WP Experiments is a plugin that can help you increase the conversion rates on your WordPress site.
Whatever goals you have on your site, such as clicks on a link, downloading a file, watching a video, or any other actions you would like your visitors to take, WP Experiments lets you compare the content related to those actions, in order to help you find the best performer.
For example if you have a link you want your visitors to click on, for whatever reason, this plugin will let you compare multiple versions of the link text to find out which one gets the most clicks, and therefore help you increase your goal conversion rate.
To find out how this content testing plugin works, and how easy it is to use, read on for our WP Experiments review.
Features and Usage
WP Experiments is a WordPress plugin that lets you test different versions of certain elements on your pages against each other, in order to find out which one is better at producing your desired outcome.
For example, through WP Experiments you could create three versions of a call to action and the plugin will show the different versions to your visitors, one at a time, in order to test which one performs the best.
However, the plugin doesn’t just show each of the different versions an equal number of times. Instead it uses dynamic probabilistic allocation technology to show the higher performing version more often.
When creating a content experiment with the plugin, the goal can either be clicking on a page element, such as a button or link, or reaching a certain page on your site. Through the WP Experiments interface you can easily create the different versions of the content you want to test, such as button colour or link text, and then get detailed statistics on which version performed the best against your goal.
If you have any particular goals or actions you would like the visitors to your site to complete, then WP Experiments allows you to easily test multiple instances of your calls to actions, text, images, or other page elements, to establish which version is the best performer
To find out how easy this plugin is to use, we will now walk through setting up an experiment in WordPress.
Setting up an Experiment
After installing and activating the plugin you are able to create your first experiment. The plugin adds a top level menu item to the WordPress admin interface entitled Experiments, where you can access the three main screens that make up the WP Experiment plugin:
- New Experiment
To create a new experiment, it’s simply a case of entering a name and optional description, and then choosing the WordPress page you wish to run the experiment on. If you haven’t created the page that you want run the test on yet, you must do it before creating the experiment.
Existing experiments that you’ve already created can be viewed and accessed from the Experiments screen.
From the Edit Experiment screen you can setup the experiment and begin testing the different versions of your content. The first step is to setup a goal which you can use to test your content against.
Select an Experiment Outcome
From the Experiment Goal tab, you can choose from two types of outcome:
- Click on
- View page
The click on outcome lets you select an element on the page that you want the user to click on as your goal, such as a button, a text link, or anything else clickable.
Choosing the item to set as the goal is very easy to do, as the plugin allows you to view the page you are testing in a panel below the settings options.
Through the page viewer, you can then click on any page element and the plugin will add the CSS selector to the outcome field. Alternatively you just type in the CSS selector if you know it.
Then when that CSS selector is clicked on by the user, whether it’s a link, button, image, or anything else, it will be tracked as a completion of the goal. The page element that is selected as the goal outcome doesn’t have to be a button, so you can track clicks on any element on your page.
The other option is to set ‘page viewed’ as the outcome. This could be set to your download or thank you page, allowing you to test the different content variations that lead a user to that page, such as button styling, or a call to action.
Add a Test Case
The next step is to add a test case to the experiment. This allows you to make a change to the page. This change will be tested against the original version on the published page.
For example, if you are testing the text on a call to action button, you can create a new test case with different call to action button text.
In my experiment, I am testing which text is best for my call to action. The original link text on the page is ‘Click here to hire us.’
You can create multiple variations of the element you are testing, allowing you to test many different versions of your content. To add each new variation click on the + Test Case tab.
You can then enter the test case name and a description, and then through the page view pane, you can make the changes to your page. To make the changes, you simply click on the content you would like to change, and then select Edit Content from the menu and then make the changes.
A content editor window is displayed which allows you to edit the content which will be tested against the original version.
Creating the different versions of the content is very easy and doesn’t require you to create additional WordPress pages, or save different copies of a page. You simply click on a section of the page and edit it within the plugin, and WP Experiments takes care of all the rest.
You can create multiple test cases, allowing you to compare lots of variations against each other. In my experiment I tested the following call to action text:
- Click here to hire us. (original published page)
- Hire us now by clicking here. (1st test case)
- Click here to get a quote for your job. (2nd test case)
Each version can have its own formatting allowing you to test and compare not just the text, but also how it is presented.
Once you’ve created the test cases, you can save the experiment and then start running it. When the experiment is running, visitors to the site will be shown one of the versions of the content you are testing, while gathering stats on how they were interacted with by your visitors.
How the Different Versions Are Chosen
Unlike standard testing, the WP Experiments plugin does more than simply show each version of the content you are testing an equal number of times to see which is the most popular.
The plugin uses Bayesian experimental design to not only find the winner, but maximise success by predicting which variation is the highest performer and then displaying that variation the most in order to get better results.
To quote the developer of the plugin: “WP Experiments balances sending your visitors to test cases that seem to be working well with exploring some of the others by using beta probability functions to estimate the current payoff and distribute the visitors accordingly.”
This means you don’t have to worry about the plugin displaying the least popular version as many times as the most popular options, which could result in you losing sales, sign ups, or any other goals you are hoping to achieve.
Viewing the Results
Depending on how much traffic the page you are testing gets, you might start seeing some results and statistics from your experiment right away. The conversion statistics for each experiment can be viewed on the individual experiment pages from within your WordPress admin area.
The results can be viewed for certain time periods, or for all time. The current conversion totals are then displayed, showing the conversion rate as a percentage, the number of conversions, and the number of impressions, for each of the test cases.
The results auto-refresh every 15 seconds so you can leave the page open and always have access to the latest conversion statistics.
WP Experiments is available for $119. This includes unlimited installations, unlimited experiments, and unlimited test cases. There are also free software updates and a 100% money back guarantee.
There is also a free 14-day trial so you can give this plugin a try on your site today. Depending on your traffic levels, and the value of the goals on your site, you could earn enough money to pay for the plugin in those 14 days, by increasing your conversion rate.
Support and Documentation
As this is a relatively newly released plugin, there isn’t much online documentation available. However, the WP Experiments website contains a walkthrough video that shows you how it works and how to get started.
Support is handled via email with the developer responding to questions quickly. The contact details are available from within the plugin dashboard once it’s been installed on your site.
There is also a demo site where you can login and use the plugin. This is highly recommended if WP Experiments sounds like a tool you could make use of to increase your goal conversions.
Final Conclusion and Recommendations
WP Experiments is a deceptively simple plugin that allows you to easily test multiple versions of page elements against each other, in order to find out which one results in the highest goal conversion rate.
The user interface and process for setting up the experiments is really well thought out and executed. While creating multiple versions of elements on your pages might sound confusing or time consuming, it’s very easy with WP Experiments.
With the price of the plugin covering unlimited installations, and unlimited experiments, it won’t be long before the plugin has paid for itself, thanks to the increased conversion rates throughout your site.
When you compare WP Experiments with some of the other options for running this type of experiment on your WordPress site, such as Optimizely and Convert, this plugin represents exceptional value for money.
While the plugin is easy to use, it would be nice if there was a way to preview the different versions you are testing on the front end of the site, as opposed to just through the experiment test case builder. This would make it possible to view the changes and see them as an end user would, allowing you to check whether they are correctly setup and presented.
However, as the plugin stands in its current form, WP Experiments is an essential tool for anyone who wants a simple to implement and cost effective way to test and compare the content on their site.
If you have any goals on your site you would like higher conversion rates for, then WP Experiments can help you start experimenting so in a matter of minutes.
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