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4 Plugins to Set up A/B Testing for Your Online Store in Minutes

Written by Tom Ewer on April 29, 2014 Blog, How to sell online.

A/B TestngWhen you do business online, you have to conduct tests.

But why?

Well, testing allows you to see precisely what elements of your online store are effective and which ones leave room for improvement. They show you which call-to-action drives the most conversions and which one is dead on arrival. A/B testing allows you to tweak, fiddle, and fuss with your site in the best possible way.

Because the best online stores undergo near constant testing. The thinking behind this is there is always room for improvement and when you test each element of your site, you find the secret formula that will make up your path toward success.

Now, before I dive into my list of A/B testing plugins you can use on your WordPress-based online store, I want to offer some insights as to why using an integrated plugin is even necessary to begin with.

Why Use an A/B Testing Plugin?

I know what you’re thinking: Why do I need to use a plugin to conduct A/B tests? Can’t I just use an offsite tool? You can do that, certainly, but I just think it’s so much more convenient to have it integrated into your WordPress dashboard. Why open up another tool or navigate to another site if you don’t have to, right?

There are a few other benefits that are worth noting, too:

  • A WordPress plugin for A/B testing will be a lot easier to use than a tool designed for use outside of WordPress. You already know how WordPress works, after all — a plugin will be much more intuitive for you.
  • A plugin solution tests for things that are specific to WordPress. When you find that an element of your site doesn’t work, you won’t have to do very much manual modification to improve your results.
  • Narrows your tests to specific elements of your WordPress site. Whether that’s a specific page or post, a newsletter signup form, an image, or something else entirely is up to you.

Nelio A/B Testing

Nelio A/B Testing Plugin

The first plugin option I wanted to point you to is Nelio A/B Testing. Described as a conversion optimization service, this plugin makes it easy to set up A/B tests or experiments, manage them, and monitor them within the WordPress dashboard for a seamless and intuitive user experience.

You can conduct tests on just about any element of your WordPress site, including page titles, themes, and even the minute details of the CSS. A heatmap feature is included to help you see where your users are most engaged on your site. Knowing this information will give you the opportunity to optimize these areas even more and really make the most of the time visitors spend on your site.

The plugin also provides you with daily information about your ongoing experiments that include details about your store’s visitors and conversions. A little detail I really like? The data gathering and statistical analysis is performed on Nelio’s backend server so your site’s speed will never suffer for the sake of data collection!

Now, this is a subscription-based service. You’ll need to sign up for an account with Nelio to receive a free 14-day trial then switch over to once of their plans if you want to stick with it. Subscriptions start at $19/month.

Marketing Optimizer for WordPress

Marketing Optimizer Plugin

Another plugin you might want to check out is called Marketing Optimizer for WordPress. It offers a wide feature set that makes setting up A/B tests for your online store a snap. And did I mention the features? This plugin has plenty, like Gravity FOrms integration and compatibility with all the popular caching plugins like W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, and Quick Cache.

The heart of this plugin is designed for conversion rate optimization. Track how two different versions of your site perform then optimize based on the results. You can quickly set up A/B tests for several pages at once and track conversions using shortcodes that you can place on any page that acts as a confirmation or thank you page following a conversion. Basically, you can track the results of individual A/B tests while recording the entirety of your conversions.

You can adjust how often your test pages appear as well by rotating your variations through a 90%-10% model. That is, 90% of the time the page that works the best appears to visitors but 10% of the time, your test pages (often called exploration) is shown.

Marketing Optimizer for WordPress makes it super easy to add variations to your tests as well. These variations will often involve page headlines, layout, the image used, call-to-action text, call-to-action placement, feedback form modifications, the types of buttons used, and testimonials. You can test just about any aspect of your site, which means you’ll walk away with the best performing version.

Convert Experiments by Yoast

Convert Experiments by Yoast

The third plugin I think you should check out is called Convert Experiments by Yoast. Now, Yoast has a long-running track record of quality in the WordPress plugin community, which is a definite bonus, but this plugin stands well on its own, too. It’s a collaboration between Convert and Yoast and allows you to integrate your Convert Experiments account with WordPress. Yes, that means you need to sign up for a Convert account.

The plugin works by sending details about your pages to Convert Experiments where you can then use advanced filtering and segmentation to set up any kind of test you want. It accomplishes this by installing a bit of javascript on each of your WordPress site’s pages. The allows Convert to implement split URL tests. Straightforward and effective.

WordPress Calls to Action

WordPress Calls to Action

The fourth and final plugin I wanted to draw your attention to is WordPress Calls to Action. You can use it by itself or with WordPress Landing Pages and WordPress Leads to create calls to action and monitor their conversion rates. You can also run A/B tests and multivariate split tests.

The CTAs are attractive and have been proven to be effective. The plugin comes with a library of CTAs or you can create your own using a custom design. It’s up to you. You can also use the incorporated Visual Editor to make changes and you can track conversion rates so you can make additional changes on the fly. The idea is here “continual optimization,” and that’s precisely what this plugin allows.

And when you use WordPress Calls to Action in conjunction with WordPress Leads, you can track your leads and optimize specifically for them. It’s a full-fledged inbound marketing tool. If you’re building an email list for your online store, especially, this is a good option.

Conclusion

The task of implementing A/B testing for your online store might seem daunting at first but it’s actually pretty straightforward so long as you’re utilizing the right tools for the job. The above four plugins can make setting up split tests and conducting experiments simple and something that you actually want to do because it proves itself to be so effective right away.

Do you conduct A/B testing on your site? If so, do you use one of the WordPress plugins mentioned above to accomplish it? Is there one missing from this list? Please let me know all about it in the comments.

Image source: psd

10 Responses

  1. Dennis van der Heijden
    April 30, 2014 at 3:27 am #

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for including Convert Experiments by Yoast in your overview. It’s worth mentioning we give out 5000 tested visitors a month for free on the Yoast plan… should get most people started well.

    Dennis

    • Warren Holmes
      April 30, 2014 at 9:12 am #

      Awesome, thanks for the info Dennis 🙂

  2. Jon
    April 30, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Thanks for these, good to see there are more options since I last looked into it. Will check them out when I get some time.

  3. Mike
    April 30, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    Thanks for pointing us to Nelio, it seems like a solid choice for us. We just launched – using Woocommerce of course 🙂 and wanted to test a few landing pages.

    • Warren Holmes
      April 30, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

      Awesome 🙂 Let us know if you have insights to share.

      • Nouman Tahir
        May 20, 2014 at 7:48 am #

        Can i connect these shopping cart wordpress themes with my Local Bank account. In other words i want all of my payments into my Pakistani Local Bank Account. ?

    • Jordi Cabot
      May 4, 2014 at 12:00 am #

      Hi Mike,

      We´ll be happy to help you getting started with Nelio, feel free to get in touch anytime!

      Jordi Cabot

  4. Beau
    May 4, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    Defiantly some great information here 🙂 Pleased to have checked out my woostore plugin. Wouldn’t have checked out your blog. 🙂

  5. Sai
    May 6, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    Yoast is my favorite seo firm, happy to see their plugin in your article 🙂

  6. Steven Sashen
    June 17, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    I’d like something that let’s me split test functions within Woocommerce. For example, I’d like to split test offering Free Shipping. Or, split test offering free returns… for that one, I’d need a notation in the customer record that that person saw the “free returns” experiment and is entitled to that service if they request it.

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