Thrive Optimize Review: Simplified Split Testing For WordPress (2021)
Find out if Thrive Optimize is worth it or not Below!
Table Of Contents
You’re probably thinking about how to drive more traffic to your website, but are you also thinking about gaining more from your already-existing traffic? If you’re not using A/B tests, you’re giving up money.
These tests allow you to optimize your site. It compares different versions of a certain page between them to find which version gets more conversions, gets more clicks, and is the most efficient at doing what you want them to do.
Unfortunately, most WordPress users forget about split testing since it’s either too complex or expensive.
Luckily, today you’ll learn about Thrive Optimize, a single payment plugin for WordPress that you can use to create endless A/B tests for your site. Of course, it’s not perfect, as you’ll see in a moment, but it’s among the best and most affordable options out there.
Thrive Optimize works as an add-on for Thrive Architect, the page builder. It lets you launch your split tests for any pages you need right from your Architect interface.
After you’ve initiated your test, you can then duplicate the existing pages for creating variations and test smaller changes. You may also create your alternatives from zero to test completely different pages.
You can divide your traffic between all the versions you created however you want. You get to decide how much traffic you want to send to your control page and each of the variants. Of course, it’s possible to split your traffic evenly.
You then need to choose the goal you look to test. In other words, you must choose the results you want to improve with your tests.
Thrive offers 3 options.
The first one is to enter values for the users visiting either one or several “thank you” pages for Thrive Optimize to track the revenue of each version. You may also track how many visits each page gets; it’s similar to tracking revenues. Lastly, it’s possible to track how many subscribers each variation gets; you need at least 1 way to generate leads for each page.
After that, you can start testing and studying your data on an intuitive and attractive dashboard.
Each variant can be stopped at any moment, and there’s even an automatic winner function. If you activate it, Thrive Optimize declares a version as a winner after it’s met certain criteria that you’ve set up in advance.
With this feature, it’s basically possible to just start your test and let it do the rest of the work.
However, Thrive Optimize still doesn’t support posts and content, even ones created with Thrive Architect. It’s just for pages.
Does it only work with Thrive content?
You need to have Thrive Architect on your site if you want to use the Optimizer, and that means editing your pages with the Architect builder to start the A/B tests.
However, you can use Thrive Architect to open other pages created with the standard editor by WordPress, and you don’t even have to overwrite any content or design. Therefore, you can use the optimizer on all the pages of your site, either created from Architect of WordPress.
However, you need to open them with the Architect interface, and the other page versions must also be created with Thrive Architect to run the split test.
How to split test
Thrive Optimize is seamless for both new and experienced users, and it’s one of the main selling points for the product. From all the split testing services focused on WordPress, Optimize is definitely among the easiest.
To hammer on this point (and to give you an idea of what you can expect when using it), we’ll go through the steps necessary to create an A/B test. We’ll imagine we’re running a test for a control page and a couple of variations.
The first version is just a duplicate of the control one with a different CTA. The second one is a page created from scratch. You’ll be able to look at the different options you have.
So, into the steps:
Opening the control page
You want to open the control page; this is the original page, and our objective is to see if there’s any changes we can do to improve or change it. There are just 2 steps to launch your split test.
First, open your control page with Thrive Architect. Do remember that this doesn’t mean opening one created with the platform; you can still open WordPress editor pages. You just need the Architect interface to access Optimize.
Second, click on “Create New A/B Test” right to the top and right of your screen.
After clicking the button, you’re directed to the interface for creating variations. As per the name, this interface is where you can make any changes to your original page.
You can use Optimize to add all the variants you want. However, if you want to keep it simple, digestible, and with enough traffic to send to each version, you want to stick with a couple or maybe 3.
To create your variations, you can click on “Duplicate” on your control page to copy it and then make all the changes you want. You also have the option to add a new variation that you created from zero.
Following our hypothetical scenario, we’ll go ahead and create one version from scratch and a duplicate of our control page with the small change.
If you want to change the name of your variant, you click on that pencil icon next to the name. However, you need to hit “Edit Variation” if you want to edit the content for the page itself.
After clicking the button, you’re taken back to your Thrive Architect interface. From here, you can use the usual features to design the alternative.
If you’ve never used Thrive Architect, then you’ll have to learn how to do it. You don’t have the option of editing with the WordPress editor. That’s why you still need Thrive Architect to run the optimizer, even though you can use it on pages created with WordPress.
Choosing traffic distribution
After editing our different versions, there are some sliders that we can use to adjust how much (percentage) traffic we want to send towards each of our alternatives. This doesn’t have to be done right now, so feel free to move on and adjust the setting later.
Once you feel ready, simply click the “Set Up & Start” option, again, at the top right of your screen.
Choosing automatic winner
On the following page, you’re able to establish the name and description you want for this test. After that’s done, you can enable the option to set up an automatic winner from the test.
This is an amazing feature, especially for people who don’t really understand statistics and their importance when split testing. Many inexperienced optimizers will simply watch the test, spot the first early difference, and shut down the test.
The issue is the chance of that statistic not meaning anything when looked among the statistics.
You can fight this mistake with Thrive Optimizer since you can set up your winners to be determined automatically and depending on actually-significant statistics and settings. Once the criteria is met, the platform calls off the test, stop the losing options, and simply choose the best alternative.
There’s also an additional advantage besides forcing you to take a look at the statistical relevancy of the results.
You can create a duplicate page with tiny changes instead of just going for a new page from scratch. You may want to change your CTA, headline, banners, etc; whatever it is, it’s a small change can increase your results while taking a few minutes to create.
You can then turn on this automatic winner function and go do something else.
It won’t take more than 10 minutes, and it can give you a smaller portion of the same benefits from running complete split tests if you’re willing to accept smaller adjustments in favor of more free time.
This is the final step: choosing which action and objective you want to reach and optimize from this test. To recap, you can increase your revenue, amount of visits, or subscriptions (for people collecting emails).
If you go for the page visits goal, Thrive Optimize will keep track of the amount of people go from your variations being tested into a page that you can specify. A great feature here is that you have the option to add different pages instead of a single one, which gives you more flexibility.
After your goals have been set up, you just need to click the START button down and to the right to launch your test.
Viewing your analytics
You can actually test the accuracy and usefulness of this plugin by having friends visit the goal page or even doing it yourself from an incognito tab.
You’ll quickly find out that the plugin tracks your data in real-time. Conversion data will update in mere seconds after anyone visits your goal page, and you can access your reports with different views to find the one that’s more comfortable for you.
First off, you can look at some basic data right from your editing interface. And even the basic data is quite interesting, going beyond just the conversion rate.
You can see how each new version compares to the rest in terms of improvements and the chances that it will beat the original version. It lets you keep track of how the winners are doing.
It’s a great amount of insight for a first look. However, once you click on the “View Test Details” button at the bottom of the interface, you get to see the real content from this plugin.
You’ll see the same results from the editing interface, but you can also see how your variations performed through different periods. It’s all presented through a simple and efficient chart, which even the least experienced can understand.
Yes, there’s more.
Besides the data you can study form each individual chart, you also have access to the Optimize Dashboard, and you can find even more information here. It contains the general stats for all tests, a list of all the tests you’re currently running, and even data from older tests that you may need after a while.
It’s a great way to forget about that sensation of knowing you have the necessary data but not the memory of where it is. All the information is ready for you here, and even if you run a hundred tests monthly, you can still use the handy search bar to find the oldest tests.
Does Thrive Optimize damage SEO?
No, not at all. Search engines, like Google, will only spot your control page while you’re testing. There’s no need to be afraid about duplicated pages and penalties. Not only that, but the variations themselves have features enabled specifically to avoid this.
They come with a “noindex” tag, which prevents Google from indexing these pages. They’re also tagged as rel=“canonical”, indicating they’re just a copy from your original page.
Even better, if you decide to enable the automatic winner function, all search engines will index the winning version automatically after the optimizer has declared a winner.
You can get Thrive Optimize in 3 different ways.
The first one is to pay for both Thrive Architect and Thrive Optimize for $127. It’s for a single site, and it’s the best option for people who don’t own Thrive Architect already.
For those who already own the Architect platform, they can simply get the standalone optimizer plugin. The single site license costs $67.
Finally, you can also get the entire Thrive Themes suite, with all the products, for a membership going for $19 monthly, which is billed every year.
Pros and cons
As already stated, Thrive Optimize isn’t a perfect plugin, and you’ve probably noticed from the rest of the article. However, we’ll summarize the good and the bad here for the sake of simplicity.
Among the pros, we have a super intuitive platform with graphs and interfaces that look amazing and easy to understand. You can run unlimited split tests, and you have the automatic winner function to automate the entire process before looking at the results. It also integrates with the Thrive Lead Boxes tool to analyze your conversion rates, and it’s a single payment in a sea of monthly subscriptions.
The disadvantages is that you can only use it with Thrive Architect. Luckily, this is more of a minor inconvenience for people with experience on the platform, and even people with little knowledge can learn it quickly.
Finally, even though you can only use it with Architect, you can still run A/B test on WordPress pages created with the WordPress editor.
Should you use it?
To summarize, yes. It’s a great platform. It’s intuitive for anyone to use it, but it still offers enough power and features to make the results as accurate as possible.
Besides, it’s one of the most affordable tools available out there.
The only reasons not to use it is not having Thrive Architect already and not being willing to pay for and learn it.