Why Most Affiliate Site Split-Tests Fail (and how to fix it)

Why Most Affiliate Site Split-Tests Fail (and how to fix it)

I have discussed this topic in previous posts but there is still a lot of confusion about the triple set up for affiliate split tests.

In this post I will walk through in more detail and show you the solution to a major issue for affiliate SEOs:

How to run a split test on your affiliate site the right way.

There is a great trick to split-testing that, as far as we know, we are the ONLY ones doing.

It’s something that we are extremely proud of and psyched to share with everyone for the first time.

Occasionally your split tests may return wonky results and you think you have a winning variation. But then you roll out the winning variation and it doesn’t line up with your split test data.  Why?

Use this technique, and you’ll finally get accurate data and great results.

Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?


Why Your Split Tests Aren’t Providing Clear Answers

When making major changes to your Amazon affiliate sites (eg. Changing your comparison table layout), you absolutely have to run split tests to make sure those changes will drive more revenue. Otherwise you’re just speculating.

Some pages will see increases and some will see decreases. We run split tests to work out which ones are the winners and which ones are the losers so we can use data to increase our revenue.

The problem is that running split tests on affiliate sites is pretty tricky. In fact, a lot of SEOs get discouraged when they try to run their own tests for the first time and don’t get any conclusive results.

Split testing your sites correctly is an extremely effective way to multiply your revenue with existing traffic. You’ve just got to do it the right way.

In a ‘normal’ test, we’d just set the control (original page), create a variant (style we want to split test), allocate the visitors 50/50 to each variation, and watch as they battle it out for supremacy.

If only life were that easy….

This textbook way just doesn’t work in real life. Actually, it’s the reason why the majority of all split tests fail to show conclusive data.

Here’s why…..

If you’re running split tests in any of the split testing tools that use javascript to load the variations, and you set the traffic to split 50/50 to original and variant, then your original page will still end up getting 1.5x-2x the number of views. You may have noticed this discrepancy in your own tests and wondered why traffic isn’t being split equally. This preference for the original will skew your results MASSIVELY and give you a distorted picture of sales.

The Amazon sales data you get back will be so skewed that you won’t be able to draw accurate conclusions on the effect on revenue.

There are 3 reasons for this:

  • The testing software doesn’t sort visitors who have disabled javascript
  • The testing software doesn’t sort visitors who’ve disabled cookies
  • The testing software doesn’t sort visitors with a slow internet connection

We’ll call this the “excluded” traffic. This excluded traffic adds up to a huge visitor base that isn’t being subjected to your test, and are simply shown the original page. 

These ‘unsorted’ visitors aren’t being included in the 50/50 traffic split, and end up as ‘extra’ traffic on the original page.

Therefore, the reason your split tests are failing, isn’t that split-testing doesn’t work for Amazon affiliate sites. It’s that your traffic isn’t properly allocated and causing you to get skewed results.

After running test after test, we’ve devised a really badass, MacGyver-like hack to get your test results and Amazon sales data to line up right again. I’m super pumped to be sharing this insight with you.

Here’s what you’ve got to do….

Introducing Convertica’s affiliate site split-test traffic hack:  The Triple-Setup

We decided to share a technique we developed which has revolutionalized our split testing process.

Split-testing Amazon affiliate sites isn’t all that common to begin with.

If you want accurate results, instead of splitting traffic 50/50 between 2 pages, you’ve got to run the Convertica Triple-Setup. We call it that because you need 3 pages instead of 2:

You get this by duplicating the original page TWICE (don’t worry, it’s 100% safe for SEO. We’ll explain below).

This extra duplicate (control page) is an EXACT copy of the original, and all changes are made ONLY to the third page (the Variant).

Then you send 45% of the traffic each to the duplicate control page and the variant page, with only 10% to the original.

Still with me?

Here’s what the 3 pages look like:

  • Original: 10% of Traffic
  • Control (exact duplicate of the original): 45% of Traffic
  • Variant (the changed page): 45% of Traffic

Here’s a visual representation:

NOTE: Duplicating the original should be easy. Just use your theme’s default post duplication function.

This way, all the visitors who don’t get picked up by the split-testing software (the excluded visitors with disabled javascript, disabled cookies, and slow connections) get shown the original page. The remaining visitors that get picked up by the split-testing software are sorted into exactly 45%-45%-10% as above.

Here’s What You Do Next….

From there, you give the Control and Variant pages unique URLs (for example, postname-2018) and set up unique Amazon tracking-IDs for each.

By segmenting the traffic 45/45/10, we achieve perfect segmentation and calibrate the data to align with Amazon. Pretty cool, aye?

Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?


Understanding the Distinction Between Traffic Segmentation Settings and Reality

If you recall, we determined that setting traffic segmentation to 50% – 50% would result in more than half the true traffic seeing the original. (The 50% assigned to original + the excluded traffic.)

Likewise when we set the traffic segmentation to 45% – 45% – 10%, more than 10% of the true traffic will see the original page. (The 10% assigned to original + the excluded traffic.)

But in this case, that’s ok, because you’re not using any of the sample data going to the original page. You’re only interested in the equal traffic that’s gone to your Control and Variant pages, and their corresponding revenue data over on Amazon (through their unique tracking-IDs).

What’s the 10% for? Shouldn’t we just allocate everything to the duplicates and make it 50-50-0?

We don’t want Google to think we’re gaming the system or trying any type of trickery. So as a precautionary measure, we want to make sure the original variation still gets some traffic, at least 10%. After all, that is the page that is ranking in the SERPS. From Googles perspective, if they allowed 100% redirection of traffic away from the ranking page in the name of split-testing, that could easily be abused.

Quick Review

We know this is a bit confusing so let’s review it quickly. It’s actually not that hard at all once it clicks.


  1. Duplicate the original twice
  2. Add a canonical tag on both duplicates back to the original page (to make safe for SEO)
  3. Keep the first duplicate an exact copy of the original: this becomes the Control page
  4. Make all your changes (that you want to test) to the second duplicate: this becomes the Variant page
  5. Send 45% of traffic to each Control and Variant, and only 10% to the Original
  6. This will calibrate your results to make up for the traffic that VWO doesn’t track, and ensure Control and Variant receive equal traffic.


Talk about life-hacks.

But hold on…

Duplicate Pages? Wait a Second. Is that Safe for SEO?

Telling an SEO to duplicate pages is like telling a vegan to eat beef. Don’t worry. This is 100% safe for SEO as long as you add a canonical tag to the original page. We’ve run well over 1,500 tests by now and never had any penalties as a result of duplication:

This tag tells Google to honor the original page ONLY and ignore the duplicates. The duplicates won’t affect your SEO at all.

Google has even confirmed this, and you won’t have any SEO problems.

OK, so now that you know how to run the test and make it safe for SEO, let’s run down how to set up the test in VWO.  The process will be similar across all split-testing platforms.

How to do the Triple-Setup Hack in VWO

As a default, VWO will only create a control and a variation, so you’ve got to do a bit of CRO mad-science to get the tri-setup configuration set up.

  • Go into your VWO dashboard
  • Click “Split URL” in the left-sided menu
  • Click “Create”

Click “Add Another Variation” to get your 3rd page, and give your duplicates a unique URL.

OK, almost there!

Next, Set up Your Goals

Goals are extremely important in CRO (and life too). There needs to be an identifier within the URL that shows us when a visitor clicks through to Amazon from that duplicate. This allows us to track revenue and match them to test data.

You must track Clicks on Link and Link Contains.

Add the Amazon ASIN number for each of the products in your comparison tables/mini review areas. You only need to add them once.

Finally – Allocate Your Traffic and Install the Header Code

Now that your test is set up, you just need to allocate the traffic according to our hack (45/45/10) and copy/paste the VWO Smart Code in just after the header.

Before you launch your test, be sure to preview it and make sure everything is in order. Once you’ve confirmed that it’s all good to go it’s time to launch your test and let the (accurate!) results roll in.

How to Analyse Your Test for Wins

As a rule of thumb, we don’t even think about calling a test until we’ve got at least 1,000 views to EACH Control and Variant, and above a 15% increase in conversions. The lower the conversion increase the more views you will need to ensure statistical significance. (In other words, the smaller the difference, the more sample data you need to be really sure.) If a test is suggesting under 5% increase in conversions, we scratch the test and start again.

In general, the higher the difference in conversions the fewer views required to draw statistical conclusions. For example, if a Variation is crushing the Original (actually, the duplicate of the original) by 30%, then we need fewer views to confirm the hypothesis than if it were leading by only 5%. Get what we mean?

VWO will show you the statistical significance of your test. (Statistical significance is the mathematical certainty that your test is NOT due to random chance. If statistical significance is at 80%, then you can be 80% certain that your test is actually showing correct results and not just a random fluke. In general, we look for 95% before calling a winner in a test.

TL,DR – Why Most Amazon Split Tests Fail

A lot of affiliate SEOs get discouraged when they run split tests on their Amazon affiliate sites and receive no insights.

The problem isn’t that split testing doesn’t work, it’s that tools like VWO by default don’t allocate traffic perfectly. This skews your results and leads to misinformed decisions. This is because:

  • VWO doesn’t track visitors who have disabled javascript
  • VWO doesn’t track visitors who’ve disabled cookies
  • VWO doesn’t track visitors with a slow internet connection

If you want more accurate results, you’ve got to run the “triple-setup” technique. Duplicate your original page twice and make all of your changes to one Variant page and keep the other copy as Control. Then, send 45% of your traffic to each, and only 10% to the original. Give each page a unique URL and tracking ID, and you are good to go!

This is 100% safe for SEO if you add a canonical tag to the original page.

REMEMBER: The Control page is an EXACT copy of the original. Make all of your changes ONLY to the Variant page.

There you have it! It might seem complicated at first, but using this awesome split testing hack will return accurate Amazon sales data and paint a clear picture of what is and is not working on your affiliate sites. Split-testing definitely works on affiliate sites, you’ve just got to do it right!

Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?


Author: Kurt Philip

Hi, I’m Kurt Philip, the founder & CEO of Convertica. I live and breathe conversion rate optimization. I hope you enjoy our findings.

We’ve worked with over 1000 businesses in the last 6 years.
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The Best AB Testing Tools 2023

The Best AB Testing Tools 2023

Every week, I get asked, “What are the best AB testing tools?”

The answer purely depends on your specific goals and requirements. To decide which software is best for you, consider a few things:

  • Are you doing CRO on one or a few of your own sites or are you running an agency?
  • Will you be running CRO campaigns all year round or just every now and then?
  • Do you have large profits to reinvest into CRO services or are you bootstrapping?
  • Are you running tests on website or mobile apps. Or both?
  • Are personalization tools and features important to your company or are you only running a simple AB test?

Find out the answers to these questions. Then you can easily whittle down the list of testing tools to choose from.

See. All the optimization strategies we share here at Convertica can be tested and implemented with any of the A/B testing tools below. The only thing that will put one over the other is your specific needs.

Yes. All the different AB testing tools have different features. But they essentially achieve the same goal.

What does this mean for you?

It means that finding the testing tool that works best for your business has to be anchored to what your needs are. It’s not worth spending thousands of money on VWO, for example, when you’re only looking to optimize the landing page of a course that you launch twice a year. Get my drift?

With that said, let me show you 5 of the best testing tools. I will work through each of our recommended solutions outlining the pros and cons. I will also work through each software, step-by-step, to show you how easy it is to set up these tools.

Then you can come up with your own conclusion as to which testing tool is suitable for you and your team.

Are you ready?

Please note: There are no affiliate links on this page. This is purely to share our experience with you on the different split testing software available so you can decide which one best fits your needs.


I. Best AB Testing Tools : Review and Walkthrough

  1. Freshmarketer
  2. Optimizely
  3. Google Optimize
  4. Convert Experiences
  5. VWO

II. Other CRO Testing Tools to Check Out

  1. Adobe Target
  2. WordPress Conversion Rate Optimization Tools


  1. Can I use the unbounce testing tool?
  2. Which testing tools do AB and multivariate tests?

IV. Conclusion


Fresh Marketer


Freshmarketer is a relatively new testing platform. Previously known as Zarget, it provides a simple and easy interface for people who want a no-nonsense split testing tool. Two things make Freshmarketer stand out from the competition. Firstly, it’s affordable for most small businesses. Secondly, it’s an all-in-one testing solution bundled with all the tools you need to run a CRO campaign.

Once we log in to the backend, we can see a menu of different features available for CRO testing. The nice minimalist background makes it very simple to navigate around.

Our favorite features are here, including

  • Heatmaps
  • Funnel analysis
  • Form Tracking
  • AB Testing and
  • Split URL testing

So, let’s set up an AB test and see how simple it is to use Freshmarketer as a testing software.

Let’s click the AB testing icon on the left to get started.

Next, let’s create an A/B test.

Next, I get alerted to this;

I was initially in Firefox. So let’s continue the process in Chrome.

After I log in, I get prompted to install their plugin, so let’s do that.

Now that that’s, done, let’s continue on with the setup.

So far, pretty straightforward.

Next, I am brought straight to the visual editor.

It asks for the Experiment name and the hypothesis within the WYSIWYG editor, which I kind of like.

Next, we hover over the text area I want to edit and left-click on the text, then select these options below.

Now that’s done, let’s continue on to set up goals.

So far, really simple, intuitive and straightforward.

Next, the goals page.

For the purpose of this test, I use “engagement” as the metric. Now because we want to track successful form submissions, we need to track URL’s that contain the word “success”.

We will also target all visitors for this test. I like how this feature is added here and the way it is laid out. It’s great for beginners to AB testing tools.

On the next page, all the settings are laid out clearly.

Let’s go ahead and launch the experiment.

I am then prompted to verify the code integration, which we haven’t done yet.

Once, you have added that code to just after the <header> you will be good to start your test.

Rating: 8/10

Pricing: Has a free option with limited features. Paid account starts at $49 monthly

Suitable for: Beginners


  • Super simple set up.
  • Intuitive backend.
  • Tons of segmentation options


  • No API connectivity.
  • No RAW data export so you are limited to their reporting backend.
  • Basic Reporting (can be a good thing for beginners).


Freshmarketer is an excellent option for people who own 1-5 websites and are new to using conversion testing tools. The super intuitive set up process and minimal backend allows you to explore CRO without getting confused by the process. 

Users who are looking for an all-in-one tool will gravitate toward Freshmarketer. It’s not only for AB testing website content. It also has the ability to optimize email marketing campaigns and create sales funnels. It can also track user behavior using heatmaps.

If you want to dip your toes in conversion rate optimization and become familiar with testing tools, this is a software with a low barrier to entry.

Get started with Fresh Marketer here.



I actually started my CRO & split testing journey with Optimizely. Saying that, I haven’t logged in to their backend since moving to VWO. So I’m going to go through it with a completely new account and run through setting up the same AB testing process as I have on all the other testing tools on this page.

It looks like they have made a few changes to their homepage, so I’m excited to see what the backend looks like now.

So I go through and set up an account, and then I get this.

Well, that was disappointing. It’s just a lead capture.

You actually can’t create an account without someone ringing you first.

They must just be focusing on enterprise clients.

I will update this post once I get access to the backend.

Here is how we set up a simple AB split test: TBA

Rating: TBA

Suitable for: TBA

Positives: TBA

Negatives: TBA

Overview: TBA

Get started with Optimizely here.

Google Optimize


The coolest part about Google Optimize is that you can run it under your Google account. On top of that, you can integrate it seamlessly with Google Analytics, which for some users (especially eCommerce business owners) is a huge bonus.

What I dislike about it, and which is very surprising considering it’s Google-owned, is what seems to be the lack of emphasis on user experience. The UI is clunky and it’s not intuitive at all.  IMHO, there is a lot to be improved here.

Here is how we set up a simple AB split test:

Once you log in in to the home-page, you will arrive at this screen.

Click create experience.

Next, you will be asked to enter some information about your campaign.

Then click create.

Then, click create variant.

Then click where it says Variant 1 and it will ask you to install the Chrome Extension. Follow the steps for this and then you will have to reload your campaign.

As I’ve said, pretty frustrating user-interface. It took me a while to work out what I had to do after each step.

You will then be loaded into the editor.

Having a programming background, I like this WYSIWYG editor. The way it overlays all the container identifiers into the editor is handy.

We jump in and simply click the section we want to test, which again is the headline above our lead capture.

Pretty straightforward.

It was simple to change. And I think, if you want to quickly get started with CRO tests, you’d love this feature. For example, if you want to make simple changes on a landing page or an eCommerce cart, this editor makes the job a breeze. You don’t have to wait for your designers to do this for you.

So anyway, I click done. Hit save. Then done again.

Next, I wanted to go and set up goals.

This next part is what I found frustrating from a user experience point-of-view.

I actually couldn’t work out where to set up goal tracking.

And this is where many SEO’s might get frustrated.

Why? If you opened this testing tool using an account that’s different from your site’s Analytics account, then you won’t be able to set up goals.  If you have many different accounts, as many of us do, you may have to repeat the process and start from scratch. Which is what I had to do.

OK. So I went back through and set the test up again. In the correct account.

Back to setting up goals.

After I finish setting up the test, I scroll down and link to Analytics.

I then have to add some extra tracking code to my Analytics tracking code so it can track properly.

Next, I need to set up an objective.

Which I realized needs to be a goal already set up in analytics. So I jump back to analytics and set it up.

At this point, I’m getting quite frustrated at how broken this process is compared to other testing tools.

Now set the URL that contains /success.

Now, jump back to Optimize to see if this is all set up right.

Nice. Looks like it’s all showing up fine.

And….. that’s about it. Not the most pleasurable experience IMHO from a company that’s supposed to be a master at UX.


PricingFree for a small amount of tests and pricey if you want to run any volume

Suitable for: Those who like the Google analytics integration.


  • Integration with other Google products
  • Free for entry level


  • Bad user interface
  • No clear pricing


This testing tool may suit some people but it was a very broken process for me to set up an account. Google loyalists may like it for testing landing pages. And many eCommerce business owners who test funnels and cart pages may love the easy integration with other Google products. However, it isn’t for me at all.

Get started with here.

Convert Experiences


Convert Experiences is a testing tool that’s easy to integrate with other tools like Google Analytics, Crazy Egg and Clicktale. This makes it an ideal option for a business that has already set up their goals on GA or other CRO platforms.

It’s a robust testing tool with lots of features and it allows you to run many tests at the same time. It’s relatively easy to set up for a beginner. But it also has advanced features like personalisation and segmentation.

The Process

This is what the backend looks like when I first log in.

Let’s click New project. This opens a window where we can fill in the name and URL of the first project. What makes this instantly different from the rest of the testing tools here is the option for data anonymization.

This is one of Convert’s leverage in the testing tools market. It puts heavy emphasis on internet privacy. This makes it a great option for a company that’s keen to do CRO in-line with GDPR and other privacy regulations. You have a choice between turning it off only for the EU, EEA or worldwide.

When I click Start project, I’m taken to a window where I can create a new hypothesis. I like the way each click of a button takes me to the next logical step. I’m sure it’s a feature that helps new users go through the process smoothly. Also, the right sidebar now has an additional highlighted menu. Another plus for user experience. You immediately see what you’re supposed to work on, which buttons to click and what to do next.

Let’s write the hypothesis for the first test.

This feels more involved than other testing tools. Which I like. Why? Because I feel that as much as writing a hypothesis is very tedious, it’s great training for the science-based mindset that conversion tests require.

Sure. This may feel like a lot of work. But it’s a practice that’s recommended, especially for new users.

At first glance, setting the hypothesis is pretty straightforward. However, the prioritization score is one you won’t see on other testing tools.

Think of prioritization scores as a way to organize different hypotheses in one project. If you’re doing only one test, you may not need this. But later on with many experiments running, it’s a system that allows you to easily see which tests to prioritize.

For this, I just choose one of the two systems and gave each element a score of 5.

Convert hypothesis


After I click submit, a window opens with the first hypothesis listed.

So far, so good.

But. What next?

I’ve got the project and I’ve written down the hypothesis. But how do I start the test?

Here’s the thing. So far, every window that opens every time I click a button has sent me to the logical next step. But now, I’m a bit stuck. I’ve just been sent back to the window I was just working on.

It feels like they’ve welcomed me warmly into their house. Show me a few rooms. And then just left me alone to figure the rest of the house out by myself. So I did just that.

I start clicking the other links on the sidebar. I understand goals, audience and project settings. But for a new user to the Convert platform, the words Compass and Experience do not really tell me anything.

So I click those.

The Compass takes me to the list of hypotheses. And the Experiences. Well, it says I haven’t got any. I’m not sure if that’s something important. To find out if it is, I click the New Experience button

Aaahh! It’s to make me choose the type of testing I want to do. Whether it’s AB, split URL, multivariate testing, personalisation, AA or multi page

I click split URL and add in the URL of the page I’m testing. When I click submit, this opens another window with another form where you add in the URL details of the variation (note that you can add as many variations as you like).

When you click save changes, a new window opens which has all the elements you need to start a test. This is the window where you can customize the objectives, goals and target audience. It’s also where you can access the visual editor. And if you want to integrate this with other conversion testing tools like Crazy Egg, this is where you do it.


As you can see, the Experiences button is a VERY important part of the setup. But calling it Experiences, instead of the more commonly used word “Experiments”, might make it confusing for new users to the platform. I know I didn’t know what it was at first glance.

Note: Later, while reading the support articles, I find out that “Experiences” is the first thing you should do after you set up your project. If that’s the case, then I think it would have been better if I was taken straight to that window instead of the Compass/Hypothesis one.

Anyway, let’s continue.

Many of the test details here are pre-written. So I proceed and customize it.

I edit the objective. That’s easy.

I then edit the goals. There are 3 ways to do this. You can use a template, Google analytics or advanced goals. I click on template and choose increase form submissions.

That’s the goal done. I also made sure I deactivated the prewritten goals that did not apply to the test.

Convert - Set Goals


Now let’s head on to the visual editor so I can edit the page.

I click the pencil icon to edit.

But I’m not taken to the editor. Instead, it takes me to Convertica’s homepage without any of the options to edit the page.

I’m stuck again. I wonder what the problem is.

I head over to Google to do a little digging. Turns out I need to add the javascript code into the site’s header first.

So you’ll need to do this before you can change the page.

After you do that,

Rating: 7/10

Price: Free 15-day trial. Starts at $599 monthly fee

Suitable for: If you run many different tests for different clients at a time.

Positives of Convert Experiences:

  • GDPR compliant
  • Great customer support
  • Integrates with Google analytics, WordPress, Crazy Egg and many other conversion optimization testing tools
  • Has a WYSIWG editor
  • Most plans allow unlimited domains and tests

Negatives of Convert Experiences: 

  • Expensive testing tool if you’re doing CRO for only a few low-traffic sites


If your business does a lot of testing at any given time, then at some point, you’ll find yourself choosing between VWO and Convert. These two testing tools have a lot of similar features. The most notable difference is that you can easily integrate Convert Experiences with other marketing tools like Google Analytics and Crazy Egg.

Also, if your company wants no-fuss integration with GDPR and privacy laws, then you can easily add these elements into your CRO campaigns using Convert. Pricing-wise, Convert also has a transparent-pricing system starting at $699.

Get started with Convert here.



This is what we use here at Convertica. It is robust, has great raw data reporting and the support team is great at customizing a solution to suit our company. The downside is: You need to pick up the phone and talk to one of their sales reps so they can build a package that suits your specific needs. Sure you can set up a trial account but this has very limited features and is used by the VWO team as a lead generation funnel for them to find the bigger clients that they can upsell their enterprise accounts to.

Still, this software is our favorite.

Due to the API connectivity, we were able to build a dashboard that allows us to quickly review each client quickly and easily in one space. This saves us tons of time and allows us to keep an eye on each and every split test we have running at the same time. At Convertica, we run hundreds of tests every single day, and the customisation VWO allows is crucial to our efficiency.

See below;

Also, with the enterprise account, we are able to pull raw data and track different goals depending on what is required for each of our clients. We’re able to deliver a 100% tailored CRO approach to each client with this flexibility.

Here is how we set up a simple AB split test in VWO:

When you are logged in, click these two sections.


Then it will load the live editor.

At this point we click the area we want to edit.

We then click the container in which the text is located and click edit HTML in this case.

Then add in “FREE” to see if this will increase conversion rates.

Next we go through and preview each section before starting to make sure they are rendering right.

If all looks good, you can start your campaign.

Make sure you install your smartcode right after the <head> in your theme header. It’s important that it is installed on all pages (like the success page) that you are tracking for it to track correctly.

If you don’t have it installed, it will tell you it can’t find it and show you the code to install.

All you have to do next is wait for statistical significance to see if your variation increases conversions.

It’s as easy as that. I love how straightforward VWO is.

Rating: 8/10

Price: $$$$

Suitable for: If you are managing a very large personal portfolio or 20+ clients at a time.

Positives of VWO:

  • Super intuitive set up process.
  • Great customer support
  • Will tailor a package to suit your needs
  • Has many features like heatmaps, recordings and funnel flow
  • Great API and raw data functionality.
  • Can control tests within slack with the proper API configuration.
  • Can be used for mobile app testing

Negatives of VWO: 

  • Price is inhibiting for a company that’s managing under 5 websites.
  • You need to get on a call if you want to unlock most features and go through the VWO sales process which can be frustrating for small portfolio owners.

Get started with VWO here.

Other CRO Testing Tools to Check Out

For most of you reading this, any one of the testing tools I’ve tested so far will meet your needs. However, if you still think that the perfect tool for your business is not on this list, then here are more conversion testing solutions you might want to investigate further.

Adobe Target

Adobe Target is an ab testing tool that works for both website and mobile app optimizations. It takes real time personalisation to the next level using AI and machine learning. First, it studies the visitor behavior.  Then, it tailors the customer’s journey based on that data. As it tracks the engagement of users, it takes them to content that it thinks the user is more likely to engage with. It’s basically a self-learning testing tool. It’s also costs a lot. A lot more expensive than the other testing tools we’ve tested here.

WordPress Conversion Rate Optimization Tools

The testing tools featured here work on any WordPress blog and have plugins to make integration easier. If you’re looking for cheaper alternatives, check out the testing tools Nelio AB testing and AB testing for WP by Clevernode.


Can I use the Unbounce testing tool?

I’ve had some people ask me about using Unbounce as a testing tool. Here’s what you need to know. Unbounce is a great landing page builder with a built-in conversion testing tool. It’s also one of the few testing platforms with a machine learning software. However, you can only do tests for the landing pages that you build on their site. You can’t use if for sites you build in other platforms. This means if you already use Unbounce for your landing pages, then it’s a no-brainer to use its testing software to test and see how you can increase conversions.

Which testing tools do AB and multivariate tests?

All testing tools on this page are designed to do AB and multivariate testing. And any half decent AB testing software should have these features.


We went through and set up an account from scratch with five of the most popular testing tools. We wanted to look at it from a beginner’s point-of-view.

For us, there are 2 clear favorites. Freshmarketer for those starting out and VWO for those that can spend $1,000 a month or more. Convert comes a very close third. It’s been 4 days and I haven’t even had a single email from Optimizely and I just flat out didn’t enjoy the Google Optimize experience.

Now that you have a few options to look at, decide which conversion testing solution best suits your business  and set up an account yourself.

If you are serious with your efforts to increase conversions in 2020, then there’s no way around it. You need to get down and dirty and learn how to use one of these AB testing tools.

Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?


Author: Kurt Philip

Hi, I’m Kurt Philip, the founder & CEO of Convertica. I live and breathe conversion rate optimization. I hope you enjoy our findings.

We’ve worked with over 1000 businesses in the last 6 years.
Let’s jump on a quick call to see how we can help yours.

Book FREE CRO Call

Client Case Studies

Follow us on Youtube

Empire Flippers Lead Generation Conversion Rate Optimization Case study

Empire Flippers Lead Generation Conversion Rate Optimization Case study

Today, I’d like to share a case study with you.

Convertica’s experience working on the Empire Flippers valuation tool is the perfect example of the power of CRO done the right way.

Analytics & Conversion Rate Optimization doesn’t have to be complicated, it just requires a well managed process.

With a systematic approach, hard data, and experience gained from CRO’ing hundreds of sites (plus a bit of UX magic), we were able to increase an already successful website’s conversions by over 50% in just over 6 weeks.

I’ll detail the exact steps we took to CRO the tool plus the thought process behind it.

To see the full 2,500+ word conversion optimization case study on the Empire Flippers Blog, click here.


Empire Flippers is an Inc. 500 online marketplace with over 11,000 members. As website brokers, they facilitate the sale of established, profitable online businesses.

The Empire Flippers Valuation Tool lets business owners get a good idea of their site’s value based on dozens of proven and tested metrics.

Even though the tool had already successfully evaluated 45,000 businesses, Empire Flippers knew it could do better.

They turned to Convertica due to our past experience with lead-gen sites that we personally owned or managed for clients.

Fortunately, I had been both a buyer and a seller on the site multiple times before, so I had unique from a CRO perspective. This allowed me to put myself into the user’s shoes (which ended up playing a HUGE role in the campaign’s success).

The Challenge: The tool was already a major success by any measure: $47 million dollars worth of businesses sold and over 45,000 evaluation isn’t too shabby if you ask me.

However, there were a few sticking points that I myself had encountered that were holding the tool back from reaching its potential. Mainly, the fact that the valuation submission process wasn’t very intuitive and required A LOT of user input. Convertica had to find a way streamline everything, and it all had to be done on Empire Flipper’s Frankenstein mash-up of a WordPress site.

Our Hypothesis: Based on past wins for our lead-gen clients (62% average increase) and my perspective as a former user of the tool, we theorized a solution based on a simple hypotheses:

The more a user has to think, the lower conversions will be.

CRO doesn’t have to be complicated. This simple hypothesis had worked for plenty of clients in the past. We thought if we could simplify the process and make it more engaging(read more cases here), Empire Flippers would see a major boost to submissions.

Think about it—in 2018, we use apps for everything: dating, ordering lunch, finding a dog sitter, you name it. Most of them are so intuitive (a swipe here, a button press there) we don’t even notice we’re using them. Everything is done in the subconscious (like a game). This is a HUGE for CRO. We knew if we could keep users in that stream, we’d bump conversions significantly.

Even we didn’t expect 51.6% in just 47 days, but looking back on it, it makes a lot of sense. Here’s the exact process we used for achieving our goal.

Convertica’s CRO Process

We Set a Goal

Based on our past wins, we knew more than 50% gains were achievable.

We wanted to set a realistic but ambitious goal.

The point of setting a goal is framing your success.

You never want to settle for mediocre results — jump over to the study case in increasing monthly revenue within a short time!

Increasing leads by 20% is by all means a success, but when compared to our goal it would have been a failure, especially considering our past wins.


 Gamify the Lead Capture Process

One strategy that had worked for nearly all of our lead-gen clients in the past was “gamifying” their lead capture tools. By making the process more like the rest of the apps a user is glued to all day (more engaging, easier to use, simpler), we knew we could increase conversions. Our goal was to get the user to think as little as possible.

How we “gamified” the tool  

The first page of the lead capture was already very intuitive; no thinking, just clicking a button.

However, once you chose your monetization method, you were brought to this screen:

This type of static form is not intuitive. Now the user actually has to enter data (and exit their subconscious stream).

ENTER: our kick-ass in-house team armed with a year’s worth of lead-gen tool data.

All of those tests we ran on lead-gen sites taught us that if the initial 2 or 3 fields of a tool require no specific input, conversions increase in a big way.

Here’s what we did:

  • Multiple-Choice Questions: Multiple-choice or yes/no questions automatically generate the form without the user realizing. It also keeps them fully engaged.
  • Sliders: Instead of the user manually entering their monthly income and expenses, we had them use an interactive slider.
  • Progress Visualization: Never underestimate the power of visualizing progress. According to the lead impact case study, when the user can see how close they are to completing the process, it keeps them engaged.

Here’s what the new submission process looked like;

You can view the live version here.

Did you notice there isn’t a “Next” button? If it doesn’t have to be there, why put it? They’ve entered the data, now move to the next step.

TIP: Minimize your visitor’s actions. The less times the user actually has to make a decision, the better. Try and make some for them.

With our new submission process, the user is 40% done before they have to enter any data.

Test the New Tool vs. the Old

We don’t like to be too full of ourselves, but we knew the new tool was a winner. Still, as part of our standard operating procedure, we always test (and you should too).

We ran a split-URL test. This sends 50% of traffic to the new version of the lead capture and 50% to the original.

As we suspected, the test showed a pretty clear winner relatively quickly. The new gamified version killed it: + 40% in just two weeks.

Our custom reporting software provided valuable insight as to which type of user (segmented by device) converted by each version. Which brings me to my next point:

Always use data collected from tests to further refine your testing.

Data collected from this first test allowed us to create a more targeted second test. A 40% increase is great, but our goal was 50% so we weren’t satisfied.

Implement the New Lead Captures

Pretty straightforward here, right? The old version was clearly inferior, so we rolled out the new version and sent 100% of the traffic to it. We instantly saw a jump in conversions, which was just the validation we needed.

Use Live Data to Optimize Further

If there’s one takeaway from this case study, it’s to use data to further refine your results.

Good CRO is a constant process of refining based on the data (click here to know more).

We had already increased conversions by 40%, but our goal was 50%. Using our new data and some awesome CRO software, we could further identify some key friction points.

By using the data from the first test, we were able to double down and gain even more conversions for Empire Flippers. It was like the icing on the cake.

Optimizing for Mobile with Formisimo

After running a split URL test, we gleaned an important piece of data: the desktop version of our variation outperformed the mobile version by a good margin (36% conversions vs 26%).

We used a killer piece of form-tracking software for lead-gen sites called Formisimo that let us see the top drop off points for users who need to fill out forms. Basically, it speeds up your CRO by allowing you to conduct more focused and effective tests through identifying bottlenecks. In simpler terms, it’s freakin’ awesome.

Using Formisimo, we segmented visitors by device and discovered a major sticking point for mobile users: their thumbs.

The mobile thumb problem: Most people use apps with just one hand. The layout of the new variation was such that reaching the important areas with just one thumb was difficult to say the least.

The solution: We had our UX magician work her magic. Anywhere toward the top of the screen was too hard to reach, so the layout had to keep most of the important stuff toward the bottom so it could be used with just a thumb. Now, instead of having to use both hands (or god forbid reach a bit further!), the entire page was in what we considered the “easy to reach” zone.

The result: Guess what? 10% more conversions! — not only that we also do coaching to maximize conversions.


Challenge: Increase Empire Flippers’ lead-gen tool’s submissions by 50% and make it appealing to hundreds of visitors using their phones with one hand.

Solution: Gamify the tool to make it more engaging and decrease user thinking by making it more intuitive.

Result: + 51.6% conversions in just 47 days which was significantly optimized even further over the following months.

Key Takeaways:

  • Set challenging goals
  • Keep the user in their subconscious by decreasing their workload. Remember, the more thinking the lower the conversions
  • Display their progress and delay specific input as long as possible
  • Test and track everything!
  • Use data learned from initial tests to further refine later tests
  • Segment down to device level to get even more easy wins
  • Never settle for mediocre results. Keep testing!

To see the full 2,500+ word case study on the Empire Flippers Blog, click here.

Author: Kurt Philip

Hi, I’m Kurt Philip, the founder & CEO of Convertica. I live and breathe conversion rate optimization. I hope you enjoy our findings.

We’ve worked with over 1000 businesses in the last 6 years.
Let’s jump on a quick call to see how we can help yours.

Book FREE CRO Call

Client Case Studies

Follow us on Youtube

High Traffic & Low Conversions: Our 12-Step Checklist for Perfecting Your CRO Process

High Traffic & Low Conversions: Our 12-Step Checklist for Perfecting Your CRO Process

When it comes to CRO, the hardest part can be deciding what to start optimizing.

I have already done a post showing where to start if you’re new to CRO.

The questions is, when you have the areas to focus on identified, what do you start testing?

Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?

We all know the feeling; traffic is rolling in but you aren’t making a lot of conversions.

If you own an affiliate, Lead Gen or eCommerce store, chances are you’re either facing this problem right now or have had it in the past.

If this sounds familiar, then you are obviously hungry to make some changes and start making major sales or commissions. If you’re getting thousands of visitors a month, your site holds massive potential.

You just need to unlock it.

At Convertica, we have helped hundreds of clients increase their conversions by making small changes based on systematic testing.

We have brought in major returns for site owners by applying a proven testing process.

I asked my team of CRO magicians to uncover the secret and help me put together a list of the highest-value tests we run on a new site to increase conversions.

Each of these minor improvements could help increase your conversions big time.

Remember: In CRO, there is no “magic bullet”, or one-size-fits-all.

If there was, none of us would be in business.

You can never be sure what will work (or even what is working) unless you test, test, and test some more. However, with this systematic approach, you increase your chances of success exponentially.

Now we have listed the best conversion rate optimization guidelines.

1) Locate Easy Comparison Table Wins: Features and CTAs

Features: General wisdom states you need product features front-and-center so the buyer knows what they are getting.

At Convertica we are interested in what works, not in theories. We’ve actually found that sometimes, having no features increases conversions (you only know if you test it!).

A visitor searching for a fridge will almost certainly want to see specs, but if they’re just looking for a pair of socks, it’s not worth the bother.

CTAs: It’s not only what you put in your CTA, it’s where you put it.

What we’ve found effective are horizontal tables with CTAs aligned vertically (along the y-axis).

2) Do You Explain Why You Chose Your Number 1 Recommended Product?

If you’ve got a number 1 product (or top model or merchant’s choice), are you just displaying the product and saying it’s the best? If so, this could be a big reason why you aren’t making sales.

Testing has shown us that adding 3-4 reasons explaining why you chose it and then hitting your visitor with a CTA right there increases clicks in a big way.

Bonus: If you’re using a sticky widget, do the same thing. We see too many widgets with just the product name and an image. Don’t let clicks to your affiliate slip away.

3) Is Your Comparison Table too Congested?

A major mistake we see on affiliate sites is comparison tables with too many columns.

Buyers love comparison tables because they make it easier to digest a product’s important data. If you have too many columns, it makes it harder to consume that data and decreases conversions. We’ve found that one column called “features or details” with all of the info listed outperforms multiple columns by a good margin. It occupies less space and makes life way easier for your customer.

4) Are You Sure You’re Selling the Right Products?

You can have the best comparison table in the world, but it won’t do you any good if it doesn’t have the right products in it. Review your Amazon sales data regularly and see which products are actually being sold. You’d be surprised how many times a client comes to us asking for a solution only to find out that they had the wrong products in the table. When you find out what is selling, review it and put it in the comparison table.

Remember: CRO doesn’t have to be complicated. Sell products that people want and they’ll make it to checkout!

Bonus: Always make sure that the 1st product in the table is “Available” or “In stock” on your Affiliate partner site. The first product is the one which has the highest CTR compared to all other products reviewed on the page. If the product isn’t available, it might turn off the visitors, and you probably won’t get the sale. — For your query get a quote from our website optimization service for free.

5) Make Sure Your Table is in “the Best” Position

When people search for keywords with “best”, they are in buy-now mode. Don’t beat around the bush with this one. Make sure your comparison table is right at the top the page (within the first 2 paragraphs). We’ve increased clients’ CTR by over 10% just by moving the table closer to the top of the page.

6) Test Your Pop-Ups

Sometimes a pop-up can be a good thing. Sometimes it puts customers off and decreases conversions. The only way to know is to test (are you noticing a pattern here?). If you aren’t getting conversions, stop throwing offers at your customer’s face and see if that leads to an uptick.


Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?

7) Try Out Pros and Cons Below the Review

Having cons clearly visible on products increases consumer trust. Reviews that list pros and cons often outperform their counterparts by a good margin. If you’re simply stating why a product is good, it doesn’t drive a customer to take an action. Pros and cons are straight to the point and allow a visitor to think, “Aha! That’s the benefit I’m looking for.” Put the pros vs. cons comparison below the product review and see if that helps out.

8) Are Your Images Hi Resolution Enough?

67% of consumers stated that product images are VERY IMPORTANT in purchasing a product. In fact, they might even be more important than your descriptions. Don’t skimp in this department. Larger, clearer images are one of the easiest wins you can get and will almost certainly lead to better conversions.

One thing that we noticed with a lot of affiliate sites is that the images in the comparison tables are too small. Just by doubling these image sizes in our variation tests we have seen an increase in CTR of about 10%.

9) Make the Checkout Process as Simple as Possible

The more your customer has to think, the loweryour conversion rate will be. Everything needs to be as seamless and intuitive as possible. Each link is an extra distraction. Each extra step is another chance for them to say, “You know what? Nah. I don’t want this anymore.” Whichever action you want them to take (buying something or signing up, for example), you need to simplify the process. There are two ways to do this:

  • Make it easier: Delete unnecessary steps. Combine multiple steps into one. Having a “product preview” and the payment gateway on the same page is one easy way to combine two pages into one.
  • Make it fun: Make the process engaging and fun by gamifying the process. Add slider bars, multiple choice questions, or even a questionnaire to help them find the right product.
  • Remove forced sign up: If they have an account already, add an “Already have an account” section to the top of the checkout form. If they don’t, create an account for them automatically when they fill out the form.

Lesson: The more barriers to the goal, the harder it is for your customer to complete that goal (simple, isn’t it?).

10) Test Every Page

There is no magic bullet to CRO (I’m thankful for that). What works on one page might not work on another. It depends on the nature of the product and the type of consumer. We’ve seen certain layouts bomb on certain pages and perform like champs on others. Run tests on every page to see what’s working and what isn’t. And remember, don’t assume anything. Let your customers decide which version is best, and always keep testing/refining.

11) Full-Width vs. Sidebar

We totally understand why you love your sidebar. It’s a great place to display some prominent information that you think the user needs and to run some ads (we’ll cover this next, but for now, I advise you to study about common split testing mistakes done by a newbie). It could very well increase your sales…but you never know!

Try a full-width page instead of a sidebar. The sidebar might be counterproductive if it’s a distraction to your visitor. Not having it keeps them focused on what’s in front of them: your products. It’ll help put more emphasis on the things you’re trying to sell.

12) Test Turning off Amazon Ads / Adsense

Ads are a great way to make some extra money, but they could distract users from the products and turn them off big time. Try removing ads from your page and see if that does the trick.

Final Tip: Never test blindly. Yes, these step by step conversions will increase your chances of CRO success immensely, but taking a shot in the dark has major opportunity costs (especially for eCommerce stores). If you make the wrong change, you could cost yourself a great deal of sales. Instead, run heat maps for a while to get live data. Test the highest volume areas first.

We’ve CRO’d sites for over a hundred clients, and these are the exact tests we run on each new site. So far, they’ve produced the best results. The important thing to remember is that this is a systematic process and EVERYTHING has to be tested. You never know what’s going to work, but if you follow this checklist, we’re sure you’ll find what does. Be part of our conversion rate optimization class and learn more particular conversion strategy.

Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?

Author: Kurt Philip

Hi, I’m Kurt Philip, the founder & CEO of Convertica. I live and breathe conversion rate optimization. I hope you enjoy our findings.

We’ve worked with over 1000 businesses in the last 6 years.
Let’s jump on a quick call to see how we can help yours.

Book FREE CRO Call

Client Case Studies

Follow us on Youtube

[AFFILIATE CASE STUDY] Part II: Increasing Monthly Income by $32,532 in under a 90 days.

[AFFILIATE CASE STUDY] Part II: Increasing Monthly Income by $32,532 in under a 90 days.

It’s a Sunday afternoon and I’m packing my suitcase in preparation for my trip back to Chiang Mai for the Diggity Marketing annual SEO conference.

My phone starts ringing.

It’s Robert.

Me: Rob, what’s up.
Robert: We did it man! Check your skype.

Me: Wait, you hit it?
Robert: Damn rights.

3 years ago, Robert set a goal, and a pretty audacious one at that.

Goal: $100,000 a month in affiliate income.


This is the actual photo Robert sent me on Skype: A 2015 Mercedes c400. His dream car he was able to buy, in cash.

The Proof (from just two of his accounts):

This case study is for 1 of Robert’s websites in his portfolio. 100k was for his total income across all his sources.
We were able to achieve these numbers by constantly running split tests. Over the 3 month period, we ran over 50 tests which allowed us to get incremental compounding gains over time. This process was made a lot easier by having a huge amount of traffic to work with.

The Truth about CRO

There are a lot of misconceptions around CRO and how split testing works. In the CRO Academy, I regularly post examples of wins and losses. One thing that I mention often is that in order to be successful at split testing, we have to disconnect from the urge to always be right. This is confirmation bias and it is dangerous.

This can be hard. Especially if there are no conversion rate optimization experts to give you inputs and ideas.

We are socially conditioned to always want to be right.

Don’t get me wrong, there are conversion rate optimization best practices that are a must on any site.

A few of them, in no particular order:

I won’t get into too much detail about that in this article. I have done that, here, and here.

Once you have what I call a CRO baseline in order, we need to work on getting a large targeted list of experiments ready.

When-ever I ask a potential client if they have ever done CRO and they say no, I get very excited – I’ll explain why.

Just this month, I ran a test using the two variants below:

A simple re-alignment of the calls to action from center to left increased clicks to the calls to action by +23.5%. Seems too easy right? Seems a bit like B.S right? Well, you can grab your phone and do we can do coaching call with CRO experts and see if this is true or not.

This is where it ties back into my story about Robert.

Now, let’s say Robert has finished baseline CRO after reading one of my posts. Clicks to his affiliate account jump 16%. Awesome.

As an example, and to keep the calculations simple. Let’s say Robert’s site was generating $20,000 per month before he did baseline CRO roundup. With a 16% increase that would mean that he would make $23,200 next month.

Same rankings, same traffic.

That would mean that he could take an extra trip somewhere next month, or he could get that new iMac next month that he wanted. No extra costs, just more profit.

Ok now it’s time to set up a split test, he has a goal to get to $30,000 a month from this site by the end of the year and god damn it, he will do it.

That means, he has to increase revenue by another 30% roughly.

Let’s say he tries the same layout as my example above.

He sets the split test up, this is his first one.

He sets his goals as a click on the calls to action button, makes sure the split testing software is installed and functioning correctly. 

Robert starts the test and runs it for 1 hour and because he has roughly 2500 visits a day, he checks again in 60 mins to see if everything is registering correctly.

He sees the initial data after an hour and a euphoric feeling washes over him.

Relative Improvement against original;

Because the algorithm inside VWO doesn’t have much data, it is showing the possible result of the test based on current data could be between -41.1 and +641.9%.

His mind only registers one thing: 600% increase!

That would mean that his possible increase in revenue could push him above $100,000 per month.

Robert can’t sleep that night. His mind is going crazy with ideas on what he could spend all this cash money on, he goes to sleep with a big smile on his face.

How does this Tie into Split Testing and CRO?

Robert wakes up at 6am, and he opens his laptop instantly to check the numbers:

It’s not looking good.

Robert’s mood is instantly crashed, quite the opposite of last night.

The split test is now showing a likely gain of 10 to +32%

Not 600%+ like it looked like last night.

More data has come in and it has evened out the gap between the two variations with the actual test concluding at around 30%+ increases in CTR%.

This is where statistical significance comes in.

You can read about that in more detail here.

Due to us being conditioned to always wanting to be right. When the data tells us otherwise, it creates an uneasy emotional response.

Getting into the right Psychological Frame.

We have to just rely on the data for split testing.

Us wanting to always be right doesn’t have a place here and we need to recognize this early to have any success at this. We have to take a purely rational viewpoint when it comes to split testing. This is where our CRO consulting services can you help you, a lot.

For rationals this may seem quite easy, for the more emotionally reactive, this may take some practice.

When we take on a new client, we don’t have any emotional connection to the website, we didn’t build it, we don’t have any history attached to it.

This allows us to be in the best position to be able to purely rely on data to make decisions.

This is how we view split testing, objectively.

The power of compounding conversion rate increases.

Let’s use our original baseline of 100 clicks for an easy number:

In split test 1, we increased click rates to our calls to action by 23.6%.

New Control Baseline: 124 clicks roughly.

In split test 2, we increased click rates to our calls to action by 6.5%.

That now takes our baseline click rate to 132 clicks.

We are now up 32.6% on our original click-through rate. From just 2 split tests.

This is why we have to disconnect emotionally from the outcome and keep running the campaigns systematically.

Our Emotions Around Money

We have these two emotions that are connected to money:

Greed and Fear.

These two emotions make us perceive data differently at different points in time without us realising it.

The hardest thing about running a split test, especially if you have a larger income website, is managing your emotions throughout a campaign.

We have to set ourself up to expect nothing.

When you run a test, you should not want to expect anything.

When setting up a split test, it is merely a test of Variation A vs Variation B.

That is it.

We have to condition yourself to not have to be right in our presumptions of what will perform better.

Organizing Your Workflow.

In order to be successful at testing, especially at scale and over the long term you need to follow a very clear process:

Like any good business, you need a systematic process that can be repeated over and over again, without those pesky emotions coming into play.

You need to know;

1) Which tools to use, and

2) How to use them to get results.

Understanding the process.

When I get asked to look at someone’s website and tell them how to improve conversions, my simple answer is always:

I don’t know yet.

I need to implement my process that works out what works.

The example above of increasing clicks by 20% just by moving a button to the left, may not work at all on another website. Does this mean we always start from scratch with every website and have no previous takeaways? No.

Because what we do have is a long list of layouts, buttons, and combinations that have worked well in the past on similar sites for us to test.

As time goes on this list grows and it refines our process, so that we get it right the first time, more and more often, but we always test.

It’s all a numbers game.

I’m going to say it right now so it’s clear:

The more traffic you have on a site, the more success you will have with split testing.

Let me explain why:

Let’s call the first site Site A.

Monthly Revenue: $1000

Monthly Visitors: 5000

Highest Traffic Page: 2300

Normally at CROguy we focus on the top 5 pages of a client’s website, but in this example we’ll just test one page.

The top 5 pages, in most cases make up 80% of the revenue of the site. Not all the time, but that is what the data has shown us over time.

Ok so let’s set up our first test on Site A.

Control: CTA Button: View Price

Variation 1: Check Price

In order for us to declare a winner for this site, we would need a few things.

1. Enough difference in clicks on one variation over the other.

2. Enough views for a statistically significant winner. (So we can be sure the results were not due to chance.)

Let’s say it takes 2 weeks to declare a winner in this split test.

That means, during the split test, the control had 575 visitors and Variation 1 had 575 visitors.

Because you have waited 2 weeks to get this result, you would damn well want it to be a winner, right?

Wrong, Variation 1 was 10%

You wouldn’t be in the best mood if you just spent two weeks waiting for this test to conclude and it was a loser.

F!@k split testing.

Looks like emotion just came into play didn’t it?

Now let’s rewind a bit.

It’s far easier to get better results with sites that have larger revenue and more visitors.

We can run multiple tests per week, get quicker feedback and can find those winners quick and faster.

That is how we got such big increases for Robert:

What we did have was a plan, documentation of results and management of each campaign. We also took advantage of the available conversion rate optimization software.

We didn’t test just one page on Robert’s site, I believe it was closer to 50 tests. If you didn’t have a process to follow, on that scale, it would be impossible to manage.

Due to Robert having over 200,000+ unique views a month, it allowed us to very quickly run a lot of tests back to back and uncover the winning variations thats allows us to increase his revenue for this site by over 100% which in turn, helped him to reach his 3 year goal of $100,000USD per month.

Tools we use:

  • Hot jar
  • VWO
  • Google Calendar
  • Slack

In conclusion.

Managing your emotions can be easy once you have the right systems in place.

Have a process allows you to make quick, relatable decisions based on data.

The data holds all the secrets. Don’t let those pesky emotions get involved.

Click here to join the CRO ACADEMY where we ask, help, share and collaborate on all things Conversion Rate Optimization.

Until next time,

Kurt Philip


Author: Kurt Philip

Hi, I’m Kurt Philip, the founder & CEO of Convertica. I live and breathe conversion rate optimization. I hope you enjoy our findings.

We’ve worked with over 1000 businesses in the last 6 years.
Let’s jump on a quick call to see how we can help yours.

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[AFFILIATE CASE STUDY] – How we Generated an Extra $15,048 in Monthly Revenue in 34 Days

[AFFILIATE CASE STUDY] – How we Generated an Extra $15,048 in Monthly Revenue in 34 Days

The headline sounds like click bait right?

It got your attention. That is what it was meant to do.

You are about to learn exactly what web optimization techniques we did to increase one of our client’s monthly income by over $15,048.

By the end of this post, you will be able to implement most of what we did too.

Every time I write a post, I say the same thing:

“CRO doesn’t need to be complicated.”

In August we took Robert’s site monthly revenue from $20,403 to $ 35,451 in just over a month.

That is an extra $15,048 for the month of August.

Let me start off by saying: This site is a beast, an absolute beast. It is in fact, the beastiest site I have ever worked on.

Over 200,000 unique views a month.

We didn’t use any tricky plugins and we didn’t even touch any sales copy.

What we did do, was use our methodology that I have talked about many times.

Sure, we did have 4 of the Convertica staff making the changes, managing the tasks and pulling together the reporting and tracking, but whether you have 100,000+ unique views per month or 1,000 views per month, the same system applies.

It just comes down to consistently applying the process.

Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?

The Earnings Proof i.e the “Show Me the Money” Screenshot

Amazon is just one of this site’s monetization methods. Like any good business you should always diversify.

How to Get Started.

We have had hundreds of sites apply to work with us over the last 6 months. We have seen everything from lead generation sites for local businesses, multi-million dollar eCommerce brands, micro niche and absolute beast Amazon affiliate sites.

One thing that has helped us get these results so quickly is that we get to see websites in a bunch of different industries across a huge amount of niches. This variety of experience has allowed us to develop tried-and-tested systems and know what works very quickly, allowing us to get quick results for our clients every time.

It all goes back to something else I say frequently.

Find the 20% of the areas of your website that are getting 80% of the clicks and generating roughly 80% of the revenue. This of course isn’t fixed in stone, the ratios are not going to match up perfectly. However, it is a great way to systematically process a large batch of websites and get consistent results. Sometimes it’s 90/10 sometimes it is 95/5. Regardless, there are always certain areas that you can use to scale up the revenue of a website with relative ease.

See more about the 80/20 principle here.

Now, let’s use a very general type of buyer intent keyword for this example.

In order to keep Robert’s identity confidential, we are going to use a generic keyword “best dog trimmers” as the example.

When someone types in “best” in front of the keyword in Google, they’re typically looking for the best of something to buy for themselves. They know the solution to their problems, they are trying to figure out what is the best one to buy.

For some people, they already know what they want, for others they are still browsing.

Either way, a good review of that product can be the tipping point that convinces the user to make a buying decision, gets them to pull out their credit card and make a purchase from your affiliate partners site.

This is not a post on keyword research and how to write converting copy, Matt Diggity has done one of those recently.

This is a post on how we helped Robert increase revenue on his site by $15,048 for the month of August.

Not in one year, but in just one month.

How we found the 80/20 for Robert.

We used heat maps to figure out where the users were clicking. Heat maps were also tracking what call to actions got the audience’s attention and made them click over to Robert’s affiliate partner, only one of which was Amazon.

Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?

Pro Tip: Don’t just rely on one affiliate partner. See what other affiliate programs are available for the products or keywords you are ranking for. Don’t just rely on amazon if you can, they regularly ban partners without warning or any clear reason. Have a google around, there are often other programs available. It’s all about not having all your eggs in one basket.

To see how to to set up and read heat maps, I have done an in-depth tutorial here.

We run the heat maps for around 1000 views and it will show us where the action is. Once we have that data, we can start implementing the changes.

There are certain things we do every time after we review the heat maps.

Check How the Site Shows Up on Mobile.

This seems like common sense, but a lot of people still don’t focus on mobile when optimizing for conversions. The majority of your users, especially in the B2C (business to consumer) market, coming to your website will either be mobile or will be in the coming years. Mobile will increase in importance and you need to keep that in mind with every website you build and plan to monetize. You can find out more about CRO coaching if you plan on monetizing your site like a beast.

Are the Call to Actions Buttons or Text?

We have to remember, we have pretty fat fingers. If your call to action is text only that is linked, sometimes we can’t click the link easily. Use nice big buttons for your call to actions. You can make them easily here.

Notice how I mentioned fat fingers? Mobile is becoming more important. People are now tapping on a link with their fingers rather than clicking with a mouse. Make it easy for them. A good conversion rule of thumb to follow is to make the entire sales process as frictionless as possible.


Use a Comparison Table.

Most people are already looking to buy the best product listed on your review page. Don’t make it hard for them. While a 1,000 word+ review is great from an SEO perspective, it is not super valuable from a CRO perspective. If you were looking to buy the best dog hair trimmers, are you more likely to a read 5,000 in depth detailed buyer guide or more likely to skim through the entire content to see the conclusion the article came to as to which trimmer to buy?

While having that 5,000 word buyer guide is awesome, you need to format it to accommodate these people skimming for the answer. You do this by adding a comparison table.

A Comparison table lets people see the bare bones statistics compared against each other. Also, these tables are visually pleasing and give your site a feeling of authority on the subject.

Make sure this comparison table can be used on mobile and is viewed correctly on these devices. Tables are somewhat notorious for showing up bad on mobile. You can also seek help from our conversion specialist anytime you need one.

Now, when all these changes are made to your website, reset the heatmaps for all pages and let the data gather for 1000+ views.

Doubling Down on Revenue

The next step makes a lot of sense but rarely happens in reality. This step is also used mostly in a series of conversion case study and testing.

The quickest way to grow your revenue once the 80/20 has been rolled out is to make the changes and let them gather data for a week or two.

Then we do an export of all the revenue generated and work out the 80/20 for where the sales came from.

Nearly every time I do this on a clients site, 80% of the revenue will come from just a handful of products.

Export all your revenue into a spreadsheet. Make sure you have each product that you have sold listed, with total revenue for each.

Divide the revenue of each product by the total revenue generated.

Group the 20% of items that total roughly 80% of the revenue.

Move those products to a new list.

The New List is Where the Gold is

Now let’s go back to our heat maps and make a list of all the places that we have call to actions or links to the shortlist we have compiled.

Testing Further – The Icing on the Cake.

This is where we get the biggest increases.

Not only have we doubled down on where the action is on our website, but we have also doubled down on where all the revenue is coming from.

These are the areas we split test to get super quick results.

If you don’t know how to set up your own split testing campaigns, I have done a tutorial here. It is far easier than you think.

I am putting together a tutorial on the 80/20 of split testing soon, so keep an eye out for it on the Convertica blog.

Whenever you do a test, change just one thing at first on your site. If you do a ton of changes at once, you won’t ever be able to know what caused the uptick or downtick in revenue. Once you’ve made the changes, get at least a 1,000 views to that change to see if there are any noticeable differences.

Here are a few things you can test your shortlist with:

  • Changing out button colors
  • Changing what the actual text on the buttons say (i.e Click Here for More Info vs. Learn More)
  • Your page layouts (does the page convert better if the comparison table is above the fold or below? What other page elements can you test?)

The Results from Client Reporting. 

Closing Thoughts.

As you can see, the process behind how we increased Robert’s website from $20,403 to $35,451 in just over a month isn’t complicated. You have to however have a clear process, be patient and roll out the changes step by step while tracking them.

This is just one of the conversion rate optimization case studies of many sites we have rolled this process on. Since I was originally an SEO before getting into CRO, I’m extremely process driven. We have (and continue to do so) processed dozens of high earning sites using our processes. Every site refines our process.

If you follow the simple checklist I’ve talked about above, you can see some easy wins for your website.

These changes can be the difference between an extra $500 per month, or in Rob’s case it could be an extra six-figures annual income… without ever adding a single article, back link or increasing his traffic.

When you put it that way, is it really so tedious to change a few elements around to claim the cash you’re leaving on the table?

I didn’t think so.

Kurt Philip



Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?

Author: Kurt Philip

Hi, I’m Kurt Philip, the founder & CEO of Convertica. I live and breathe conversion rate optimization. I hope you enjoy our findings.

We’ve worked with over 1000 businesses in the last 6 years.
Let’s jump on a quick call to see how we can help yours.

Book FREE CRO Call

Client Case Studies

Follow us on Youtube

The How-To of CRO: Step 1: Heat maps – Top Conversion Rate Optimization Tools

The How-To of CRO: Step 1: Heat maps – Top Conversion Rate Optimization Tools


Today I’m going to go through and talk about my favorite heat map software and what we use them for.

I’ll go through my website that I’ve actually been running heat maps on for a while like a live case so that you can see a how it all works.

I will go into this in more detail in the future, but for now, we don’t want to complicate the process too much. I think with CRO a lot of people will get confused by the amount of information don’t do anything.

Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?

Many website optimization experts document all the experiments they run on their websites. So I’m going to try and keep it nice and simple so you guys can roll out heat maps on your site and then you can start to implement heat maps and start to get an idea and get some insight into what the users are doing and why they’re doing it. You’ll be able to see where they’re clicking so you can then start to increase conversions on your website.

It’s really not a hard process and it all starts with heat maps.

So I’m going to go through and show you how heat maps to works, so now we’ve logged in to the backend of my website and we’ve been running heat maps for a while now.

So to enable heat maps, click heat map, open up, okay. Now here heat maps are loaded up on my home page, so when you first sign up for heat maps you’ll have to actually go to all of the separate pages and sort of turn it off for a second so you can see what I mean.

So you’ll have to go to all the pages if you left five-page you were allowed five pages as plug change, but then you just hit record and it’ll start recording your user interaction on the page.

This is really important for affiliate sites. My site is a lead generation site so I’ve only got one call to action on it — Click here and be our guest on CRO Academy.

You can see here it gives you a breakdown of what all the users are doing, obviously the more red spots, the more high clicked areas and where they click, and this really does give you really good insight into what these are doing you wouldn’t have seen before when day after day I’m checking through clients websites.

It just gives you a really good insight, they could be clicking an image or maybe clicking one image out of ten and you can turn it into a lead capture or maybe it’s not linking to a product and you can see that it needs to be linked to the product or to the affiliate offer.

I’ve kept this nice and simple for this video, my site has just got one call to action on the actual home page and it’s got a few links people trying to find its information but those are secondary 0.07%. We can see here 8.6% want to know who the hell I am, 6 percent maybe you’re looking to sell their websites been interested in that.

We can see here, this is very obvious that it’s coming up over here actually because that’s the difference, it’s a little bit inaccurate that’s why I don’t use heatmap.me on my client sites. I like a different service which I’ll go into in a minute, but we can see here 16.10% of all my users and clicking my “Apply Now” button which is pretty good. (Recommended: 2 Must-read books for understanding CRO )

Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?

That’s it heatmaps.me and now we’re going to jump over to my favorite which is what I use for CROguy and it’s called hotjar.

We’re going to jump over to my back-end for CROguy and now we can see in here all the page that I’ve recorded and also my number of page view and you’ll see when we jump into this how much more detailed it actually is, so in order to use sign your account, add your site, add your heat map, super simple home page.

So let’s jump over to my home page because that’s our main page of focus at the moment and we can see it’s much more in-depth.

Now the reason I like hotjar too is because it shows a breakdown of different screen resolutions which is really important especially when I’ll optimizing Amazon affiliate sites, because 99% of people don’t even think about Amazon affiliate sites and that’s where we get our 30 to 50 percent gains, because that’s where most the traffic coming from.

Now we are here, most of the people here are reading it, I have found in some of my client’s affiliate sites before that certain words the people by clicking on the words because that’s what they interested in, and then you can actually link that through them to the offer too.

Once again 17.43% click the button, so we would test the button for once, but now it’s very good interesting they can jump over the mobile it shows a very different story.

The user interaction is very different on mobile.

So if you can see here this is not rendering probably it doesn’t drop off like that, but obviously where people are swapping and a bigger one nice thing called action down the bottom 50% of all users to read.

So let’s look at my sole page, the same sort of thing, again it’s very simple, as I said I’m keeping this nice and simple and I will go more into detail later on in some more in-depth CRO case studies

I just made this video is to show you guys how I use heatmaps and how is step one of this for the testing process.

We start every site like this here at CROguy, we’ll run them on heat maps until about a thousand or two thousand page views a get enough data where we can see what users are doing, and then we’ll start to come up with experiments that will run from that data.

So I recommend everyone goes out there, sign up for hotjar or heatmap.me, you get out there get you into any heatmaps loaded and then wait for the next video and I’ll show you the next step of the conversion rate optimization in action process which will be coming up with experiment ideas from after analyzing the data and then we’ll go through and set up our first campaign in the VWO and also look at using optimizley.

Do you want a 20-100% conversion rate increase?