more and get better results from Thrive Optimize, compared to if they were presented with countless options and features.
So now that we know what this plugin can do, let’s find out if Thrive Optimize is easy to use or is actually a tool that’s too complicated for the average WordPress user to make the most of.
How to A/B Test Your Website with Thrive Optimize
While you must have Thrive Architect and Thrive Optimize installed on your WordPress website to create an A/B test, the upside of this is you get access to a library of conversion-focused page templates courtesy of Thrive Architect. You can then optimize these templates so that they produce the best results from your audience.
So to get started and set up your first A/B test with Thrive Optimize, you can either create a new WordPress page or open an existing one. This means you can use Thrive Optimize to run tests on existing WordPress pages on your website. However, you will have to open that page in the Thrive Architect visual editor to create the A/B test.
Once you do have a page open in Thrive Architect, you can click on the Create New A/B Test button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
Create the Page Variations
After clicking the button, you’ll be taken to the Variations screen. From here you can either clone the page you want to optimize, or create a new page from scratch.
Cloning the page gives you an easy way to make one or a few small changes to the page, such as editing the text or changing the color of a button. However, if you want to compare and test two very different page designs, then creating a new page from scratch is a good option. Don’t forget, as you’re using Thrive Architect to edit the pages, you can easily import a different landing page template and use that for your variation.
Edit the Page Variant
Whether you create a copy of the original page design or start with a blank canvas, you’ll be editing your variant through the intuitive Thrive Architect interface.
For this example, the color and text of the call-to-action button have been edited to see which combination delivers the best conversion rates with our visitors. Once you’re happy with your changes, save the page and click the Set Up & Start A/B Test button in the top right-hand corner to return to the Variations screen.
With Thrive Optimize, you’re not just limited to testing two page variants. You can create as many variants as you need, in order to find the highest converting page design for your website and its audience.
Sculpt the Traffic Distribution between Variants
Once you’ve created at least one variant of your main page design, you can decide how the traffic to this page of your site is distributed. By default, the traffic is distributed evenly between the different page variants. However, you can use the slider to easily change this.
If you’ve made some radical variations to a page design, then you might want to send most of your traffic to the original more conservative design, while a smaller percentage of visitors see the experimental design. You can change this ratio again, should you notice a drop in overall conversions.
It might be worth mentioning at this point, that the original page and its variants share the same URL. This means your visitors won’t be aware that they are taking part in an A/B test. However, as mentioned earlier, cookies are used to ensure visitors see the same variant each time they make a return visit the to page.
Start Your A/B Test
To move closer to launching your A/B test with Thrive Optimize, click on the Set Up and Start A/B Test button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Doing so displays the properties for the test, including the title and description fields.
You can also set the winner to be declared automatically by the plugin, based on the test results. This is a recommended setting, as when enabled, the poorer performing variant will no longer be displayed once enough data is in and the plugin can determine a winner. As this works in a set-it-and-forget-it way, once your test starts running you don’t have to worry about monitoring the results. Thrive Optimize will do the work for you, based on the actual statistics from your test.
As you probably expect by now, Thrive Optimize gives you a good amount of control over how winners are determined, such as the minimum conversions required, minimum test duration, and required chance to beat original score. However, leaving these values at their default settings is recommended, at least when you’re getting started with A/B testing and Thrive Optimize.
Define a Goal for Your Test
To enable Thrive Optimize to determine if page variant has been successful, you must define a goal for the test. With three options to choose from, you should have no trouble setting up your goals.
For this example, a Thank You page has been set using the Visit Page Goal. This means that if the user visits that page from one of the variants, that variant will record a successful goal conversion.
To increase the accuracy of the plugin, Thrive Optimize gives you the option of entering multiple goal pages. If your goal is to send your visitors to a range of pages on your site, and not just one, this feature of Thrive Optimize makes it possible to track all conversions.
Once, you’ve defined the goal, click the Start A/B Test button to let the plugin work its magic.
View the Results from Thrive Optimize A/B Test
As visitors start arriving at the page you’re testing, the plugin will begin collecting data. The quickest way to view the test result is to visit the Thrive Optimize screen, found in the Thrive Dashboard area of your WordPress website. After selecting the test you wish to examine, you can view the data that has been collected so far.
To give you the full picture, Thrive Optimize displays the number of visitors to the page variation, as well as the number of unique visitors, the number of conversions, and the conversion rate. Helpfully, you can also see the improvement over the original, which in the above example, shows that the Red Button variation performed 142.84% better than the original, with a 94.23% chance of beating the original page variation.
In most cases, you won’t want to worry too much about these figures, as the plugin will automatically declare a winner if you’ve given it the permission to do so. However, it’s nice to be able to see the data as it’s recorded in real time. There’s also a graph that shows the conversion rates for the different page variations over a custom time period.
Although you will probably want to let Thrive Optimize choose the winner due to the plugin likely having a better understanding of the data, you can intervene and stop the test at any time and choose the winner yourself.
If you were to manually stop the test and choose a winner, the data from the above example makes it clear that the Red Button variation delivered the best results, and should, therefore, be set as the winner and the only version of the page shown to visitors.
However, as we’ve just seen, Thrive Optimize makes it very easy to set up A/B testing, so there’s no reason not to create another test to see if the page can be improved even more.
Thrive Optimize Pricing Information
As mentioned, Thrive Optimize requires the Thrive Architect plugin to be installed on your site in order to run. Due to this, there are three main options for purchasing Thrive Optimize:
- Thrive Optimize (standalone plugin for use alongside an existing purchase of Thrive Architect): from $67.
- Thrive Optimize and Thrive Architect package: from $127.
- All Thrive Themes products, including themes and plugins: from $19/month (paid annually).
There are other purchase options available, covering use on multiple websites, which you can view here.
A/B testing can be complicated, but hopefully, the walkthrough of creating an A/B test for your WordPress website with Thrive Optimize has shown how easy this plugin is to use.
Once you’re familiar with the plugin, you really will be able to create new optimization tests within minutes. Thanks to this, you can quickly start working on improving the conversion rates of any of the pages on your website.
As you can quickly test changes and variations of your page designs that are both large and small, you can slowly immerse yourself in the world of conversion rate optimization by testing simple things, like colors and text. You can then move on to more in-depth tests that compare entire page designs and content layouts against each other. As you must also be using Thrive Architect to access Thrive Optimize, you won’t be short of templates for your pages or lacking content customization options.
Should you purchase Thrive Optimize?
If you’re already using Thrive Architect, then adding Thrive Optimize to your website comes highly recommended. Being able to see if your design choices have had negative or positive effects on your conversion rates will be invaluable for most website owners.
If you haven’t installed Thrive Architect already, then you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth paying the combined price for both Thrive Optimize and Thrive Architect. However, if you do choose these two plugins, you’ll be getting access to a powerful and intuitive drag-and-drop visual page builder tool that will let you create custom content for your website, as well as the A/B testing tool.
When all is said and done, you should ask yourself how much each conversion on your site is worth. This information will help determine if you can justify investing your time and money to try and improve your conversion rates. If you think it is worthwhile, then Thrive Optimize is a powerful yet easy-to-use tool that’s sure to help you turn more of your visitors into leads, subscribers, or customers.
Very easy to use
No code editing necessary
Can test multiple page variations at once
Clearly presented test data and results
Plugin able to automatically declare a winner
Makes Thrive Architect even more powerful
Can’t be used to optimize WordPress posts (only pages)
Unable to optimize other areas of websites, such as header, menus, etc.
Requires the purchase of Thrive Architect to function
Unable to track link clicks
Easy-to-use A/B testing WordPress plugin to help you optimize your content and increase your goal conversion rates for more sign-ups, sales, and page visits.
Easy-to-use A/B testing WordPress plugin to help you optimize your content and increase your goal conversion rates for more sign-ups, sales, and page visits.