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Split Test WordPress Custom Post Types

WordPress can be easily extended in many ways and we want to help you test those extensions. Nelio A/B Testing allows you to perform tests of your custom post types, dividing the traffic between the different alternatives you have defined, tracking the conversion rates of all of them, and analyzing the results for you.

Nelio A/B Testing allows you to perform this type of tests in WordPress in a very simple way, offering the necessary tools to create alternative content (or use already-existing custom post types as such), perform the test, and track visitors to help you to achieve goals such as increasing revenue or subscriptions. Install, activate, and configure Nelio and get the most out of your website.

Instructions for Custom Post Type Tests

Once you have installed, activated and configured Nelio A/B Testing, follow these instructions to create A/B tests.

Create a New A/B test for Your Custom Post Types

  1. Under the Nelio A/B Testing menu, click on Tests to view and manage your tests.
  2. Click the Add Test button at the top of the screen.
  3. A pop-up window will open with all the types of tests you can create. Each of them has a name and an icon.
    • Click on Custom Post Type.
Selector of test in Nelio A/B Testing.

Name and Define Your Test

First of all, give a descriptive Name to the test you want to create to help you identify it in the future. In addition, on the right sidebar, you’ll find three additional tabs:

  • Status & Management, where you see the status your test is currently in (Draft, Ready, Scheduled, or Paused) and options on when it should start and end,
  • Description of the test, where you can indicate what you are testing and what you intend to achieve with it,
  • Test Scope, where you specify which pages of your website are affected by this test. For an A/B test of pages, you can activate Global Consistency.
Naming a custom post type A/B test with Nelio A/B Testing.

How to Create the Variants to Test

An A/B test of a custom post type consists of testing different versions of that type of content and measuring which one works best to achieve your goals. For example, you can analyze whether changing the description of a course (which is a custom post type) generates more subscribers.

Select the Custom Post Type to Test

First, select the custom post type on which you want to perform the test (called “Control Version” or commonly “Version A”). To do this, you must first choose the type of content from the list that appears by default. Next, select the specific content of that type you want to test. To do this, you either choose it from the list of options that appears by default, or you search it by typing its title, its URL, or its identifier.

Selecting a custom post type to test with Nelio A/B Testing.

Create New Variants or Test Against Existing Content

As mentioned before, in a custom post type test you can test your previously selected custom post type against (a) new variants specifically designed for this test or (b) already-existing content.

(a) Create New Variants

Then create a “Variant B” (or more than one variant, if you wish) of the previously selected custom post type:

  1. Name your variant in the field next to the letter indicating the variant you are creating (for example, “Variant 1” or “Longer description of course”).
  2. By default, each variant created will be an exact copy of the control page you selected before. Click the Edit link for a variant to modify it.
  3. If you want to create more than one variant, click on the New Variant button at the end of the section.
Adding variant to a custom post type A/B test with Nelio A/B Testing.

(b) Select already-existing custom post types as variants

Alternatively, if you want to test the previously selected custom post type against an already existing content (or more, if you wish):

  1. Check the box, “Test against already existing content” below the Control Version.
  2. Select the custom post type in the field next to the letter as the variant to test against the Control Version. To do this, you either choose it from the list of options that appears by default, or you search for it by typing its title, its URL, or its identifier.
  3. Click the Edit link, if you wish, to modify the selected content (note that this is not a copy of the selected content, so any modification is directly made in that custom post type).
  4. If you want to select more than one variant, click on the New Variant button at the end of the section.
Selecting an existing custom post type as a a variant of an A/B test
Selecting an existing custom post type as a a variant of an A/B test.

Editing a Variant

When you edit a variant, WordPress will open your default content editor. This can be the official WordPress block editor or any other editor that your theme or plugins have set up.

(a) Editing a new created variant

From the editor, modify the custom content as you like so it looks different from “Version A” and when ready, click Save Draft. Remember that alternative custom post type cannot be published (since they are only shown as part of an A/B Test and are controlled by Nelio A/B Testing).

Editing variant of a custom post type A/B test.

Additionally, when you are editing a custom post type that belongs to a test, the Nelio A/B Testing section appears on the right sidebar allowing you to:

  • Return to the test to which the variant belongs,
  • Go directly to edit the control version or any other variant,
  • Overwrite the current content by importing the content from any other custom post type published on your website.

(b) Editing a selected existing custom post type

When you edit a selected existing custom post type, WordPress will open your default content editor of that content. There is no difference between editing the content from here or having accessed the editor after selecting it from the dashboard custom post types. You will need to click the backwards button to return to the test

How to Define Your Conversion Goals and Actions

A/B tests are usually performed with some goals in mind, such as “increase the number of leads” or “showing interest in your products.” The goals are met when the visitor performs certain actions. For example, you “increase the number of leads” when a visitor completes a certain form on your website.

Let’s see how to define conversion goals and actions in Nelio A/B Testing in order to track the activity of your visitors.

Define Your Conversion Goals

You can add as many goals as you want by clicking on the + New link. If you create more than one goal, Nelio A/B Testing will show you information on how effective each variant is for each of the defined goals.

Optionally, you can give your goal a name that helps you remember what you were interested in improving in your test. For example, your goals could be “Increase the number of leads” or “Show interest in my courses.”

Defining conversion goals of a custom post type A/B test.

Add Conversion Actions to Your Goals

Different types of conversion actions are available to track your visitors. For example, you can control when they access a certain page, when they click on a certain element of your website or when they send a contact form.

  1. Click the Action Button that interests you. For example, if you want them to complete a form, click Complete form icon.
  2. Each type of conversion action has its owns settings. In the case of Complete form, for example, you must specify which form the user must complete.
  3. Repeat the process for all the actions you want to add.
Adding conversion actions to a custom post type A/B test.

Remember that you can delete any action by clicking on the Delete link below the action.

Segment Test Traffic (Optional)

Visitors to your website are not all the same. They come from different countries, speak different languages, use different browsers, access the site from different websites, use different devices, and a host of other subtle and big differences.

If you want all the traffic coming to your website to be part of the created test, ignore this point and go directly to the next one. But depending on the type of website and traffic you have, you may want to refine the audience you want to reach.

Nelio A/B testing allows you to create segments, that is, define by means of rules the set of visitors with a series of common characteristics that you want to participate in your test. Here you will find more detailed information on how to create segments in a test.

How to Start the Test

Once you have fully defined your test, you will see that the status of the test will have passed from Draft to Ready. At that point, you can Start it so that your website visitors can see the different variants that you have created and Nelio A/B Testing will start tracking their actions.

Start an A/B test with Nelio A/B Testing

Start your test

To start a test, check that it is Ready and, if it is, click on the Start… button in the upper right corner. If it was not ready, you can hover the mouse over the information icon that appears next to the Status to see why your test is still a Draft.

If you do not want to start the test directly, but want to leave it scheduled for a specific date, specify it using the Start field in the Status & Management section.

Once the test has started, the plugin will show you its results page and you will see that the status changes to Running.

Important: tests cannot be edited once they are active, but you can pause, modify them and restart them so they continue to run. Of course, depending on the modifications you make, your partial results may be invalid after restarting the test. If that is the case, it is best to start a new test, duplicating the previous one.

Choose the end mode in an A/B test.

When do you want to end your test

You can also define when you want the execution to end, indicating the End Mode of the test:

  • Manual: the test will stop when you click the Stop button, in the list of tests or on its results page.
  • Duration: the test will stop automatically after the indicated time.
  • Page views: the test will stop automatically after reaching the total number of visits you have specified.
  • Confidence: The test will stop automatically when a winner is found in the first goal with the specified confidence level.

How to See the Progress of a Test and Its Results

In the menu option Tests you can see the list of the tests created, the status they are in, and the date of their last update. At any time you can see the results of a test that is started or that has already ended by clicking on the View Results link below its name.

Status of the results of an A/B Test.

Summary of the results

In the right sidebar of the results page you will find the Summary of your test with the following information:

  • Status icon. This icon helps you quickly identify the progress of your tests. It is initially in yellow, indicating that there are not enough visits to determine a winner. If the icon changes showing a clock with a heart, there is a possible winner, but statistical confidence is low, so things can still change. Finally if a green icon is shown (with a medal), we have a clear winner. If the icon is red, no alternative is better than the original.
  • Some metadata about your test. Specifically, you can see the status of the test, how long it has been running, when it started and how it ends.
  • The description and scope of the test are also included, if applicable.

Test Progress

The results page shows, in turn, the following information on the progress of a test:

  1. Test Name
  2. Evolution with the conversion rate of the control version and all variants, as well as the total number of conversions and visits to the tested posts.
  3. Two additional graphs showing the conversion rates of each alternative and its degree of improvement over the original, respectively.
  4. For each of the variants of the test we will see a thumbnail image, if available, of the custom post type under test, the number of visits it has received, its number of conversions, the resulting conversion rate and, for all variants other than the original, the degree of improvement (or on the contrary, the worsening) that they have with respect to the control version.
  5. We also found a button to display the heatmap of that variant.
  6. Finally, a summary of the conversion goals and actions of the test is shown.
Evolution of an A/B test with Nelio A/B Testing.

Improve Your Web Conversion

You can end a test manually at any time by clicking on the Stop button found in the top right corner of the results page. Remember that a test can also end automatically if the condition indicated in its end mode is met.

After completing a test and to improve the conversion of your website, click on the Apply button of the winning variant (if it exists) and the content of the original post will be replaced with the contents of the winning variant.

Apply winner in an A/B test of custom post type with Nelio A/B Testing.

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